Villa Amor Hotel
City of Koronadal, South Cotabato
“Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting down to eat…” (John 6:11)
On February 23-26, 2016, 188 Bible apostolate workers coming from 53 of the 86 dioceses of the Philippines gathered together for the 21st National Bible Workshop in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez and his own Bible apostolate workers in the Diocese of Marbel graciously hosted the event and made it truly pleasant and memorable.
Inspired by this year’s theme “Strengthening the Family Through the Word and the Eucharist”, we projected into the future with 2021 as immediate goal in mind, i.e., the celebration of the 500th year of Christianity, following the annual themes proposed by the CBCP.
Using the method of Appreciative Inquiry, thanks to the assistance of our partners in the IPD (Institute for Pastoral Development) we succeeded in defining our skills and resources, discovering our strengths, dreaming ahead and designing a path to the realization of our dreams , which we submit to destiny and God’s divine will.
Following the attitude of the Lord who, instead of lamenting the scarcity of resources, gratefully accepted the five loaves and two fish (John 6), we too believe that the Lord can multiply our meager resources in ECBA as long as we have the generosity to offer them to be blessed, broken, and shared.
With the objective of participating more fully and meaningfully in the mission of the Church in the Philippines towards new evangelization, we came up with a strategic plan for the next five years. We intend to work for the integration of these plans in our respective dioceses, and we are determined to implement them properly.
1. We have vowed to work together to continue building BECs by promoting creative methods of forming Bible prayer/study groups, such as KRISKA, Liturgical Bible Study, Lectio Divina, BFAST, Sambayanihan, Biblianilay, etc., believing that, “where two or three are gathered together in (Jesus’) name, (he is) there in their midst” building up his body, the Church (Mat 18:20).
2. Through our partnership with the PBS (Philippine Bible Society), we have resolved to support and sustain the MTBO program in order to make more Bibles available for 3 Million more Filipino Catholic families in ten of the major Filipino languages used in the country.
3. In partnership with existing groups, ministries, movements and organizations in our dioceses, we intend to reach out to at least 20% of the unchurched Catholics in our respective dioceses through home visits, Bible campaigns, Bible enthronement in every home, Bible Prayer groups towards building more BECs.
Because we have been nourished and greatly blessed by the Word of God in these past few days, we have resolved to become ourselves a source of blessing doing all that we can so that the faithful will learn not just to find nourishment in the Word but also to break the same Word in every home in order to satisfy the spiritual hunger of the world.
4. Having been challenged as well by the message of His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, president of CBF (Catholic Biblical Federation) to make the Bible not just one among many apostolates but the very foundation of all pastoral action and ministry in the Church, we have likewise resolved to reach out and partner with every commission in the CBCP, as well as every group, movement or organization that can help us achieve this purpose.
May the Lord who has begun his good work in and through us bring it to
For the 21st National Bible Workshop:
+Sofronio A. Bancud, S.S.S., D.D.
Bishop of Cabanatuan
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate
February 23-26, 2016
The Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) is a pastoral commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) whose area of competence and service is the biblical-pastoral ministry in its five-fold ministries of:
Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation
Organizing Bible Celebration
Promoting Bible Translation
Assisting Bible Production
Coordinating Bible Distribution
A Community of Disciples
nourished by the Word of God,
Witnessing to the Gospel,
and Striving to be a Church
that is poor and for the poor,
with Mary, Mother of the Word, as model.