FINAL STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5TH National Workshop for the Biblical Apostolate
Theme: Inculturated Formation For All
Immaculate Concepcion Major Seminary
February 13-16, 1990
We thank and serve the Lord.
“They must thank the Lord for his constant love,
for the wonderful things he did for them.
He satisfies those who are thirsty,
and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)
Thanksgiving, according to the Psalmist, is the duty of the people of God after they have experienced Yahweh’s constant love. In their times of need when they wandered in the desert, God provided them with water and food. However, the Book of Deuteronomy explains: “man must not depend on bread alone to sustain him, but in everything that the Lords says...” (Dt. 8:3). God’s Word is a greater gift than bread and it has been generously given to all Filipino people during the celebration of the National Bible Year. For this reason, we who are gathered, first of all thank the Lord for satisfying those who have thirsted, for filling those who have hungered for his word during the year that passed. (cf. John 7:37-39; 6:35,63)
We are aware that our thanksgiving will be even more acceptable to the Lord when it is accompanied by our resolve to continue being his partners in the ministry of the Word, which is his own work (cf. 1 Cor 3:9). Because of this, we reflected on the recommendations of the First National Bible Congress (November 1989) with the help of speakers and sharers. We focus our attention on “Biblical formation for all,” the theme of our gathering. Through liturgical and para-liturgical celebrations, personal prayer and meditation, conferences, group workshops and plenary sessions, we have agreed to commit our Biblical Centers to implementation of the following resolutions:
For the Laity (Adults and youth)
1. Organize leadership formation programs on Pastoral-Biblical Spirituality for the laity, religious and clergy in order to be responsive to the needs of the people.
2. Organize programs which are related to the liturgy, relevant to the culture of the people and responsive to the needs of the adults and the youth.
For the Clergy, Religious and Seminarians
3. Offer programs on Pastoral-Biblical Spirituality, to the clergy, religious and seminarians.
For the small Ecclesial CommunitIES
4. Coordinate on-going Biblical formation of lay leaders in our Basic Ecclesial Communities.
For Catechetical formation
5. Establish closer coordination with catechetical centers for the purpose of bringing about a biblical catechesis.
6. Support Biblical catechesis that promotes efforts in developing the awareness of Filipinos for the need to understand and love their rich indigenous culture.
7. We resolve to support all forms of media adopting a truly Filipino character, especially when they offer biblical programs meant to reach the masses.
8. We resolve to help provide catechists with a continuous upgraded and holistic formation to maintain their need for spiritual and intellectual growth.
9. We resolve to support moves for catechists to be given fair and just compensation to boost their morale and dignity as persons.
These commitments we offer to the Father with the Paschal sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, confident that our offering, together with our thanksgiving, will be accepted by God (Lv. 22:29).
In the process of coming up with these commitments, we affirm the support of our brothers and sisters who have come from 35 Biblical centers that have sprouted and are now flourishing all over the country, thanks to the blessings of the Lord. Truly, Jesus Christ our Master has been with us (Matthew 28:20) and the Holy Spirit has been our Advocate (John 14:16).
We felt, too, that Mary was with us, just as she was with the apostles who awaited the Pentecostal coming of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:14). We beg her to continue helping us with her motherly care so that we may be true to our commitments.
We trace our roots to the early Christian Community of Jerusalem where the followers of Jesus “were faithful to the teaching of the apostles and the common life of sharing” (Acts 2:42). The mustard seed of our fellowship enters its 5th year of facing the challenges of the Biblical Apostolate. May we continue growing into such a big tree that our brothers and sisters who have not yet experienced the power of God’s Word will now come to us like birds and make their nests in our branches (see Matthew 13:32).
In the name of the participants,
+ MOST REV. CIRILO ALMARIO, D.D.
Chairman, Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate
Immaculate Conception Major Seminary
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.