FINAL STATEMENT of the
8th NATIONAL WORKSHOP FOR THE BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE
Theme: The Bible in the Light of the
Second Plenary Council of the Philippines.
Camp Alano, Daliao, Toril
February 14-18, 1993
Seven years have passed since the National Workshop for the Biblical Apostolate was begun. Seven years remain before the end of the 2nd Christian Millennium. We find ourselves, like the 2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines, at the crossroads of evangelization in our country. “Our crossroads is not about the direction we must take, It is rather whether we are newly determined and committed enough to journey along a direction already taken” (PCP II, n. 32). As St. Paul said, we “must give no thought to what is behind but push on to what is ahead… It is important that we continue on our course, no matter what stage we have reached. (Philippians 3:13,16).
Our National Workshop, now on its eight year, has moved to the southernmost big island of our archipelago, Mindanao. Here, generations ago, people from other parts of the Philippines came to undertake a new beginning against tremendous odds. Here, in the sprawling city of Davao, known for the exotic Waling-waling orchid and the durian fruit, and home of the Philippine eagles “Pag-asa” and “Pagkakaisa,” we, too, came to rekindle our hopes and dreams for the Biblical Apostolate. To find the silver linings in the dark clouds of our failures and to share with one another the joys coming from the rainbow of God’s blessings. We exchanged views on “the Bible in the light of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines”. Turning in prayer to the Holy Spirit, the principal promoter and animator of evangelization, we were led to make the following resolutions.
We shall implement the PCP II provisions regarding the promotion of the word of God in response to the call of Pope John Paul II for an evangelization that is “new in its fervor, new in its methods, and new in its expression” (PCP II 186-291).
1. We shall celebrate Pentecost each year as a period of prayer when we shall re-dedicate ourselves to the faithful, creative and persevering evangelization, kindled by the zeal of the Holy Spirit.
2. We shall devotedly promote the role of Mary, our Mother, “Star of Evangelization,” and seek inspiration from her, guided by the teachings of PCP II (PCP II 174).
3. We shall look upon Basic Ecclesial Communities as a means of evangelization and help ensure that they shall always be guided by gospel values (PCP II Art. 112 #1 & 2).
4. We shall work for the immediate implementation of the PCP II decrees on youth, namely, articles 7, 23 #1, 50-52 and 55 (see appendix).
5. We shall continue expanding and improving the use of social communications in the Biblical Apostolate (See PCP II n. 200).
6. We reaffirm our past resolutions on inculturation and express our happiness in seeing them reflected in PCP II nn. 201, 202-211.
7. We assure the indigenous people of the Philippines that in our evangelization among them we will strive to respect their cultures and traditions, learn from their values with regards to harmony with nature, engaging them in a dialogue of faith as we work together with them to enhance their human dignity and cultural identity (cf. PCP II Acts and Decrees, No. 379; cf. Letter of Bishop Morelos, Jan. 25, 1993).
We commit ourselves to achieve these works so that to Him, who is able to strengthen us in the gospel which we proclaim when we preach Jesus Christ to all so that they may believe and obey Him, the God who alone is wise, may glory be given through Jesus Christ unto endless ages (Romans 15:25-27).
Concluding our celebration and learning experiences, we turn to Mary, the obedient handmaid of the Lord, Star of Evangelization, with a prayer to help us reach new heights of Christian life missionary endeavor.
Approved on this 18th day of February, 1993 in Davao City Mindanao, Philippines.
For the Participants,
+ Most Rev. CIRILO R. ALMARIO D.D
Bishop of Malolos
Chairman, Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate
Article 7: Since the majority of our people are young, great effort should be exerted to make liturgical celebrations meaningful and instructive while at the same time adhering to liturgical norms and the provisions of Canon 838.
Article 23, #1: The social action apostolate of the Church must set special programs to address such crucial issues as peace and economy, agrarian and industrialization concerns, the exploitation of women and minors, migrant overseas workers, children and youth, and intensify the organization of the grassroots people or empowerment and self-reliance through cooperative and livelihood projects.
Article 50, #1: The strength, vitality and relevance of the Church as Sacrament of the Kingdom implies a laity fully come of age, that is, a laity who, imbued with and animated by the gospel of Christ, shall have assumed consciously, actively, and fully their role and responsibility in the Church and society.
Article 50, #2: Since youth constitute a large dynamic portion of the laity, the youth ministry should be assured of the fullest attention and highest priority in every way by all in the Church.
Article 51. #1: Every diocese should form, organize and mobilize the youth in such a way that they get creatively involved in the life of the diocese/parish as evangelizers of their fellow youth. A systematic and comprehensive program must be designed for this purpose.
Article 51, #2: Every diocese is strongly urged to establish an office for the Episcopal Vicar for Youth, a Youth Center, and a diocesan campus ministry program with competent personnel and sufficient logistical support.
Article 51, #3: Under the direction of the bishop, the diocesan youth centers will be tasked with:
1. creating and elaborating a diocesan pastoral youth program;
2. ensuring that the youth in the parishes grow in authentic Christian spirituality; and
3. helping the youth become involved in socio-economic and political action for social transformation in line with the Social Teachings of the Church.
Article 52. #1: The CBCP resolutions on Youth Ministry must be immediately implemented and a mechanism must be set up to evaluate their effectiveness.
Article 52, #2: A national program of catechesis for out-of-school youths must be given high priority.
Article 52, #3: Parish youth programs must give special attention to those in difficult situations, e.g. street children, migrants, those in crisis.
Article 55. #1: Priority should be given to the calling, training and formation of professional volunteer catechists for children and youth in public and non-sectarian schools and out-of-school children and youth.
Article 55, #2: Catechists should be professionally trained and adequately compensated, ideally with financial support from parishioners.
Article 55, #3: Catechists should be provided with pastoral exposure and in-service training, specially those working with BEC’s.
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 (ABPF),
Organizing Bible Celebration (OBC),
Promoting Bible Translation (PBT),
Assisting Bible Production (ABP),
Coordinating Bible Distribution (CBD).
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.
We commit ourselves to a new Evangelization based on the Word of God proclaimed, accepted, celebrated and meditated upon in the Church. We will live and proclaim the Word as Good News to the Poor, let the Bible inspire all our pastoral work, and be guided by the teachings of Dei Verbum and Verbum Domini, and by the vision of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines.