Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

Activities

 Weekly

  • Bible Anime -texting of animated Sunday Gospel Reading through cellphones

 Monthly

  • Visitation of Diocesan / Regional Centers by Diocesan Promoter or Executive Secretary
  • Contact with the Bishop / Directors / Parish / BEC

Quarterly / Bi-Monthly

 

  • Biblical Formation / Recollection / Retreat arranged with Diocese / Region
  • Bibliodrama Course / Basic Facilitator / Advance Facilitators Training
Annual


  • Bible Sunday / Week / Month last Sunday / last Week of January
  • Hearts on Fire on February 14 (before or after the 14th)
  • Original Gospel Song Festival
  • Bible Quiz in Bible Week
  • Distribution of Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide (CDBRG)
  • Regional Bible Workshops
  • Word Alive Biblical Institute (WABI)
  • Summer Biblical Institute (SBI)

Biennial

  • National Bible Workshop, National Bible Consultation
  • National Catholic Family Bible Quiz (NCFBQ)
Every Six Years

  • General Assembly of Catholic Bible Consultation

As Needed

  • Regional and Sub-regional Congress for Asia Oceania
  • Bishops' Institute for Bible Apostolate (BIBA) with FABC - Office on Evengelization

On-going Programs

  • Basic Bible Seminars (BBS) 1, 2, 3
  • Bible Facilitator's Seminar, Core Team Formation, Bible Orientation Seminar, Biblical Formation - Animation, Gospel Sharing Method (GSM), Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Formation

Special Projects

  • BEC Bible (with PBS) and BEC Formation with NASSA
  • "Good News in Tribal Rhythms" - scriptures using Indigenous songs/music in coordination with Episcopal Commission for the Indigenous People (ECIP)
  • "May They Be One" (2008-2013)  a five (5) years project for low cost Bible with PBS-ECBA as gift to grassroot in celebration of Synod on Word of God

Bible Translations

  • In cooperation with Philippine Bible Society (PBS)
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL)
  • Catholic Bible Association of the Philippines (CBAP)

Bible Distribution / Sale

  • with PBS atsubsidized price (cf Sponsors)
Mass Media Network
  • with CBCP Monitor interviews
  • Radio Station interviews - Radio Veritas,Website
Publication
  • Listen - National Catholic Family Bible Quiz
  • Word Alive - from JPIBC, Vigan City
  • SAMBUHAY - sunday readings and reflection, Society of St. Paul, Makati
Biblical Apostolate Overseas
  • Hongkong Catholic Filipino Biblical Pastoral Ministry
  • Lay Missionaries of the Divine Word (Hongkong)
  • BEC Bible Distributions of Migrant Workers - with ECMA & Germany
Fund Raising Ministry
  • ECBA FRIENDS, Parish Bible Fund
  • BEC Bible Fund

Cooperative & Community Building

  • "Life Multi-vitamins"
  • Team Building

Biblical - Pastoral Formation Programs through the years . . . . . .

For the past 28 years, the Biblical Apostolate developed steadily in the spiritof Dei Verbum. The biblical-pastoral activities of the local Church were strengthened through the different biblical formation programs that have been developed in the different regional biblical centers. Several biblical - pastoral modules have been developed for the on-going formation of lay bbles animators and facilitators that are distributed throughout the year.

The most popular biblical module is the "Basic Bible Seminar" -developed by John Paul I Biblical Centers. This booklet has been translated into Ilokano, Tagalog, Cebuano and into twenty languages in Asia, Oceana, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Many other modules have been developed either as an introduction or a follow-up of the Basic Bible Seminar (BBS). These modules vary according to the needs of the target groups. Some of the modules from the regional center are: Bible Orientation Seminar, Core Team Formation, Trainers Training Seminar, Biblical Institute , Bible Youth Camps, Basic Bible Seminar 2-3, Calapan Biblical Modules, Cebu Values & Leadership Seminars for Policemen with BBS, Bibliodrama Workshop and Retreats and many more.

The Catholic Media Network through the diocesan station and cable TV station opened Bible on the Air and similar biblical activities. All these attemps in growing in the Word function more efficiency when good coordination exists among the existing and functioning Episcopal Commission in the regional and/or diocesan levels. The Biblical Apostolate is always at the service of the local Church. It aims to make people more aware of the importance of building poeple who are centered on the Word of God and active in witnessing to the Word in the basic ecclesial communities.

Biblical Institute in Luzon - Visayas - Mondanao . . . . .

Summer is the best season for rest and recreation. As for the bible animators anfacilitators, they enjoy gathering together as sister and brothers growing in the Word doing formation in the different biblical institutes in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

  1. WABI for Northern Luzon and Cordillera  - Word Alive Biblical Institute (WABI) is a three (3) week annual biblical institutes offered by John Paul I Biblical Center of Vigan City. The syllabus of WABI is designed to have a balanced program of biblical-pastoral and doctrinal - liturgical concerns arranged in three (3) levels. Upon finishing the third level, the participant may be installed by theLocal Ordinary as an official Lay Minister of the Word in the parish or diocese after undergoing six months of pastoral exposure depending upon the reccommendation of the parishioner. The latest Word Alive Biblical Institutes (WABI) was held at the Archdiocesan Lay Formation Center, Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan City last April 18 to May 8, 2006. For 15 years of existence, almost 400 lay bible animators/facilitators have gone through the formation. Participants are a good mix of youth leaders, lay leaders, pastoral leaders, catechists, teacher and Religious who are involved and active in the Biblical-Pastoral Ministry. A WABI experience is always an unforgettable one: " . . .  we study and learn together . . we read, reflect, pray and live God's Word in community  . . . we share God's grace together . . .  we find meaning in our work for community . . . relaxation and recreation in the Word . . . celebrating life . . . glorifying and praising the Lord . . . God's Word is Alive in WABI"!  JPIBC Director Fr. Doms reports with a burning heart, "the Word Alive Biblical Institute 2006 ended well filled with so many belssings. It was the best implementation and performance of WABI so far in my four years of leaving of serving the John Paul Biblical Center for Northern Luzon. The strongest "plus" factor was the full support of the local team with the Archdiocesan John Paul II Biblical Center of Lingayen-Dagupan headed by Bishop Renato Mayugba, DD (the former BA Director). The well organized and very supportive local Biblical Apostolate team helped very much I carrying out the program of the Institute thus reducing the burden of the JPIBC staff in terms of administration and supervision of the WABI 2006."
  2. Summer Biblical Institute for Mindanao 2006 - (SBI) in Digos and SBI was born . . . "fathered" by no less than the ECBA Chairman Bp. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD himself who founded Pope Paul VI Biblical Center for the biggest region in the Philippines covering 21 ecclesiastical territories. SBI is a 3/10 days biblical-pastoral formation for the laity and religious who are involved in the promotion of the Biblical Apostolate. The Institute is brought around Mindanao to maximizelay participation in the formation and at the same time minimize expenses. This gracious host Bishop Guillermo V. Afable, DD the Local Ordinary of Digos and coordinated by Fr. Banie Pardillo and his BAstaff. The 15th Summer Bible Institute tackled the topic on the "Introduction to the Sacred Scriptures" with Fr. Henry A. Escasinas, RAMASE Dean of Studies as the Resource Person. The course was intended as a "refresher course  for the old timers in preparation for the reception of certificate as Lay Minister of the Word." The 80 participants came out with a fourfold recommendation for the Mindanao Biblical Apostolate to address: 1. For the Bishops to continue to support the Biblical Apostolate, 2. For the Mindanao Clergy to inspire the lay faithful to hear and live God's Word, 3. For the participants of the 15th Summer Biblical Institute to sustain their journey with the Word, 4. ForBiblical Apostolate coordinators to lobby for the agreed share from Bible Sunday collection for the Regional Bible Apostolate Center for Mindanao and ECBA. In the welcome Eucharistic Celebration, His Excellency Bp. Guillermo V. Afable, DD encouraged the participants to have a "solid and deep formation" in the Word. During the graduation homily, he reminded the "summerians of the Word" that the spiritual warfare confronting the Christians today cannot be won by "high tech" means but by our fidelity to the Eucharist and to the Word." Arch. Fernando R. Capalla of Davao who is ever supportive to the BA pointed out in his homily on the second day the centrality of Jesus in our lives. "We need to know Jesus in our mindsand in our hearts to be "hearers and doers" of the Word like Mama Mary." (Fr. Illuminado Rojo - Director Pope Paul VI Biblical Center)
  3. Biblical-Pastoral Formations in the Visayas and other Regions.  The lay people are very committedand dedicated to the promotion of the Biblical Apostolate. They are hungry for the Word of God. Thus we have Lay Formation Centers similar to the Cebu Christian Lay Formation (CLFC) that offers an integrated formation for the lay faithful so that they can better respond to their Christian vocation in the world. Their yearlong program helps promote the growth of the person in the Word. Lately they have developed a Values and Leadership Training Course for the Philippine National Police working hand in hand with Pedro Calungsod Foundation. They have been working with the St. Jerome Biblical Center for Central Visayas for a long time. They are searching for ways and means they can further spread the Word of God through better coordination of their wonderful programs. The Eastern Visayas through the efforts of Msgr. Lope Robredillo have also developed their own modules according to their own situation. Western Visayas are regular in their efforts in coordination their formation especially for the young people during the Bible Week. Although it is difficult for them to come together, they are also searching for ways to improve their efforts since the directors have their own full time responsibilities (like the rest of the country). Some of the dioceses are just starting to organize their programs for the Biblical Apostolate.
  4. DEI VERBUM Biblical Pastoral Course (1987-2006) - Nemi Rome "All the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture" (DV 21). The course is designed to provide its participants with an informed biblical dimension to their on-going formation in pastoral ministry. Dei Verbum Biblical Pastoral Course takes its cue from the Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican IIon Divine Revelation - Dei Verbum, which relocatesthe Word of God from the margins to the very center of the faith life of the ecclesial communities and their missionary mandate. The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in occassion with the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), endeavors to contribute in a small way to the call of the Sacred Synod to diligently prepare the leaders in particular - priests, religious as well as the laity (DV 23,25) - to respond adequately to this renewed exailted status accorded to the Bible, through which "the Father who is in heaven meers His children with great love and speaks with them" (DV 21).  The course is intended for anyone who is devotedly engaged in biblical ministry: priests, religious and laity - both men and women. However, the understanding is that after the course, the participants will be actively involved in this ministry, since its specific aim is the formation of the minister of the Word. Eighty (80) Filipinos have already undertaken the program and many ofthem if not all are either volunteers in the Biblical Apostolate or full time miniters of the Word . .

National Bible Week and Biblical Events

The Annual Celebration of National Bible Week for the Catholic Faithful is started on the first week of Advent in 1972 as a way of participation in the International Book Year by the United Nations. But on October 27, 1979, the celebration every last week of January became official when President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 44. This was later followed up by President Fidel V. Ramos in PP 1067 which recognized that "national attention be focused on the importance of reading and studying the Bible in molding the spiritual, moral and social fiber of our citizenry." These two Presidential Proclamation were actually an affirmation of an earlier PP 1923 by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos on October 27, 1979, in recognition of the Bible as "an excellent source of principles for the development of moral and personal discipline" for Filipinos. Basic Ecclesial Communities and Churches come together in celebration through parades, motorcades, rallies, recollection, Bible Quiz, symposium, ecumanical gatherings, bible enthronements and gospel sharing. Homilies focus on the yearly themes during the National Bible Sunday whish is the culminating event of the week. Gospel festivals that carry the annual theme bring together the children, the young and the adults in a day of biblical song and music to celebrate the Word. Posters and streamers, radio programs and text message  call the attention of the public to this annual event of reading, praying, singing and dancing the Word of God.

Regional - Diocesan Biblical Workshop

Facilitated in the diocesan or regional levels. The three (3) days annual gathering of Directors and Diocesan Staff is donein the month of October during the semestral break. This gathering is an opportunity for the region to listen to one another's successes and challenges in the biblical-pastoral ministry. The workshop is also an opportunity for evaluation and creation of strategies for the better implementation of the Final Statement of the National Biblical Workshop or any program that comes from Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF).

National Biblical Consultation

A three (3) days gathering of all Diocesan Directors every other year in order to see the direction and achievements of the Biblical Apostolate. It is a time to review the Vision-Mission of the Biblical Apostolate (BA) and to check wether the program of the Biblical Apostolate is being followed or not.

National Biblical Workshop

A five (5) days assembly of all Biblical Apostolate Directors together with their staff and volunteer for the ministry every two years. Together with the ECBA Bishops members, all the Directors with their staff listen to one another and inspire each other. Different biblical and pastoral programs are demonstrated for learning and critique. Participant are free to participate in any selected modules depending upon their need. A keynote speaker and facilitators are invited to shed light on the annual theme. In a workshop, the participants make a plan of action on how to make use of the learning that arises from the deliberations concerning the theme .

Bible Youth Camp - Children's Bible Camp

A common venture of two Episcopal Commissions, namely Bible Apostolate and the Youth Commission. Young leaders together with their Youthful Ministry in the Diocese come together with the young Bible Animators and Facilitators. In a four (4) days camping with one another they share life's issues and allow themselves to be challenge by the Word of God. In a creative way, the whole book of the Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) is unfolded in the lives of the young as they confront the realities of life in the light of the Word of God.

Asia-Oceania Biblical Congress

Organized by the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) in coordination with the Federation of Asian's Bishop' Association (FABC) - Office of Peace and Harmony and hosted by Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). This is done in order to encourage a zonal reflection and action on common concerns that are affecting the region in the implementation of programs in the biblical-pastoral ministry.

International Biblical Congress - DEI VERBUM . . . 40 yrs in Rome

Arranged by the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) as a fitting celebration of the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of Dei Verbum. This is a joint venture of the Catholic Biblical Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. There were approximately 450 participants from 100 countries, among them 60 Bishops, a number of Cardinals, high-ranking representatives of the Curia and numerous representatives of different Christian denominations and other religions. The theme tackled was, "Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church." The congress was a critical evaluation of the present situation about questions and challenges in the pastoral ministry which get inspiration from the Sacred Scripture toward ecumenical dialogue, in the context of a variety of cultures and religions. The participants were one in mind with the organizers in promoting the possibility of a Bishops' Synod on the Word of God that will be called by the Holy Father. Seven Filipinos led by the ECBA Chairman Bp. Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD participated in that historical biblical congress.

Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Biblical Federation

The Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) is a world-wide association of Catholic Organizations committed to the ministry od the Word of God since 1969. It has 92 Full Members (FM) Bishops' Conference and 231 Associate Members (AM) coming from a total 127 countries including the Philippines. The CBF inspire the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the World to implement the provision of the Conciliar Document "Dei Verbum" by establishing an Episcopal Commission for the Biblical

SPECIAL PROJECTS

 

Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide (CDBRG)

(for 25 years) In 1980, Rev. Fr. Norman Martin, SSS (1981-2006) designed and mimeographed 10,000 copies of a Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide (CDBRG) as a tool of formation fr Catholic Laity . . In 1981 the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) General Secretary proposed it as a joint with CBCP, each sharing half the cost. With Cardinal Sin's go signal for the joint project on ecumenical cooperation, CBCP approved it in their 1983 annual assembly with the presumption that the Blessed Sacrament Congregation, in dialogue with the PBS, would prepare, facilities & coordinate its production.

Good News in Tribal Rhythms

It is creative way of presenting the Word of God in ways and means that are acceptable by Tribal Communities. This is a two (2) volume CD and Cassette tape collection of liturgical songs and indigenous music. Volume I - presents a complete set of liturgical songs composed by Tinggians the like of Elders Ama Bagayao. Augustin Bagayao and youth leader Elmer Tadeo. The lyrics are inspired by biblical texts from the book of Psalms and from the Gospels expressing forgiveness, praise and thanksgiving, worship and adoration. The biblical lyrics are intrinsically woven into varieties of Indegenous Salidummay melodies which is accompanied by the Tribal Rhythm of gongs and bamboo musical instruments . . . The cherubics voices of Tinggian children and young people from St. Joseph Choir (Bangilo) of Sta. Teresita Parish, Malibcong, Abra give one heavenly episode that comes out only as Good News.

Bibliodrama Workshop . . . and a sourcebook

Once described as "Lectio Divina" on stage, Bibliodrama is a wholistic approach in in interiorizing the Word of God. Originating from Europe, it utilizes various theater forms like dances, vignette, play and other exercise to enable one to be in touch with the Word. With ample moments of silence, reflection and processing, it seeks to discover the richness of the scriptures allowing text and one's own life to meet. With time for faith and life sharing and celebrating the Word in Liturgies, it seeks to build community through the Word and celebrate fullness of life with others.

Bibliodrama is an effective tool in bringing the Word of God powerfully to people. Through a facilitator, the participants enter into a selected biblical text where a gradual deepening is achieved by way of body movement, role play, dance and other creative forms and exercises. The process become a spiritual experience where a personal history, group life and faithful tradition draw power from the Word of God.

BEC Bible - the Heart of the Basic Ecclesial Community

To celebrate the silver jubilee of the Biblical Apostolate in the Philippines, in coordination with Philippine Bible Society (PBS) ECBA launched the BEC Bible in 2004 during the First National Retreat for Priest. The Basic Ecclesial Community is Good News Bible written in Today's English Version. It is available in seven (7) local languages - namely, Tagalog, Ilokano, Cebuano, Bicol, Samarenyo, Hiligaynon and Pangasinan. The BECC Bible project was in pursuit of the implementation of pastoral vision of PCP II toward a new way of being Church. It is a program that encourages people to read, study, pray, live and share the Word of God together in families and in the neighborhood. A BEC can be sitio-based, barangay-based or parish-based, consisting 15-30 to 60 household.  The community implements a holistic approach, wherein the spiritual needs and socio-econamic problems of the members are addressed.

It's provides a Dynamic and Contemporary Translation.A document on Basic Ecclesial Communities (nature, model, characteristics) by Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI, DD is found at the back pages. The BEC Bible is equipped with different types of Gospel Sharing Methods that can be used in varied occassions by different kinds of people. These methods help people not so much to interpret the Bible but more so to interpret their lives in the light of the Word of God. The regular prctice of appropriate Gospel Sharing Methods makes the Christian communities alive and active. The BEC's aim to cultivate a Godly and responsible society that genuinely cares about social justice.  It places importance in having a personal relationship with God that flows down into social involvement in peoples concern.

BEC Youth Bible for the National Youth Day (NYD) in Davao . . .

Looking forward to the National Youth Day in Davao last November 8-12, 2006, we published and launched  BEC Youth Bible in coordination with the Philippine Bible Society (PBS). Our young people make up 65% of the population. They are the builders of Philippine society. The strength of the nation is in young people with moral fiber and discipline. When these young people gather the Word of God regularly in prayer and reflection, they can transform the nation into a society of people who can relate with each other as sisters and brothers in peace and harmony, in freedom and justice, in love and in joy. Righteous living is experienced and lived among the youth in their small groups. The idea of basic ecclesial communities is already a reality among the youth in their peer groups. 

Children's Bible and Youth Bibles

The edition of this Bibles was commissioned by "Aid to the Church in Need" and "Papstliches Missionswerk der Kinder in Deutschland". These Bibles are intended as wonderful gifts to children and young people in order to nurture in them love and appreciation of the Word of God in their daily life. The editions contain selected scriptural texts both from the books of the Old Testaments and books from the New Testament. Using and reading these editions will help the child and the young person to have a complete overview of salvation history. Modules on how to use the Children's Bible have been produced by Mr. Charles Javier of Abra Biblical Apostolate, Bangued, Abra. These are available in English, Tagalog, Ilokano, Cebuano and Hiligaynon.

Biblical-Pastoral Ministry with Overseas Filipino Workers - Hongkong - Germany

The Hongkong Filipino Catholic Biblical Pastoral Ministry (HFCBPM) was organized by Sr. Tammy Saberon, a Filipina Columban nun working with the migrant Filipino migrant workers in Hongkong on August 5, 1990. This was in response to the challenge of the National Bible Year in 1989 in the Philippines. The ministry focuses on BIble Awareness in order to foster love for the Word of God among Filipino Catholic migrants workers; encourage migrant Filipino Catholic to read, pray, live and share the Word of God; and to evangelize and re-evangelize the Filipino migrant workers especially the those who are not affiliated with any religious group/organization.

Friends of Pedro Calungsod

A foundation introduced by Pedro Calungsod Translators Association for the Visayas located in San Carlos Seminary, Cebu. They are involved in Biblical Apostolate for the migrant workers through the internet and seminars. This program caters to the Visayan speaking populace.

National Catholic Family Bible Quiz

Sponsored of Ms. Elvira Y. Go of Columbia International Food Products, Inc. The Catholic Family Bible Quiz was launched with the participation of four (4) Episcopal Commissions and the Philippine Bible Society. The four (4) commission are the Permanent Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, Commission for the Biblical Apostolate, Commission on Family and Life and the Commission on Youth. The fivefold objectives of this contest are:

  1. To strengthen family ties and relationship
  2. To increase knowledge and love for the Bible and Catholic Faith
  3. To bring the Catholic Church closer to families and vice versa
  4. To deepen Gospel Values in the Family
  5. To foster love for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother