|Posted on November 10, 2017 at 12:45 AM|
Formation and Spirituality Course Attended by Some ECBA Formation Team Members
The ECBA executive secretary, Dr. Natividad Pagaduttagged along Ms. Remedios Alma Alberto to attend a 5- Session Course on Formation and Spirituality at the Don Bosco Center for Studies in Parañaque from Sept. 5 – Oct 3, 2017. She emphasized the importance of updating ourselves as members of the ECBA Formation team. It was actually another member of the team, Pat Herras who alerted us on the existence of such course. Ms. Alberto was instructed to make a report on the course for the consumption of others especially in the ECBA family.
Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB was the one who handled the course. He made reference to the fact that formation is a life-long process. It is not something that is given and received only once as some people are wont to believe. It is a journey with God that has to be discerned and reviewed periodically. The initial formation is supposed to happen in the home where one is formed to love and be loved. It is there where basic values are learned. In baptism one is called to be a loving person like Christ. Therefore his/her character is honed to be like that of Christ, obedient to the Father. The formandee is made aware of who she/he is and be convinced that he/she is God’s beloved and as such, he/she responds to this love of God and is willing to follow Christ. The person’s experience of the love of God impels him to respond in a spirit of self-giving to work in His vineyard.
Fr. Francis also pointed out that all baptized Christians are called to be part of Jesus Christ’ mission by virtue of their baptism but each one must discern what lifestyle he/she will choose to best serve the Lord. This is why he cautioned us not to use the phrase “ex- seminarian” or “ex-sister” for those who discerned and chose to live as lay people rather than pursuing priestly or consecrated lives. Formation is affected by the kind of environment a person is exposed to which is why it is important for formandees to have good role models for their human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation.
These basic concepts and reflections from this five-session course is a great help for us in ECBA as we move on with our formation program especially because we came in contact with classmates from different congregations who shared with us their concrete courses of action in their respective congregations. Of course our basic source and inspiration for formation is the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
ECBA Attends ICCAG Meeting for the Finalization of Plans for the National Bible Month 2018
Last Sept. 22, 2017 1-5 pm Dr. NatiPagadut and Remedios Alma B. Alberto attended the Inter-Church Consultative Advisory Group(ICCAG) Meeting at PBS UN Ave., Manila. Present in the meeting were representatives from other religious groups and some of our Biblical Apostolate leaders. The meeting started at around 2 pm with an opening prayer led by Pastor Raymond Francisco of PBS after which he presided the meeting. The meeting was basically about the coming National Bible Month in 2018 with the theme: “AngBibliyaangSandigan ng MatuwidnaPamumuno at Pamumuhay”. This will be a month-long celebration by virtue of Presidential Proclamation # 124. January therefore is the Bible Month. The past activities for both Catholics and other Christian Churches were reviewed and other activities were proposed. Just to name a few: Bible Run, Bible Parade, Bible Quiz, Bible Reading, Bible Enthronement, Poster Making Contest etc. It was also presented during the meeting that PBS plans to organize a National Bible Quiz. Some groups are already doing this like St. Pauls in Makati. There was brainstorming on how to go about it. A separate bible quiz for the Catholics and Evangelical Churches will be done. Volunteers from both Catholics and Evangelicals were tasked to formulate easy and difficult questions focusing on the gospels. Jun Buena, one of our BA leaders from the Diocese of Cubao was chosen to be one among those who will prepare the bible quiz questions due to his experiences of hosting quiz bees in his diocese. His team also won in the recent Archdiocesan Bible Quiz sponsored by St. Pauls.It was agreed that bible quizzes will be first held in the different parishes and dioceses in the country. A meeting will be set again to finalize the said PBS Bible Quiz. Each representative will also present their planned activities in celebration for the 2018 National Bible Month.
Different Church Leaders Come Together for the FCBH PBS BLG Project Seminar- Workshop
Philippine Bible Society sponsored a seminar on Faith Comes By Hearing(FCBH), a Project Seminar- Workshop last October 16-18, 2017 at the PBS Bldg in UN Ave., Manila. Ms. Remedios Alma Alberto was sent by Dr. NatividadPagadut to represent her. This was attended by 20 delegates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao from both the Catholicand Evangelical groups particularly from the places where the 8 major language translations of the Bible are used namely: Tagalog, Ilocano, Pangasinense, Kapangpangan, Bicolano, Samaremyo, Cebuano and Hiligaynon. Dr. Nora Lucero, PBS Gen. Secretary welcomed the participants and thanked each one for being their partners in their mission of making the Word of God alive in the lives of people. According to her, through print and audio production many people were transformed. Different translations of the Bible have been made available and have reached many Filipinos especially in the peripheries. She also introduced Ms. Tara Sigor, the Translation and Recording supervisor of Faith Comesby Hearing (FCBH-USA) their partner and producer/sponsor of the Proclaimer. Ms. Sigor mentioned that they are happy to hear from the reports/testimonies coming from the Philippines that through the Proclaimer, the audio Bible, many lives were transformed. It is their mission that the Word of God may reach all people in the world through the audio Bible. She assured the participants that they will continue to serve by sending the audio bibles in order that the Word of God may reach as many people as possible for the transformation of lives.
Dr. Annie delCorro also enlightened the participants through her morning meditation on Pain and Faith from the Book of Lamentations (3:19-26). She said that it is at the point of pain that a person is led to faith. It is during our experiences of pain and suffering that God’s grace abounds. God takes over our lives and strengthens us. He gives us hope and makes our faith strong.
After Pastor Raymond presented the FCBH Program of PBS, he gave a demonstration to the participants on how to present the FCBH material to prospective users. The participants were divided into different groups to discuss and prepare a presentation on the PBS vision-mission and the FCBH Program. They presented their finished work the next day. Their hard work paid off because the participants learned a lot and received a certificate of completion from PBS. They became confident to become committed Proclaimers of the Word by sharing the FCBH Program to help in the proclamation of the Word of God.
Ecumenical Initiatives for the 500th Year Celebration of the Church Reformation
Leaders of both Catholic and Christian Churches gathered for an ecumenical meeting at the Institute of Spirituality in Asia in New Manila, Quezon City last Sept. 11, 2017. Ms. Remedios Alma B. Alberto attended the Ecumenical Meeting in lieu of Dr. NatividadPagadutas per invitation of Fr. Rico Ponce, ISA Director for the Ecumenical initiative to celebrate the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation of the Church on October 31, 2017. The meeting was presided by His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Ledesma. Heads of different Christian Churches were present and exchanged their ideas/views and experiences in the spirit of promoting ecumenism. Together the church leaders tried to look back to their commonalities, to see what is being done now and what can be done in the future.
How they can come together in the spirit of Christian unity and bring down the ecumenical spirit in their churches was their basic question. It was noted that interreligious dialogue helps a lot because despite the differences in some doctrines, there is common understanding of the pastoral action among the Christian Churches. It is a venue where they can listen carefully and respect each other’s practices. It was also mentioned during the meeting that the Trinitarian Baptism formula is acceptable to all ecumenical churches and therefore mixed marriages is allowed and the baptism of the person is accepted and therefore is no longer necessary to administer baptism if he/she is not a member of that church who will solemnize their marriage. It was also suggested that a joint forum among seminarians of different churches be held to promote ecumenical unity, cooperation and where they can teach and learn together.
It was agreed that Nov. 7, 2017 will be an Ecumenical Gathering to celebrate the 500th year of the Church Reformation through a forum/seminar. A technical working group was formed to prepare for the said activity and shall meet together to finalize the plans for the ecumenical celebration.
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.