The Marbel fever is still on for many participants in
the recently held National Bible Workshop. It was the 21st with lots
of memories and sharing of experiences among parishes, dioceses and regions.
With the use of the Appreciative Inquiry method facilitated by Bp Rene Mayugba,
the IPD team headed by Mr. Augusto Arguelles and the trainees in the September
11, 2015 workshop, we were able to identify our dreams and courses of action for
this year and the years to come as we look forward to 2021, the celebration of
500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. A team was designated to spell
out specific courses of action and methodologies relevant to the statement made
after the workshop. The team will meet on Easter Wednesday after which the
template agreed upon will be disseminated to you for reflection, action and
integration in your respective places of
mission. A highlight in the video message of His Eminence Luis Antonio
Cardinal Tagle is the challenge to work along with other commissions to inspire
everyone with the Word of God.
Answering this challenge, the diocese of Pagadian held its First Gagmay ng Simbahanong Katilingban (GSK) or BEC Congress at the St. Michael Parish in Mahayag, Zambooanga del Sur on March 5-6, 2016 with 765 participants. They started with a parade of Bible verses around the town as early as 7:30 in the morning, followed by the Bible Enthronement. The theme “The Word of God and the Eucharist Strengthens the GSK” was elaborated through a three-hour lecture by the executive secretary of ECBA. The afternoon session was a delightful one by Bro. Noe Dora who spoke the language of the people. He narrated his struggles in searching for the truth which finally led him to the Catholic faith. Although a former pastor he now embraces Catholicism and goes around to announce his discovery and conviction. His tales of woe related to his conversion moved many to tears but ended with smiles as he spiced his talk with anecdotes. He is the head minister of pastors converted to Catholicism and has expressed his desire and that of his group to be affiliated with ECBA.
It was amazing to observe the enthusiasm and commitment of the participants who came from different parishes some of whom stayed overnight for the celebration of the Eucharist and the open forum the next day. The church was not enough to contain all participants for like the loaves of bread and fish, there was a multiplication of people in attendance the following day.
Congratulations to their lay woman organizer Mrs. Remy Artiaga, the parish priest Rev. Fr. Ramonito Hilot and his assistant, Fr. Fred and of course to the diocesan coordinator, Rev. Fr. Salvador Banga and their diocesan lay coordinator, Mr. Pablo “Bong” Siasico and his very supportive wife Flor. Congratulations likewise to all participants for their attendance and participation.
The Spirit is moving in surprising and dumbfounding ways. Praise the Lord !
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 renewed evangelization through the
implementation of Vatican II’s Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
and the Plenary Council of the Philippines’ (PCP II) vision of a Church of
the Poor in our reading, studying,
praying, living, sharing and celebrating the Word of God in response to Verbum Domini's call to “animate every
pastoral activity in the Church with the Word of God”. (VD 73) .