20th NATIONAL BIBLICAL WORKSHOP
EPISCOPAL COMMISSION ON THE BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE
Theme: The Filipino Laity: Evangelized and Evangelizing
St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
February 18-21, 2014
For the 20th National Bible Workshop, Bible Apostolate workers travelled to Palawan, known as the “City of the Living God” and famous for its world-renowned tourist attractions. There were 244 participants, 163 of whom are lay faithful. Bishop Pedro Arigo, the Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Princesa, and his co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord, were gracious hosts to us and greatly facilitated our stay and our activities.
The theme of our workshop is “Filipino Laity: Evangelized and Evangelizing.” This is in consonance with 2014: Year of the Laity called for by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the start of the 9-year preparation for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines. Our Bishops have addressed this challenge to the Filipino lay faithful: “Called to be Saints; Sent Forth as Heroes.”
In this spirit, those invited to give conferences and workshops are all lay faithful. The conference speakers were: Dr. Anicia del Corro (Update on the Translation of the Bible through the Years), Prof. Carmencita Rojas (The Formation of the Lay Faithful in the Word), former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Reynato Puno (The Word of God and the Lay Faithful in Marriage, Family Life and Secular Activities) and Dr. Natividad Pagadut (The Co-responsibility of the Lay Faithful in the New Evangelization). Eight workshops, all related to the Word of God and the Laity, were given to different groups of participants.
In the call of New Evangelization, the invitation of Christ rings with urgency for all believers: “You go into the vineyard too”(Matthew 20:4). In particular, lay faithful are called by the Lord, from whom they receive a mission on behalf of the Church into the world.
Having reflected upon the teachings of the Church on the vocation and mission of the lay faithful, the conferences and workshops, homilies, and our group sharing, we commit ourselves to the following:
1. On the part of the lay faithful, to undergo an on-going and integral Biblical Pastoral Formation as Biblical animators.
2. On the part of ECBA, to give a Biblical Formation that enables the laity to discover, deepen, and live out their particular vocation and mission in the world.
3. To take up the witnessing to and the proclamation of the Word with joy and to go out of our “comfort zone” in order to reach the “peripheries” (e.g. the Basic Ecclesial Communities) with the light of the Gospel.
4. To strive, through the initiatives of Lay Biblical animators—in collaboration with other Church ministries—to permeate marriage, family life, youth culture, new media, and secular activities with the leaven and light of the Word of God.
5. To promote and actively defend the rights of the Filipino family against secular attempts to undermine the values of the family that are rooted in the Word of God.
We heartily acknowledge the collaboration and services of our affiliate members, especially the Philippine Bible Society, the Summer Institute of Linguistics, and Institute of Pastoral Development. We thank our gracious hosts, and all participants who really went out of their way to come to Palawan to contribute to the success of the workshop.
Approved this 21st of February 2014
MOST REV. PABLO VIRGILIO DAVID, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando, Pampanga
In the name of the participants