9th NATIONAL WORKSHOP FOR THE BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE
Theme: God's Word for Family Solidarity.
PREDA, Olongapo City
February 28 - March 3, 1994
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) becoming a member of a human family at Nazareth. Then, when it was time to evangelize, he said: “Whoever does what God wants him to do is my brother, my sister, my mother” (Mark 3:35).
Jesus Christ sanctified the values of family ties by spending his childhood with Mary and Joseph. But ultimately, it was by his salvific words and works and his sacrificial death and resurrection that he redeemed the human family that has been plunged into the abyss of the sinful world and brought it to the heights of the original family of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
It was to Jesus Christ and his salvific words in Scripture and Tradition and the life experiences of married couples and families who helped us in our reflection that we turned so that workers in the Biblical apostolate can do their part in uplifting the Filipino family from its present critical situation.
One hundred and eleven delegates from all over the Philippines came to Olongapo City, to attend the 9th National Workshop for the Biblical Apostolate from February 28 to March 3, 1994, on the theme: God’s Word for Family Solidarity.
In coming here we passed through some areas devastated by the eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo since 1991. But during our stay here, we experienced the beauty of the sea and the mountains, specially at sunset. It is in this ecological setting that we reflected on what we could contribute to the renewed evangelization of the Filipino Family to mark the celebration of the International Year of the Family.
In the light of the insights we gained and which we keep in a separate record. We make the following appeals/recommendations:
ON THE DRIVE FOR A BIBLE IN EVERY FAMILY:
1. We must not diminish but rather intensify our efforts to ensure that every home will have a family Bible.
2. We call on all our Biblical Apostolate Centers to fully implement the decrees of PCP-II on the Media of Social Communications, since these media can be the bane or the boon of family values.
ON FAMILY RENEWAL MOVEMENTS AND PROGRAMS:
3. All Biblical Apostolate workers must develop stronger linkages and exchanges with family renewal movements like the CMP, ME. Couples for Christ, and the like, and to support programs like Pre-Cana and Post-Cana. Which they should enrich with a holistic approach.
ON COUPLE MISSIONARIES FOR THE FAMILY APOSTOLATE:
4. We must learn from couples at the grassroots levels who are already successful in evangelizing families, and let their experience be the basis of a training program for couple missionaries from the grassroots and for the grassroots.
ON BIBLE SHARING PROGRAMS:
5. All our Biblical apostolate workers are urged to implement and monitor bible sharing programs for the family in every parish.
ON FAMILIES AS BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE WORKERS:
6. All regional and diocesan Biblical Apostolate Centers are enjoined to recruit more families to be Biblical Apostolate workers.
FAMILY BIBLE QUIZ:
7. We recommend that ECBA organize a nationwide Family Bible Quiz as a way of contacting and involving families that will become Biblical Apostolate workers.
ON HOLISTIC FAMILY EVANGELIZATION:
8. The evangelization of the family by Biblical Apostolate workers must be on-going, leading to conversion and transformation, and appropriate techniques and programs must be applied.
ON SERVICE TO THE PARISH:
9. Biblical Apostolate workers should encourage evangelized families to place themselves in the service of their parish as enthusiastic new evangelizers. In particular, evangelized families should open their homes as venues for parish bible sharing groups.
ON QUALITY OF LIFE ECUMENISM:
10. Biblical apostolate workers must support all Church movements and programs promoting the quality of life. Moreover, grateful for our experience of ecumenism brought about by our continuing collaboration with the Philippine Bible Society which was represented at our Workshop, we call on all workers in the Biblical Apostolate to abide by the directives of PCP-II on ecumenism.
In God’s plan, the human family is as perennial as the grass. But like the grass, it also needs dew and rain from heaven. Knowing this, we prayed that the Spiritual Water from heaven, the Holy Spirit, may continuously renew the families in our land.
May our Lady, Mother of Life, and St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, keep all our families close to their hearts so that we may all taste that “quality of family life” that they, forming a family with Jesus, exemplified at Nazareth.
May our whole land resound with the high resolve of that biblical head of the family who proclaimed: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
In behalf of all the delegates.
+CIRILO R. ALMARIO, JR. D.D.
Bishop of Malolos
Chairman,Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate
3 March 1994