June 5, 2009

TO:      Biblical-Pastoral Ministry

Northern Luzon

Beloved brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the Incarnate Word!

At mid-year we wish to acquaint one and all of developments in the Biblical-Pastoral Ministry in our region the better for us to move together and accomplish more for the proclamation of the Good News in our world awash with disheartening news of tragedies and scandals.

As we well know, the last Synod of Bishops in Rome was on the Word of God.  We rejoice that the Universal Church has put the Word of God at center stage in our Christians lives!  Yes, indeed,  the Word of God IS THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH!  We are CHURCH only insofar as the Word of God forms us as disciples and sends us on mission as apostles!

At the present time we are working on the ECBA-PBS project MAY THEY BE ONE.  We hope to bring 5 million bibles to 5 million families in the next 5 years.  In due time English-Tagalog-Ilocano translations will be ready for distribution.  We do hope to be actively promote this very important project in our region.  Your active cooperation in this project is most crucial.  We shall discuss this in our next Board of Directors Meeting in Baguio this coming June 22-23.  (Official letter will be sent you.)

Simultaneous with the MTBO campaign is our celebration of the CENTENNIAL of the ILOCANO translation of the bible. The TI BIBLIA edition (published in 1909) is 100 years old!   We shall have a series of activities and a celebration to express our joy at listening to the Word in our own native tongue!

In collaboration with the PBS we shall be holding seminars on the Word of God together with other Christian churches.  We believe that the Word of God can make us united, despite our differences, in working for a more Christian Philippines.  We hope to fulfill the prayer of Jesus “that they may be one” by coming together to share on our common love for the Word of God and letting the Word transform us and our country.  Thus, we have scheduled an interfaith regional one-day seminars (8:00 – 4:00) on the Word this coming September:

September  5 in Baguio City for the Cordillera sub-region

September 12 in Vigan City for the Ilocandia sub-region

September 19 in Santiago, Isabela for Cagayan Valley sub-region

September 26 in Divine Word College in Urdaneta for Pangasinan

These seminars will acquaint us with bible studies, translation work, and the bible in our life.

We shall culminate our celebration of the CENTENNIAL of the ILOCANO BIBLE on OCTOBER 17, 2009.   We will hold it in Baguio City (the venue will be announced in due time.)  On that occasion we shall recognize brothers and sisters who have been engaged in TRANSLATION ministry!

Wishing you all a fruitful biblical-pastoral ministry, I am

Yours in the Divine Word,