2010 BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE FOR NORTHERN LUZON

2010 BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE

FOR NORTHERN LUZON

TO:         BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE DIRECTORS/LAY COORDINATORS

JPIBC MEMBERS

RE:          2010 BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE FOR NORTHERN LUZON

GREETINGS TO ONE AND ALL!

This year 2010 calls all BA ministers of Northern Luzon for greater zeal in promoting the WORD!  Like Jesus we see that “the harvest is great” and there is a great hunger for the true food that satisfies – THE WORD OF GOD!

The month of January is the month of the NATIONAL BIBLE WEEK (January 25-31).  We are all encouraged to plan out activities that would make our people more and more aware that “ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”  We have to renew our zeal to make sure that people have “easy access to Sacred Scriptures” may be made more and more possible.  We have to devise ways and means to attract and inspire our people to make the Word of God the foundation of our life.  We pray with all Christians

…..

MAKE US LOVE YOUR WORD.

TEACH US TO LISTEN AND LIVE BY YOUR WORD.

BLESS ALL WHO PROMOTE THE WORD.

OPEN OUR HEARTS THAT WE MAY GENEROUSLY SHARE OUR   TREASURES SO THAT MORE MAY HAVE A COPY OF YOUR WRITTEN WORD.

In February we have the NATIONAL CONSULTATION (February 8-9) and the NATIONAL BIBLE WORKSHOP (February 9-13) in Talisay, Batangas.  We are looking forward to your participation in this workshop with 2 – 3 participants.  There will be very interesting workshops that would serve as up-dating for our BA workers.  IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE COULD ALREADY KNOW IN ADVANCE THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO ARE ATTENDING.  WE WOULD BE VERY HAPPY IF YOU COULD FORWARD TO US SOONEST POSSIBLE A ONE-PAGE SUMMARY OF YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACTS IN YOUR ARCHDIOCESE/DIOCESE FOR OUR REGIONAL REPORT.

In April there is a plan for a NORTHERN LUZON PASTORAL  FORUM (April 12-15).  The Forum will follow the four –point message of the 12th Synod of Bishops on the Word – (1) THE VOICE OF THE WORD, (2) THE FACE OF THE WORD, (3) THE HOUSE OF THE WORD, (4) THE ROADS OF THE WORD.  The BA will be playing a major role in this forthcoming NLPF.  (We hope we shall have some time during the National Workshop to sit down and discuss this.)  Blessed be the Lord!

Sometime in June we shall have our mid-year Board of Directors Meeting.  We hope that by June we shall already be ready to give updates about our MTBO CAMPAIGN! We do need to work harder in promoting the MTBO bible in our region.  To date, our distribution of the ILOCANO translation has lagged behind the other regions.  We should do more.  We have to realize that this is a very special gift of God to us.  CAN YOU IMAGINE 5,000,000 bibles being distributed in 5 years?  That is 5,000,000 more families reading and living the Word!  CAN YOU IMAGINE?

Sometime in the second half of 2010 – perhaps in the months of September-December we shall be engaged in THE BIBLE ENCOUNTER being organized by our very zealous bible promoter, MS. ELVIRA YAP GO.  This year we may not have a BIBLE QUIZ but instead have a BIBLE ENCOUNTER.  Already this early, we ask you to begin your bible formation for families.  We all know from our experiences that the WORD can transform persons and families.  The BIBLE QUIZ made families spend time on the Word and thus became closer.  The BIBLE ENCOUNTER we expect will make our families have a deeper relationship with the WORD.  With transformed families we hope to have transformed communities and then a transformed society and nation.

Finally, by December we shall schedule our 2nd BOD meeting and Christmas party.  By then we hope to have time not only for business meeting but also a time for an ADVENT RETREAT!  We will spend some time together as disciples.  We shall encounter also the DIVINE WORD who has called us for our ministry of the Word!

Please take note of this schematic program for the year 2010!

Praying for you all who love the Word,

SGD:      MOST REV. RENATO P. MAYUGBA, DD

Chairman for the BA-Northern Luzon

January 5, 2010

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MTBO GUIDLINES

May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign Guidelines

MTBO is a strategic program aimed to help ECBA and PBS realize the vision of a transformed Philippines through God’s Word. It is inspired by the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome on October 5-26, 2008, which had as its theme, The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.

Objective: To provide Scriptures at subsidized cost that will help facilitate a moral and spiritual transformation

throughout the country.

Three components to implement the Bible campaign programs through the 12 Regional Biblical Centers, Dioceses and Parishes:

  1. Bible Advocacy/Biblical Pastoral Formation – Encourage Filipinos to read, study, understand, pray and live God’s Word
  1. Cast the vision and revisit Parishes, Dioceses, and Regional BA. The key to the success of MTBO is the support of Bishops and Priests – they must appreciate that:
  1. MTBO is not just about Bible distribution but it involves Biblical Pastoral formation;
  2. MTBO is a response to the Synod of Bishops’ emphasis on Bible formation among clergy and laity – that the Bishops’ Synod is our ‘Kairos’;
  3. The end of MTBO is not just ecumenism or unity of Christians but national transformation. To bring to Filipinos knowledge about the Lord Jesus and inculcate in them biblical values, resulting to change and a move toward a ‘Moral Philippines.’ Unity is necessary for a good citizenry— to have ‘Pagkakaisa para sa Pagbabago.’
  4. The Word of God is unparalleled as a set of principles that when adhered to will help renew our country.
  1. MTBO Bible Recipients: ECBA and other ecclesial communities/organizations need to commit themselves to:
  1. Make the Bibles available to poor families for P50/copy
  2. Not resell the Bibles
  3. Give all Bible recipients Bible formation/training
  4. Help recipients and family members grow in their knowledge and relationship with the Lord Jesus and mature in their faith.

Recipients will work with ECBA and PBS to:

  1. Submit reports of the distribution, follow-up activities and brief written testimonials/stories of changed lives and 2-3 photos of distribution/follow-up activities.
  2. Mobilize parishioners, BEC members and friends to promote, pray, volunteer and give to MTBO for the continuous meaningful distribution of God’s Word.
  3. Conduct continuing or regular Bible formation program(s) for their respective constituencies based on Scripture in order to animate the Filipinos.
  1. Bible Distribution – Provide 5 million Bibles in 5 years to homes, particularly of poor Filipinos.
  1. i.            Work through the 12 Regional Biblical Centers, Dioceses and Parishes using the ECBA structure.
    1. Diocesan Biblical Apostolate (BA) will be strengthened. BA is composed of Bible Director, Bible Coordinator, Bible Animator, and Bible Core Team. If a BA team is not in place, form a Parish Bible Ministry Team.
    2. MTBO Bible Campaign will not be exclusive to the BA structure. For other diocesan and parish lay organizations, their requests will be endorsed by the head/coordinator of the organization to the Parish Priest or Bishop.
  1. ii.            A prescribed form detailing the structure of the Parish Bible Ministry/Bible Team (Bible Formator/Animator) must be accomplished and submitted by the Parishes to ECBA/PBS prior to actual distribution. The number of copies of MTBO Bibles that can be availed of will be dependent on the number of registered poor families. All requests to avail of MTBO Bibles will have to be endorsed by a Parish Priest or Bishop.
  1. iii.            Every year, pre-identified Dioceses from NCR, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Cordillera and ARMM will be covered.
  1. iv.            Emphasis is on Bible distribution to poor families attending Formation. Poor individuals/families who will receive MTBO Bibles must be pre-identified at the parish level.
  1. v.            MTBO Bibles will not be sold in commercially in secular and religious bookstores.
  1. vi. Steps to avail of MTBO Bibles:
    1. Parish/Church must prepare letter of request (addressed to ECBA), together with their distribution plan, list of recipients, and schedule of follow-up/formation plan.
    2. Request must pass through the Diocesan Bible Director for endorsement.
    3. Submission to ECBA for approval.
    4. Orders will only be processed and served by PBS upon receipt of payment and approval from ECBA.
    5. Delivery time is 3-4 days for stocks that will be picked up at the PBS office/warehouse.  For provincial orders, allot at least 7 working days from date of approval of the order.
    6. Signing of Covenant.  An agreement specifying that Bibles will be given to poor families only, will not be resold, and that Bible recipients will be provided Bible formation/training must be signed by requesting party.
    7. Institute a continuing Bible Formation program.
    8. Submit periodic reports and updates with photos and testimonies.
  1. vii.            MTBO Bibles will be made available at a subsidized price of P50@copy. Total production cost is P150@copy thus a P100 subsidy per copy is needed. This will be sourced from various fundraising activities.
  1. viii.            PBS will shoulder freight cost if total order is P10,000 and above. The Parish/Church will shoulder the freight cost for orders below P10,000.
  1. Fundraising – Raise P500 million, here and abroad, to subsidize the printing and distribution of Scriptures in the local languages. The goal is to raise sufficient funds to enable at least 5 million Bibles to be printed and sold at the subsidized price of P50 each. Total production cost per Bible is P150.
  1. Encourage ECBA and PBS partners and friends throughout the country to sign up for a nationwide donor loyalty program with the theme – “Become a Friend of the Philippine Bible Society and Help Put a Bible in Every Home.” This may be done via:
  1. Response forms in Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide
  2. Appeal envelopes/Sign-up forms to be made available in Parishes (pews/offices), as inserts in Bibles, Christian/secular magazines and newspapers, CBCP Monitor, etc
  3. Signing-up at the website of ECBA (http://biblicalapostolate.webs.com), PBS (www.bible.org.ph), website, blogs, other links
  1. Twining Program (church-adopt-a poor church, corporation adopt a poor church/barangay, school-adopt-a poor school, etc.)
  1. Radio-TV campaign, Bible Caravan, Walk/Bike for Bible, etc. (during summer/National Bible Week/Month)
  1. Organize Fundraising Dinners, Movie Benefit shows, etc.
  1. Presentation in churches, corporations, groups of prospective donors, etc.
  1. Sign-up as MTBO volunteer – thru Regional Bible Center/PBS and organize other appropriate fundraising activities using MTBO resource materials

Mga karaniwang tanong tungkol sa MTBO

Tanong:  Ano ang MTBO?

Sagot:  Ang MTBO ay isang programang tinataguyod ng ECBA at PBS

Tanong: Ano ang layunin ng MTBO?

Sagot: Layunin ng MTBO na magkaisa ang mga Cristiano sa pagpapalaganap ng Salita ng Diyos tungo sa pagbabago ng lipunan bilang tugon sa dalangin ni Jesus na, “Maging isa nawa silang lahat, Ama.” (Juan 17:21)

Tanong:  Paano maisasakatuparan ang programang ito?

Sagot:  Makapagpalimbag ng  limang milyong Biblia sa loob ng  limang taon. Maipamahagi ang mga Bibliang ito sa murang halaga at magkaroon ng mahalagang pag-aaral at pagbabahaginan ng Salita ng Diyos sa mga parokya at iba’t ibang sekta ng lipunan.

Tanong: Sino ang mga dapat makibahagi sa programang ito?

Sagot:

  1. Mga taong may puso at kakayahang magbigay para mapunuan ang kaukulang halaga sa pagpapalimbag ng murang Biblia.
  2. Mga pamilyang walang kakayahang bumili ng Biblia sa regular na halaga ngunit nais makibahagi sa mga programang magpalaganap ng Salita ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng pag-aaral, pagsasabuhay, at pagbabahagi nito.

Ang MTBO Bible ay:

  1. Murang Biblia para sa mga walang kakayahang bumili ng Biblia sa regular na halaga.
  2. Biblia para sa mga taong seryoso sa pag-aaral ng Salita ng Diyos.
  3. Tanging para sa mga taong dumadalo ng Formation sa kanilang simbahan.
  4. Biblia na ipamamahagi sa pamamagitan ng lokal na simbahan.

Mga hakbang sa pag-sali sa MTBO program

  1. Manggagaling sa mga parokya (parishes) ang listahan ng mga karapat-dapat na tumanggap.
  2. Ang listahan ay ieendorso sa ECBA ng Diocesan Bible Director.
  3. Ang ECBA ang magbibigay ng approval para makasama sa programa at makabili  ng murang Biblia.
  4. Ipapadala ng PBS ang mga Biblia matapos na matanggap ang approval mula sa ECBA at matanggap ang bayad mula sa parokya.
  5. Patuloy ang pagsasagawa  ng Bible formation sa mga parokya.
  6. Pagbibigay ng report at litrato ng Bible distribution at formation gamit ang mga Biblia.

CAN YOU IMAGINE

(THE WORD OF GOD TO EVERY HOME)

Words & music by Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo

How wonderful it is!

How beautiful it is!

How good and how pleasant

When all of us live as one!

Can you imagine all as neighbors reaching out to love?

Can you imagine all like children humble yet brave enough

to believe and act God’s Word that will bring a change in our world ?

We take a step to begin now!  Can you imagine?

Let us bring the Word of God to every home!

Let us share and live God’s Word and be transformed!

We will build our nation on good ground.

We will see a brand new morn!

Let us bring the Word of God to every home!

We will fulfill Jesus’ prayer: “May they be one!”

We will see how peace will flow throughout our land!

Now is the time to take a step.

We believe, now love is born!

Let us bring the Word of God to every home!

BIBLE RELEVANCE IN MODERN TIMES SEMINAR

Bible Relevance in Modern Times Seminar

The Philippine Bible Society (PBS) in coordination with the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) scheduled a seminar on the Bible Relevance in Modern Times celebrating the Centennial Year of the Ilocano Bible translation in Northern Luzon. The seminar will be held at the St. Michael’s Gymnasium of the Divine Word College of Urdaneta in Urdaneta City on September 26, 2009 a Saturday. It will start at 8:30 in the morning and will last until 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  The said important activity was arranged by Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, DD with the members of the board of directors during their last regular meeting in Baguio City. Fr. Doms O. Ramos, SVD the president of the Divine Word College of Urdaneta gratefully and gladly accepted to host the event.

For details, kindly read the brochure posted below:

Bible Seminar leaflet

CIRCULAR LETTER ON BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY

animated-globeBIBLICAL-PASTORAL MINISTRY

NORTHERN LUZON

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,

MOST REV. RENATO P. MAYUGBA, DD

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

joel-bugtong

Mr. Joel M. Bugtong

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

Let it be known to one and all that MR. JOEL M. BUGTONG is no longer connected with the JOHN PAUL I BIBLE CENTER, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

He has been terminated as of February 7, 2009. He is not authorized to conduct activities in the name of the JPIBC.

Any transactions made by him in the name of the John Paul I Biblical Center will not be honored.

Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, DD

Bishop Chairman

NATIONAL BIBLE WEEK (January 19-25)

alunday-oscar

Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD

 “MAY THEY BE ONE”

**********************************

 May they be one ”.   This is the theme of the National Bible Week (Jan. 19-25 2009) inspired by Ps 133:1 and Jn 17:21.  We are one with the whole Church in celebrating the Pauline Jubilee Year.  We declare like  St Paul,  “I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: (Rom 1:16a)  In response to the Holy Father’s desire for a solemn celebration of the Jubilee Year,  we shall have a daily continuous oral reading (COR) of the letters of St Paul (Romans to Hebrews) during the Bible Week. Kindly organize the COR (3-5 min. daily) at your most convenient time in the family (after meals), in the school (flag ceremony), in the basic ecclesial communities (gospel sharing), in religious communities / seminaries (common prayers) and in the parish community (meetings). Continue the oral reading (Lectio) in a  meditative way (Meditatio) and deepen it by contemplating the texts  (Contemplatio). Close the experience with a prayer (Oratio) based on the readings with a corresponding commitment to action (Actio) as a response to the challenges of the Word of God.  The national bible week will be a Lectio Divina week with the daily COR.

nbw-09-logo

LOGO NBW'09

During the Bible Week, create occasions for prayer and work for Christian unity and communion.  May they be one (MTBO) is also our prayer as we work and join the five-year Nationwide Campaign (2009-2013) – “to put a Bible in every home and encourage Filipinos to read and live the Bible resulting in the transformation of the Philippines ”. Read the last page of the Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide (CDBRG) for the mechanics of the MTBO project.  Distribute and explain the CDBRG  and encourage partners to join the “May they be One” Bible Campaign so that we can bring a Bible to every home.

Yes, may we be one!

 In the Living Word,

Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD

ES: ECBA-CBCP  

 Download the letter document in jpeg format:

national-bible-week-20091

 

 

National Bible Week 2009

Jan. 19 (Mon)

Family Bible Enthronement in the Parish with COR

 

Jan. 20 (Tue)

School Bible Enthronment in classrooms/offices with COR 

Jan. 21 (Wed)

Gospel Sharing in BECs, classrooms, offices wt COR

 

Jan. 22 (Thu)

Bible Anime texting – text BIBLIYA space ON send to 286 (Smart wt MMS only)  or text biblical verses  on Unity and Communion; radio interview & testimony on Unity and Communion

Jan. 23 (Fri)

Bible Festival in schools (bible quiz, bible parade, biblical dance, songs etc.)

 

Jan. 24 (Sat)

House visitation/distribution promotion of CDBRG and MTBO bible campaign, share a Bible; Bible Symposium on theme; Bible Study in BECs

Jan. 25 (Sun)

National Bible Sunday

Conversion of St. Paul

Bible Parade – Bible Festival in Parish , BECs  focusing on Unity and Communion, Parish Family Bible Quiz, Watch live the Bible Sunday Celebration in Araneta Coliseum over     CH 2 ABS-CBN from 9 am – 1 pm

 

 

 

CBCP: PASTORAL STATEMENT ON THE JUBILEE OF ST. PAUL 2008-2009

Pastoral Statement on the Jubilee

of St. Paul 2008-2009

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!”
(1 Cor 1:3)

We, the Bishops of the Philippines, welcome with eagerness the announcement of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, that the universal Church would celebrate a special Jubilee Year of the Apostle Paul. On June 28, 2007, during the celebration of the solemnity of the holy apostles Peter and Paul in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls, the Pope said: “I am happy to announce officially that we shall dedicate a special Jubilee Year to the apostle Paul, from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009, on the occasion of the bi-millennium of his birth, which historians have placed between the years 7 and 10 A.D.”

Together with the rest of our fellow Asian Catholic Christians, how can we Filipinos not be moved to greet with enthusiasm the commemoration of the man who made it possible for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to go beyond the confines of Israel and reach the rest of us, “Gentiles”?

The Apostle to the Gentiles

Saul, who later became Paul—the man we call “the Apostle to the Gentiles”—was formerly known as a rabid persecutor of Christianity before he became its most avid propagator. He was the arch-enemy of that fledgling sectarian movement of the early first century that claimed that Jesus of Nazareth, the man whom Pilate had executed on the cross, had been raised by God from the dead and was in fact the Messiah the Jews had long awaited. This zealous Pharisee saw the nascent Jesus movement known as “The Way” as a threat to Judaism, and took upon himself the task of destroying it—until that fateful day on the road to Damascus. That experience would effect in him a complete turn-around; he became a whole new person, like one who had been totally possessed by Christ. Dazzled by the blinding light of Christ, he received an entirely “new sight” that would make him see as rubbish what he formerly held to be of utmost importance, “in view of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Phil 3:8)

Many of our present-day nominal Filipino Catholics who experience conversion at some late stage in their life and turn into active participants in the Church’s work of evangelization, cannot but relate with Paul’s moving story of spiritual transformation. Unfailingly, they often also find themselves drawing from Paul’s writings to sustain their process of renewal as disciples of the Risen Lord, as is the case with many members of our Catholic Charismatic communities.

Paul considered the Damascus event as a revelation and a call from God. His description of it echoes the prophetic call of Jeremiah and the Servant of God in Isaiah: “God, who from my mother’s womb called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles…” (Gal 2:15-16; cf. Jer 1:4, Is 49:1). From then on, his life was given fully to Christ and the Gospel. He traveled the Mediterranean world, preached the Gospel especially to the Gentiles, founded churches and wrote letters that would become Sacred Scriptures. His toil and hardship for the Gospel would easily equal, if not surpass, those of any follower of Christ. And so would his success. It would be claimed that the conversion of Paul was second only to the Christ-event in importance to the Christian faith. But Paul would consider himself only as a “servant of Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:1). What he was, all his toils, was due to the grace of God which was at work in him. Paul’s life was then crowned with his martyrdom; like Simon Peter he shed his blood in Rome. The two apostles are considered the two pillars of the Church of Rome which would become the mother of the churches.

Liturgical, Cultural and Ecumenical Initiatives

Pope Benedict XVI has proposed various activities for the Pauline Year, some of which would take place in Rome in the Basilica of St. Paul. Others can easily be carried out in various places in the world, and concerning these we invite the initiative and involvement of the Filipino faithful. The Holy Father notes that initiatives like penitential pilgrimages, study conventions and special publications on the Pauline texts can be implemented in the dioceses, shrines and places of worship, by the Religious and by the educational institutions and social-assistance centers which are named after St. Paul or inspired by him and his teaching.

Let us together mobilize the Filipino faithful so that the Pauline Year may turn into a kairos–a graced occasion–to know and imitate Saint Paul more in his consuming love for Christ and his zeal to spread the Gospel. We call upon all dioceses to come up with their own specific programs for the Pauline Year. The Bishops can designate churches dedicated to St. Paul where the faithful can go on pilgrimage and earn the gift of indulgences after following the requirements of the Church. We call upon Bible scholars to help us appreciate the Pauline Letters, the most precious legacy of the Apostle to the Church, but which many Christians remain unfamiliar to. We especially call upon the “Pauline” religious congregations, institutions and shrines to take special initiatives in leading the people to a greater awareness, love, and imitation of St. Paul whose life was wholly directed to Christ. The apostle would tell his converts: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). May these initiatives help us make “St. Paul alive today” and propel us in our common apostolic mission as Filipino Catholics towards the rest of Asia!

In particular, the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) among our faithful can draw a lot of inspiration from the Apostle Paul, who took every opportunity at each time he came into contact with people of other nations, to witness to the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ, often even at the price of so much suffering, persecution, and imprisonment.

Lastly, the Holy Father points to one aspect that must be paid attention to during the celebration—the ecumenical dimension. “The Apostle to the Gentiles,” the Pope noted, “who was especially committed to taking the Good News to all peoples, left no stones unturned for unity and harmony among all Christians.” While ecumenical initiatives are usually carried on the level of Church authorities, the faithful could always appreciate the universal and encompassing spirit of the apostle Paul which would like all believers to be one mind and one purpose (1 Cor 1:10). He himself became “all things to all… for the sake of the gospel” (1 Cor 10:23). In the words of the Holy Father, may the apostle help us “to progress in the humble and sincere search for the full unity of all members of Christ’s Mystical Body.”

May the universal Church and the Filipino faithful experience God’s abundant blessing during this year of the Apostle’s Jubilee!

For and on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,

+ ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, D.D.
Archbishop of Jaro
President, CBCP
July 6, 2008

SOURCE: http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/3631