ECBA-CBCP

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The John Paul I Biblical Center reserves this page for the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate updates… calendar of biblical apostolate events accross the country.

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Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA)

THE Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) was organized by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in July of 1978. Before that the CBCP had a Bible translations committee functioning under the Commission of Ecumenical Affairs. This Committee had become necessary since the CBCP wanted translations of the Bible in the various indigenous languages for the celebration of the Liturgy in the vernaculars.

ECBA is a pastoral commission of the CBCP. Its area of competence and service is the biblical-pastoral ministry in its five-fold concerns, namely: Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation; Organizing Bible Celebration; Promoting Bible Translations; Assisting Bible Production; Coordinating Bible Distribution.

Purpose

ECBA supports and fosters the work of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) for biblical-pastoral ministry, which throughout the world, collaborate with the bishops to make the Word of God available to all (DV c. VI, No.22), as expressed in:

  • In the promotion of translations and widespread sponsored distribution of Sacred Scriptures, since “easy access to sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful” (DV 22).
  • In the study, understanding and use of the Bible among Catholic clergy and Christian faithful who are active in the ministry of the Word and who are to learn “through diligent sacred reading and careful study of the divine Scriptures the excelling knowledge of Jesus Christ” (DV 25).
  • In biblically based pastoral care since “like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and ruled by sacred Scripture” (DV 21).
  • In the Lay Ministries of the Word that “will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the People of God” (DV 23).

All of these activities are geared toward the pastoral thrust of the Church in the   Philippines as decreed by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II)—the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).

Administration

ECBA is supervised and governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of Bishop Commission members, the Executive Secretary, and the Regional Directors.  It communicates with the Catholic Bible Federation and the Office of Evangelization of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) and maintains relations with the Philippine Bible Society (PBS), the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and other interconfessional entities involved in the Biblical Apostolate.

ECBA is also a full member of the Catholic Biblical Federation, which is “a Catholic world fellowship of administratively distinct international local organizations committed to biblical-pastoral ministry”.  The Federation is a public association of Christ’s faithful.  It relates to the Holy See through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Its office is situated in Stuttgart, Germany.

Bible Centers

When the Episcopal Commission was formally formed in 1978 there was only one Catholic Bible Center in the country, the one in Manila. Today the ECBA is organized into ten regions, each with its duly organized Regional Biblical Center and a Regional Director. The said biblical centers are responsible for the implementation of on-going biblical formation programs for their region. These include:

  1. John Paul I Biblical Center for Northern Luzon and Cordillera Region.  Located at the Immaculate Conception school of Theology in Vigan City, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Alaminos, Batanes, Bayombong, Ilagan, Laoag, Lingayen-Dagupan, Nueva Segovia, San Fernando LU, Tuguegarao, Urdaneta,  Baguio, Bangued, Bontoc-Lagawe, and Tabuk.   Fr. Jaimelito (Nilo) Gealan, SVD  is the director.
  2. Pius X Biblical Center for Central Luzon.   Located in Orani, Bataan, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions:   Balanga, Cabanatuan, Iba, San Fernando (Pmga), San Jose (NE), Tarlac.    Msgr. Victor Ocampo is the director.
  3. St. Peter Biblical Center for the National Capital Region. Located at , Commonwealth Ave., Old Balara, QC, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Cubao, Kalookan, Manila, Novaliches, Paranaque, Pasi.  Fr. Gerardo Tapiador is the director.
  4. Mary, Star of Evangelization Biblical Center for Manila Suffragans. Located at San Antonio de Padua Parish, Calumpang, Marikina, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Antipolo, Imus, Malolos, Puerto Princesa, San Pablo (Laguna), Taytay (Palawan).  Fr. Alfredo Ganzon is the director.
  5. Sentro Pastoral ng Diocesis Biblical Center for Southern Luzon.  Located at San Roque Parish, Tayabas, Quezon, the center covers the following areas: Boac, Calapan Or. Mdro, Infanta, Gumaca, Lipa, Lucena, San Jose (Occ Mdro).  Fr. Ferdinand Maano is the director.
  6. Nuestra Senora de la Penafrancia for the Bicol Region.  Located at the Mater Salutis College Seminary, Sipi, Daraga, Albay, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Caceres, Daet, Legazpi, Libmanan, Masbate, Sorsogon, Virac.   Msgr. Noe de los Santos is the director.
  7. Living Word Biblical Center for Eastern Visayas.  Located in Borongan, Eastern Samar, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions:  Borongan, Calbayog, Catarman, Naval, and Palo.   Msgr. Lope Robredillo is the director.
  8. Dei Verbum Biblical Center for Western Visayas.  Located at La Salette Bldg, Valeria St., Iloilo City, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Bacolod, Capiz, Jaro, Kabankalan, Kalibo, Romblon, San Carlos, San Jose de Antique.   Fr. Tomas Terania, Jr., is the director.
  9. St. Jerome Biblical Center for Central Visayas.  Located at Seminario Mayor de San Carlos, Mabolo City, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Cebu, Dumaguete, Maasin, Tagbilaran, Talibon.   Fr. Adonis Aquino is the director.
  10. Pope Paul VI Biblical Center for Mindanao.  Located at the Archbishop’s Residence, Banadero, Ozamis City, the center covers the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions: Davao, Digos, Tagum, Mati (DADITAMA), Kidapawan, Marbel, Cotabato (KIDMACO), Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Surigao, Tandag, Malaybalay (CABUSTAM), Dipolog, Ozamis, Pagadian, Iligan, Marawi (DOPIM), Zamboanga, Isabela (Basilan) Jolo (Sulu), Ipil.   Fr. Illuminado Rojo is the director.

In cooperation with the Philippine Bible Society, eight “Common Bible” translations have finally emerged.

  1. The Tagalog Magandang Balita Biblia translated by Fr. Emilio Palma of San Pablo Diocese;
  2. The Cebuano Maayong Balita Biblia by Fr. Cesar Alcoseba and Fr. Diosdado Camomot, launched in September of 1981;
  3. The Hiligaynon or Ilonggo Maayong Balita nga Biblia launched by Archbishop Alberto Piamonte in Jaro in 1982;
  4. The Ilokano Naimbag a Damag Biblia translated by Fr. Godofredo Albano and a layman, Mr. Julian, launched by then Archbishop Jose T. Sanchez in 1983.
  5. The Pangasinense Maung a Balita Biblia launched in Dagupan by Archbishop Federico Lim in 1983;
  6. The Samarenyo Popular Version Bible launched by Bishop Lucero in Calbayog in 1984;
  7. The Bicol Popular Version Bible launched by Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi in Naga in 1993;
  8. The Pampango Popular Version launched by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto in San Fernando, Pampanga in 1994.

Activities

From 1971 to 1986, National Bible Week has been celebrated each year, in cooperation with the Philippine Bible Society, to enhance awareness of the Bible. Today this celebration is held every last week of January

For the past 28 years, the Biblical Apostolate developed steadily in the spirit of Dei Verbum. The biblical-pastoral activities of the local Church were strengthened through the different biblical formation programs that have been developed in the different regional biblical centers. Several biblical-pastoral modules have been developed for the on-going formation of lay bible animators and facilitators that are distributed throughout the year.

The most popular biblical module is the “Basic Bible Seminar” (BBS) which was developed by John Paul I Biblical Center. This booklet is translated into Ilokano, Tagalog, Cebuano and in twenty languages in Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Many other modules have been developed either as an introduction or a follow-up of BBS.

Some of the modules from the regional centers are: Bible Orientation Seminars, Core Team Formations, Trainers’ Training Seminars, Biblical Institutes, Bible Youth Camps, Children’s Bible Camp, Basic Bible Seminar 2-3, Calapan Biblical Modules, Cebu Values & Leadership Seminars for Policemen with BBS, Bibliodrama Workshops, Recollections, Retreats and many more.

Some dioceses have their regular Bible on the Air radio programs. All these attempts of growing in the Word function more efficiently when good coordination exists among the existing and functioning Episcopal Commissions in the regional and/or diocesan levels.

Social Concerns

The launching of the Year of Social Concerns last May highlighted even more the role of the Biblical Apostolate in the daily life of the faithful.  A social doctrine with a socio-pastoral action is better acknowledged and lived when done in the light of the Word of God.

Mr. Aries Aguilar, the promotion officer of PBS Marketing Department believes that “the Bible is the life of any community that aspires to grow together in faith. …it is the Word of God that guides, teaches, comforts, and strengthens people in all circumstances”

It is the Word of God that inspires the members of the community to reflection and action to combat poverty, injustice, violence etc. The main spiritual power in the transformation of a nation is none other than the Word of God that is shared and lived in the basic ecclesial communities.

LAUNCHING OF THE

3RD NATIONAL CATHOLIC FAMILY BIBLE QUIZ

The THIRD National Catholic Family Bible Quiz (NCFBQ) will be on January 21, 2008 with the theme “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Family”.

The 2008 Family Bible Quiz theme will define the questions in the Bible Quiz, revolving on life, mission and family.

The upcoming Bible quiz expects a high number of participants. There are 4 Episcopal Commissions added namely: Episcopal Commission on Liturgy; Office on Bioethics; Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People; and the Episcopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media. The National Family Bible Quiz is now incorporated in the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the title POWER TO UNITE CATHOLIC FAMILY BIBLE GROUP, INC. Member of the Board of Trustees come from the rank of the Philippine Church hierarchy, priests, religious, and laity.

Initiated by Ms. Elvira Go to draw families closer to God and the Church through the Bible, the first Bible quiz that took place in 2004 has now become a regular every-other-year event.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, – Permanent Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses headed by Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, D.D. at the time; the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life headed by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, D.D. the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate headed by Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD, D.D. were the first Commissions that supported the project, which was carried out and held successfully.

The overwhelming response of participating families from some arch/dioceses was really inspiring and moving. The first Bible Quiz clearly manifested a deep longing and hunger for the Word of God especially among the families. On the other hand, the second Family Bible Quiz held in 2006 involved the youth who did an interpretative dance of the song Power to Unite. The Episcopal Commission on Youth headed by Bp. Joel Baylon, D.D. joined and the number of participating arch/dioceses increased. The Philippine Bible Society likewise joined and supported this project.

Reported by:

(Fr. Mike Garcia)++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


November 9, 2007

TO: ALL BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE REGIONAL DIRECTORS,

DIOCESAN DIRECTORS,

COORDINATORS, AFFILIATES

AND PARTNERS,


Welcome to the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro (CDO), “the city of golden friendship”. It is the first in Mindanao to be elevated as Archdiocese on June 29, 1951 by Pope Pius XI from the Ecclesiastical Province of Cebu. CDO will play the golden privilege of hosting two big events on its 57th anniversary as an archdiocese: the 17th National Biblical Workshop (NBW) as well as the 5th Southeast Asia (SEA)-Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) Workshop. The NBW theme 2008 – God’s Word: Source of Justice, Reconciliation and Peace is a good follow-up of this year’s NBW theme: God’s Word – Standard for Justice and Right Living. In the light of Micah 6:8 and 2 Cor.5:17-20, we will reflect on the 2008 theme in a deeper level. It is our dream to become a Christian nation where its citizens promote a civilization of life and love in an environment of justice, reconciliation and peace. We unite ourselves with the CBF Family in preparation for the 7th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Biblical Federation in Dar Salaam, Tanzania on June 24-July3, 2008. We support the Shepherds of the Church as they prepare for the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church (Rome, Oct. 5-26, 2008). We will listen to the Lord and to one another on how we can build up each other as people of justice, reconciliation and peace.

The workshop fosters the work of the CBF for biblical-pastoral ministry, “which throughout the world, collaborate with the bishops to make the Word of God available to all” (DV – VI). It is an opportunity for the delegates to grow in the Word together in their common prayers and reflections, workshops and socializations. Each diocese (archdiocese, vicariate, prelature) will send at least two (2) delegates: the Bible Director (Promoter) & Coordinator. The Regional Biblical Centers will send their staff (3-5). Each Affiliate member and Institute will send one representative. Upon registration, the delegates will submit their one-page written report in the light of the recommendations of the Bontoc Final Statement (2006) and the 2007 NBW theme covering the trends and challenges of the Biblical Apostolate in the fivefold areas of Animating Biblical-Pastoral Formation; Organizing Bible Celebrations; Promoting Bible Translations; Assisting in Bible Productions and Coordinating Bible Distributions. Regional or diocesan replies to the LINEAMENTA will also be submitted. Kindly submit the complete names of participants on or before November 29, 2008 to facilitate transportation discounts. Travel light and value your health. Bless and thank the Lord for the success of the CDO events, for the generosity of our resource persons, benefactors and CDO BA team.

Reminder – Venue: Cha-Li Beach Resort, Zone 3 Cugman, Cagayan de Oro- http://www.chalibeach.com/ Registration Fee: Php 3,500.00 / Deposit your payment to BPI CA ECBA-CBCP # 0251-0213-76 / Contact Numbers: tel/fax (02) 527-93-86 /527-41-57: Lina 09176216884; Elmer 09064495149 Email address: ecba_cbcp@yahoo.com; More Info from: https://jp1bc.wordpress.com (JPIBC); http://cbfsea.wordpress.com (AMBC); http://c-b-f.org and www.cbfsea.wordpress.com (CBF)


In the Living Word,


Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD

ECBA-CBCP Executive Secretary



(posted by: Fr. Doms)

14 Nov 2007


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August 31, 2007

Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

MANILA


Dear friends and partners,


And the Word was made flesh – and dwelt among us! For more than a year, we waited for facilitators who can help us make the “Igli dolls”. Now we have the opportunity to “manufacture our own dolls” in the Biblical Figures Workshop (BFW) which will be held in the cities of Vigan (Oct. 15 PM-19PM) and Taytay, Antipolo (Oct. 22PM-26PM). The biblical figures “will bring close to us the message of the Bible, their personalities, their stories and their God…the biblical figures can encourage us to connect Bible-reality with our own life-situation.”


The workshop is more than just the production of bibliodrama dolls. It is an interactive experience among the participants themselves from the first instant of shaping the figures into dolls. The dolls become alive at the first moment of their being shaped by their “creators’. As the course progresses, the able facilitators will accompany the participants through creative Bible-work, body awareness exercises, meditative dances and Bibliodrama elements in the framework of a biblical message. Working steps include: display of materials, explanation of work-steps; feet making; head making (defining head shape, head shaping and processing, head gluing,), hands making, trunk making, modeling of head with Aquaform – to be dried for 8 hrs., covering arms with Duvetine, covering complete body, head covering with Duvetine, wigs cutting and fixing, clothing of figures. Participants are asked to bring the following materials:


  1. All purpose wrench – one for 2 people
  2. Hammer – one for 2 people
  3. Pencil and ball pen
  4. Ruler
  5. Pair of scissors (for clothes)
  6. Sewing needles (different sizes)
  7. Cotton yarn and multi-colored sewing silk
  8. Thimble
  9. Colored rags (fibers, cotton, linen, silk) – the more the better
  10. Used materials (t-shirts, blouses, shorts, socks, stockings) – ok pagmore


When: October 15 PM to 19 PM 2007

Where: Immaculate Conception School of Theology (ICST), Vigan City

Who can participate: committed graduates of Bibliodrama courses, bible facilitators and

animators, member of Diocesan Bible Team, Tahanan ng Walang Hagdan BA

How much: P.2,000.00 only for 4 full days (board and lodging); additional P.1,000.00

for the imported materials for the dolls (lead etc)

Theme: :…as I had been there myself” – the cure of the blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52)

Facilitators from Germany : Sr. Ines Schmiegel and Mrs. Susanne Uteschil


In the Living Word,


Fr. Oscar Alunday,svd

ECBA Executive Secretary

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ECBA National Workshops for the Biblical Apostolate

NO.

DATE VENUE THEME
1st Feb. 24-27, 1986 Dominican House of Spirituality, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan Do Whatever He Tells You
2nd Feb. 23-27, 1987 Dominican House of Spirituality, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan Reflecting on the Gospel of Mark
3rd Feb. 15-18, 1988 Immaculate Conception College Seminary, Guiguinto, Bulacan The Bible in the New Evangelization of the Church
4th Feb. 20-23, 1989 Immaculate Conception College Seminary, Guiguinto, Bulacan New Evangelization in the Philippine Context
5th Feb. 13-16, 1990 Immaculate Conception College Seminary, Guiguinto, Bulacan Biblical Formation for All
6th March 5-8, 1991 Immaculate Conception College Seminary, Guiguinto, Bulacan Inculturate the Good News
7th Feb. 17-20, 1992 St. Vincent Ferrer SeminaryJaro, Iloilo City Act on This Word
8th Feb. 14-18, 1993 Camp Alano, Daliao Toril, Davao City The Bible in the Light of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines
9th Feb. 28-Mar. 3, 1994 PREDA, Olongapo City God’s Word for Family Solidarity
10th March 6-9, 1995 Retreat House of the Holy Spirit Sisters, Baguio City The Bible at the Heart of Evangelization
11th Feb. 26-29, 1996 Holy Family Retreat House, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City God’s Word – Source of Life for All
12th March 3-6, 1997 Paraclete Complex, Tacloban City The Word of God Made Flesh by the Power of the Holy Spirit
13th Feb. 22-26, 1999 Bethlehem Pastoral and Human Development Center, Sogod, Bacacay, Albay Jesus Christ: The Word of the Father
14th Feb. 19-23, 2001 Sto. Nino Seminary, Numancia, Aklan, Diocese of Kalibo The Word of God, a Blessing for All Nations
15th Feb. 24-28, 2003 Bohol Tropics ResortTagbilaran City The Word of God Strengthens Family Values
16th Feb. 6-10, 2006 Lay Formation Center, Teng-ab, Bonctoc, Mountain Province God’s Word: Power for National Renewal
17th Feb. 11-15, 2008 Cagayan de Oro City God’s Word: Source of Justice, Reconciliation and Peace

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July 1, 2007 – Sunday

Dear Directors,Sisters, Brothers,
Friends in the Biblical Apostolate,

Incarnate Word of God, give us life by your Spirit!

This is our prayer for each other particularly for our venerable Bishops and Archbishops who will be gathered in prayer on July 3-5,2007 for their annual retreat. The theme of the retreat is: “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of Bishops”. This is an important retreat not only for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines but also for the entire Biblical Apostolate in the country. In solidarity with our Local Ordinaries, we take this retreat as our support and preparation for the call by the Holy
Father of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of  the Church” (October 5-28,2008).


We recall that in 2005, during the International Congress for the 40th anniversary of Dei Verbum by the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) together with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity(PCPCU) in Rome, the delegates suggested to the Holy Father who received us in audience, “the idea of an in-depth study on the central role of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church, in the wake of the celebration of the Synod of the Eucharist”. It is good to note that in the Lineamenta for the Synod, CBF is mentioned twice, in article 26 and in Chapter 3 of the English version. The President of CBF, Bp. Vincenzo Paglia, Bishop of Terni-Narni- Amelia (Italy)has written to the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and encouraged an exchange of reflections by responding to the questions raised in the Lineamenta.
With deep faith and heartfelt convictions, we pray that the Incarnate Word will animate our beloved Bishops as they reflect on God’s Word. Kindly organize a prayer brigade by texting your friends to send a prayer of support and blessing to all our Bishops.
In the Living Word,
Fr. Oscar Alunday,SVD
ECBA-CBCP: Executive Secretary
________________________________________________________________________________June
June 19, 2007

REV. FR. DOMINADOR RAMOS, SVD

Director

John Paul I Biblical Center

Immaculate Conception School of Theology

Vigan City

Dear Fr. Ramos and JPIBC Staff,

Greetings of peace.

We praise the Lord for all the energy and love that you are sharing to the Northern Luzon Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region. With the success of WABI 2007 and the inspiration of Bible Coordinators from Asia and the Pacific who came together last May for a meeting on the Biblical Apostolate (SVD), we can move ahead with much hope for the Word of God “to run” with us to finish the race. The burden and the joy of passing an accreditation program by the Philippine Association of Accredited Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) for Divine Word College of Vigan is another reason to be happy. Congratulations Fr. President!

The on-going program for our biblical animators / facilitators continues. In addition to your regional initiatives we have a special workshop regarding the production of Biblical Figures (dolls) on October 17 pm (Wed) to 21 pm (Sun) for Northern Luzon and the Cordillera. This workshop will enable the participants to learn the skill of making dolls for biblical – catechetical – liturgical formations : Qualifications of the participants are the following:

· Openness for full participation and attention during the workshop

· Commitment to learn the art of making Biblical Figures (BF)for formation

· Interest to empower others and transfer the art of production of BF – dolls

· Ability to continue the production as a ministry and / or livelihood

· Persevering with practical skills to undergo the training

· Volunteer – supporter – in the Biblical Apostolate and / or graduate of any Bibliodrama workshop (s)

We give priority to participants who are / have been involved in the biblical apostolate: in any activity or event in their regional, diocesan, parish or BEC level as member of the BA team, as volunteers and supporters. However, the non-participation in a Bibliodrama workshop is not a reason for disqualification.

Kindly look for an affordable venue for the workshop which will be held simultaneously for two groups of fifteen participants each. Encourage the potential participants to look for sponsors now. May the Master Artist come to our assistance.

In the Living Word,

Fr. Oscar Alunday, SVD

ECBA Executive Secretary

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3 Responses

  1. Symposium on the Bible and the Basic Ecclesial Communities
    Home for the Clergy
    Diocese of Sorsogon,
    27, July 2007

    John 15: 7-8 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. My Father’s glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples.”

    These two verses were a welcome message to the guests, resource person and participants of the symposium on the Bible for the Basic Ecclesial Communities. The Lord was visibly present “where two or three” bible animators, lay leaders, catechists, youth leaders, priests and religious were gathered on that day enjoying each others active participation. Bp Arturo M. Bastes, SVD D.D Bishop of Sorsogon affirmed the participants by reminding them of the Vision – Mission Statement of the Diocese of Sorsogon, “a community of FAITH, living in LOVE according to the GOSPEL message, responding SERVICE to the signs of the times, striving in HOPE for the coming of the Kingdom.” The welcome address of the Bishop was like an overflow of the well celebrated Bible enthronement with the use of the Pilgrim Dance – an element of Bibliodrama. The participants were connected to each other with their right hands on the left shoulder of the person in front of them and their left hands on their heart level moving forward in counts of three and swinging back on the fourth count. The movement of one hundred twenty people forming one body of pilgrims journeying together with the Bible leading them forward inside the Holy Family Chapel. The movement was the expression of the prayer of the Bishop, “that the whole Diocese of Sorsogon will move forward as one community of faith – living in love according to the Gospel message ….”, giving meaning to the spirit of ecumenism and giving life to unity and harmony among Christians.

    The highlight of the symposium was the presentation of the BEC Bible and the BEC Youth Bible. Bp Bastes observed that there are many local churches in the Philippines that have been renewed because of the BECs. “There are many factors behind this transformation, but the main spiritual power in the transformation is none other than the Word of God. Without the Bible, no BEC can be formed. Without the Bible, no BEC can grow and be sustained.”

    Mrs. Nora G. Lucero PBS General Secretary explained the long time partnership of the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) and the Episcopal Commission of the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). PBS is committed to make the Bible known and accessible to all at an affordable price. Thus the BEC Bibles are made available in 8 major languages. Dr. Medarlo Rivera PBS executive consultant discussed the Open Word – 108 long years of service of the Bible Society in the Philippines (1899-2007). Medarlo was instrumental in the close working relationship of PBS and ECBA through the years. Working in the ministry of the Word involves good relationship, he said. Dr. Anie Del Corro, a translation consultant of the United Bible Societies in Asia and Pacific clearly explained the intricacies and the challenges in the ministry of translation since it involves knowledge and even mastery of the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek. She also explained that translation revision takes place every ten to twelve years. True to her topic, she presented the challenge of translation in such a way that God’s Word becomes palatable and tasty, “ malinamnam at masarap ang salita ng Diyos”. It is especially tasty when God’s Word is incarnated and spoken in people’s heart language. Atty. Robinson Landicho PBS Corporate Secretary briefly discussed the business side how to promote the Bible trough the theme “In my Father’s Business”. It is everybody’s business to work for the Word of God. Mrs. Amy Herrera, PBS Board of Trustee, shared her testimony of faith how the Word of God sustained her through life particularly during her time of health crisis. The Word of God gave her so much life. The Word of God is keeping her alive. Mr. Aries Aguilar of PBS and Fr. Oscar Alunday of ECBA presented some strategies on how the BEC Bibles can be distributed at P.150.00 each. PBS will give a total discount of 22% divided as follows: ECBA gets 2% or P.3.00 per BEC Bible; Regional Biblical Center gets 2% or P.3.00 per BEC Bible; Diocesan Biblical Center gets 2% or P.3.00 per BEC Bible; Parish gets 2% or P.3.00 per BEC Bible; BEC gets 14% or P.21.00 per BEC Bible. In order to achieve a smooth and meaningful distribution of the BEC Bibles, we ask all BEC members to coordinate with their BECs in the parishes through the Diocesan Bible Apostolate. In that way, the P. 21.00 will be accumulated into the BEC Bible Fund to purchase more Bibles and make it available for the BEC members to buy. Our goal is to enable every Family in the BEC to have their own Bibles until every BEC member shall have his/her own copy.

    Bp, Rene Mayugba, DD, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen Dagupan and the Chairperson for the John Paul I Biblical Center for Northern Luzon and the Cordillera shared the vibrant services the Biblical Apostolate in his region. Already as a seminarian, he was already involved in the Biblical Apostolate. As Rector in the Seminary, he helped found the Word Alive Biblical Institute (WABI), an annual stay-in three week biblical-pastoral formation for lay ministers of the Word. Inspired by the zeal of the laity to serve the Church and to respond to the hunger of the laity for the Word of God, he himself founded John Paul II Biblical Center in the Archdiocese of Lingayen- Dagupan. The Word of God is living and active in Northern Luzon and in the Cordillera through the dedicated contributions and services of the first regional biblical center in the country, John Paul I Biblical Center of Vigan City. As a tribute to all the lay leaders and Diocesan pastoral workers, a DVD documentation of the two past events of the Catholic Family Bible Quiz was shown to the delight of the participants. They saw themselves and their families participating in a family contest of knowing what the Bible is all about from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation. Family members gathered around the Word of God will hasten the building up of Basic Ecclesial Communities. And BECs living the Word of God will bring about a transformed nation – a new Philippines. The sevenfold objectives of the symposium were achieved at the end of the day, namely:
    .
    1. to become more aware that the biblical apostolate or the Ministry of the Word of God is a central ministry of the Church that affects all pastoral activities of the Christian community, especially the BEC
    2. to be updated of what the Universal church has bee doing since DEI VERBUM, especially the cooperation of all Christians to make the sacred Scripture easily accessible to all even to non-Christians. This is why the PBS becomes an important partner of ECBA- CBCP
    3. to spread the good news that the 12th Ordinary Synod of Bishops to be celebrated in Rome next year is precisely on the Word of god, a logical consequence of the preceding 11th Ordinary Synod on the Holy Eucharist
    4. to make the people of Sorsogon aware that there are bible available at affordable price, especially edited for the BEC and for the Youth Bible in our schools
    5. to plan a systematic way of distributing the bibles in all the parishes and kapilyas especially in the barrios that have already established or about to establish the BEC
    6. Our Diocesan Biblical Center should learn from the experience of other existing Diocesan Biblical Centers, whose task is to make people understand the significance and meaning of the Bible, whose copies they already posses
    7. If this symposium bears good results, we at ECBA and PBS will duplicate this in several dioceses or regions.

  2. Launching of the 3RD NATIONAL CATHOLIC FAMILY BIBLE QUIZ

    The THIRD National Catholic Family Bible Quiz (NCFBQ) will be on January 21, 2008 with the theme “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Family”.

    The 2008 Family Bible Quiz theme will define the questions in the Bible Quiz, revolving on life, mission and family.

    The upcoming Bible quiz expects a high number of participants. There are 4 Episcopal Commissions added namely: Episcopal Commission on Liturgy; Office on Bioethics; Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People; and the Episcopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media. The National Family Bible Quiz is now incorporated in the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the title POWER TO UNITE CATHOLIC FAMILY BIBLE GROUP, INC. Member of the Board of Trustees come from the rank of the Philippine Church hierarchy, priests, religious, and laity.

    Initiated by Ms. Elvira Go to draw families closer to God and the Church through the Bible, the first Bible quiz that took place in 2004 has now become a regular every-other-year event.

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, – Permanent Committee for Internationl Eucharistic Congresses headed by Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, D.D. at the time; the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life headed by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, D.D. the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate headed by Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD, D.D. were the first Commissions that supported the project, which was carried out and held succesfully.

    The overwhelming response of participating families from some arch/dioceses was really inspiring and moving. The first Bible Quiz clearly manifested a deep longing and hunger for the Word of God especially among the families. On the other hand, the second Family Bible Quiz held in 2006 involved the youth who did an interpretative dance of the song Power to Unite. The Episcopal Commission on Youth headed by Bp. Joel Baylon, D.D. joned and the number of participating arch/dioceses increased.
    The Philippine Bible Society likewise joined and supported this project.
    (Fr. Mike Garcia)

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