Reflections

A BASIC BIBLE SEMINAR EXPERIENCE

“I am touched! Truly the Bible is the “love letter” of God to me, to us. I feel ashamed of myself!” says Sr Azucena,SPC the Principal of St Joseph Institute, Candon City, after listening to the 4th Talk.fely-gines.jpg

What she said could very summarize the feelings and insights of most of the Catholic School teachers of Ilocos Sur who for two days attentively listened to the lectures, actively participated in the different activities, prayed together during Lectio Divina and during the various body prayer dances, and shared the Word of God during the Basic Bible Seminar. With the theme – Catholic Schools: Channels of God’s Word for National Renewal, Transformation, Unity and Development, CEAP Ilocos Sur chapter celebrated the Catholic Schools’ month by undergoing the Basic Bible Seminar.

I was privileged to journey with most of the CEAP teachers having co facilitated the BBS for four times to four different groups: Group 2 composed of Sta Lucia Catholic School, Sta Cruz Institute, San Jose High School and Santiago Catholic School held at Sta Lucia Catholic School; Group 3, composed of teachers and non teaching personnel of St Joseph Institute and Narvacan Catholic School, held at St Joseph Institute, Candon City; Group 4 coming from Benito Soliven – Sto Domingo, Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary and St Paul College of Ilocos Sur , held at SPCIS; and Group 5 coming from St William’s Institute – Magsingal and Divine Word College of Vigan held at DWCV. I missed the Group 1- those coming from St Agnes-Cervantes, Our Lady of Guadalupe High School – Sevilla, Sta, Cruz and St Augustine’s School in Tagudin.

The participants – teachers and administrators alike were well motivated; why, the religious sisters were also taking down notes! At first, it was observed that a few of teachers displayed a kind of “wait and see” attitude (this is understandable, of course); later, one could notice the changes in behavior: display of interest & openness, humility to ask help if one could not find the biblical texts, lit up faces in agreement to what was being said, or amazement on how the bible came to be or on how the first disciples responded to the call of Jesus. And to discover while reading that there are “straight lines” and “broken lines” as well in the biblical texts! The printed word that eventually became the Word of God for them is indeed powerful!

On the other hand, it needed some convincing those who had non Catholic edition of the bible. It was difficult for them to part with these versions for sentimental reasons. But as Rommel of Sta Lucia said: All versions is the best! What he meant was, it is good to have more than one edition of the bible.

As individuals and as groups, the teachers came up with concrete actions to take so as to become truly channels of God’s Word for national renewal transformation, unity and development. These actions are their response to the love letter of God to them, their response in action to the Word of God.

Fely J. Gines

HYMN OF A GRATEFUL HEART

(Based on Ps 138)

I thank you, O Lord, with all my heart;

in the presence of Dei Verbum Class 2005, I sing you praise.

I bow down before the chapel of the Annunciation.

And give thanks to your name

for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,

for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

You called me, O Lord; and answer I did.

You gave new strength to my heart.

You, finally, have allowed me to journey with your Word

through the Dei Verbum Course.

May all those who use this Manual praise you, O Lord!

May they trust in the power of your word.

And when they hear the promises you make,

They will sing: “Great is the glory of the Lord!”

Though this Manual is far from perfect;

It will be improved while it is being used.

For You will bring to goodness what you have started

You wont abandon what you have made.

I give you thanks, O Faithful One; and I exult you:

for the experience of your love and saving presence;

for the trust and generosity of heart of my sponsors;

for the assistance from my siblings;

for the support of my co workers and my friends;

for the friendship of my classmates, especially Smyrna 1 & Pergamum 2;

for the knowledge and expertise of our professors and

the wisdom of our retreat guides;

for the smiles of encouragement from the SVD Generalate;

and for the love and care of the SVD Nemi community.

May you bless them, O Lord, a hundredfold!

Forty years ago, on this day, November 18, 1965, a significant document in the Church came to be born: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation or Dei Verbum.

Because of Dei Verbum, there is biblical pastoral ministry in the Church. Because of Dei Verbum, there is Dei Verbum Centre, Missionari Verbiti. Because of Dei Verbum, there is John Paul I Biblical Center. Because of Dei Verbum, I came to Nemi for the Ministers of the Word Course. And because of Dei Verbum, this Manual came to be: The Exodus Story For Lay Ministers of the Word.

Agyamanak unay, DEI VERBUM! (My sincere thanks, DEI VERBUM)

Agbiagka, DEI VERBUM! (Long live, DEI VERBUM!)

Madaydayaw ti Dios, DEI VERBUM! (May God be praised, DEI VERBUM!)

Felicidad Perpetua J.  Gines (Fely)

November 18, 2005

Ruby Anniversary (40th) of Dei Verbum

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CEAP Schools in Ilocos Sur Energized by the BBS

Zusan Asistin

In response to quality Catholic Education and sound doctrine, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) for Northzusan-asistin.jpgern Luzon has conceptualized to give Basic Bible Seminar (BBS) to all Catholic School Teachers. It was a move that agreed upon by the body of responsible educators including the Board of Directors of each Catholic Schools. Its main aim or objective is to strengthen and nourish the faith that was passed on by the Apostles. As a service arm of the Church of the North, the John Paul I Biblical Center (JP1BC) team headed by the energetic director, Fr. Dominador O. Ramos, SVD, extends help so as to meet this holistic endeavour. This undertaking started last Feb. 3-4, 2006 with the first cluster of 5 groups held at St. Augustine’s School in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. The Participants are composed of the following: faculty staff, college, high school, grade school Principal, dean, directress and Non-teaching staff of the school. Some of the topics presented are: BBS (Basic Bible Seminar) consists on how to study, know, read, pray, and live the Word of God. The participants of this activity were deeply energized that they came up with the following suggestions and recommendations: First, the plan to adopt the Catholic Schools theme: Catholic Schools: “Channels of God’s Word for National Renewal, Transformation, Unity and Development” for their own family, school, and community. Lastly, teachers crave for a follow-up seminar after BBS. In this paradigm and also as a kind of follow-up, the JPIBC encouraged each one of the attendee to enroll for the upcoming WABI (Word Alive Biblical Institute) to be held at theLay Formation Center of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan this year and will start on April 18 until May 8. Taking all this into consideration, definitely, theNorthern Luzon Church, particularly the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia looks forward for a better tomorrow having equipped her lay educators about the importance of the Word and the basics of Christian living. What’s next? It is yet to come… however, the success and the message of the BBS for the CEAP RI for Northern Luzon still is alive and will remain in the hearts and minds of those who attended this one-of-a-kind activity. On the other hand, most of all the mission of the JPIBC continues all because of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that keeps on inspiring the staff to work for the Greater Glory of God’s Kingdom here on earth. With this venture, Christ’s mission continues to flourish, to magnify and to spread-out through the instrumentality of people He continuously calling to continue His work of redemption.

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2 Responses

  1. Participating in a Bible seminar is another way of encountering God for He speaks through the messages discussed from the chapters and verses. This seminar reminds us of God’s mercy, love, compassion, forgiveness, sympathy and His role as a Father, a brother, a friend and even a stranger for those who do not know Him but is always ready to welcome, listen and share. He embodies the Gospels for He is their author. The Gospels are truth for God proves things by saying them.
    May the Holy Spirit work when you have seminars so that in these difficult times where we need God’s attention in our personal lives, families, communities and country, there is peace and assurance that God never leave His creation alone.
    Aeschylus once said: “In our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God”.

    Emy Riguera
    U.S.A.

  2. I once experienced attending a summer youth bible camp and i can say that it is one of the moments that I can share to my friends and relatives. Before the camp, bible for me is nothing.. I don’t even care if it exists in my life or not.. yes I know about Jesus Christ, but I do not know Him as who really He is.. after the bible camp, every night, I read the bible, I share His words to my sister, brother, my mom and dad, and also with my cousins and friends.. actually, they were all shocked when they heard me talikng about God, but I explained to them that He is our savior and if you only open your hearts and let Him come into your life, you will understand what I am telling tou you right now.. Having that experience makes me feel so blessed. With all the lectures of the Dithers and Father Heart, I was able to open my life, my heart and my mind, that no matter how contented you are with your life, you will never be happy as long as God is not with you.. Right now I can say that im happy, having Him by my side… I love you Jesus Christ,.. I love you.

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