On February 23-26, 2016, 188 Bible apostolate workers coming from 53 of the 86 dioceses of the Philippines gathered together for the 21st National Bible Workshop in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez and his own Bible apostolate workers in the Diocese of Marbel graciously hosted the event and made it truly pleasant and memorable.
Inspired by the year’s theme: “Strengthening the Family Through the Word and the Eucharist”, we projected into the future with 2021 as immediate goal in mind, i.e., the celebration of the 500 year of Christianity, following the annual themes proposed by the CBCP.
Using the method of Appreciative Inquiry, thanks to the assistance of our parents in the IPD (Institute for Pastoral Development) we succeeded in defining our skills and resources, discovering our strengths, dreaming ahead and designing a path to the realization of our dreams, which we submit to the destiny and God’s divine will.
Following the attitude of the Lord, who instead of lamenting the scarcity of resources, gratefully accepted the five loaves and two fish (John 6), we too believe that the Lord can multiply our meager resources in ECBA as long as we have the generosity to offer them to be blessed, broken and shared.
With the objective of participating more fully and meaningfully in the mission of the Church in the Philippines towards new evangelization, we came up with a strategic plan for the next five years. We intend to work for the integration of these plans in our dioceses, and we determined to implement them properly.
- We vowed towork together to continue building BECs by promoting creative methods of forming Bible prayer/study groups such as KRISKA, Liturgical Bible Study, LectioDivina, BFAST, Sambayanihan, Biblianilay, etc., believing that, “where two or three are gathered together in (Jesus’) name, (he is) there in their midst” building up his body, the Church (Mt. 18: 20).
- Through our partnership with PBS (Philippine Bible Society), we have resolved to support and sustain MTBO program in order to make more Bibles available for 3M more Filipino Catholic families in ten of the major Filipino languages used in the country.
- In partnership with the existing groups, ministries, movements and organizations in our dioceses, we intend to reach out to at least 20% of the unchurched Catholics in our respective dioceses through home visit, Bible campaigns, Bible enthronement in every home, Bible Prayer groups towards building more BECs.
- Having been challenged as well by the message of HIS Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, president of CBF (Catholic Biblical Federation) to make the Bible not just one among many apostolates but the very foundation of all pastoral action and ministry in the Church, we have likewise resolved to reach out and partner with every commission in the CBCP, as well as every group movement or organization that an help us achieve this purpose.
May the Lord who has begun his good work in and through us bring it to completion. Amen
26 February, City of Koronadal, Diocese of Marbel