1For two weeks this February (9-24), we had 16 German pastoral workers – 1 priest and 15 lay people from five dioceses (Hamburg, Limburg, Munster, Osnabruck, Hildesheim) for BEC exposure and orientation. This is the third batch that we have had in Bukal but this year’s batch is the first time we had teams from different dioceses. The first batch was composed of individuals who were just interested in this way of being church. Last year’s batch was a big diocesan team with a few individuals. This time, because these were diocesan teams who are at the level of planning and decision-making, the depth of their reception and reflection on their experiences were much deeper and more fruitful.

It is very challenging for Bukal team to run this program for the German church because it is a totally different context from the Philippines. Their continued positive evaluation also confirms that our tools and approaches for a Participatory Church are applicable to them. This July Bukal team has been invited to go to Germany to give pastoral skills training. With such enthusiastic response, they have again expressed their intention of organizing 2 batches for next year!


2From March 13-15, 18 CICMs assigned to the parishes gathered in Bukal to go through a leadership seminar together. This is one of the seminars planned by the PCPI this January (which also happened in Bukal) to implement the goals set for the year 2012. Guided by the vision of a Participatory Church through BECs, the leadership seminar intended to 1) reflect on one’s life of leadership and discipleship; 2) learn a few participatory consultation (survey, plastic jacket) and planning skills (Pastoral Mirror); 3) share life and stories to inspire and strengthen one another in this ministry.

Forthcoming schedule as agreed upon by PCPI is as follows:
May 26-27 CICM Baguio-San Fernando
Retooling Seminar for Leaders (Venue: Home Sweet Home)

Aug 16-19 CICM Kalinga- Isabela
Seminar on Participatory Church (Venue:  Dagupan-Tabuk)

Aug 31- Sep 2   CICM Vis-Min
On Participatory Church (CICM & Laity) (Afga Pastoral Center)

Sep 15-16  CICM Baguio-San Fernando
Orient on Visioning Process/Glimpse of BEC (Irisan & Beckel)


Because of the invaluable service done to the Diocese of Gumaca in their visioning program and the implementation of the same, Bukal ng Tipan received a plaque of appreciation on the occasion of the 27th Anniversary of the diocese.  The award was accepted Bukal during the thanksgiving mass that was presided by Bp. Buenaventura Famadico.  In line with this, Jojit gave a shared homily as an introduction to their first priority program that is the fruit of their shared vision – family life. Bukal remains a committed and constant companion to the diocese.


Bukal team has also extended its services to the Mother Francisca Catechetical Institute of Siena College Quezon City.  The institute approached Bukal team for possible collaboration after realizing the need to intensify their formation program through pastoral skills training in all levels.  Thus from January to March, the team provided the following workshops:  Youth Bible Camp (1st – 3rd year), Bible Sharing Methods (2nd year), Bibliodrama and Creative Liturgies (3rd year), BEC Organizing (4th year).  The students were provided with practical tools and approaches which they can integrate in their academic program, community life and in their particular apostolates.


45 Youth Leaders from the diocese of Maasin, Leyte went on a journey by looking and reflecting the Gospel of St. Luke about the road to Emmaus. It was a walk that leads them by learning the four marks of Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) and how they will continues their journey towards a participatory church for and with the young.


3A dream of participatory Church necessitates a system in order for its sustenance.  Part of its structural as well as witnessing aspect is celebrating relevant and creative liturgies.  The Archdiocese of Jaro, as part of its journey towards this vision of Church has launched several workshops attended by parish representatives in designing creative liturgies.  Participants found this idea of making their liturgies more contextual to be refreshing and challenging.  The tools that were given by Bukal cover only neighborhood liturgical celebrations
and did not touch liturgies of the sacraments so these gave the participants freedom to be more liberal in their designs.


The Archdiocese of Cotabato revisited and re-articulated their Archdiocesan Shared Vision in a participatory process together with Bukal ng Tipan.  At the beginning of the year, the Archdiocesan Coordinating Team met with Bukal to prioritize the efforts for 2012 in implementing the shared vision as an Archdiocese and for the Parishes to implement their respective identity statements by making their own implementing pastoral plan.  A special effort with Bukal is the evaluation and planning with the pilot parishes who are concentrating on organizing Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).   This meeting led to the realization that the BEC pilot parish program can now be offered to other parishes who would like to pursue BECs as their parish priority.


The Diocese of Butuan the revisiting of their Diocese Shared vision and has chosen Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) as their diocesan priority.  With this development, Bukal ng Tipan has begun a process of training BEC organizers for every parish by first training the Diocesan Formation Team who will then train the Parish Formation Teams by Vicariate batches.  Another special effort of Bukal is working with the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly – Coordinating Team (DPA-CT), the working staff of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, mainly responsible for animating the diocese towards the implementation of the shared vision.  In a special meeting with the DPA-CT, the implementation effort of the diocese towards the vision was evaluated and an identity statement as DPA-CT was articulated.


The year was started by Bukal by giving a retreat for the 3rd batch of priests from the Archdiocese of Lipa.  35 clergy from the Archdiocese made Bukal their home from January 16-20 as the team facilitated the program “Clergy Leadership in a Participatory Church”.  Response to the retreat remains positive as the Archdiocese gears towards this vision of Church.


The youth component of Bukal Ng Tipan developed a new program particularly for the incoming nurses of the Philippines. It’s an overnight retreat entitled, “CALLED TO HEAL”. The program will guide and inspire the students to be grateful for their chosen vocation and be empowered by Jesus as healer. There were 175 students from Metropolitan Medical College and 200 students from Arellano University who experienced this newly developed program last February 11 and March 26 respectively


Beyond facilitating and consultancy work for dioceses and groups, there has been an expressed need for Bukal to personally accompany pastoral leaders and ministers in performing their tasks.   For this purpose, Bukal team underwent a basic 3-day coaching workshop under Joline Pamatmat in 2011.  Last February 6-8,   Joy Candelario was sent for a more intensive Appreciative Coaching Workshop in SAIDI.  Coaching is defined as  ‘creative conversations that help you look at what is and help you create what will be’.  Because there is no strategy that fits all,  coaching draws from the power within each one to actualize their vision of life.  A coach is a guide, a friend and sometimes a teacher who accompanies the learner (coachee).  The team envisions to integrate the skill in the journeying process and to include the approach in clergy retooling workshops


5Life is a journey that undergoes several stages.  And in each stage, wounding happens that affect our way of facing life.  In its desire to continually improve in their service to the Church and fullness of life, Bukal makes it a priority that each member of the team attends a special seminar or course for their personal as well as spiritual development.  This year, one of the programs that were attended by 2 of its members is the Healing of the 8 Stages of Life facilitated by CEFAM (Center for Family Ministries).  The workshop-retreat was an eye opener and truly enriching and will help in the team’s way of relating with people.  This experience was also a way for team members to take the role of a listener instead of a facilitator which we do most of the time.  This shift in roles has allowed us to grow in our personal journey towards fullness.


Once again, the team of Bukal ng Tipan was tapped to be resource persons for the 4th National Religious Education Conference held from April 24-26 at Sienna College in Quezon City.  With the theme: The Holy Spirit: “The Lord the Giver of Life” bukal was asked to handle the workshop on Bible Study Methods.  Participants found the 3 bible study methods that were taught to them helpful and simple for them to use in their work as catechist for their respective dioceses.  This conference was spearheaded by the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCE).

7Last April 10-14, the vicariate of Baler of the Prelature of Infanta held a camp for its youth and BEC workers.  The team of Bukal travelled all the way to Aurora, Quezon to facilitate this experience.  45 participants coming from 7 parishes attended this camp which aims to clarify their understanding of BECs as well as to be equipped with simple skills that they can use in organizing and enthusing the young to be part of this movement.


613 delegates from Brazil, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Agusan Del Sur, Bicol, Davao and Las Pinas attended the Catch the Vision, Live the Dream – course for Youth Ministers, Youth Leaders and Youth Pastoral workers. It was a challenging week for all the delegates to discover new possibilities ministering to young people in a parti- cipative and interactive way. The course aims to equip the participants with the basic skills of journeying with the youth of today. Going back home, the participants were all fired-up again to continue their mission with the young in their own countries, dioceses and parishes.

2012 was another prolific year for Maryhill as a venue for retreats, recollections and seminars as a total of 11, 797 people stayed in the center. This is a 13% increase from the previous year. There was an estimate of 103 different schools, groups and organizations who have occupied this place. It was also noted that the youth unit of Bukal was able to facilitate the retreats and recollections of 23 schools while the pastoral unit was able to journey with 10 different dioceses and archdioceses. Maryshore in Talisay is also in an upswing in terms of occupancy as they welcomed 11,376 people. Noel and Ading together with their team of facilitators were kept busy as they facilitated the retreats and recollection of 12 schools in the area. All in all they were able to minister to more than 3,600 students all over the Negros province.


The diocese of Sorsogon invited the Bukal team to help them evaluate their past pastoral program and help them plan a new one for 2014-2020. After a series of meetings with the diocesan pastoral secretariat, together with the bishop, it was decided that instead of just designing a pastoral program, the whole diocese will go through a process of revisiting and re-owning the diocesan vision. Last week, the clergy community started already its pastoral and spiritual preparation to lead this vision-re-owning process with a program designed with Bukal team entitled – “Diocesan Emmaus Journey: Hearts Burning in the Year of Faith”. Training for the Diocesan Formation Team made up of parish representatives for community consultation and facilitation of sessions will start in February and the process is set to be launched on Easter Sunday.


The year ended for Bukal ng Tipan when Jojit Guevarra went to San Isidro Labrador Parish in AFGA, Agusan del Sur to assist them in their year-end planning. 30 of their parish council members and community leaders participated in the said workshop which was held on December 7-8, and again on December 27. This planning workshop gave them the chance to revisit their vision statement of 7 years and to set goals and strategies for 2013. In full support of the activity were Fr. Philip Borla and Fr. Marcio Martins who were present during the whole process.


To celebrate his 50 years in the Philippines, Fr. Mark, accompanied by Bukal ng Tipan team, close friends and collaborators, retraced his journey through a day of pilgrimage. They revisited the different stations where he was assigned namely Maryhill (Language Center), Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig, St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Paranaque and of course, St. Joseph Parish in Las Pinas. At every stop, Fr. Mark shared his story – recalling special experiences and challenges. This was enriched by the group’s reflection on their own missionary call through sharing the Word and praying together. The day also highlighted the CICM contributions to the local church and how their legacy continues to the present. With the group was Fr Rene Candelaria, CICM who was grateful for the experience and the chance to revisit his own CICM roots.


9Last October 2012, Joy Candelario was invited to participate as an expert in the XIII Ordinary General Assembly better known as the Synod on the New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian Faith. Together they discerned and dialogued on the urgent need to ‘repropose’ the Gospel and to bring about the ‘perennial newness of the encounter with Jesus’ so much needed in the world today. The experts were especially tasked to assist in documenting significant interventions in the plenary and to participate in the discussions on the development of propositions. The event coincided with the Opening of the Year of Faith and the Canonization of San Pedro Calungsod. She comes home with the challenge of sharing the experience but more than that, through Bukal ng Tipan, fortifying efforts in re-igniting the flame of love for Jesus especially in and through the youth and Basic Ecclesial Communities.


13Last January 6, the pool of youth facilitators of Bukal ng Tipan gathered together for a day of fellowship and prayer. Reflecting on the Epiphany Story, they were able to look back at the year that was and to look forward to the star that is ahead of them. The afternoon was spent with fun and entertainment as the facilitators joined in the games and had a hearty lunch together. The day was highlighted by a closing mass celebrated by Fr. Mark Lesage wherein a name was coined for the group. They will not just be known as a pool of Facilitators but as Wellspring of Covenant Servants. A prayer was also introduced to be used every time the servants will facilitate a retreat or recollection.

Mount St. Aloysius College Seminary Retreat

For the 2nd time, the team of Bukal ng Tipan was asked to give the annual retreat for the college seminary of the Diocese of Gumaca in Quezon. 25 seminarians from 1st year to 4th year who are in their Philosophy years underwent the retreat whose focus is the family since this is the priority program of the diocese.

Gumaca Clergy Pastoral Retooling Seminar

10As a diocesan journeying partner, the clergy of the Diocese of Gumaca undergoes a pastoral retooling seminar with Bukal ng Tipan every year. For 5 years now, they would go on a 4-5 day retooling seminar to get them on board with the skills training that is also given to their diocesan lay formation teams. Last June 5-8, in line with their Family Evangelization thrust, Bukal shared with the diocesan clergy the theme on house churches in the Pauline communities and its relevance to them as a community. Practical skills like doing house-to-house visitation as well as creating home/house liturgies were also shared with them.

San Jose de Antique Celebrates 50 Years

The Diocese of San Jose de Antique celebrated its 50th anniversary with a diocesan assembly revisiting their 1987 synod. Bukal ng Tipan headed by Fr. Mark together with Epee and Jojit were invited to give the recollection at the end of the assembly. More than 150 parish leaders and commission heads attended the recollection entitled “Nourishing the Seed of a Participatory Church”.

BEC Orientation, Archdiocese of Lipa

Last June 27, the Bukal ng Tipan Team (Fr. Mark, Estela and Aleli) conducted an orientation seminar on the Vision of a Participatory Church to the priest directors and lay members of the Lipa Archdiocesan Commissions. This is in response to the request of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Team for a common understanding of BEC and how the different commissions can render support to this archdiocesan thrust.

Sino Mongolia Youth Day

The province of SINO-MONGOLIA composed of youth leaders and priest from Taiwan, Mongolia and Hong Kong spent a 10 days Youth Day at Bukal ng Tipan Maryhill in Taytay with the theme “Called to Serve”. The program includes a Mission Walk to discover the CICM around the world: the situation, the challenge and how they will respond. They also undergo a series of Youth Ministry Training to learn some basic and advance tools on how to minister and serve young people in their own countries. They also had a chance to visit some CICM community and parishes and some non-government organization that are dealing with the young, peace, justice and livelihood as part of the exposure program.

CICMs in Parishes Training

During the gathering of the CICMs in parishes last March in Bukal ng Tipan, the role of the center as a pastoral arm of the CICM was reiterated. How can Bukal share with the parishes this vision of a Participatory Church? In line with this, the districts drafted training schedules when Bukal can be in their parishes to share on particular topics of interest in this regard. The District of Visayas-Mindanao was given the orientation on this since August of last year. A follow-up seminar is scheduled for the same this coming Aug 31 – Sep 2. The same orientation was also given to the parishes from District of Baguio-San Fernando last May 26-27 and to the District of Kalinga-Isabela last Aug 17-18. After this general orientation, Bukal hopes to respond to particular district/parish contexts regarding the next steps to be taken so as to move closer to this vision of a participatory church.

Bukal at the National Conference of Youth Ministers

Last October 1-5, the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) through its implementing arm the National Secretarial on Youth Apostolate (NSYA) held its tri-annual gathering of Youth Directors and Leaders from all the Diocese of the Philippines. The event was held in Legaspi, Albay which was participated in by 300 Youth Ministers from more than 60 ecclesiastical districts of the Philippine Church. Joy Candelario was chosen as a plenary speaker with the topic “Youth Ministers: Living the Faith” while Jojit Guevarra was asked to give workshops on the 7-step Gospel sharing Method and Creating God Encounters for the Young.

Gumaca Catechists going Participatory
Last October 22-24, in its continuing journey with the Diocese of Gumaca, Bukal was invited to give a training to catechists on designing awareness sessions. 60 vicariate catechists and heads including their director Fr. Richard Mariano took part in the training. Used to the lecture method of teaching, the catechists were very appreciative of this new technique of participatory approach of imparting learning.

Evaluation Meetings with Journey Partners

In the past months, the pastoral team of Bukal has organized evaluation meetings with our journey partners, diocese and archdioceses that we have been working with. The team sat with the team-in-charge of the Archdiocese of Jaro and the Dioceses of Gumaca and Butuan. The aim of the meeting is to evaluate the affectivity of the programs that were set with the help of Bukal as well as the extent of our involvement in these programs.

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