CEAP REGION 8: CAMPUS MINISTRY GATHERING
“Youth and School of Today, Enlivened, Empowered, Evangelized”
March 2-3, 2013
Bukal ng Tipan facilitated the CEAP Regional Gathering last March 2-3, 2013 at the Diocese of Palo, Leyte, Philippines. It was attended by 80 campus ministers, student leaders and some administrators of their particular institution. They came from different Dioceses namely, Diocese of Palo, Diocese of Maasin, Diocese of Naval, Diocese of Borongan, and Diocese of Catarman.
The goal of the gathering is to attain the youth empowerment in Catholic schools and for the people to realize the purpose of campus ministry. The group reflected on the disciples’ journey to Emmaus and synthesized the components of campus ministry such as Community (Participation and Context) Word of God (Religious Instructions & Contemplative Spaces) Celebrations (Rituals & Liturgies) Vocation & Mission (outreach program).
CEAP Region 8 focused on one of the JEEPGY’s priority which is the YOUTH EMPOWERMENT for the fast approaching academic year 2013-2014.
ECHOES ON THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Joy has been invited by different groups to share her reflections on the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.
Last January 21, she addressed a huge crowd at Don Bosco Parish Makati composed of priests, religious, theology students, catechists pastoral workers, involved lay, etc. She was with Abp. Socrates Villages, a Synod Father and a Fr. Renato De Guzman, Synod auditor. The symposium tackled the basic components and challenges of the New Evangelization from a Filipino perspective.
Three days after, they presented to the Filipino bishops in their CBCP assembly. It was an occasion to look into concrete recommendations that can be tackled on a national level. Incidentally, the year of Faith coincides with the Church’s preparations for the 500 years of evangelization in the Philippines.
She was also invited by Don Bosco Tarlac Institute (Feb 1) and the De La Salle volunteer catechists (March 1) for their group recollection. Since these groups were mostly teachers and catechists, the program enabled them to look deeper into their ministry and how to ‘repropose the faith’ to young people.
Last Feb 18-20, she also took part in the Pre-Congress of the Salesian Philippine Province for their parishes. In the spirit of the New Evangelization, the entire province took the challenge by extending their pre-capitular to include their lay collaborators in the reflections and planning. Joy was invited as process observer- listening to the different stages of dialogue but also taking note of what needs to be improved in the entire process. Her sharing also provided other areas the congregation could look into especially as they concretize the directives of NE in the context of the Salesian Pastoral Community.
Last February 22, she also joined the CICM Baguio district in their recollection which allowed CICM confreres to reflect on their own faith journeys and the challenges they face in pastoral ministry.
BIBLIODRAMA COURSE AT DBCS
For many years now, Bukal has been journeying with the Evangelium Program of Don Bosco Center of Studies by offering a 5-Saturday Bibliodrama and Creative Liturgy course. Most of the participants are women in formation (postulants, novices and juniors) and lay people working as catechists. The program provided an experience of the Word of God through Bibliodrama followed by a workshop on applying the approaches and tools learned in designing recollections, liturgies and formation sessions.
RETREAT FOR FMA POSTULANTS AND ASPIRANTS
Joy was invited by the Salesian sisters to facilitate a 3-day retreat for women in formation. Entitled ‘A Living Encounter at the Well’, it aimed at helping them to reflect on their personal realities and Jesus who offers them ‘living water’. As they are preparing themselves for consecrated life, they encounter the Word that dialogues, transforms and empowers them.
SIMBALAN PARISH LEADERS’ RETREAT
January 25-26, 2013
Bukal ng Tipan with Noel and Ading extended a service to the parish of Simbalan, a CICM missionary station in the south of Philippines. The parish team approached Bukal Ng Tipan to facilitate the retreat of the parish leaders and annual evaluation of the parish. The participants were comprised of PPC officers, Parish Formation Team members, Zone and ministry Coordinators and the presidents of all the chapels.
We started the retreat by journeying back to their individual calling to service and ministry in the parish. The participants also looked into their experiences of difficulties and joys in the parish ministry. We capped the evening of the first day with a reconciliation rite where a number of participants availed of the sacrament of confession.
We dedicated the second day by evaluating the four areas of a pastoral life in the parish, THE PASTORAL PROGRAM, LEADERSHIP, MINISTRIES, and THE COMMUNITIES. The sessions ended with the parish leaders recognizing the need for comprehensive pastoral plan and the election of new leaders.
2013: BUKAL’S GERMAN YEAR !
For the past four years German Dioceses has been coming to the Phil for exposure and to experience church life. This year Bukal Ng Tipan facilitates 6 batches of German pastoral ministers (bishop, priest, religious, lay) coming to the Philippines for BEC and Youth Exposure and Orientation Course (4 batches coming in January, July, October and November), as well as 2 batches for BEC and Seminary Formation Exposure and Orientation Course (coming in February and August).
Bukal will also facilitate 3 courses re Participatory Church in Germany for different diocesan pastoral ministers (bishop, priest, religious and lay) this summer from June to July.
Estela has attended two international conferences (January and February) that were held in Germany. Indeed a German Year for Bukal!!! It is an honor and a pleasure to share life and learning from a foremost European country. God be praised!
Intercontinental BEC Symposium in Tubingen (Jan. 17-20, 2013)
Estela attended the Intercontinental BEC Symposium held in the University of Tubingen in Germany. BEC representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as from North America and Europe, exchanged experiences and opinions regarding BEC and the churches relevant for our complex and challenging times. This meeting, sponsored by Missio, Adveniat and the University of Tubingen, was the first of its kind. Theology professors, especially from Tubingen, as well as 250 pastoral ministers (bishop, clergy, religious and lay) from Germany joined.
Estela spoke about the BECs in Asia and the BECs in the Philippines. She also joined the other plenary speakers on plenary dialogues regarding the church of our times and the shape of the church to come. Estela was also requested to give the homily during the final Eucharistic celebration with Oscar Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras presiding.
Some affirmations regarding BEC:
1) BECs are alive and well in different regions of the world;
2) BECs present different ways of being a really local church, definitely expanding and deepening what Vatican 2 has reflected about ‘local church’;
3) in BECs, church is with the people, the masses, especially the poor (one speaker said “If the church is not with the people, then it is lost”; and
4) in BECs, mission/the world reshapes and redefines church.
BEC Exposure and Orientation for German Pastoral Workers Batch 1 (Jan. 24-Feb.7, 2013)
For the 4th year in a row, German pastoral workers came to Bukal Ng Tipan for BEC/Participatory Church. This year there were 19 participants from 7 dioceses in Germany. This is the first year with a bishop attending and the most number of priests (9 priests). The need to be engaged more in dialogue with the realities here in the Philippine church (instead of just immersion and observation) and to provide helpful links between two very different realities (Philippines/Philippine church and Germany/German church) have been noted. The fellowship and bonding as community has been pleasantly felt and acknowledged. Some of the more interesting action points mentioned: aside from the usual additional skills training – the need to have a vision as a local church (German, diocesan) because without a vision, they are going in circles if not lost and the need to pray and experience Jesus once again in a personal and communal way as a diocesan team. Fr. Mark and Estela coordinated this program helped by Joy and Aleli in facilitating the various sessions.
Church to the Power of 2: An International Ecumenical Conference (Feb. 14-16, 2013)
A truly witnessing encounter and experience as Catholic and Protestant traditions gathered and engaged in conversations about fresh expressions and shapes of church in the future; attended by theologians and pastoral ministers of both traditions numbering 1,200 participants (surprisingly 50% Catholics and 50% Protestants, with the youngest participant at 18 years of age and the oldest at 80, but majority with ages ranging from 45-55).
International speakers came from Germany, France, Brazil, Vietnam, Philippines (Estela), America, England. Estela talked about Vision and Inculturation, the contribution of the Asian Church, as well one session on ‘thinking out of the box’. Aside from good camaraderie between the two (traditionally opposing) religious traditions, serious and exciting exchanges about new ways and expressions of being church were discussed and everyone affected everyone with courage and inspiration to risk these ‘new ways’!
BEC and Seminary Formation for German Team (Feb. 19-March 3, 2013)
It was a pleasant surprise and a true learning and inspiring experience to visit 3 seminaries in the Philippines: Immaculate Concepcion School of Theology (ICST) in Vigan, St. John Vianney School of Theology (SJVST) in Cagayan de Oro and St. Vincent School of Theology (SVST) in Manila. The intention of this BEC and Seminary Formation Exposure and Orientation is to see how future priests are formed and trained to lead another way of being church. Fr. Christian Hennecke, who heads the Pastoral Department in the Diocese of Hildesheim in G
ermany, but also leads the national team in Germany
regarding local church development, is also a seminary rector. Bukal has been working with him and his team for the past 5 years re local church development and he thought of starting this project because he wants to see how integrally linked are formation of future priests and a new way of being church. Fr. Mark and Estela coordinated this program.
Some important insights Bukal and especially the German team discovered and learned from the seminaries/theological schools:
• The goal of theological studies is to be closer to God and to be able to follow him more faithfully;
• The utmost importance of a witnessing community life of the formators;
• Immersion and engagement with social issues (mission shapes church and ministry);
• Intense growth accompaniment through the years; employment of professional counsellors’/psychologists’ to give importance to human formation;
• Balance and Integration of pastoral training and theological training.
Gumaca Diocesan Assembly
Last April 7, the diocese of Gumaca held their annual diocesan assembly. The assembly’s goal was to evaluate the implementation of the Pastoral Priority of 2012 which was family and to retain or choose a new one for the coming year. There was a positive atmosphere among the participants as shown by their enthusiastic participation in the activities and also by their overwhelming approval of the past priority. Bukal together with the pastoral team of the diocese had several meetings regarding the flow of the assembly and Jojit Guevarra of Bukal gave the main talk on the year of the Faith. It was attended by more than 200 lay leaders and priests from the different parishes and commissions of the diocese. Incidentally, their new pastoral priority which will be integrated in all their programs and activities for the year 2013-2014 will be the Word of God.
John Paul II Catechical and Youth Ministry Conference
Thousands of Youth Ministers, Catechist, Campus Minister and Church workers attended The John Paul 2 Conference last May 15-17, 2013 held in Don Bosco, Makati.
Joy Candelario and Nhap Velasquez facilitated a workshop on “Campus Alive: Designing Creative Liturgy for Youth and Children”. It was an opportunity for participants to appreciate the importance of liturgies in faith formation for the young. Aside from providing basic principles in designing liturgies, the workshop highlights the actual designing and evaluation of each one’s liturgies. depending on the context of the young people in their schools, parishes and BECs.
In the Service of CICM
In the last Provincial Assembly of CICM which was held last May 27-30, Bukal was again asked to be of service to the province by helping the team in-charge of the program with planning the preparatory meetings as well as the flow of the assembly proper. Together with the new provincial – Fr. Monching Calusa, Fr. Rene Candelaria and Fr. Marcio Martins, the team of Bukal held several brainstorming meetings. The results of these meetings were forwarded to the Provincial Council for their approval. In addition to the program, Bukal was also asked to design the prayers and liturgies of the assembly proper which was facilitated by the different districts of the province.
San Pablo Seminary
Approximately 160 Philosophy students of San Pablo Major Seminary in Baguio coming from the different dioceses in the North began their school year through their annual retreat last June 10-12, 2013 held in the seminary.
The Bukal Ng Tipan Team facilitated the retreat with the theme “Tao po, Tuloy, Paalam”. Reflecting on the Filipino core values on pagkatao, pakikipagkapwa-tao and pagpapatotoo, the participants were able to deepen their awareness and appreciation of community life and how it is enabling them to become better prepared for the path they choose to take as ordained ministers in the future.
Last June 14-16, Tahanan Seminary, the theological seminary of the diocese of Imus has asked Bukal to help them train their seminarians for their pastoral work on BEC. Each seminarian will be assigned to a parish where they are expected to immerse and eventually organize a BEC. Every weekend for the next two years, they will stay in that community and organize them. The seminar was not only attended by the theology students but also by the philosophy students of Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary also of the diocese. A follow up program was conducted last August 5-7 but this time the purpose is how to target the youth
Taking Small Steps with the Prelature of Infanta
One of the newer journey partners of Bukal ng Tipan is the Prelature of Infanta. Several programs were given last year on Bibliodrama and Youth as well as a weeklong BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community) organizing course which were given to their full time pastoral workers. There was also an initial meeting with their pastoral team on how Bukal can be of help to the prelature. This year, we have helped their team design a survey on the effects of the different programs that are already in place in the prelature. This survey is being piloted in the parish of Baler and is planned to be conducted prelature wide. Last June 19-21, a team from Bukal returned to the prelature to give a workshop on triple communications again for their full time pastoral workers upon the request of their administrator, Fr. Von Villanueva. From all indicators, it seems that this will be a start of a fruitful partnership.
Diocese of Imus: BEC and Youth
On July 5-7, 2013, the seminaries of Our Lady of the Pillar (college seminary ) and the Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol (major seminary) of the Diocese of Imus and Bukal Ng Tipan Youth Unit journeyed together in a 3 days and 2 nights workshop on Youth and BEC.
Reflecting on the Story of Emmaus (Luke 24) as a framework for ministering to the young, the seminarians immersed themselves in the young people’s realities and learned skills on how to effectively lead them to Christ.
The whole workshop was fun and process oriented, leading participants into the actual concerns and issues of the young. At the end, using what they have learned, outreach groups developed a plan of action according to the context and set-up of the parish they were assigned in.
Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization
“Behold! God makes all things new!” Revs 2:5
Close to 6,000 delegates from different dioceses in the Philippines and some parts of Asia gathered last October 16-18, 2013 for the first Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the Universitiy of Santo Tomas in Manila. Convened by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, the event was a fitting culmination to the year of faith and a concrete response to rediscover and deepen the faith in the light of the changing challenges in mission.
The 3-day conference aimed at renewing the faith by creating meaningful God encounters, fresh dialogues on different issues and perspectives in evangelization and wellsprings of hope for mission in all sectors of the Church.
Bukal ng Tipan was among the many institutions called to participate and collaborate in the event. Joy Candelario was a member of the executive committee and program team. On Day 1, the entire team including Fr. Mark Lesage and Fr. Neme Huesca facilitated different prayer experiences on themes from the Scripture. The team also designed creative and interactive prayer encounters on the Word of God. On Day 2, Estela Padilla was among the workshop speakers and the Youth team participated in the youth festival facilitating youth catechetical sessions to student representatives from the government and Catholic schools in Metro Manila.
Many found the entire experience a breakthrough for the Church in the Philippines. It has inspired participants and has expanded their outlook in mission especially in reaching out to fellow Catholics who have lost the faith. It also offered a bridge/s for Catholics of different perspectives to rally behind a common vision of being one Church and bringing Jesus to the world.
In the very meaningful Closing Eucharist presided by the Cardinal, the Holy Father delivered his personal message through a video. He said, “Let Jesus speak now in the world of politics, business, arts, science, technology and social media. Let the Holy Spirit renew the creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the great continent of Asia that is close to my heart.”
BUKAL with the GERMAN SEMINARY RECTORS’ GROUP AUG 15-25, 2013
“MY HEART BEGAN TO DREAM AGAIN…”
How do you train future priests for a new way of being church? This was the main question brought by the German Seminary Rectors’ group who came to Bukal for a BEC and Local Church Orientation and Exposure Program last August 15-25, 2013. There were 11 priests – 9 were responsible for seminary formation in the dioceses of Frankfurt, Munster, Trier, etc.; one is leaving Munich seminary after 16 years and will be assigned to a parish when he gets back to Germany; one is a parish priest from Munster; one is the President of Missio-Aachen, Msgr. Klaus Kramer; the only lady, Mrs. Viecens, belongs to the national BEC and Local Church Development Team in Germany and a regular leader-companion of the German groups who come to Bukal.
This is quite a special group – firstly because they were all priests and seminary rectors save one; secondly, it was the only German group we had that did not see any sunset in the Philippines (this was during the time of typhoon Maring)! Previous German groups who have come to our courses boasted of the gorgeous sunsets in Bukal, as well as in Manila Bay (where they had their city exposure) and Mindoro (where they had their diocesan exposure program).
Although their main interest was seminary formation, the first days were spent on orienting them to BECs and Participatory Local Churches. Firstly, we had a BEC retreat – an experiential and spiritual way of defining BECs. After that is an exposure to St. Joseph Parish Las Pinas which set-off our discussions on approaches and cultural tools for BEC-organizing as well as formation on discipleship and ministries in BECs. We discussed about having a vision of church, which is more important than learning pastoral programs and approaches. We capped these discussions on BEC and Participatory Local Churches by going to the Diocese of Calapan in Mindoro, formerly run by German missionaries (SVD) to observe how a grounded (inculturated) a local church is in its socio-cultural, as well as religious contexts.
We visited the Vincentian seminary in Tandang Sora, Quezon City as well as its theology school, the St. Vincent School of Theology. The seminary rectors – as well as Bukal – were really impressed with how integrated seminary life is – from their community life to their pastoral apostolates as well as theological formation. BEC, as a structure, as a way of life, as an attitude and spirituality can be felt and seen in this seminary and theological school which promotes an option for the marginal and the poor in its lifestyle and in its theologizing.
In spite of torrential rains, the program finished quite well with several of the priests mentioning during the evaluation-final mass – when asked what happened to them in these days – “My heart began to dream again!” We felt touched by these comments realizing that part of Bukal ministry to Germany is to give hope to people that things can change and it is never too late to dream again for what God wants to happen to our local churches.
This is the 4th group of Germans who came to Bukal this year. We are having two more batches this year – Oct. 3-17, 14 pastoral ministers from the Diocese of Padeborn and Oct. 31-Nov.14, 13 pastoral workers from different dioceses in Germany, for the first time, including a diocese from East Germany. More stories next issue on this exciting Bukal journey with German dioceses!