PBS participates ECBA National Biblical Workshop
Koronadal, S. Cotabato – The 21st National Biblical Workshop was held last February 23 to 26 at Koronadal City (formerly Marbel), South Cotabato. With the emphatic theme: “Strengthening the Family through the Word and the Eucharist,” this biennial workshop was spearheaded by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate. Currently headed by Most Rev. Sofronio A. Bancud, SSS D.D. (ECBA Chairman and Bishop of Cabanatuan ), and Dr. Natividad Pagadut (ECBA Executive Secretary), CBCP-ECBA is one of the major church partners of the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) in advancing the Bible cause in the country, alongside PCEC, NCCP, PJM, and other independent churches.
The said workshop’s theme also reinforces the objective of this year’s National Bible Week theme: “God’s Word: Hope for the Family, Strength of the Nation.” Also, this reflects the theme of the recently concluded International Eucharist Congress held in Cebu: ‘The Year of the Eucharist and of the Family.’ During one of the talks, PBS Member of the Board and Bishop of Kalookan, Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D. underscored in his homily on ‘The Word of God as Covenant Bond’; “These (10) commandments which sum up the Torah are, in essence, family regulations… They are the shared rules whose observance was most essential for building the kind of community that could strengthen the family, rules that could keep them together. In the Gospels, Jesus would sum up these family rules into two basic commandments: “Love of God above all,” and “Love of Neighbour as Oneself.”
Among the main participants are distinguished Roman Catholic church leaders Most Rev. Sofronio Bancud, SSS, D.D., Most Rev. Renato Mayugba (Bishop, Diocese of Laoag, Bishop Member, ECBA, and former member of the PBS Board of Trustees ), Most Rev. Victor Ocampo, D.D. (Bishop, Diocese of Gumaca), Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D., and Most. Rev. Dinualdo Gutierrez, D.D. (Bishop, Diocese of Marbel) who though being sick also challenged all the participants to commit themselves to the ministry of the Word of God. A welcome dinner was hosted by the Diocese of Marbel and the local government of Koronadal City headed by Mayor Peter B. Miguel. Furthermore, through a video message, His Eminence, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, D.D. challenged everyone that the Word of God should inspire all the Commissions of the CBCP.
Delegates mainly composed of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, seminarians, catechists, laity, and affiliates from different Philippine regions flocked to the Villa Amor Hotel as workshop venue, which was also participated in by PBS representatives Associate General Secretary Mrs. Perry Cartera, Publishing Manager Ptr. Edgar Ebojo, Scripture Engagement Officer Mrs. Princess Relopez, and Special Distribution Project Coordinator Mr. Nestor Reyes. On the second day of the workshop, PBS-AGS Mrs. Cartera gave a powerpoint presentation on the ‘May They Be One’ Bible campaign which reported a distribution of 488,516 copies of MTBO Bibles in 2016, and a total number of 1,962,588 MTBO Bibles distributed from years 2008 to 2015. The MTBO Bible campaign aims to distribute 5M Bibles to poor families in the Philippines. It is in this light that PBS and ECBA continue to work together in making the Word of God the very core of their annual themes in achieving their mutually-shared vision and mission of bringing every Filipino family ever closer to God through His Word.