Philippine Bible Society Joins Country's 1st Bible Congress
Laoag City – Last October 3-5, priests, nuns, catechists, seminarians, laity, and affiliates from different parts of the country came together at Laoag City to be part of the very first National Bible Congress in the country. No less than the Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, D.D., Bishop of Laoag and his apostolate workers warmly received guests and participants at the Plaza Del Norte Hotel and Convention Center.
This momentous event was organized by the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA)of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), headed by the Most Rev. Sofronio A. Bancud, SSS D.D., Bishop of Cabanatuan, and ECBA Executive Secretary Dr. Natividad Pagadut.
Dr. Pagadut explained that the gathering’s theme, “The Word of God is the Life and Mission of the Church,” is a response to the call to work together in strengthening the Bible ministry among churches. “This was inspired by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s challenge to make the Bible the very foundation of every action and ministry of the Church,” she said.
During the second day, the Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D, gave an encouraging plenary talk emphasizing the role of the Church in spreading God’s Word. “A Church in mission must take the world seriously. She must take God’s word to heart, teach what she believes, and practice what she teaches in order to be an effective witness to the world. She must be a reflection of God’s merciful face revealed to the world in Jesus Christ.” Bishop David noted.
Philippine Bible Society General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero delivered a brief response along with Couples for Christ chair and former PBS Trustee Atty. Jose Tale.
In the course of the three-day Bible Congress, the role of God’s Word in many facets of life was discussed by leaders of the Church. Ms. Maria Victoria Silayan Simon presented a discussion on The Power of the Word of God in the Basic Ecclesial Communities while Fr. Prisco Caje gave a message entitled, The Word of God and our Home, the Earth.
Ms. Vicky Reyes, NDV spoke on the Word of God and Pastoral Care while The Word of God and Aging Gracefully was presented by by Sr. Cora Manalo, DC. Rounding out the breakout sessions were Atty, Tale’s talk on the Word of God and the Family and Fr. Ferdinand Maguigad’s Becoming Social Media Missionaries.
Bible Apostolates had also time to learn more about the Bible ministry of other Bible Ecclesial Communities from Pampanga, Quirino, Northern Luzon, and Marbel.
A Bible Coordinator from Romblon, Irene Roa, expressed her utmost appreciation to the guests and speakers of the Bible Congress. She noted that there are new ideas and approaches she learned that can be echoed to the BECs in her parish. “I didn’t know much about the Bible when I was appointed coordinator. But over the years, I have learned a lot about God’s Word through reading while preparing lessons. This Bible Congress is a real help for coordinators like me. It gave us knowledge and more confidence in the Word of God.” <Please look up name>
The PBS Roving Bible Museum was also part of this historic event. Some of the delegates even enjoyed dressing up like the Bible characters in the Bible!
United Church of Christ in the Philippines Conference Minister and former PBS Trustee Rev. Dr. Ruth Billena also participated in the said event, testifying on the impact of the Word of God. She also challenged every participant to allow God’s Word to be seen in their lives.
Meanwhile, PBS Associate General Secretary Perry Cartera also gave an update on the May They Be One Bible campaign while Publishing Manager Rev. Dr. Edgar Ebojo, was also one of the PBS delegates and shared the power of God’s Word in the life of his family.