“It is the Word of God who has called you and who has gathered you…”
Thus has the Bishop of Laoag, Most Rev. Renato Mayugba, DD, explained the gathering of some 300 from all over the country–bishops, lay people, priests and religious–for the 1st National Bible Congress.
Organized by the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate, currently chaired by Most Rev. Sofronio Bancud, SSS, DD, this National Bible Congress aims to 1) deepen the awareness of everyone involved in the different commissions of the CBCP, including the Bible Apostolate, on the importance of the Word of God in the mission and vision of the Church as found in Verbum Domini, 2) provide a venue for updating on current studies on the Bible, and 3) motivate the participants to appreciate the Word of God and be actively involved in its use and reflection in their respective ministries and commissions and also in the distribution of bibles to all parishes and dioceses.
This Congress and its objectives come as a fruit of the 21st National Bible Workshop held earlier this year in the Diocese of Marbel.
Aside from the work of the ECBA and its members and volunteers, various CBCP Commissions have been invited to take part, including the Episcopal Commission on Youth. Some youth ministers are present as part of their respective diocesan delegations to this event, such as the Dioceses of Cabanatuan and Marbel.
Various talks and sharing are slated, with Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, DD of Kalookan delivering the plenary talk. There will be sharing of the Word in BEC experiences, in a Youth Bible camp, in family life and social media. One session will be a sharing by a senior citizen, Sr. Cora Manalo, DC, on aging gracefully in the light of God’s Word.
Part of the opening of the Congress is reminding the participants about putting centerstage the Word of God: “We should not engage in (any) apostolate without reference to the Word of God”, encouraged Bishop Mayugba. This was reflected, among other ways, by placing the Bible at the center of the assembly in this opening day, and the “Dance of the Spring”, a Bibliodrama dance where the dancers go to the center to symbolize getting nourished and bonded by the incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus.