2nd Augustinian Pastoral Congress-A Call for Service, A Call to Lead
Date Published: July 6, 2018
A Call for Service, A Call to Lead
Guided with the theme, “Augustinians as Renewed Servant-Leaders for the New Evangelization” the 2nd Augustinian Pastoral Congress (APC) was successfully held last June 29 to July 1, 2018 at the Carmelite Missionaries Center of Spirituality, Tagaytay City, Cavite.
More than 130 delegates from all over the Philippines participated in this year’s congress.
The participants were composed of friars, lay collaborators and the youth.
New Evangelization Paradigm
Msgr. Manuel Gabriel, APC Keynote Speaker, explained to the audience what the theme means and what the new evangelization paradigm is.
He emphasized that the new evangelization is: a) contextual, b) primarily focused on faith-experiences, c) compellingly-Christocentric, d) directed at the renewal of the Church, e) prioritizes the plight of the excluded and the marginalized, f) fired up by the zeal of mission and compassion and employs a creative mind to break new grounds for the seed of the gospel.
“A servant leader makes himself relevant to his mission by entering into concrete context of his own people.” Msgr. Gabriel added.
Lay Leaders in the New Evangelization
As collaborators of the priests and consecrated persons, the laity also has roles in the new evangelization. Rev. Fr. Rainelle Pineda mentioned during his discussion that the lay leaders are the transmitters of the gospel which can be done through interpersonal dialogue and respect for intimacy and freedom of everyone. He added that the laity are also channels of new evangelization.
The Youth and the New Evangelization
Rev. Fr. Jade Licuanan called the youth to be BRAVE in this millenium.
Best. Radical. Accountable. Virtuous. Ecclesial.
According to Fr. Licuanan, these are the five characteristics that the young people should have.In this way, the youth could engage into the new evangelization. Meanwhile, workshops were done according to the different clusters- clergy, lay, and youth- after the plenary and parallel sessions. The facilitators were Rev. Fr. Harold Rentoria, OSA for the clergy, Rev. Fr. Rodel Magin, OSA for the lay, and Mr. Eric Divinagracia for the youth. Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Bugna, OSA and Rev. Fr. Willy Capellan, OSA challenged the participants on how to become servant-leaders for the new evangelization. They left the audience with questions for them to reflect and discuss.
The Augustinian friars have agreed to implement the Augustinian Agenda 2021 which includes various programs for the parishes, schools, communities, and other initial formations. Basic Ecclesial Communities’ (BEC) formation in Augustinian institutions was being highlighted during their discussion.
During the workshop, lay collaborators identified the different issues in the society wherein one can find difficulty seeing God as well as looking for possible ways on how to confront the societal concerns. Among the issues were about poverty, corruption, violence and drug addiction. One of the solutions to these problems is the Pastoral Agenda which is about the Revitalized Basic Ecclesial Communities (RBEC) set to be implemented until the year 2020.
Augustinian Youth Agenda
As response to the challenges of the youth as servant-leaders for the new evangelization, actions and resolutions in line with the Augustinian Youth Agenda- KAISA- were formulated by the young people. The challenges facing the Youth Ministry Leaders include: lack of knowledge, commitment and formation program, addiction in various forms, and latent faith. Knowledge of the Faith, Witnessing of the Faith, and Celebration of the Faith are the actions that the young people has come up. The congress aims the participants to have a deeper understanding of servant leadership in the church and that they will appreciate the Augustinian value of humble service and commitment without counting the cost.
“We do not just come here for nothing but for something.” Rev. Fr. Tomas C. Banayag Jr., OSA, Chair for Commission on Parish Ministry, Lay and Youth said.
He also added that one of the main objectives of the congress is to inline the activities of the Augustinian communities to the Philippine church’s plan for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the entrance of Christianity to the Philippines.
A mass presided by Rev. Fr. Andres D. Rivera Jr., OSA, Prior Provincial of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu- Philippines, was held at the Sto. Niño de Cebu Parish, Biñan, Laguna as part of the closing celebration of the event. – Shiela Mae Gumapon- BMSN Media Center Staff