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Pastoral Visit of Bishop Jesse E. Mercado, DD



EXCERPTS OF THE DIALOGUE WITH BISHOP JESSE MERCADO AND THE OFFICERS OF PPC, APCS AND HEADS OF COMMISSIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

August 14, 2012 at 7:30p.m., Solidarity Hall, Mary Queen of Apostles Parish

Parañaque City/Las Piñas City

 

WELCOME RITES

 

Bishop Mercado was ushered in and welcomed to the Solidarity Hall by Fr. Gianni Sandalo, Fr.  Gianni Re., Fr. Robert Ngaire and Bro. Pons Cabanlit, together with the officers and members of the PPC, APCs and heads of commissions and organizations at around 7:30p.m. after the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

 

PROCEEDINGS

 

A.     Dinner

The dialogue started with a sumptuous dinner hosted by the parish. Bishop Mercado led the prayer before the meal. It was a moment of solidarity and bonding with the Bishop.

 

B.     Introduction

Bro. Pons introduced all the officers of PPC, APC and heads of commissions and organizations.

 

C.      Presentation of Parish Programs/Projects

C.1      Bro. Pons, as PPC President, presented to the Bishop a summary of the programs, projects and activities of the parish for the last 26 years highlighting the latest Parish Pastoral Plan. He briefly described the parish activities being carried out through the different commissions/ministries and organizations.

 

C.2      BEC Formation

Bro. Pons reported the establishment of BEC in Manukan (Phase V) as the pilot area. He mentioned the activities that were conducted thereat like the street masses, praying the rosary, pangkabuhayan and damayan programs, among others. He discussed the EPCR (Economic, Political, Cultural, Religion) condition of the area.

 

C.3      In summary, Bro. Pons reported in a capsule the varied activities of the parish which were carried out through the unconditional support, cooperation and generosity .of the parishioners who selflessly shared and offered their resources.

 

The presentation ended with Bro. Pons requesting the Bishop on how to solve the difficulty of integrating the different ministries and organizations to the different commissions.    

 

D.     The Bishop’s Challenge

Bishop Mercado thanked Bro. Pons for the presentation and congratulated every one for the well-planned programs/projects and activities which were successfully implemented in spite of problems and limitations. He also congratulated and thanked Fr. Gianni and Fr. Robert in providing the guidance, direction and inspiration.

The Bishop started the challenge with a picture of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish. He pointed out the vastness of the parish area covering fragmented parts of Parañaque and Las Piñas. He described a parish population of around 120, 000 residents with diversified cultural, social, political, religious and economic background. With this scenario, he said that it is difficult to carry out the goals and objectives of the parish and be able to reach out to every parishioner. According to the Bishop, this is the challenge to everyone. He stated that unless there is created a “participatory church”, the challenge could be hardly met. 

 

d.1       The Challenge: The BEC

The Bishop, therefore, challenged the group to build this participatory church through the building and multiplication of strong BECs where everybody is invited, accommodated, and welcomed to the parish family. He emphasized that the BEC becomes the “little church outside the big church”.

 

d.1.1   Signs of a Good BEC

He gave the following features of a good BEC and emphasized that these should be observed:

 

a.      Bible-based (guided by the word of God)

The Bishop reminded the group of the following diocesan theme which should be the guideline and direction in the performance of all parish activities: “Walking together in the light of God’s Word”. He suggested that in line with this theme, every meeting should start with a reading of the Word of God.

 

b.     Center is the Eucharist

The Holy Eucharist is the foundation and apex of Christian living. It is the greatest offering of Jesus - offering His life for us. The BECs should always ask this question: “How central is the Eucharist in our BEC?”

 

c.      Sense of Mission

BEC should develop an unconditional love for each other which pushes one to help one another without counting the cost. BEC must therefore focus on people.

 

d.      Connection to the parish church and belonging to the bigger community

BEC should always remain connected to the parish church and continues to belong to the bigger community that helps BEC.

 

d.1.2 The Bishop gave a stirring call to “multiply the church through BEC”. He challenged that BEC should be OURS, which stands for:

 

                                    Core Values

           O – Openness to God’s grace

           U – Unity in diversity

           R – shared Responsibility               

           S – Stewardship

BEC should be united by faith, love and common and shared goals and objectives. The core values should always be a reminder in all activities guided by an important strategy of “denying oneself”.

 

E.      The Bishop’s Sharing

The Bishop, in answer to the problem posed by Bro. Pons regarding the difficulty of integrating the different ministries and organizations to the commissions explained that the rationale in the establishment/creation of mandated organizations is to help the parish priest in carrying out the parish programs/projects and activities. It is humanly impossible for the parish priest, even with an assistant, to be in every nook and cranny of the parish. He needs the help of parishioners to carry out his multifarious tasks.

 

The Bishop explained that those who are members of mandated organizations are also invited and encouraged to join the different commissions to be able to offer services according to their gifts. They are encouraged to join the commission where they can give and share their talents which are God’s gifts to them. He further stated that those baptized share in the mission of God. He said that the offering of oneself is a priestly act. The Bishop shared the thought that it is not enough for one to be a church goer but that one should be a church worker.

 

F.      Adjournment

The pastoral visit ended with inspiring words from the Bishop who expressed his heartfelt and sincere appreciation for the very warm and loving welcome extended to him. He was especially touched by the beautiful and active participation of every one during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. He enjoyed the dialogue and could hardly wait for another opportunity to visit the parish and once again enjoy the warmth and love of the “parish workers”.

 

Fr. Gianni, in behalf of the Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, thanked the Bishop for his visit, his inspiration, his time and his sharing and challenge. Like him, everybody was also looking forward to be with him again.

 

The pastoral visit rekindled the fire needed by the officers and members of PPC, APC, heads of commissions and organizations to carry out with fervor the work in God’s vineyard – in the beloved MQAP. It was an unforgettable celebration of love and solidarity and a beautiful and enchanting evening with Bishop Mercado.

 

-           

Reported by:

 

 

(Sgd.)VIOLETA A.V. LAZARO

Secretary

(original signed/sent by email)

 

Noted by:

 

 

Fr. GIANNI SANDALO

Parish Priest

 

 

Bro. PONS CABANLIT

PPC President             

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Mary Queen,
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