Asian Bishops share their thoughts on BEC

During the AsIPA General Assembly VII (2015), there was a meeting between all the bishops present with the AsIPA Resource Team (ART).

Nov 09, 2018

During the AsIPA General Assembly VII (2015), there was a meeting between all the bishops present with the AsIPA Resource Team (ART). It was presided by Bishop Francis Viva Du, Bishop of Changmai, Thailand. Twelve Bishops from lndia, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand were present.

Six of them were attending the AsIPA General Assembly for the first time. After the prayer led by Bishop Cyprian, Bishop Vira thanked them for joining this event. Ms Bibiana Roh, Executive Secretary of AsIPA Desk, gave a brief explanation of what AsIPA stands for and its efforts since 2010. Eight of the members of the AsIPA Resource Team: (ART) were present. Ms Wendy Louis, Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Laity and Family presented the composition and areas of concern of each.

The Bishops presented what is being done in their respective countries/dioceses and expressed interest in the tasks of the AsIPA Desk:

-- Bishop Vira narrated how Thailand has made the efforts to build Basic Christian Communities to strengthen the faith life of the people. Evangelisation is high priority.

-- Bishop Cyprian of India, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for all the efforts being done in India, especially the 30-day Theological Course on BECs. Inquiries were made when the next 30-day course will be held.

Aside from the course in India, it was also announced that a similar course is being offered in Bangkok.

The Bishops of Sri Lanka also expressed their interest that a similar course be offered in their country. The 30-day course gives the participants a chance to do immersion in the communities. The Bishops expressed their appreciation how their seminarians who participate will have a better understanding about BECs and gain some experience as well.

Fr Vijay, who is in charge of the course, expressed the present constraints he is undergoing to finance the courses.

--Bishop Hilarius from Indonesia expressed how he saw his people change after so many years of effort as they pray together with the Word, strengthening one another. He emphasised encouraging the people to read and pray the Gospel. He affirmed how the AsIPA method was most helpful in bringing about this change.

-- Bishop Ri of Korea explained the importance of offering a method that will help the people enter deeply ‘into the living word of God,’ which is expressed very clearly in Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. He also placed importance on the need to face the challenges of the world living out the social dimensions of our faith.

-- Bishop Rimando from the Philippines, expressed the challenge to help the people deepen their faith through the Word and the Sacraments.

-- Bishop Samson of Pakistan stressed the importance of inviting Religious Sisters and give them training to use this method since they have much infiuence in the Church in Pakistan.

-- Bishop Sebastian from India, expressed how the Church is so institutionalised and hence depriving the pastors of time to be with the people and to give them training.

-- Wendy expressed the need to invest more in training lay leaders. Her second point was on the need to reintegrate ministries for women and family life and to coordinate efforts at the grassroot level in our small communites. Bishop Vira ended with a word of thanks: “You have made me understand my episcopacy more!” He invited all to continue sharing during the remaining days of the General Assembly.

Source: AsIPA General Assembly VII

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