The Christian Vincentian Facilitators attended the 5th CEAP National Christian Formation Conference held last August 19 – 20, 2019 at St. Paul University, Manila.
The said conference started with the opening Eucharistic celebration presided by the CEAP National Christian Formation Commission Chair, Rev. Fr. Nolan A. Que. This was followed by the perspective setting by the CEAP Director for Plans and Programs, Ms. Mary S. Cruz. Then, a very enlightening reflection on “Christus Vivit” was given by Fr. Renato G. De Guzman, SDB, Member of the Philippine Delegation to the Synod on the Youth. His keynote address meant to explore the various major themes in “Christus Vivit” particularly those that have implications to Catholic Schools. It also seeks to look into the world of the young and what Catholic Schools can do for the young as response to the issues raised in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.
In the afternoon, the participants were divided into three concurrent sessions. For the Religious Education Track: Dr. Pilar I. Romero, \Dean, UST College of Education enlightened the participants on her topic “Modern Theories of Learning and the Challenge of Teaching the Faith”. She elaborated discussion on how the way the students learn in the modern age and the various environmental influences of today give rise to new forms of challenges in teaching the faith.
For the Campus Ministry Track: Fr. Edprim E. Gaza, CM, a liturgist, Professor on inculturation at St. Vincent School of Theology animated the participants on his topic “Animating Liturgies” which seeks to address the following questions: How do we make the liturgy attractive, relevant and engaging to the people especially our students, and how do we make room for creative prayer spaces and innovative liturgical activities in our schools? Then after, Fr. Spencer Lewerenz of Clare Media Connectivity shared his faith experiences through his topic “Divine Connectivity: Making a Space for Love”. His sharing touched what formators should have in common with the young people, how to learn from them, and how to help them find healing from the God who dwells in them.
For the Social Action Track: Ms. Eleonor Bahrami-Hessari, Faculty, UST College of Education dealt on answering questions such as: What do our social action programs look like? How inclusive are the community extension programs of our schools? These are some points for reflection which were given emphasis with the topic “ Reaching out to Persons with Exceptionalities: An Essential Component of a Catholic School’s Social Apostolate”. Before the afternoon ends, Sr. Pia St. Romain, together with her teams from Clare Media Connectivity (USA) actively presented the topic “Stillness in the streets” reminding the participants to keep in mind the digital media environment in which we all live, both rich and poor, to make a shift from the posture of giving to mutual receiving with a mystery Guest, the burning presence of Christ.
The second day started with the Morning Prayer led by Clare Media Connectivity. “At Home in Bethany: A PRAY and PLAY Experience. “Come and rest with Jesus in Bethany and experience the power mystical communion as a way of life through digital media.” On the next part of the program, the plenary session, Fr. Jayson H. Laguerta, former National Coordinator of the Directors for Vocations of the Philippines, challenged the participants on his topic “School and Vocations: Cultivating a Culture of Encounter, Accompaniment and Mission” – The FAMILY is the seedbed of vocation, and then the SCHOOL is the garden of vocation where the students bloom not only academically but integrally. As educators, we are encouraged to accompany our students on their journey. Dr. Pilar I. Romero and Fr. Jun T. Estoque then conducted a business meeting regarding the CEAP-SACRED, a national organization of the Christian formators. This was followed by the Sharing of best practices in journeying the YOUTH in the campus featuring the joint project of the UST and RCAM Archdiocesan Commission on Youth named as CYMPLE (Certificate on Youth Ministry, Pastoral Leadership and Empowerment) designed to equip potential youth leaders with the necessary skills demanded by the ministry. This was done by Richard G. Pazcoguin, UST Campus Ministry Director.
The 5th CEAP National Christian Formation Conference ended by the Closing Eucharistic Celebration with Commissioning by the CEAP National Christian Formation Commission (NCFC) Chairperson, Rev. Fr. Nolan A. Que.