The Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae (CICM) Bukal ng Tipan Pastoral Center has been gearing various communities towards a ‘Participatory Church’ through programs that promote communion and participation.
“The Church does not only consist of the priests and bishops… it also involves the laity,” Fr. Guido Eveaert, Director of (CICM) Bukal ng Tipan Pastoral Center told in an interview.
“The programs of Bukal ng Tipan are programs towards what we call the ‘participatory Church’, so ever since this was started in 2000, it has always been [about] creating programs that help parishes and dioceses become a participial Church,” said Eveaert.
Journeying with the people
One of the pastoral center’s programs focuses on facilitating with the articulation and implementation of the diocesan vision-mission.
In most dioceses, the vision and mission are used as the basis of the diocese’s pastoral programs and in fulfillment of its mission to provide a participatory and communal experience among dioceses they work with, Eveaert noted that Bukal ng Tipan involves not just the leaders of the diocese, but also the grassroots level during the facilitation of the visioning process.
“We call this process ‘outward and downward, meaning we start from the ordinary and regular members of the Church or even from the non-Catholics,” Fr. Eveart added.
According to the CICM director, they listen to the pulse of the households to get in touch with the community, then the results of the consultation will be brought back to the grassroots for validation and feedbacks, and up again to the parish and diocese leaders.
The process continues until the vision-mission reflects the whole community and parish or diocese and becomes ready for finalization.
“The purpose of the process is so that they can own it. This is the vision-mission of the whole community,” he stressed.
At present, Bukal is helping 13 dioceses in formulating their diocesan vision-mission.
Shaping leaders, forming communities
Aside from pastoral programs in line with the BEC, CICM also conducted 2 different week-long conferences to highlight the Year of the Parish.
“The [two] conferences featured the different aspects of the communion of communities. How do you form community with other groups, non-Catholic groups? How do you form community with NGOs?” said Eveaert.
The five-day formation programs also discussed how to form leaders and facilitators and put up parish programs and priorities. (Pamela Mendez)