Forty-six Catholic educators and Catechetical directors from all over the country gathered in Cavite to attend the first-ever summit on Catechetical and Catholic Education by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) at the Canossa House of Spirituality in Tagaytay City last December 1-3, 2010.
Msgr. Gerardo O. Santos, chair of the Religious Education Commission of CEAP and Secretary General ECCCE, organized the said joint summit and strategic planning to intensify the campaign on effectively implementing the religious education programs of the dioceses and the public and private schools nationwide.
Delegates for CEAP included three Regional Directors ? Fr. Ely Rafael D. Fuentes of Region VI, the immediate past chair of the Religious Education Commission; Fr. Aureo A. Pati-an of Region 10; and, Fr. Florio R. Falcon of CARAGA. They were accompanied by their regional Religion Education Commission chairs.
In his opening message, Msgr. Santos posited 12 questions to the attendees which he hoped will be addressed during the summit. First of which focused on the feasibility and implications of private school religion educators working with their counterparts in the diocese and public schools in various catechetical programs. Msgr. Santos expressed his optimism that the meeting of minds and hearts “will strengthen the religious education program so as to bring students and faculty to greater involvement in the life of the local church.”
The rest of his questions involved the concerns for the formation of catechists and religion teachers, the devising of instructional tools such as standardized template for the use of Christian living authors, the campus ministry program and other extension services offered by schools, and the use of modern means of communicating the Gospel, among others.
He closed by inviting everyone to go back to the vision of the Church, which is what sets the tone of evangelization. This vision, according to him, is in the General Directory for Catechesis (Rome) and the National Catechetical Directory for the Philippines 2007 among others. He said that what is at stake are not what they want but rather, “what does the church want (them) to do in the name of Jesus.”
The strategic planning was facilitated by Dr. Marissa Fernando of the Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute (SAIDI) using the “appreciative inquiry” as a springboard for the workshops.
Interspersed in the schedule are regular prayer services and daily masses, one of which was celebrated by Bishop Francisco M. De Leon of Antipolo.
The result of the workshops and the outcome of the agreements will be presented by Msgr. Santos in a formal report to the CEAP Board and to ECCCE Chair, Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
As agreed upon by the delegates, in their desire to make this an annual event, the next summit will be held on November 30 to December 2, 2011 in Cebu to be hosted by the University of San Jose-Recoletos.