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Jubilate Deo!

Address of Fr. Clarence C. Marquez, OP, past President, Board of Trustees, Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, 24th Annual Convention, La Jardin of Divine Mercy and Retreat House in Catulinan, Baliwag, Bulacan.31 May 2023 .

Jubilate Deo, omnis terra; servite Domino in laetitia. Introite in conspectu ejus in exsultatione. (VUL Ps 100:1).

With these words from the Vulgate version of Psalm 100, we formally proclaim the three-year celebration of the silver jubilee of the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP). We blow the “yobel” [יוֹבֵל], the ram’s horn, we joyfully shout to GOD, we serve the LORD with praise, we enter the DIVINE PRESENCE in exaltation.

In joyful shout to God, in serving the Lord with gladness, in exultantly entering the Divine Presence, the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, Incorporated (CBAP) celebrates her SILVER JUBILEE!

To mark this milestone, a series of programs and activities are hereby proposed, with the following general objectives:

For the CBAP members

  • I. To enter into a dynamic process of renewal in the ministry of the WORD through the sharing of new/renewed hermeneutical methods and new insights/knowledge;

  • II. To celebrate not self-referentially, but in a manner that is oriented always already towards GOD - the WORD who creates us, the WORD made flesh and dwells among us, the WORD who is our life and salvation;

  • III. To remember our history not for self-glorification, but in recalling our origins in the spirit of gratitude, especially for the persons who were witnesses at our birth and our growth;

  • IV. To offer relevant opportunities to venture into “new worlds, new areopagus, new fora” in preaching the WORD, in dialogue and solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, to other believers of other religious traditions and non-believers alike abreast with digital advancement and commitment to respond to planetary challenges; to spearhead events that powerfully and symbolically convey our embrace of the excluded;

  • V. To reflect the creativity that is needed to incarnate the WORD today, through arts (plastic, performative, etc.) and the modern means of social communications; to try to capture the voice and imagination of the young without losing sight of the wisdom of the earlier generation, in sharing the ministry of the WORD;

  • VI. To harness the personal and institutional resources of our members and partner institutions in the optimal celebration of the Jubilee.

Proposed strategies:

  • 1. The celebration of the CBAP Silver Jubilee is envisioned to cover the years 2023, 2024, 2025.

  • 2. In all these Jubilee programs and activities, the CBAP shall more actively embark on RENEWAL by campaigning

a. to animate our members in the ministry of the WORD,

b. to inspire and reanimate inactive members,

c. to attract new members,

d. to invite and motivate more observers to participate in our programs and activities

  • 3. The CBAP Silver Jubilee Program shall be launched during the Annual General Assembly- Convention on September 29, 2023 (2:00 PM) to October 01, 2023 (1:30 PM): Year 1- 2023 Theme: "Double-Edged Sword" (Hb 4:12): The Bible on Violence and Evil Venue: La Jardin Home of Divine Mercy & Retreat House, Inc. Catulinan, Baliuag, Bulacan

  • 4. During the years 2024, 2025, the CBAP shall spearhead Regional Conventions/Conferences, distinct from the Annual Conventions, e.g.

a. March-April 2024: Regional Conference in Visayas/Mindanao September 2024: Annual National Convention

b. March-April 2025: Regional Conference in Mindanao/Visayas September 2025: Annual National Convention

  • 5. The Annual National Conventions in 2023, 2024, 2025, shall be:

a. marked by a return to face-to-face gathering;

b. international in character, with resource persons invited from abroad; a CBAP member shall partner with the invited resource person/s in the keynote addresses;

c. simultaneous sessions for the presentation and interpellation of the submitted papers of CBAP members and invited allied scholars.

  • 6. The Bible Interest Groups (BIGs) shall organize special programs and activities, as supplement to the CBAP national/regional activities.

  • 7. The CBAP shall include (in its national, regional, BIG) programs and activities a concrete, empowering engagement with the poor and the marginalized.

  • 8. The CBAP shall commission a special group in order to produce an audio-visual, media- savvy presentation of the history of the association. The CBAP could produce and adopt a CBAP Jubilee Prayer, a Jubilee Song, special logo/artwork, etc.

  • 9. The CBAP shall more actively partner with other institutions in order to intensify the promotion of biblical scholarship. Members are invited to propose possible partners.

  • 10. The revised CBAP Bible Primers shall be launched and promoted during the Jubilee period. Furthermore, the CBAP shall offer to co-finance the publication of bible-related materials authored by her members.

Clarence C. Marquez, OP

President, Board of Trustees, Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines

31 May 2023


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