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Sunday, October 31, 2010

AsIPA Training Workshop in Pattaya

The Redemptorist Centre, Pattaya
Pattaya (Thailand): BECs, being the pastoral thrust of the Diocese of Sandakan, announced by Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of the Diocese, some three years back, are a great hope for the life of the local Church. In response to the prelate's vision, there are currently some 120 BECs established across the four parishes of the diocese. Continuous formation and exposure of leaders are necessary in order to sustain and enhance BECs.
Msgr Ong with participants from the Diocese of Sandakan
Msgr Nicholas Ong, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Sandakan led a delegation of 7 members to the AsIPA One (Asian Intergral Pastoral Approach) International Training Workshop on ‘Building the New Way of Being Church’ held on October 25th – 30th, 2010 at the Redemptorist Centre, Pattaya , Thailand, some two hour drive from the capital city of Bangkok. The training sessions were facilitated by the AsIPA resource team.
The Chapel at the Redemptorist Centre
Msgr Ong presiding the Mass
The seven member delegation from the Diocese included Msgr Nicholas Ong, the rector of Holy Trinity Church of Tawau, Julita Kantod and Magrina Kiah also of the same parish, Leonie Degullacion and George Majawat of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sandakan, Richard Lobinjang and Albert Matussin of St Martin’s Church, Telupid. Msgr Ong was at the centre much earlier to attend the 1st Bishop’s Institute on Lay Apostolate (BILA) focused on Small Christian Communities (SCC) from October 18th – 23rd 2010.
Albert Matussin proclaiming the Word of God
Some 85 participants from across 11 countries were involved in the training workshops. They represented India, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mynmar, Indonesia, Philippine, Mongolia, Macau, and Thailand, the host country.
The participants were exposed to the following topics;
  • Foundations for community building
  • Participatory church
  • Vision of the new way of being Church
  • Understanding of Small Christian Communities
  • Pastoral tools for SCCs / BECs
    Mix group - Msgr Ong (standing far right) with Richard (seated), Julita (standing far left) and others
    Country group - Msgr Ong (seated far right) with participants from the Diocese of  Sandakan
Participants, placed in mix groups or according to country shared on the current situation of SCCs / BECs and their contribution towards the growth of the local church. They experienced the 7-step Bible sharing and in the practice, they learn from one another the skill of facilitating Bible sharing in BECs' gatherings.

Subsequent to AsIPA One, there will be two other training workshops, AsIPA Two and Three to be conducted in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Julita and Leonie

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