Mindanao’s Catholic religious, lay leaders set 15th MSPC confab in Zambo Oct. 20-23 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 October 2014 11:17

The Catholic Church’s religious and lay leaders of 21 Archdioceses and Dioceses all over Mindanao and Sulu are set to hold the 15th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference in Zamboanga City’s Centro Pastoral as main venue on October 20-23.

The conference’s  theme is “MSPC XV: Celebrating the Giftedness of the Laity in the Church”. Accordingly, the conference will aim “to deepen the Church’s understanding on the role and life of the laity in the ‘Era of New Evangelization’”. It will also seek “to strengthen the commitment and mission of the laity in building up the Church” as well as “to challenge the laity’s heroism in responding to the issues of peace and in mitigating the effects of climate change and migration”.

His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, DD, Archbishop of  Cotabato, will give the keynote address on October 21. Zamboanga City Congressman Celso Lobregat will also discuss the Bangsamoro Basic Law on the following day.  There will be small group workshop-discussions as well as plenary sessions to consolidate the views, recommendations and plans of the various delegations, each of which will be made up of as many as 12 persons. They will consist of the Cardinal, Archbishops, Bishops, Pastoral Directors, Social Action Directors, Seminary Rectors, Women Religious Representatives, lay delegates from Family and Life Apostolates, lay delegates from apostolates for Migrants, Basic Ecclesiastical Communities/Social Action/Councils of the Laity and Inter-Religious Dialogue.

The last MSPC conference was held in Digos City in 2010, with the theme of “Word of God in Mindanao: Creation and Peace”.  The gathering aimed to “protect the integrity of the Mother Earth, the Visible Sign of Divine Order and Wisdom” and “to strengthen our dedication and commitment to deepen education and formation of our families, communities, parishes and Local Churches based on the Word of God and the Christian Faith entered on the Holy Eucharist”.

Its first gathering was in 1971 in Davao City with the theme “Building Christian Communities: Worshipping, Teaching, Serving “. In the bishops’ joint pastoral letter issued during the conference, they said in part: “If we are to be responsive to the needs of the nation as a whole and of the Church Universal as well. . . in the spirit of the times, we must examine ourselves and ask some hard questions about ourselves as Christian Community, about our responsibilities in Community, about our part in the integral human development of our people as a community.”