SUMMARY REPORT ON THE MAIN ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS IN THE PERIOD 1990 – 2000 (Prepared by Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P. D.D. in the Year 2000)
THE PEOPLE WORKING AT ECCCE AND FOR ECCCE
The people working at ECCCE, of course, are the Chairman and the permanent Staff, headed by the Executive Secretary.
In these past eleven years ECCCE has had three Chairmen and as many Executive Secretaries. The Chairmen have been:
Bishop Federico O. Escaler (December 1988-'91); Bishop Manuel C. Sobreviñas (December 1991-'94), and yours truly (December 1994 to the present).
The Executive Secretaries have been more or less co-terminus with the Chairmen who invited them to work in the ECCCE office. They have been the following:
Sr. Rose Celestial, RVM (December 1988- April '92); Sr. Aurora Velasco, DC (April 1992-December 1994), and Fr. Salvatore Putzu, SDB (December 1994 to 2001).
It has to be noted that from November 1995 to 2000, the ECCCE Secretariat has also had an Assistant Executive Secretary in the person of Sr. Cristina Guytingco, SPC. She has been the one reporting regularly to the office in Intramuros and attending to the ordinary transactions, entertaining visitors as well as taking care of the DOCETE circulation and the accounting, while Fr. Salvatore Putzu has been doing his share of work in his Makati office, focusing his attention on the preparation of the issues of DOCETE, representing the Chairman in the CEAP Board meetings and other CEAP Activities, and going around the country giving seminars on the CFC, the CCC and other ECCCE publications.
Over these years the ECCCE staff has undergone a considerable streamlining, due mostly to financial constraints. An office like that of our Commission would surely need more than the two members it has been relying on for the past three years.
The people working for ECCCE are the Bishop Members of the Commission, the members of the Advisory Council, and the Consultants and various experts on whom we call whenever their work is needed for a specific project.
Many of the great projects promoted by ECCCE would not have materialized had it not been for the solidarity of our Bishop Members, and the generous help of several members of our Advisory Council, our Consultants and Experts. Allow me to mention some who have been very helpful and who have already gone to receive their well-deserved reward from the Lord in these past years. They are: Fr. Lino Banayad, SJ; Fr. Cornelius Lagerway, MSC; Fr. Paul Brunner, SJ; and Fr. Pedro de Achutegui, SJ.
Others who are still alive and still continue to work for ECCCE will be mentioned in connection with specific projects to which they have contributed or are still contributing.
REGULAR SERVICES OF ANIMATION AND COORDINATION
This form of service is one of the main duties of the Commission. It has to be admitted that, though our areas of concern are CATECHESIS and EDUCATION, over the past eleven years (and even before) ECCCE has concentrated almost exclusively on CATECHESIS as the area that seemed most in need of attention. Consequently, it left the concerns of Education, and especially Catholic Education, mostly to CEAP. Occasionally, however, ECCCE has done its share even in the field of education like when, for example, it drafted the "Supplementary Ordinances" for the implementation of "Ex Corde Ecclesiae'; prepared for CEAP (to be submitted to DECS) a position paper on the government-sponsored modules on sex education in public schools, and spearheaded the preparation of a CBCP Letter of Support for private schools against the proposed "Magna Carta" for Students.
Among the "Regular Services of Animation and Coordination" I would like to mention the very precious work done by our secretariat in the office: welcoming visitors; answering inquiries about catechetical matters and activities; making available catechetical materials; giving seminars during diocesan and regional gatherings of catechetical ministers; developing the yearly theme and related materials for the celebration of the National Catechetical Week, and continuing the publication of the catechetical review DOCETE.
EXCEPTIONAL FORMS OF ANIMATION ACTIVITIES
Under this title fall those activities which are "exceptional" in their importance and in the organizational effort they have entailed.
Among the main ones I would like to mention are the following:
• the organization of National and Regional Catechetical Conventions;
• the organization of Seminars/Workshops on the CCC and the CFC, and
• the holding of national surveys on the catechetical situation.
Specifically, I would like to single out the following:
1. the "National Catechetical Year," launched in Cebu in January 1990 with its theme: "Every Christian, a Catechist" and concluded in Manila in December of the same year;
2. the three-day National Catechetical Congress, held in December 1990;
3. the "Catechists' Formators' Convention," held in Manila in 1991;
4. the National Catechetical Seminar-Workshop, held in Jaro, Iloilo in October 1992;
5. a series of Regional Catechetical Seminar-Workshops, partly funded by WEKEF, to assist the dioceses in the training of catechist formators who will implement the 'Catechists' Basic Formation Program' according to their own needs and resources;
6. the Regional Catechetical Convention, held in Davao in November 1993;
7. the Introductory two-day Seminar on the CFC given to the Bishops in January 1994;
8. the Northern Luzon Regional Catechetical SeminarWorkshop, held in Baguio in October 1994;
9. the Bicol Region Catechists' Formators Seminar Workshop, held in Naga in August 1995;
10. the Catechetical Seminar-Workshop for the Formators of Catechists of the Visayas Region, held in Cebu City in August 1996.
11. We also held numerous two-day introductory seminar-workshops on the CFC.
To mention the main ones:
a. The Seminar given in Rome to the Filipino student priests; b. The Seminar-Workshops given to priests, catechetical formators and coordinators and catechists of the dioceses of San Fernando, Pampanga; DADITAMA; Davao; Northern Luzon; CABUST AM; Lipa; San Fernando, La Union; Urdaneta.
12. We also presented the CFC at the National Catholic Educators Congress, held at the PICC in Manila on January 29-30, 1998.
Among the "Exceptional Forms of Animation Activities" we should include also:
13. the participation as resource persons in the series of seminar-workshops organized by CEAP on the theme "Religion as Core of the Curriculum";
14. the holding of a National Survey on the Catechetical Situation in Public Schools; and
15. recently, the holding of a Survey on the Catechetical Situation in the Pastoral Setting at the beginning of the Third Millennium.
To be included in this type of service is, likewise:
16. the preparation, with the collaboration of CEAP's legal office, of a detailed Position Paper on the teaching of Religion in public schools. That Position Paper was used as the basis for "House Bill 509" for the introduction of a law meant to rationalize religious instruction in public schools. (That House Bill was presented by Senators Angara, Herrera and Alvarez but was not discussed because it was not certified as "Urgent." Its basic content, however, was taken up by Secretary Ricardo Gloria and inserted in his last DECS Memo on Religious Instruction in public schools Vv1lich set a minimum of 80 minutes per week, allowed teachers of other subjects to teach religion if duly authorized by the religious authorities, and gave the possibility of allotting to Religion classes 2 of the 5 periods per week normally assigned to Values Education.)
Another important form of animation service, which extended beyond the Philippines were:
17. the participation as resource persons by the Bishop Chairman and the Executive Secretary in the PanAsian Conference on Catechesis, organized by FABC and held in Singapore in October 1995, and
18. the participation as resource persons in the First National Conference of Catechist of Malaysia.
Of unique value and importance were:
19. the innumerable sessions held by the Editorial Committee of the National Catechism to examine the remarks received from Rome, and prepare our Responses. These tedious and sometimes painful interactions reached their climax in
20. the dialogue held at the Vatican in January 1997 between the Philippine delegation and the Vatican panel of experts to obtain the approval of the CFC.
Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE)
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) -
COMMISSION PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS
Catechism for Filipino Catholics
CATECHETICAL CONSULTATION MEETINGS
Nat'l Catechetical Consultation I
Held last September 4 - 7, 2001
Regional Advisory Board
Held last November 27 - 29, 2002
Nat'l Catechetical Consultation II
January 7-10, 2004. Read details
Talks / Reflections / Homilies