Cardinal Arinze Closes 9th FABC Plenary Assembly
Papal envoy, Francis Cardinal Arinze, formally closed the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) with a Eucharistic celebration August 16 at Pius XII Center, Manila. More than 100 participants of the plenary assembly were present.
In his homily themed “Living the Eucharistic Mystery,” the prelate explained five elements of the Eucharist (Holy sacrifice of the Mass), namely: Eucharistic faith and reverence; Ars celebrandi (art of proper celebration); Word of God and Eucharist; Eucharistic celebration and inculturation; and Role of the Diocesan Bishop.
Cardinal Arinze stressed the Eucharist as the center of sacred worship, quoting from documents like Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Sacramentum Caritatis, and others.
At the closing of the Plenary Assembly, the participants issued a Message for the churches in Asia. In the document, the Eucharist is seen as a call to community, to hear the Word of God, a call to faith and hope, and a call to mission.
The participants also agreed to a revised outline for the final document which will be published at a later date. 160809
Fr. Catalino Arevalo Remembers FABC Beginnings
Jesuit theologian Fr. Catalino Arevalo received an Award of Recognition at the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) on August 16, 2009 at Pius XII Center, Manila.
Fr. James Kroeger, mm paid tribute to the priest’s role in building up the theological thinking of the FABC. In his response, Fr. Arevalo remembered being assigned secretary at the first meeting of Asian bishops in Manila 1970 in the presence of Pope Paul VI.
The bishops then envisioned building the body of Christ in Asia by bringing together the local churches in one, collegial organization. Fr. Arevalo especially mentioned the late Cardinal Stephen Kim from Korea as one of those who actively worked to establish the Federation.
Archbishop Quevedo, FABC secretary general said, “all the great men of the FABC” including Cardinal Kim will be honored in the next Plenary Assembly in 2012. 160809
Message and Final Document of FABC Plenary
The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) will issue a message to the Churches and Christians in Asia at the conclusion of the August 10-16 meeting.
The text refers to the role and importance of the Eucharist in the life of Christians in Asia. Christians in Asia are encouraged in the unity given by the Eucharist to “cross boundaries of religion and race, culture and language, caste and class, as well as to forge bonds of fellowship within and also with the people of other religions and cultures.”
The message encourages families to listen to the Word of God regularly, especially on Sundays. A culture of listening to the Word of God is encouraged as a basis for authentic Christian spirituality.
A longer final document on the theme of the assembly “Living the Eucharist in Asia” was agreed upon in principle, but will be published in a final version at a later stage. 150809
FABC Award for Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ
An Award of Recognition for his services to the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) will be given by 9th FABC Plenary Assembly to Fr. Catalino Arevalo on Sunday, August 16.
The Jesuit priest was actively involved in the foundation and development of the Federation, since its beginning in 1970 in Manila. He has served as main theological adviser to the Federation, and chaired the body’s “Theological Advisory Commission” (TAC) from its beginning in 1985 up to 1995.
The “Father of Asian Theology,” as the award citation reads, Fr. Arevalo is the main author of the final document of the first FABC Plenary Assembly in 1974 in Taipei, which has helped to set the theological orientation of the Federation.
In 1998, Fr. Arevalo received a doctorate honoris causa in Humanities from the Ateneo de Manila University. Jaime Cardinal Sin called Fr. Arevalo the “Dean of all Filipino Theologians and Godfather of hundreds of Priests,” when he conferred the Vatican Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award on him in 1997. 150809
Asian Youth and the Eucharist
A regional survey on Asian Youth and the Eucharist 2008 has been released at the 9th FABC Plenary in Manila on August 14. 2009. The very detailed survey shows results from 1200 young respondents. Beside others the survey asks for the motivation for receiving Holy Communion, the knowledge of the parts of the Holy Mass, the respondent’s participation in the Eucharistic celebration, the effects of the Eucharist in the daily life of the Youth. All data are presented and analyzed for pastoral consequences which underline especially the need for an effective Catechesis on the Eucharist.
It is planned to extend the service also into the different local Bishops’ conferences. The survey will also help to indicate a road map for the program of the FABC Youth desk in the years to come.
The publication is available at FABC – OLF – Youth Desk, Maryhill Compound, Ortigas Ave. Ext. Km 22, Taytay, Rizal, Philippines or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 140809
Persons Who have 'Depth' Needed for Asia
Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, sdb, Archbishop of Guwahati, India, addressed the 9th Plenary of FABC in Manila on Thursday August 13. In his pastoral reflection on the Word and Bread “A Presence that Challenges and Strengthens” the Archbishop referred to the last two Synods of Bishops in Rome (2005,2008) on the Eucharist and Sacred Scriptures. The tiny minority of Christians in Asia is sustained through this gift of God. “Indeed, Jesus is present in our lives; he is the source of our strength. That is why the ‘little flock’ in Asia need not to have any fear, even if it means being constantly ready to face persecution” the Archbishop said. He contrasted the life giving presence of the Eucharist with the “louder message” about death with news of war, ethnic conflicts, genocide, suicide, communal clashes, bomb explosions, and domestic violence…” In the Eucharist Jesus calls us to intimacy with Him which leads to unity and to “being open to all people” thus developing a “sense of common belonging.”
The intimacy with Jesus calls us “into a Relationship that which is performative, and communicative as well.” The Archbishop calls such communication the “whispering of the Gospel to the soul of Asia.” It leads also to “non-threatening ways of evangelization” which means that we “never should go against the selfhood of a community.” All this, calls for “persons who have depth in themselves… Today we look for such persons of convictions, spiritual stamina and unction, persons who have the ‘Word of God’ as lamp to their feet and the light for their path.” By this we do not merely mean “persons of intellectual acumen, but those who are deep in their spiritual perceptions.”
The Archbishop referred also in his own text which he wrote for the Way of the Cross at the colosseum in Rome during the Holy Week 2009 which Pope Benedict XVI. Accepted as his own. “Only persons who have depths in themselves will be equal to this immense task.” 130809
Cardinal Arinze Opens FABC 9th Plenary
The 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC opens on August 11, 2009 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral presided by Francis Cardinal Arinze, Papal envoy to the assembly. In his homily, the cardinal brought special greetings and blessing of Pope Benedict XVI to this 9th Plenary of the Federation, which was actually founded in Manila in 1970.
The cardinal concelebrated with 6 cardinals and some 100 bishops and priests. In his homily, he underlined and elaborated on the theme of the assembly, “Living Eucharist in Asia.” He repeated the words of Pope Benedict asking the bishops, “in particular, to teach Christ’s faithful, the importance of participating in Eucharistic celebrations especially on Sundays, and of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation.” The Cardinal then made the sub themes of the assembly the main points of his homily, namely; 1. Transforming Power of the Holy Eucharist, 2. The Eucharistic Meal in the Service of Communion, 3. Rooted in the Eucharist, we meet other believers 4. Eucharist and Solidarity. 5. Eucharist and Evangelization.
The Eucharist empowers to live more worthily human lives, whether we are poor or rich. It entails communion in the teachings of the Apostles in the sacraments, and it is, as Pope Benedict XVI says, “the supreme sacramental manifestation of communion in the Church.” Finally, the Eucharist is a sacrament of love, a bond of charity and an invitation to harmonious living.” This is what the bishops will discuss in this Plenary. They will also immerse in the reality of Asian continent where 60 percent of all humankind lives and struggles and where Christian are very small minority.
The Assembly was also welcomed by the secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines government, Sec. Alberto Romulo, who considered it an honor for the Philippines – one of only two Catholic nations in Asia – to host the event. The Mayor of Manila, Alfredo Lim, also graced the opening, both at the Cathedral and in the program that followed in Pius XII Center. In his greetings, he specially remembered the late President Corazon Aquino as a living example of a true Christian, setting standards for the whole country and beyond. 110809
FABC Plenary Opens at Manila Cathedral
The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will open with a Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral on August 11, 2009. The main celebrant and homilist will be Francis Cardinal Arinze, special Papal envoy for the assembly. Some 100 bishops and priests are expected to concelebrate.
With the theme "Living the Eucharist in Asia," it is fitting to begin all deliberations of the assembly with a Eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral of the host city, where Asian bishops first met in history in 1958. The occasion was the re-consecration of the then renovated Cathedral which was destroyed during World War II.
Manila Cathedral was recently in the limelight at the wake and funeral of former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino. On August 6, her remains were transferred from there to her final resting place, beside her late husband Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino. The funeral procession to the cemetery, south of Manila, took more than eight hours. 070809
More than 100 Participants in FABC Plenary
More than 100 participants have signed up for the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). They are official representatives of the Federation's member-bishops' conferences, as well as bishops related to the nine FABC offices, and observers from other continental bishops' conferences and funding agencies. The biggest number of bishops of a single country will come from India, which has, not only a conference of Latin Rite bishops, but two conferences in addition for the Syrian rites. The Indian delegation has altogether 15 bishops, including two Cardinals and those related to FABC offices. In total, 22 Asian countries will be represented at this year's Plenary Assembly, including two countries from Central Asia - Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There will be two representatives of the Holy See, with Francis Cardinal Arinze as the official Papal Delegate. From outside Asia, bishops from two European countries (Germany and Spain) will come, as well as bishops from New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada. A representative of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), FABC's Protestant counterpart, will be present. The arrival of foreign participants is foreseen for Monday, August 10, while the official opening of the assembly will be on Tuesday, August 11, with a Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral. The meeting itself will be held at Pope Pius XII Center in Paco district, Manila. 300709
FABC Members Visit Manila Parishes
The participants of the 9th FABC Plenary Assembly in Manila August 10-16 will visit some 12 parishes in Metro Manila on Saturday afternoon, August 14. The itinerary will include a visit to the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall, the pilgrim church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, and the popular Black Nazarene Basilica in Quiapo. The participants will also visit St. Joseph Parish in Las Pinas, house of the famous Bamboo Organ, the Holy Rosary university parish of Santo Tomas and some parishes in depressed areas of the Metropolis. Metro Manila has some 14 million inhabitants.
The FABC representatives from all over Asia will participate in the vigil services for the Feast of the Assumption on Saturday afternoon, August 14, will have dinner with the parishioners before returning to Pius XII Center for the final session that concludes the Plenary Assembly on Sunday, August 15. The visit to the parishes should expose them to living the Eucharist in a local church. The general theme of the Plenary will be "Living the Eucharist in Asia." Such plenaries are only celebrated every four years. 270709
Working Document for the FABC Plenary Assembly 2009
The draft of a working document on "Living the Eucharist in Asia" for consideration and study at the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC has been submitted to the different member-conferences of the Federation and those who will participate in the Manila assembly August 10-16, 2009.
The document is placed into the recent teachings and reflections of the Church on the Eucharist (John Paul II, Benedict XVI), but considers in a special way the Asian living of the Eucharist, which should not be taken as "a mere appendix to Eucharistic faith" but as the "very life of Christ given to us," as a "gift of the Father with the mission to give life."
For Asia, the Eucharist is seen as "a unique experience of God's dialogue with us and our response to God as a dialogue of life and love." The document treats the living of the Eucharist in Asia under the headings: "Living in Community," "Living in Faith," "Living in Hope," and "Living in Love." The text concludes with a section on "Living in Mission."
The proposal for the assembly's final document follows the different steps of Eucharistic celebrations. Half of the 16-page document refer especially to situations and challenges of Asia. Some of these were already treated before, in special meetings of FABC offices like the ones on Communication and Education (cf. FABC Paper no. 124 "Eucharist as Communication," and no. 126 "Being Schools, Becoming Eucharist"). Since it is a reflection paper, there are no special footnotes or resources to indicate which special resources have been used or underlie the present document. 200709
Seven Cardinals at the FABC Plenary
Among the estimated 120 expected participants at the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will be at least seven Cardinals. Beside Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales (Manila) and Ricardo Vidal (Cebu) from the Philippines and the Papal Envoy, Francis Cardinal Arinze, the two Cardinals from India - Telesphore Toppo (Ranchi) and Oswald Gracias (Mumbai) - will come along with Joseph Cardinal Zen (Hong Kong), and John Baptist Cardinal Phan Min Manh (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam). To-date, some 70 delegates from 16 bishops' conferences have sent their registrations, seven of them from associate member-countries of the FABC. These are countries where no bishops' conferences do not exist yet. As observers from outside Asia, the presidents of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania and Australia (ACBC), the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) are expected, as well as the Secretary General of the Spanish Bishops' Conferences and representatives from other Christian Churches in Asia. 070709
FABC Plenary Program
The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will open with a Eucharistic celebration on August 11 at Manila Cathedral with Cardinal Francis Arinze, Papal representative to the assembly, as presider. This will be followed by the official opening of the meeting at Pius XII Center, along United Nations Avenue. The afternoon of the first day and the morning of Wednesday, August 12, will be devoted to the discussion of a working paper on the conference theme "Living the Eucharist with Christ in Asia." Wednesday afternoon will be a discussion on the Statutes of the Federation, while Thursday, August 13, will see groupings of the participants according to regions; including a conference on "The Word of God and the Eucharist" by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, India. For Friday, August 14, the workshop reports of the regional groupings will be presented as well as activity reports from the nine FABC offices, which carry out the basic activities of the Federation.
The morning of Saturday, August 15, will be open for interventions of individual bishops' conferences while the late afternoon and evening of this day will distribute the participants to some 12 parishes in Metro Manila for a pastoral exposure and dinner with local communities.
The Plenary will end on Sunday morning, August 16, with the final document of the meeting and the concluding Eucharist at the conference venue, Pius XII Center, Manila. All in all, some 120 delegates and participants are expected, representing the 18 member-bishops' conferences of the Federation and 11 associate members. The general theme of the assembly is "Living the Eucharist in Asia." This will be the second time that such a plenary takes place in Manila, after the foundation of the Federation in Manila in1970, and the 6th Plenary Assembly in 1995. 030709
Cardinal Arinze, Papal Envoy for FABC Plenary
Cardinal Francis Arinze, the former president of the Pontifical Congregation for Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican, has been appointed as the special representative of the Pope Benedict XVI for the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) in Manila August 10-16. The former archbishop Onitsha, Nigeria (1967-1985) was since 1985 president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome till he became 2002 the head of the Communication for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican. Together with the Cardinal will be also Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Pontifical Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda) in the Vatican. He comes from French Guinea. The Plenary was originally planned for Bangalore in January 2009. 150609
FABC Plenary Assembly 2009 in Manila
The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will take place at Pius XII Center, Manila from August 10 to 16, 2009. Some 120 delegates from different member bishops' conferences are expected to attend the six-day meeting. The theme "Living the Eucharist in Asia" will unfold through a sub-theme assigned for each day of the meeting. On the first day "Witnessing to the Transforming Power of the Eucharist" will be the sub-theme, the second day will be on "The Eucharist as Service of Communion of Asian Cultures." The third and following days will be devoted to the "Eucharistic Lord in Our Pilgrimage with People of Other Faiths, to Building Peace and Harmony, and Solidarity." The final day will be on "Living the Eucharist in Sharing the Story of Jesus in Asia." The Manila assembly follows the last Plenary (8th) on the role of Family in Asia in Daejeon, Korea, 2004. Plenary Assemblies, the highest governing body of the Federation are held once every four years. This year's assembly was planned originally for January 2009 in Bangalore, India but later postponed and transferred to Manila. The last FABC Plenary Assembly held in Manila was in 1995 with Pope John Paul II's visit at the 25th anniversary of the FABC during the World Youth Day celebrations. 080609
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