John Paul II Institute marks major ‘family ministry milestones’

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BACOLOD, May 10, 2015 – The Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Bacolod marks major milestones this year with its first batch of Summer Masteral program graduates and the launching of the first Diocesan Institutes on Marriage and Family (DIMF).

Members of the Board of Trustees and Staff of the JP II Institute saying "thank you and goodbye" to Bro. Ray Suplido, FSC, outgoing USLS President and Chancellor.

The first batch of graduates is composed of sixteen students, priests, religious and lay family ministers, who completed their research methods and other major subjects. On May 1, the Institute initiated the individual defense of their thesis titles.

True to the spirit of the JPII Institute’s service to the local Church, Fr. Ronaldo Quijano, the Institute‘s Dean of Studies said: “The students’ thesis titles were reflective of the concerns of the family ministry of their respective dioceses. These were studied under the light of the core-curriculum provided by the Institute’s main campus in Rome of Master of Arts in Education specializing on Marriage and the Family.”

Summer Academic Program

As part of a continuing project, the JPII Institute conducted its fourth cycle of the Summer Academic Program of Masters of Education in Marriage and Family from April 7 to May 2.

According to Quijano, initially the Institute offered only a two-year program with thesis-writing during the usual academic year but, due to the request of delegates from other dioceses during the previous national conferences of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) held in Bacolod, the summer program was launched in 2012 in consortium with the Graduate School of the University of St. La Salle.

Twenty-eight students enrolled this summer. They came from the Archdioceses of Lipa, Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro; from the Dioceses of Laoag, Baguio, Urdaneta, Balanga, Lucena, Legazpi, Kabankalan, San Carlos, Bacolod, Surigao del Sur, Tagum, and Ipil and from the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan. There were also two foreign students from Thailand and China.

The JPII Institute designated a residence for all students at the Centro Giovanni Paolo II Headquarters where they were also provided educational scholarships – with free board and lodging. The summer course participants also enjoyed community life with spiritual formation, visits at the offices of the Bishop and the Commission on Family and Life, exposure to the different diocesan ministries and excursions, and socio-cultural activities of the province.

First Diocesan Institutes on Marriage and Family

Aside from the ongoing success of the summer program Quijano happily reported that “a clear sign of the growth” of the Institute after a decade of its operation, which he also considers a miracle of St. John Paul II, is that in May, the Diocese of San Carlos, through the encouragement of Bishop Gerry Alminaza, is starting its Diocesan Institute on Marriage and Family (DIMF).

“This will be followed by the Diocese of Baguio which will also open its own DIMF in June, thanks to the enthusiastic support of Bishop Carlito Cenzon,” he added.

“We envision that more and more lay faithful, religious and priests are getting involved in promoting renewal of the Church considering the family ministry as a diocesan priority,” the priest concluded. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)

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