BACOLOD, Feb. 24, 2016 – Two hundred sixty-six delegates from the different archdioceses and dioceses in the country participated in the Post-Synodal Conference on the Family held in Bacolod on Feb. 15 to 19.
The Diocese of Bacolod, spearheaded by the Pope John Paul II (JPII) National Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, led by its director, Msgr. Victorino A. Rivas, and Fr. Ronald Quijano, JP II’s Academic Dean and Chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Family and Life-Bacolod hosted the National Conference for the Family and Life directors and couple coordinators.
Four bishops, along with around a hundred priest delegates opened the gathering with a Eucharistic celebration at the San Sebastian Cathedral on Feb. 15.
Among the speakers of the conference, held at Bacolod’s Business Inn Hotel, were:
- Fr. Jaroslaw Merecki, Professor at the “Pontificio Instituto Giovanni Paolo II” in Rome;
- Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma;
- Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles;
- Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL); and
- Conference keynote speaker, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
According to Quijano, the Post-Synodal Conference focused on three objectives:
- To showcase that the family is the focal point of Evangelization and the Family and Life Ministry is the approach to the New Evangelization;
- To foster solidarity in responding to the pastoral challenges affecting marriage and the family; and
- To highlight that the family is called by God for a mission in society.
The conference’s organizing group, the JPII Institute, said there were 61 priest delegates, 19 religious sisters, 92 lay women, and 77 laymen.
The registration staff also disclosed that there were 20 bishops who had earlier registered manifesting their intention to attend the national conference.
Members of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter; the Christian Family Movement (CFM); Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD); Couples for Christ; Family Life Ministers; religious organizations; and family delegations from local parishes in the diocese of Bacolod also participated in the conference.
Aside from the Post-Synodal Conference on the Family, Merecki, Professor of Philosophical Anthropology of Karol Wojtyla from Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, also gave lectures to 240 Family Life Ministers at Bacolod’s Pavillion Hotel, on Feb 16 to 17 with the topic on the philosophical perspective of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News with reports from Adsum Bacolod)