A PERSONAL REFLECTION
By Alex S. Wijoyo, BCBP Jakarta Mission
On behalf of the infant BCBP Jakarta Mission, I and Bro Ricky Subrata would like to express our gratitude and deepest appreciation to BCBP Board of Trustees, ManCom, BCBP Cebu Chapters for the invitation to attend BCBP NAC36 and in particular the extraordinary brotherly warmest reception and hospitality granted to us in Cebu.
I could not agree more with my Bro. Ricky Subrata when he said, “The Brotherhood in BCBP is very real, not only a title. I strongly feel it. Now I understand.” During NAC36, that Brotherhood is, for us embodied in the presence and persons of, inter alia, Rev. Fr. Herbert Schneider, SJ (Spiritual Director), Kuya Roy D. Calleja (BOT Chairman), Kuya “Nestor” Tatang Louie Morales, Bro “Chrysostomus” Joey Avellana (National President), Kuya Serge dela Fuente, Kuya Manny Jimenez, Bro Tito Serafica, Bro Joffo Almoro, Bro Bert Mascilat, and of course our Bros of Alabang Chapters (Jimmy Alanis, Bobby Atendido, Dennis Hernandez, Jordan) and of Cebu, our “Alma Mater” and missionaries: Bro “indefatigable” Rod Ngo, Bro Boy Villanueva, Bro Ani Serrato, Bro Sim Lanaria, Bro Alan Larot, Bro “Sunburst” Butch, Bro Ted Oliva, Bro George, Bro Jigg Mateo, Bro Frank B. Robles, & Bro Resty Baclayon. And, last but not at all least, their respective loving spouses!
Second Wave of Missionary Work
After an awesome Afternoon Activities, Friday, April 22 2016, on the way back to our Big Hotel from IEC Conference Hall, while in Bro Rod’s car, an eerie feeling came down on me. I was witnessing actually something big going on in front of my eyes. Perhaps not so much about the throng of people—which in itself is indeed huge—but rather the gentle but powerful spirit that underlied the whole event, people commitment and most importantly their joy. I tried to touch a little bit during my presentation in Saturday session, but I know it was not the proper place and time to do it.
What is it? Back in my room, around midnight after night prayer, I googled Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel, EG for short) again. Et voilà already in this first paragraph, His holiness says “In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of Evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” (EG, art. 1) Two keywords “a new chapter of Evangelization” and “ Joy” of doing it.
Indeed, Brothers and Sisters. I was witnessing “a second wave of missionary work” and “marked with Joy.” I said “second” the first being the missionary works the European missionaries had done in the 17-18th century, by the Augustinians, the Dominicans, the Jesuits in the Philippines, and by the SVDs and the Jesuits first in Eastern Indonesia then in the Island of Java. In that time, the mission was carried out by priests, members of religious orders who had their own IMF (International Mission Fund) for their disposal. The center of gravity was Europe; its target market people in East; its primary objective to baptize individuals.
After 36 years, BCBP has grown in number and extended its geographical reach. Slowly but surely, perhaps even with a gleeful surprise or concern, it has transformed into a real movement not only in the Catholic Church in the Philippines, but in the Catholic Church as a whole. BCBP has developed into a movement of “Being Church in the Digital Era.” For lack of a better term, I describe it as “A Second Wave of Missionary Work.” The big differences from the first are in terms of its the stakeholders, its objectives, and its target market.
In his Encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization of the Modern World, 1975, EN for short), Pope Paul VI has already affirmed the role of every Christian in Evangelization. Its stakeholders are not only ordained ministers, priests, and deacons, or religious, or professional church staff. “We exhort the laity: Christian families, youth, adults, all those who exercise a trade or profession, leaders, without forgetting the poor who are often rich in faith and hope- all lay people who are conscious of their evangelizing role in the service of their Church or in the midst of society and the world.” (EN, art. 76)
Its objectives are not being limited to baptizing individuals, rather expanding to “transforming culture.” Pope Francis, “Proclaiming the Gospel message to different cultures also involves proclaiming it to professional, academic and scientific circles” (EG, art 132).
Its new target market also involves the already baptized themselves, “A renewal of preaching can offer believers, as well as the lukewarm and non-practising, new joy in the faith and fruitfulness in the work of evangelization.” (EG, art. 11) And again, “A second area is that of “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism” (EG, art. 14), verbatim quote from Pope Benedict XVI.
BCBP goes out to the rest of the world
As for the center of gravity, it has moved from Europe to Asia, c.q. the Philippines. The missionary vector movement has been somewhat reversed, from the Philippines to the rest of the world. But it started from inside the Philippines Church first. BCBP will be a factor in the transformation of the Church and the society. Someday, BCBP will be ready to fill the local, provincial as well as national leadership, even to offer good candidates for president. The Voter Guide is a good start.
The stronger and bigger BCBP grows in the Philippines, the more ready it will be to afford extending its outreach domestically and internationally, because the latter involves not only the availability of supporting manpower but also its financing strength. Learning from the presidential primary election in the US this year, yes small donations raised from the committed supporters of Bernie Sanders can yield a formidable campaign fund.
BCBP Jakarta Mission is aware of its small and perhaps permanent tiny fraction. It still struggles to find a niche in the local ecclesiastical structure. However, we feel honored to be part in this grand BCBP second wave missionary endeavor. The “Breath of God breathe on us all, until we glow in His fire divine.” Thank you, and please pray for us.
Alex S. Wijoyo, BCBP Jakarta Mission rapporteur.
Hello! I’m Bro Caloy Matibag of Lipa Chapter. I have a family vacation in Jakarta on Nov 2-5,2017. May I know if they will have brkfst there and if they have already a schedled sharer(s)?
Tnx and God bless us all!
Will send you and email regarding your inquiry.