December 29, 2012
Prison Ministry
March 3, 2013



After the Christian Life Seminar (CLS), for continuing support and formation, there will be a monthly prayer assembly in the parish. In this activity there will be worship, personal testimonies, teachings and fellowship.

Further, CLS graduates are integrated into the structure of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) of the parish. Here they also meet at least once a month.

The CLS graduates are expected to enter into an active life in the parish. As such, the richness of parish programs, ministries, groups and services are available to them. For those who desire greater growth, they are encouraged to join any of these support structures.

In case the parish support structures are inadequate, or upon request by the parish priest, LCSC can also make available its formation programs and other offerings. Among others:[1]

* For married couples — Marriage Enrichment Retreat

* For youth — Youth Camps and various youth formation modules, including the LivePure movement for youth chastity

* For Bible appreciation — Liturgical Bible Study

* For pro-life – NFP and other pro-life modules

* For work with the poor — Church of the Poor Retreat

* For servant leadership — various leadership modules

The dynamics of the program for re-evangelization

Everyone goes through the CLS, hopefully including the clergy. For the clergy this is desirable for the following reasons:

* So that every Filipino Catholic will be on the same page on this common journey to the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the nation;

* So the clergy, especially the parish priests, can be fully knowledgeable about the CLS and thus be able to better promote and support it; and

* So that their own spirituality can be further enhanced.

The CLS, in Manila as well as in the various ecclesiastical districts, is first mounted for lay leaders already involved in the dioceses/parishes and in the various religious groups and lay movements. This is so that they can understand the methodology and then be trained to mount the same program for parishioners down the line.

From the initial batches, participation in the CLS is fueled by the person-to-person evangelization of those who have already gone through it. This is actually important for the evangelizers themselves because such a lifestyle of evangelization goes a long way to deepening one’s spirituality. Further, it is the only way to eventually reach everyone.[2]


The dynamics of the program for the poor

There are many ways to serve the poor. Many of these ways are already happening in the parish, and of course should continue. LCSC proposes a bolder program of building physical communities among the poor. It is the construction of Restoration Villages,[3] which is a holistic approach to address all the important needs of the poor—shelter, health, education, livelihood and values formation.

This program gives parishioners a live situation where they can truly care for the needs of the parish’s poor on an ongoing way. It is building the Church of the Poor—both physically and spiritually.

The Restoration Villages will become vibrant models for BEC.

The program starts with parish acceptance, first by the parish priest and then by his parish leaders, especially the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC).

Next is to solicit a piece of land, good for perhaps 30 to 100 homes, with each home lot perhaps 50 square meters.[4] This is not difficult in the provinces, where we can usually find a land-owning Catholic willing to make such a donation.[5] There should also be space for a multi-purpose hall cum chapel, a pre-school, a courtyard, and perhaps space for agricultural purposes, such as vegetable patches, etc.

LCSC then trains the parish team.

Beneficiaries are selected, and given values formation. The different parish groups can be allocated a certain number of beneficiaries,[6] for whom they will find the funds for the house,[7] and help build the house.[8]

The support programs of health, education and livelihood follow.[9] In these, the expertise and resources of the different parish groups will be tapped—doctors, nurses, nutritionists, teachers, catechists, trainors, etc.

On the national level, this work with the poor can be implemented first by having a pilot site in each of the ecclesiastical districts. Then it moves on to a site in each of the dioceses. Then it goes to a site in each of the parishes. The parish adds more sites until there is no more homeless Filipino family.

The trainors for the expanding work will come from the dioceses/parishes that have the initial sites, which sites will also become model villages.

Additional funding can later be secured abroad. These can be from charitable foundations, from Filipino associations,[10] and from sister parishes in the First World.

[1] This is not an exhaustive list.

[2] Especially the lapsed or nominal Catholics who cannot be reached by the parish priest or by parish groups.

[3] The name is appropriate, to signify the restoration of the dignity of the poor through decent housing and community living.

[4] The house itself is 20 to 25 square meters.

[5] If this comes from a larger parcel of land of the donor, then it does not need to be a big financial sacrifice, as the nice development of the Restoration Village will enhance the value of the rest of the donor’s property.

[6] They can choose from among their own poor, homeless members.

[7] The groups can tap on to their national and even international organizations.

[8] The bayanihan style will help bond rich and poor in the parish.

[9] These can of course also be simultaneous if warranted.

[10] Regional and provincial Filipino associations abroad will be encouraged to build villages in their home provinces or hometowns.

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