National Institute of Seminary Formators Focus on Pastoral Formation and BECs

From October 22 to 25, 2012, some 125 seminary formators coming from 17 major seminaries and 28 college seminaries from various parts of the Philippines gathered at the Redemptorist Retreat House in Nivel Hills, Cebu City. Organized by the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Seminaries headed by Bishop Mylo Vergara, the bi-annual gathering focused on Pastoral Formation (Pastoral Leadership and Basic Ecclesial Communities).

There were three main speakers: Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle (keynote), Bishop Gerry Alminaza (Pastoral Leadership) and Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR (BEC and Seminary Formation). Due to his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as synod father for the Synod of Bishops in Rome, Archbishop Tagle could not be present. However, his talk was pre-recorded on video and was presented to the participants.

In his talk on BEC and Seminary Formation, Fr. Picardal presented the rationale of the integration of BECs in Seminary Formation based on the Vatican II and PCP II vision of a renewed Church and the ordained ministry, the PCP II decrees regarding BECs as part of seminary formation and the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation. He also presented the results of the survey conducted on major seminaries and college seminaries which show a very high percentage of seminaries adopting BECs as part of the seminary structure, courses and pastoral formation.