Joint Conference of Office of Education and Formation and Office of Consecrated Life of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) at the Mahatai Convention Centre of the Redemptorists in Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya, 24th-28th Sept. 2018: 4 days’ joint conference by the two offices (Education and Consecrated life) of the FABC, was the first of its kind that brought together representatives from the Bishops, Clergy, Religious and Laity connected with these two offices to study and deliberate on the 4 Papal Documents Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, Amoris Laetitia, Gaudete et Exultate and the Statement of the XI Plenary Assembly of the FABC. The Conference was attended by representatives from 13 Asian Countries. From India there were 4 participants viz. Fr. Joseph Manipadam, Fr. Arulappan Bensicar, Fr. Benzigar Lution, Fr. Joackim Arulnathan along with Bishop Dr. Yvon Ambrose- Chairman for the FABC Office for Development and Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao- Chairman for the FABC Office for education and Formation. The well prepared and much appreciated Key note presentations on the above mentioned topics by Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao (Chair-Education and Formation) and Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma SJ (Chair- Consecrated Life) were followed by group reflection and discussion and presentations leading to the drawing up of the Conference Statement with country specific and Region specific lines of action. Among the country wise reporting done by the various participating countries, the report from India presented by Fr. Joseph Manipadam was of special interest to all participants. The conference as a whole was extremely useful and well appreciated as it was beautifully organized in an atmosphere of prayer, fellowship and enthusiastic participation. As we await the final draft of the FABC Conference Statement, the country wise lines of action drawn up for India may be of special interest:
nderstanding that education is an essential mission of the Church, it is to be carried out under the guidance of the Local Ordinary through collaboration and cooperation by the diocesan and religious personnel equally.
In every diocese there is to be a Diocesan Education Board which will meet, collaborate and network with the different Diocesan and Religious Education Societies. Each Diocesan education Board will be part of and collaborate and network with the Regional education Board which in turn will report to the Education Office of the National Episcopal Conference.
The national, Regional and diocesan think-tanks consisting of committed educationists and concerned persons will monitor and take timely action as and when contemptuous material or false information or government policies offensive to our religious sentiments and constitutional rights emerge.
The well prepared liturgy and prayer moments, the cheerful fellowship gatherings, the caring and sensitive Thai hospitality and the meticulously planned flow of events were indeed impressive memories that the participants carried back to their own countries.