PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP (LK
THIRD PROVINCIAL CHAPTER
PROVINCE OF CEBU
JULY 1-12, 2002
In the light of the coming Centenary celebration
(2006) of the Redemptorist missionary presence in the Philippines, we hear
the urgent call to renew our apostolic community life.
The recent National Pastoral Consultation for
Church Renewal (NPCCR) challenges us as religious to be agents of renewal.
In view of this two-fold call, we commit ourselves
as Redemptorists in the Province of Cebu to a radical renewal of life as
individuals and as a religious community. This renewal will focus on our
vowed life and witness as religious and a reclaiming of our missionary
identity and dynamism.
Together with our lay cooperators, we enter into
this renewal with confidence, in response to the Lordís invitation to "put
out into the deep" (Lk 5:4).
Gathered in the Third Provincial Chapter, the
Delegates, guided by the Spirit and after much discernment and prayer,
believe that this renewal will involve many changes in our present way
of life and ministry in the Province. The following decisions of the Chapter,
we hope, will pave the way for this renewal.
The Chapter directs the OPC to constitute all communities
as mission communities that will engage in different forms of missions,
including urban missions, as well as retreats.
The Chapter directs the OPC to strengthen the Dalat
The Chapter directs the OPC to proceed with setting
up the join mission with Manila.
The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat and
the members of the mission teams to examine the methodology and viability
of our present missions vis-à- vis the number, location, duration,
lay participation and morale.
The Chapter directs the OPC to dialogue with confreres
who are not engaged in mission (e.g. administration, formation, vocation
promotion, parish, retreats, etc.) to get involved in missions on a part-time
or short-term basis.
The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to
initiate as soon as possible
during the new triennium the process of thoroughly
reviewing our existing mission system. This review will aim at revitalizing
our mission apostolate in the direction set by the Chapter. An important
aspect of this review is the redesigning of our mission method so that
provision is made for the involvement on a part-time or short-term basis
of confreres who because of other necessary assignment, health or age,
are not engaged fully in mission work.
As Redemptorists, our charism calls us to respond
quickly to contemporary issues of justice from the perspective of moral
theology. So, the Chapter directs the OPC to ensure the functioning of
the Social Concerns Center, and ensure to make the above concern
one of their major tasks.
In order to make a more consolidated Province and
to promote new initiatives in the apostolate, the Chapter directs the EPC
to make an objective evaluation of the existing apostolic work in the Province
with the purpose of finding solutions to the growing tension between the
ageing profile of the Province and our present commitments.
The Chapter directs the EPC to initiate consultation
with communities on the question of rationalization and its criteria and
to set up the process of discernment in the Province.
The Chapter directs the EPC to reposition some of
our communities to enable us to fulfill our missionary charism.
II. COMMUNITY AND INDIVIDUAL RENEWAL
The Chapter directs the EPC to review our existing
parish ministry and recommend which parishes to keep and which to turn
over to the diocese.
The Chapter directs that in the course of the triennium:
a) we move towards withdrawing from parish ministry, and b) in the churches
that we retain, the thrust will be refocused to enable them to become centers
of evangelization, centers of prayer, centers of reconciliation and healing,
centers that welcome the poor through concerted effort to initiate programs
that respond to the needs of the poor.
Retreat Houses, Retreat Apostolate
The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to
set up a training program to equip/enable us to give retreats to priests
The Chapter directs the OPC/EPC to work towards transforming
houses into centers of renewal and Alphonsian
The Chapter directs all communities to read carefully
and study seriously the provisions of the RELCA HANDBOOK and to dialogue/discuss
with the lay cooperators in order to draw up appropriate programs at the
local level (e.g. sabbatical leave, formal studies, ongoing formation,
The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to
help RELCA clarify itsidentity in the light of Communicanda 4.
In view of the concern expressed for a deeper understanding
of the religious life aspect of our Redemptorist commitment, the Chapter
directs the community secretariat and the local communities that in this
coming triennium the Province focus primarily on the Renewal of Living
our Religious Life.
The Chapter directs the OPC in conjunction with the
Community Secretariat to incorporate in any Province-wide retreat in the
Input on how recent sociological realities brought about by globalization
have influenced the manner in which we view lifestyle, community,
individual assertions, power, authority and other such concepts;
b. Deeper discernment on how to live our vows (especially poverty
and obedience) in view of the above.
The Chapter directs the young CSsRs and the mid-lifers
to undergo a workshop-seminar on Pastoral Leadership and Management during
their annual gathering this triennium.
We refrain from non-essential major projects in the
coming triennium in order not to dissipate our energy. The Chapter directs
the Finance Secretariat to define what are non-essential major projects.
To ensure the greater transparency and accountability,
to encourage the practice of personal responsibility in the area of poverty,
and to raise consciousness of solidarity with the poor and the middle classes,
the Chapter, through the Finance Secretariat, directs local communities
to make proper budgeting in such a way that:
personal budgeting is included in community budgeting
a community report on income/expenses be given to
the community each month
percentage of income be allotted for the poor and
the community sets a ceiling to be approved by the
EPC as to how
much a confrere can spend. Over and above that,
permission from the Superior is needed.
to ensure that values emphasized in our Manual of
Finance, particularly Gospel stewardship, are owned by all.
On Healthy Relationship
The Chapter directs the OPC to institute a process
of drawing up guidelines to nurture healthy relationships:
In doing so, it is good to distinguish between
three kinds of relationships:
The third category is not easy to describe. However,
it can involve an incorrect reading of the reality of the situation where
actions or words are misconstrued by the persons involved or by others.
Situations which involve sexual abuse. In situations
like this, the policy must be very clear:
The welfare of the victim is vital and no attempt
should be made to silence him/her.
During the process of investigation, care is to be
taken that the accused does not lose the right to his good name.
Civil law implications must be honored.
Consensual relationships (hetero and homo): In situations
such as these, the vow of celibacy and existing relational commitments
must be safeguarded.
Those that can be open to misinterpretation.
In all three cases, the good name of the Congregation,
cultural sensibilities, the reputation of those involved and appropriate
confidentiality and secrecy must be observed.
In view of the urgency of the matter, the Chapter
directs the OPC to appoint a group of competent people to draw up a Province
Policy for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. We ask that this
be completed before the Assembly in October 2002.
Radical renewal of community begins with individual
renewal. Each confrere is encouraged to make an eight-day personal retreat,
ideally a directed retreat, during which he will identify, in the light
of the Chapter, blocks in his living of the vowed life and discern the
concrete steps/plans he is called to take.
A community retreat as a support for the individualís
ongoing conversion may follow. It is the responsibility of the superior
to facilitate it.
The Chapter directs the OPC to oversee the creation
and evaluation of any Redemptorist Itinerant Vocation Team (RIVT) team/s
during the triennium.
The Chapter directs the local communities to revitalize
their commitment to the vocation ministry as a community priority concern
and to promote the Provinceís target to recruit at least ten well-screened
The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a Board to
periodically review the implementation of the EPCís decision of March 2000
stages of formation vis-à-vis the Directory
4. The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a
Board to annually review the different
The Chapter directs the OPC, in conjunction with
the Formation Secretariat, to look seriously at the area of First Assignments,
considering the importance of a confrereís first assignment. In doing so,
the following values must be considered:
transition to full-time ministry and the opportunity
to develop confidence in ministry
the centrality of community life
exposure to the different apostolic works of the
a substantial mission experience
the possibility of the confrere involved, choosing
his own mentor or Director, in dialogue with the OPC, his formator and
the confrere chosen.
the needs of the Province
The Chapter directs the OPC to continue the
ongoing efforts at joint cooperation between Manila and Cebu in the following
IV. RELATIONSHIP WITH MANILA VICE-PROVINCE
Retreats and seminars
V. ELECTORAL LAW
The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a Commission
to study changes in our electoral law, which include: a) Chapter Assembly,
and b) Election of the Provincial Council. The proposed changes are to
be presented at the October 2002 Assembly.
In the light of the above, the Chapter convenes
an Assembly of all confreres and representatives of the lay cooperators,
to take place this coming October 2002. The purpose of this Assembly is
to enable all in the Province to come together, in a spirit of collegiality,
to commit ourselves to launching out into the deep and undertaking this
journey towards renewal which will result in our reclaiming of our Redemptorist
identity and missionary dynamism in proclaiming the Lordís plentiful redemption,
especially to the poor and the most abandoned.