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SALT Program

 

 

            “St. Alphonsus Lay Training Program” is one of the offshoots of the missions conducted in MOPH Parish, Redemptorists-Tacloban. A group of “mission volunteers” was organized. During the course of the missions, they were provided with basic skills and knowledge — giving them confidence as they actively participate in the work of the missions. These volunteers go around the mission area together with the mission and parish staff.

 

            After the missions, many of them expressed the desire to learn more. And so, the conception of the SALT program! Fr. Carlo Villaflor, the “dean,” is the designate coordinator of the program. He works with the “Mother of Life” (Catechetical School, Manila) graduates (about four of them, from around Tacloban area), to design/compose a syllabus for the program.

 

            Even if the dean had been away for quite a time, taking a six-month course at Emmaus, the “MoLians,” headed by Ms Crissa Retana, facilitated the conduct of classes and contacting of other resource persons.

           

The academic part of the program lasted about seven months. However, do not think that it is that heavy loaded a course   the classes are only on Tuesdays and Thursdays (a maximum of three hours a week)! Not our time yet to compete with SAT!

 

            The dean was finally back (Nov. 30) and so the planning of the closing ceremony. December 2 was the date. Fr. Carlo celebrated a Mass (and quite a long celebration it was, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.!) With 31 graduates present plus the “MoLians” and other facilitators, and the parish and mission staff. There was the giving of certificates to the “SALTers,” and the acknowledgment of the resource persons. Then a program and sumptuous agape followed. The rest of the Redemptorist community joined them.

 

            This is not the end of course. Commissioned to work in the pilot area in the parish (barangay Abucay and Apitong) where about four prioritized “clusters” are accompanied in their growth as BECs, the graduates continue to enhance themselves with experiences and insights. They work closely with Frs. Bert and Bing in these areas this Advent and Christmas season. As they help facilitate the growth of these communities in terms of pag-aram and other community enhancing activities, they will also spot leaders. Many of these new leaders will then become SALTers, too.

 

            The SALTers will regularly meet, to share experiences and reflections, and further identify more “needs,” in terms of formation/training. This will give rich input to SALT II.