Zamboanga City hosts Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/18 October) — Religious and lay leaders of the Catholic Church across Mindanao’s 21 archdioceses and dioceses will meet here on October 20 to 23 for the 15th Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC).

Msgr. David Alonzo, Zamboanga Archdiocese spokesman, said in a statement Saturday that the MSPC will be held at the Centro Pastoral with the theme,: “MSPC XV: Celebrating the Giftedness of the Laity in the Church.”

Alonzo said the MSPC is aimed at deepening the Church’s understanding on the role and life of the laity in the “Era of New Evangelization” and seeks to “strengthen the commitment and mission of the laity in building up the Church” as well as “challenge the laity’s heroism in responding to the issues of peace and in mitigating the effects of climate change.”

The opening liturgy at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will be held on October 20 with Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Dela Cruz as the celebrant.

He said Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, will be the keynote speaker on October 21.

Rep. Celso Lobregat (Zamboanga City 1st district Rep) will be the resource speaker on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on October 22.

Alonzo added there will be small group workshop-discussion as well as plenary sessions to consolidate the views, recommendations and plans of various delegations, each of which will be made up of as many as 12 persons.

He said they will consist of the Cardinal, Archbishops, Bishops, Pastoral Directors, Social Action Directors, Seminary Rectors, women religious representatives, lay delegates from family and life apostolates, lay delegates from apostolates, from migrants, basic ecclesiastical communities/social action/council of laity and inter-religious dialogue.

The last MSPC was held in 2010 in Digos City on the theme “Word of God in Mindanao: Creation and Peace.”

The first gathering was held in 1971 in Davao City on the theme “Building Christian Communities: Worshipping, Teaching, Serving.” (MindaNews)