A NEW PENTECOST – Report from Sister Tammy Saberon
on the 2nd National Biblical Apostolate Workshop
held in Chanthagone, Mandalay, Myanmar on March 1-6, 2011
“A NEW PENTECOST!” – this was the impression and feeling of all people present during the 2nd National Biblical Apostolate Workshop in Chanthagone, Mandalay, Myanmar on March 1-6, 2011!
It is amazing that in spite of the fact that the workshop was canceled last year due to the National Elections being held right on one of the days that the workshop was to be held, people’s enthusiasm for the Biblical Awareness Festival and Workshop never weakened. The preparation by each diocese became intense when they heard that the Bishops’ Conference had re scheduled the event for March 1- 6, 2011. When we planned this event in September 2009, we only expected between 200-300 official delegates and guests on the first two days: The Biblical Awareness Festival and the Conferences on the next day. But one week before the opening of the event, I heard from diocese to diocese of their coming to Chanthgone in big numbers by train, boat and bus. As it turned out, almost 600 people attended. Three Archbishops and five Bishops came as resource persons as well as people for other functions.
On March1, 2011 the first activity was the Scripture Rosary Tableau.
People experienced for the first time a prayerful way of praying the Rosary centered on Scripture reading of the mysteries of the Rosary with a live tableau of every mystery followed by meditation. They were touched by the solemnity of it and by how those who performed the tableau did it so well like statues on the stage with only a spotlight focused on the scene. They carried with them the message of each mystery in their hearts with the challenge of each mystery to ponder on and live in their lives.
March 2, 2011
Archbishop Charles Bo officiated at the early morning Mass. After breakfast the Biblical Awareness Festival began. First there was a short Scripture reading followed by a talk from the Chairman of the Episcopal Apostolate, Bishop Basilio. Then the Biblical Competition contestants were blessed by all the Bishops present. Eleven dioceses competed in the Bible Quiz – Written and Oral, Biblical Song, Drama and booth Tableau competitions. All participants presented their parts professionally and carried the message of the Scripture texts relevant to day to day living, touching the hearts of all the people present, and the performers themselves. It was unbelievable how each diocese did so well exhibiting their talents and creativity and how they themselves internalized the message of the scripture they portrayed in many different ways.
March 3, 2011
The Formal opening of the National Biblical Apostolate Workshop began with the solemn enthronement of the Bible and the Eucharistic Celebration. Archbishop Paul Grawng, the Bishop of the host Diocese of the 2nd National Biblical Apostolate Workshop concelebrated with six Bishops and over thirty priests. The whole celebration will be long remembered by all present. Each ethnic group was identifiable by tits native costume and participation; the prayers of the faithful being prayed in the different ethnic languages. At the Offertory each diocese brought up their symbols accompanied by an explanation of each one as well as special prayers for their diocese. Out of 16 dioceses, 15 dioceses participated.
A series of conferences then followed:
Bishop John Hsane Hgyi, the CBCM President, gave an inspirational talk to open what was the 2nd National Biblical Apostolate Workshop to be held in Myanmar;
Columban Sister Tammy Saberon, the National Biblical Pastoral Ministry (BPM) Coordinator, spoke on BPM – An Encounter with the Word;
Archbishop Charles, shared his experience and important points from Synod of Bishops on The Word of God held in Rome, Oct 2008;
The Bishop Nicholas, Chairman of the Commission on Evangelization, developed the theme of the workshop – The Word of God Source of Reconciliation, Unity and Peace;
Fr Mark Tin Win, Coordinator of Inter Religious Dialogue, centered his talk on the Word of God and Myanmar Culture;
Fr John Aye Kyaw, National Bible Translator, addressed the topic The Word of God Centered Formation.
In all, it was an historic event as we are fortunate to have the Synod of Bishops’ official documents as used by most of the speakers as reference for their topics. The book Verbum Domini was printed in time for the workshop.
Having heard all the talks, people listening to the speakers felt their hearts were burning for the Word of God and have realized how the Bible is important in all aspects of Christian life and faith.