The Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) is to make the Word of God central to all pastoral activity of the church in the Caribbean region starting with the launch of its Biblical Animation of all Pastoral Life (ABP) programme at a meeting of delegates of all AEC dioceses in January 2014.
The meeting, scheduled for 20-21 Janauary in Port of Spain just prior to the next meeting of the Permament Board of Bishops of the AEC, comes following a series of recent events and decisions by the Church in the region including:
- The resolution passed by the AEC bishops at their plenary meeting in Guadeloupe in April this year in which “The Bishops resolved that an Ad Hoc Committee for Biblical Animation of all Pastoral Life (ABP) headed by Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne be established. Its goals will include the organization and implementation of ABP seminars in interested dioceses, distribution of relevant information on ABP and solid but simple Bible study guides, training opportunities for catechists, religious, deacons, priests, etc in ABP; coordination of translation of the useful ABP material for communities already widely available and utilized in dioceses and parishes in Latin America. The committee will also liaise with CELAM to benefit from on-going training and programme activities in ABP.
- The participation by representatives of 4 dioceses of the AEC (Port of Spain, Bridgetown, Kingstown and Kingston at the 5th Seminar and Workshop of CELAM 1-12 July in Bogota followed by their submission of proposoals for the lanching of ABP programmes in their dioceses.
- The participation by 5 AEC dioceses comprising 11 representatives, including Bishop Lafont and Archbishop Emeritus Donald Reece of Kingston in Jamaica in the CELAM sponsored 1st ABP Congress in Lima 5-8 August.
- A letter of 11 August 2013 by Chairman of the AEC ABP Committee inviting all bishops to appoint diocesan ABP delegate(s). Among their initial responsibilities will be to coordinate diocesan surveys of all bible related ministries which will be summarized to form working documents for the 1st AEC Region ABP meeting which they will attend in January.
Biblical animation of all pastoral life (ABP)draws its inspiration from the biblical renewal which preceded the Second Vatican Council and which was confirmed and advanced by Council Fathers in the Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (1965), the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) at Aparecida (2007), Brazil, and by Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, in the Post-Synodal Exhortation on “the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”, Verbum Domini (2010). The Biblical Animation of all Pastoral life (ABP from the Acronym for the Spanish Animacion Biblica de la Pastoral) which is gaining momentum in Latin America was affirmed by the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) at its 2013 Plenary Meeting in Guadeloupe. The commitment by the AEC bishops was followed up by the participation of AEC dioceses in the Fifth ABP Workshop in Bogotá, Colombia in July, 2013 for the First Congress of ABP in Lima, Peru in August under the theme “The Word of God remains forwever. And this Word is the Gospel which we announce (1 Pt 1:25). And the general theme was ‘The Biblical Animation of All Pastoral Work in the Light of Verbum Domini and int the context of the New Evangelization’.
The Caribean delegates to the Lima meeting were also overjoyed to be able to visit in piligrmage the Cathedral of Lima and the the tombs and houses of St. Rose of Lima, St. Martin de Porres and St. John Macias.
Attached a photos of the participants at the July Bogota ABP seminar
and at the August ABP Lima Congress