DAGUPAN, Pangasinan, June 24, 2013—Especially for the Year of Faith, a CBCP Commission launched a formation track for catechetical ministries based on going back to personal ‘God experiences’.

According to Sr. Lydia Collado, RSCJ, who helps facilitate the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education’s (ECCCE) R&R (Retreat and Recollection)–Giving Training Seminar 2013 for Christian formation ministers, the track is based on the Articles of Faith and includes reflections, team building activities and talks.


Participants from 13 dioceses all over the country received certificates to signify that they had successfully completed the course.

Personal God experiences 

“[It is] a whole experience of a recollection, [because] we cannot give what we do not have,” Sr. Lydia explained, stressing that catechists need to first relive their own experience of Jesus to be able to communicate it to others.

Some 55 head catechists, religious and clergy members from 13 different dioceses underwent the module called FAITH: Yes, Lord, I Believe last June 18–21, at the Lingayen-Dagupan Lay Formation Center in order to echo it to their respective catechetical ministries.

Year of Faith formation program 

Through the seminar, called R&R for short, head catechists learn how to give retreats and recollections using ECCCE’s Year of Faith formation program.

The training also includes workshops on how to cascade the formation program to the parishes.

Sr. Lydia, who headed the team of facilitators, which included Msgr. Jose Antonio Galvez, Rica Lavilla and Syd Baradi IV, said the formation is “for all time” and not just for the duration of the Year of Faith, since it is based on the timeless 12 Articles of Faith.

Article 11, for example, focuses on the forgiveness of sin. Participants are personally reminded that they are “loved and forgiven.”

With his Apostolic Letter Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King, in order to call the faithful to an experience of conversion and a rediscovery of faith. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]