The Second International Biblical Symposium promoted by the Biblical Pastoral Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST) has ended this week in Angola’s capital of Luanda.
Anastácio Sasembele – Luanda, Angola.
The Biblical Symposium in Angola, held this week, had the theme: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”
Local and international participants meeting in Luanda have recommitted themselves to pastoral activities that make the Word of God ever more central in the lives of the faithful. According to the Biblical experts, Scripture must align with pastoral activities in parishes, Small Christian Communities (SCC), lay associations and movements. The Catholic faithful need to be helped encounter Christ, who communicates himself in his Word.
A robust Biblical ministry
Archbishop José Manuel Imbamba of the Archdiocese of Saurimo, who also doubles as President of CEAST, presided over proceedings. He called for a more robust Biblical apostolate in the Church.
After group ad plenary sessions, participants resolved that continuous Scriptural formation of the consecrated, clergy, as well as the laity, was a fundamental approach that needed much support.
Research and deep study
Bishop Dionísio Hisiilenapo of Angola’s Diocese of Namibe and President of CEAST’s Biblical Commission called for more Biblical research and deep study of the Word of God.
The participants further recommended that dioceses in Angola should support the growth of the Biblical apostolate. In particular, dioceses should plan and liturgically celebrate in a meaningful way, each year, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
In 2019, Pope Francis established that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time be devoted to celebrating, studying, and disseminating the Word of God. The Pope indicated that the Sunday be entirely dedicated to the Word of God.
Thus, Pope Francis is inviting all Catholic communities to live the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time with a certain solemnity, including the enthronement of the sacred text in parishes and Church institutions.
Father Jan Stefanow, a Polish Divine Word priest and international speaker, presented aspects of biblical ministry in light of the Second Vatican Council.