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Brainstorming ABP for renewal in the Archdiocese

By Colin Bartholomew

Biblical Animation of All Parish Life (ABP) is a ministry that began in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain in 2014. This Ministry is part of the Evangelization Commission, and its main goal is to help Catholics live and serve the Lord in ways that are inspired by the truth and vitality of the Bible.

Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon has appointed Dr Wendy-Ann Jones as Team Lead. This ABP Team will lead the way in giving fresh vitality to how and what we do as Church – in our homes, our neighbourhoods, parishes, workplaces, vicariates, and ultimately the Archdiocese.

The team is charged with advancing the Ministry through engaging activities and other platforms which enable valuable contributions. One of the goals of ABP is to have a team in every parish comprising representatives of parish bodies, dedicated to ensuring that all parish activities are inspired by the living Word of God.

On Saturday, August 19, from 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., 103 persons from across the Archdiocese gathered at the St Charles Borromeo RC Church Parish Hall in Tunapuna for a brainstorming session to initiate a series of discussions and activities which will continue to shape and build ABP in the Archdiocese. Specifically, this unique brainstorming session provided the opportunity to discuss how the local Church might accomplish this biblical animation at all levels of Church. The session was co-ordinated by Dr Jones and the ABP Team.

Dr Jones, who is also the Principal of the Catholic Bible Institute, led the session with the assistance of Episcopal Delegate for Evangelization Deborah de Rosia, through an introduction to ABP. It included information from Verbum Domini, the Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Benedict XVI, which set the tone for the session, and girding the discussion in 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 27 (one body, many parts).

Dr Jones encouraged participation and commitment to the exercise as it was earmarked as a critical component to inform, inspire, influence and direct ABP across the Archdiocese.

The session included a workshop-style segment where participants were subdivided into groups to interrogate issues impacting five main groups of the local Church: children under 13 years, youth, young adults/adults, retirees, and people in the workplace.

Each group was encouraged to frame their contribution through the lens of positive collaboration and co-responsibility; the feedback received proved to be very encouraging to the process.

The session culminated with group presentations based on the contributions received with respect to the identified segments of the local Church. Common themes which resonated across the respective groups included engagement through technology, mentorship, networking forums, and faith formation exercises.

Other contributions identified activities such as more intellectual development activity around scripture (Bible study, documentaries, research) and diversifying channels of communication to maximise reach and impact.

The group of persons which contributed to the exercise was officially welcomed to the ABP team as part of the next steps. This includes the establishment of monthly sessions to continue developing ABP in the Archdiocese.

Guidelines for the biblical inspiration of the entire pastoral ministry of the church were also shared with the freshly minted extended ABP team to guide further sessions focused on ABP.

The team concluded the day’s activities fully energised to move forward on the mission with the agreement that the Team will meet again on September 9 on the Zoom platform.

We look forward to the expansion of the team across the Archdiocese which will contribute to establishing a new paradigm across the Latin American and Caribbean Church, walking in the light of the Word.

Everyone is invited to join us in this service for an integrated biblical animation of pastoral life. For more information, please email: abptt23@gmail.com