CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Biblical formation a must for Christians

HONG KONG (SE): Bible formation is a must not only for missionaries but for every believer because every Christian is a missionary. Biblical inspiration of our life and ministries as listeners and servants of the Word was the guiding theme for a five-day Bible seminar in Hong Kong organised by the Claretian Missionaries in East Asia from May 13 to 18. 
Claretian Father Henry Omonisaye, a biblical scholar from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome who heads the Claretians’ Bible Commission, animated the delegates from the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong. 
The seminar focused on the need to identify the strengths, challenges and the transformations needed in the biblical apostolate in East Asia. 
One of the major conclusions was to establish a pastoral Bible school to deepen the biblical formation of the members of the congregation as well as laypeople. The gathering agreed on promoting bible study week, Lectio Divina, bible based conferences, retreats and recollections to equip missionaries as well as people who wish to be part of the biblical apostolate. 
The seminar also stressed the need to utilise social media in the sharing the gospel. Social media literacy is recognised as a must for today’s evangelisers and involving young people in every stage of the apostolate is a priority. 
The Claretian Missionaries in East Asia are involved in printing and publishing Bible and biblical literature in different languages. 
The Christian Community Bible published by the Pastoral Bible Foundation (PBF), a project of the Claretians, has reached 1.5 million copies in English over 66 editions. It has also been translated into 12 other languages with a total of three million copies distributed the world over. 
The PBF has been working on a new translation of the Bible in traditional and simplified Chinese with commentaries and Lectio Divina for every paragraph of the text. The New Testament is already available in Catholic book stores in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

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