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 News Archive 2006


Asian Mission Prayer


A special prayer for the Asian Mission Congress was approved by heads of the organizing committees in their January 20-21 planning meeting in Bangkok.

The prayer starts with the mission of Jesus willed by the Father and refers to the fact that Jesus was born in Asia. The situation of Christianity in Asia is described as a "little flock in this vast continent." Christians are called for "loving service to all" especially the "least among our brothers and sisters."

The Holy Spirit is asked to empower us in "telling the story of Jesus in Asia and by discovering the various modes of His presence." The Spirit of the Risen Lord should "speed our steps" in "encountering our brothers and sisters of other faiths and cultural traditions through a dialogue of life and faith."

Finally, Mary as the Mother of the Church in Asia is asked to lead Christians to her Son and to stimulate their "passion for the will of God."

The prayer is primarily composed for the Asian Mission Congress but can be used as a general "Asian Mission Prayer" by all Christians throughout the continent.

Asian Mission Prayer

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Asian Mission Congress Takes Shape

Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming Asian Mission Congress October 18-22, 2006 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The national congress secretariat in Thailand located at the bishops’ conference in Bangkok presented at a January 21-22 preparatory meeting an extensive action plan for the event. This was further developed by those responsible for the international dimension.

In preparation for the congress, the Thai church will have its own national congress in August before the Asia-wide event.

The preparatory meeting decided to have three categories of participants: Delegates, Guests and Observers. Delegates are the official persons from the different Asian countries who will be nominated and endorsed by their respective bishops’ conferences in cooperation with the national offices of the Pontifical Mission Society. Guests are especially invited people like representatives of other Christian churches in Asia. Observers are those who have a personal interest in the mission congress, and will secure their own accommodation and board. They might, however, have limited access to certain activities of the congress like workshops.

The congress theme song selected from different proposals was composed by seminarian Booncharat Suksawang of the Lux Mundi National Major Seminary in Thailand.

A special Asian Mission Prayer was finalized as a prayer for the congress and beyond.

In support for the Asian Mission Congress, the Comboni World Mission Magazine will publish a special issue September-October with statistics and reports on the Church concerns and mission in Asia. This publication will also serve as source for discussions during the congress.

There will be also special liturgical arrangements involving Asian cultures and mentalities. The congress is organized jointly by the Thai bishops’ conference and the FABC Office of Evangelization in cooperation with other FABC offices and representatives of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Asia.

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Human Formation of Priests

"Human Formation of Priests in the Challenges of the Asian Context" is the theme of a five-day consultation organized by the newly established Office of Clergy of the FABC. The consultation expects some 50 to 60 rectors of major seminaries from all over Asia. Invitations have been sent to the FABC-member bishops' conferences and to individual seminaries as far as their addresses have been submitted to the Clergy office.

The consultation intends to update seminary rectors on the challenges of modern developments in Asia for human and spiritual commitments of priests in their daily ministry. The meeting also will try to reflect on the identity of the priest in Asia, and how to enrich priestly life.

The consultation will take place at the Salesian Retreat House in Hua Hin, Thailand from May 14-19. For details, please contact Fr. Lawrence Pinto, FABC-OC Rosalene Villa, Pinto Valley, Mangalore 575015 Karnataka, India Fax: +91 824 2483007

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Colloquium on Harmony and Reconciliation

An Asian colloquium on "Harmony through Reconciliation" will take place at the Redemptorist Centre in Pattaya, Thailand from January 16-21, 2006. This meeting is the seventh of the FEISA series ("Faith Encounters in Social Action") organized by the FABC-Office of Human Development. Most of the 60 participants expected will contribute papers on 26 different topics related to the conference, which commemorates in a special way 40 years of the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope). Cardinal Renato Rafaelle Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will deliver a keynote message on "Joy and Hope Amidst Grief and Anguish: Gospel of the 21st Century." Other speakers will include Malaysia scholar Chandra Muzaffar, Theologian Fr Felix Wilfred from India, and social activist Mr. Sulak Sivaraksa from Thailand.

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"Role of Religions in Local Church" FABC Paper 116 Published

The Central Secretariat published in December 2005 FABC Paper No. 116 on "The Role of Religions in the Building Up of the Local Church." The Paper documents the first symposium organized by the FABC Office of Consecrated Life in Hua Hin, Thailand July 19-22, 2005. Articles included contributions by Archbishops Orlando Quevedo and Thomas Menamparampil sdb, Sr Julma C. Neo, Fr Soosai Arokiasamy, sj and Prof. Sugawara Yuji, sj. FABC Papers are available online through the FABC website in cooperation with UCANews Hong Kong/ Bangkok.

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Asian Spirituality for Social Communication



Some 30 Bishops and communication secretaries of bishops' conferences from 15 Asian countries gathered from Nov 21 to 26, 2005 in Hua Hin, Thailand to reflect on "Asian Spirituality for Social Communication." It was the 10th annual gathering of communication bishops of Asia, organized by the FABC Office of Social Communication. This meeting always takes place in the last full week of November.

For the first time, East Timor was represented in the person of Bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva of Dili. Basis

for the considerations were mainly texts on Spirituality from different FABC general assemblies as well as remarks on the subject in former annual FABC-OSC gatherings. Other inputs were views of a journalist and a woman on spirituality. The high point of the assembly, however, was the sharing of Reverend Kabilsingh, a Buddhist nun, about Buddhist spirituality in relation to social communication. The final statement underlines the need for spirituality and respective formation for communicators.


Next year's annual assembly will be on "Managing Communications for Bishops' Conferences."



Final Statement


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Archbishop Quevedo new FABC General Secretary



Msgr. Orlando Quevedo, omi, Archbishop of Cotabato (Philippines) was elected as the new Secretary General for the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) for the coming three years. The Central Committee of the Federation elected him in their meeting in Hua Hin, Thailand on November 18, 2005. Archbishop Quevedo has a long affiliation with the FABC and was instrumental in writing the final document of the last General Assembly (2004) on Family. The General secretary is the highest position within the Federation which does not have a president.


At the same time also a new Assistant General Secretary for the Federation was introduced. It is Canadian Fr. Raymond O'Toole of the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society (Scarborough, ON). Fr. O'Toole was a leadership member of his community in Canada and coordinator of Scarboro Mission's Interfaith Desk. He worked as a missionary in Brazil and Hong Kong from where he was asked to take over the FABC responsibility. He is successor to Fr. Edward Malone, MM who was assistant General Secretary of the FABC from its beginning in 1970.

The General Secretariat of the FABC is based in Hong Kong where the Federation is also legally established.


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FABC Mission Congress Concludes Year of Evangelization in Thailand

The Asian Mission Congress from October 18-22, 2006 will conclude a national year of evangelization of the Catholic Church of Thailand. On mission Sunday this year October 23, 2005 the year of evangelization for the whole country was opened through a pastoral letter of Cardinal Michai Kitbunchu as president of the bishops' conference and Archbishop Louis Chamniern of Thanae-Nongsaeng as the chairperson of the Episcopal Commission for Mission and Catholic Education of the bishops' conference. Through this celebration, Thai Catholics who are only a small minority of some 300,000 within a population of 66 million should become "aware of the importance of the Gospel and to be real witnesses of Christ everyday." The Asian Mission Congress is organized by the FABC-Office of Evangelization in cooperation with the Thai bishops' conference. The congress will take place in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country.

Asian Mission Congress 2006


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Human Formation of Priests in Asia

"Human Formation of Priests" was the theme of a consultation organized by the FABC Office of Clergy at the Salesian Retreat Center in Hua Hin, Thailand May 15-19, 2006. Some 70 priest-rectors of major seminaries from 14 Asian countries mostly India, discussed the challenges and opportunities of priestly ministry in Asia. The consequences from priestly challenges like sexual issues were discussed at length, as well as the need for a welcoming and compassionate attitude of the priest towards the faithful and people of other faiths. A spirit of "interior commitment to the mission" is needed in a "spirit of communion," the participants said. In a final statement, the participants recommended ways and means of human formation based on a deep spirituality to help towards better growth of priests.

Final Statement




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FABC Documentation Centre Opens in Bangkok

A new FABC Documentation Centre was inaugurated in Bangkok within the compound of St Louis Hospital owned by the archdiocese. Michai Cardinal Kitbunchu, archbishop of Bangkok, presided the blessing of the centre on May 21, 2006, together with Thai bishops’ conference President, Bishop George Phimphisan, and Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio to Thailand.

The FABC Secretary General, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo omi, the chairmen-bishops and executive secretaries of the nine FABC offices were present at the occasion. The event was a highlight of a three-day joint planning meeting of the offices.

The new centre will house and preserve all books published by the FABC as well as dissertations and other publications referring one way or the other to the Federation. The FABC Documentation Centre includes a conference room that can seat some 40 persons, a library and several small offices.



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Inter-faith Marriages in Asia

"Inter-faith Marriages in the Pluralistic Context of Asia" was the theme of the third "Bishops' Institute of Theological Animation" (BITA) of the FABC-Office of Theological Concerns. The conference was held in Hong Kong May 9-11, 2006. Joseph Cardinal Zen, a former member of the same office was the host of the meeting comprising 23 Asian bishops. The participants pointed out that inter-faith marriages are fast becoming a fairly common phenomenon and this not only in Asia. "There is a need," the participants said, "to accompany the couple with compassion and realism." But one should also be aware that especially in Asia, Family does not simply mean the individual couple but also the extended family and beyond.




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Encountering Confucianism, Taoism and Folk Religions

The FABC Office of Education and Student Chaplaincy recently organized a conference in Taiwan aiming to deeper understand Confucianism, Taoism and Folk Religions. The conference was organized in cooperation with the Regional Chinese Bishops’ Conference and FuJen Catholic University. It tried to shape views of members of these religions and their possible “contribution and challenges to a globalized world” with ramifications in East and North-East Asia. The meeting recommended continuing the spirit of “Nostra Aetate” on mutual listening and learning for Interreligious dialogue as well as in publishing respective resources.

Full Report



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FABC Documentation Centre Set-up in Bangkok

Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand (CBCT) has generously granted the use of an entire floor in one of the buildings at the St. Louis Hospital Compound, Bangkok, Thailand, for the use of FABC as a Documentation Centre, wherein the various publications of FABC may be kept and archived. While the Central Secretariat remains in Hong Kong, the venue in Bangkok will serve as meeting place for various FABC events and also as a possible location of the FABC Office of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs



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Japan Catholic News' Goes Online

After 57 years of service to the local church and elsewhere, the monthly newsletter of the Japanese bishops' conference "Japan Catholic News" (JCN) will cease its printed version and go online. To continue serving English speaking readers, news from the "Katorikku Shimbun" will still be translated and compiled in a section called "Japan Scene." The decision was made at the November 10, 2005 meeting of the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan. The online newsletter will be available at the CBCJ website free of charge. JCN was first published on June 5, 1948. (JCN)

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Asian Mission Congress Program: Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia

The theme of the upcoming Asian Mission Congress is, in a special way, highlighted with the 500th birthday of the great Asian missionary St Francis Xavier on April 7, 2006. The Diocese of Shanghai in mainland China takes this as an occasion to launch a Year of Evangelization similar to the Catholic Church in Thailand which will conclude such a year with the Asian Mission Congress. As to the program, Maryknoll Father James Kroeger writes in the April-May edition of the “World Mission” magazine:

“The Asian Mission Congress, to be held from October 18 to 22, 2006 in Chaing Mai, Thailand will unfold in four thematic segments. First, the story of Jesus in the peoples of Asia will be the focal point (e.g. family, youth, women, migrants). Secondly, the ‘Jesus-story’ in the religions of Asia will be presented (e.g. Buddhism, Islam, traditional religions). Thirdly, the cultures of Asia will be related to Jesus (e.g. indigenous, contemporary and media ‘cultures’). Finally, the story of how God’s Son guides the life of the Church in Asia will be highlighted (e.g. Asian saints, holiness, Mary). The Congress participants will celebrate faith and life in all these pivotal dimensions of the story of Jesus in Asia.”


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Points for Departure for Asian Mission Congress

The plan to hold the continental mission congress in Asia was introduced by Cardinal Crescencio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, during his address to the Central Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference in Bangkok September 27, 2002.

Monsignor Gilbert Garcera, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in the Philippines, writes in an article of World Mission magazine, Manila (March 2006). He cites the fact that in Latin America such congresses are successfully celebrated already since 1977. For the first Asian Mission Congress, he says the main reasons are: First, the congress is a concrete response to the late Pope John Paul II's call for the "Eucharist: The Principle and Plan of Mission." In Mane Nobiscum Domine, the Pope writes: "The 'culture of the Eucharist' promotes a culture of dialogue which here finds strength and nourishment" (no. 26). Another reason is the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Francis Xavier, patron of mission and missionaries. This is "a providential signal to focus Asia's attention on a model of ad gentes mission." Third, from the local considerations, 2006 is the 300th anniversary of the approval of the oratory of Blessed Joseph Vas, the first indigenous "Society of Apostolic Life" in Asia (1706-2006).

All these are "points of departure," Garcera writes, providing "Asian Christians with reasons to celebrate our faith." The first Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand October 18-22, 2006 will be a celebration of Faith and Life under the heading "Story of Jesus in Asia: A Celebration of Life and Faith." For over three days, the congress will reflect on this theme through personal faith stories from sharers and missiologists.

Daily themes have been arranged for participants to share and interiorize "The Story of Jesus in the Peoples of Asia" (October 19), "The Story of Jesus in the Religions of Asia" (October 20), "The Story of Jesus in the Cultures of Asia" (October 21) and "The Story of Jesus in the Life of the Church in Asia (October 22, the World Mission Sunday).

see full text


First Asian Mission Congress: Points of Departure

By Msgr. Gilbert A. Garcera

(file require Microsoft Word)

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Seminar on Christian Unity

A seminar on 'The Search for Christian Unity: Where We Stand Today" is taking place in Seoul, Korea from July 17-21. The event, jointly organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue of the FABC, aims "to provide an opportunity for Asian bishops and others working in the field to reflect on the realities of ecumenical relations in Asian countries, and to develop effective pastoral approaches."

This is part of a series of seminars the Pontifical Council is organizing on various themes associated with ecumenism. The first two seminars (Nairobi and Dakar) "aimed at presenting the principles of ecumenism and motivating participants to respond to the complex ecumenical situation" on the continent of Africa. Another seminar in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 2005 "focused on Pentecostalism and its growth in Brazil."

This year in Seoul, the seminar is "timed to coincide with the World Methodist Conference to be held there from July 20 to 24. At this conference, it is expected that the Methodist Churches will adopt the Joint Declaration on Justification agreed upon between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, and a solemn celebration of the Word of God will mark this extended agreement to be signed in the presence of the Pontifical Council President Cardinal Walter Kasper and Reverend Ismael Noko, secretary general of the Lutheran World Federation.

A similar seminar is also foreseen in cooperation with the FABC-Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for February 7-11, 2007 in Manila.

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Social Communication Resources

The FABC-Office of Social Communication has opened a new "Resources" column in its section in the FABC website presenting full texts of papers produced by the office for different meetings and occasions. They are dealing with Church documents as well as Communication Theology as a new field of study and Communications spirituality and the communication dimension of Christianity. A research on "Texting God: Religion and SMS in the Philippines" which was presented at the "Media, Religion and Culture" Conference in Sigtuna Sweden July 6-9, 2006 is also included. All texts are presented as material for study and reflection but not for publication without due permission.

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Academic Papers for FABC Documentation Centre

In the course of 36 years of existence of the FABC, quite some studies have been made about the considerations, activities and life of the Federation. The new FABC Documentation Centre in Bangkok aims to have a complete collection of all papers especially Masteral and Doctoral theses written about the FABC. We would like to ask our readers and friends to inform us about any such paper, publication or thesis so that we can possibly secure a copy for the center in Bangkok. Please contact the FABC-Office of Social Communication at

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AsIPA General Assembly in November

AsIPA, the “Asian Integrated Pastoral Approach initiative of the Office of Laity and Family of the FABC, will have their fourth general assembly Nov 8 to 15, 2006 in Trivandrum, India. The theme of the assembly will be SCC's/BEC's towards a Church of Communion.” The conference seeks to study how the Integrated Pastoral Approach can strengthen the Church as communion, which effective steps are to be taken for nurturing small Christian communities and especially how to live the Eucharist and the sacraments in small Christian communities. The meeting is also supposed to discover effective structures and plans for exchange and sharing of resources.


Two email addresses have been created for further contacts and informations: and



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Pontifical Mission Societies Taiwan call for full participation in First Asian Mission Congress

The national office for the Pontifical Mission Societies in Taiwan has urged Catholics in Asia to take an active part in the First Asian Mission Congress to be held in Chiang Mai diocese in Thailand 18-22 October on the theme “Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia. ” According to Christian Life Weekly, issued by Taipei diocese, the Congress will culminate with the celebration of Mission Sunday on 22 October. The Congress will have four principal goals: share the joy of faith in Christ; celebrate evangelization of Asians through real life; promote better knowledge of the Ad Gentes decree issued by Vatican II; foster new a lively evangelization. The Pontifical Mission Societies in Taiwan encourage bishops, priests, religious and lay people, young people especially, to take an active part in the Congress signing up for it. Each diocese will be represented by at least 3 delegates. (Agenzia Fides)

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Seminar for Bishops on Priests-in-Difficulty Planned

The FABC Office of Clergy plans to hold a Seminar for Bishops on "Dealing with Priests-in-Difficulty" September 3-6 in Taipei, Taiwan. In order to prepare for this seminar Executive Secretary, Fr Lawrence Pinto, calls on Chairmen Bishops of national commissions for Clergy and Religious to get in touch with the Clergy office at: MSIJ Bldg Pinto Valley, Kavoor Post, Mangalore, Karnataka 575015 Tel/Fax: 0824 248 3895 Email:

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The Churches in Asia

churches in asia

“The Churches in Asia” is the title of a new book related to FABC. It is the English edition of a German book published by the former director (1979-2001) of the Missiological Institute of Missio Aachen, Dr Georg Evers. Over the years, he has been at many FABC conferences especially cooperating with the FABC Office of Theological Concerns. Evers’ book presents reports on all member countries of the FABC and refers, after a short historical overview especially to developments in the last 50 years. The new publication is of great help for a first orientation and deeper understanding of Church-related developments in different Asian countries.


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Theme Song for Asian Mission Congress

A theme song for the Asian Mission Congress was composed by Seminarian Booncharat from the Lux Mundi National Major Seminary in Thailand. The lyric is based beside others on scriptural texts from The Magnificat (Lk 1:47) and the call of the apostles (Jn 1:43-49). "My Heart fills with joy" the song starts and "I will tell my friends" it continues. "Go and tell the world, Asia's people, that God is always here. Share his love, everyone in unity with Jesus Christ our Lord." This Thai song was selected by the executive committee of the congress from several songs submitted from other Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.


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Hong Kong delegation to Asian Youth Day

Over 60 group leaders of the Hong Kong delagation of participants to the next Asia Youth Day 30 July 5 August 2006 received a mandate from the Bishop of Hong Kong, Bishop Joseph Zen honorary chairman of the AYD Commission to share the experience of the faith and refelct on the theme of the family. According to Hong Kong diocesan bulletin Kong Ko Bao the mandate was given at the end of a special Mass in Hong Kong cathedral on 13 February. The group leaders have just completed a five month course on faith and spirituality started in October. From April to June as the Day approaches there will be another course of formation.

The Asian Youth Day is organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC Office for Laity and Family

Hong Kong (Fides Service)

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EUCHARIST: Theme for 9th FABC Plenary Assembly in 2008

The Eucharist in Asia will be the theme of the 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC in 2008. The final formulation of the theme, however, is still to come. After "Asian Family Towards a Culture of Integral Life," 8th FABC Plenary theme in Korea 2004, the Eucharist will be the next focus of deliberations. This follows the Year of the Eucharist proclaimed by Pope John Paul II for the universal Church in 2004/2005 and the Synod of Bishops on the same theme held in Rome October 2005.

Plenary assemblies are the highest decision-making body of the FABC. They take place every four years. For the 2008 assembly, no place or country has been chosen yet. But the preparations will start already in May 2006 with a meeting of the different FABC offices. This will be joint effort of the nine FABC offices under the leadership of the General Secretary, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, of Cotabato.

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Asian Youth Day 2006 in Hong Kong

The fourth Asian Youth Day will be celebrated from July 28 to August 5, 2006 in Hong Kong. The theme is "Youth, Hope of Asian Families." Similar to the World Youth Days, Asian Youth Days are a gathering of young people, this time from all over Asia. The Youth Desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family organizes the event along with Youth Commissions of FABC-member bishops' conferences. Some 1,000 and more young Asians are expected to attend. Families from some 33 Hong Kong parishes have already expressed willingness to accommodate the participants. Past Asian Youth Days were celebrated in Hua Hin, Thailand (1999), Taipei, Taiwan (2001), and Bangalore, India (2003). As follow up, a gathering of Asian Youth chaplains is held after the youth days.

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"Seeds of Faith in Asian Youth" 4th Asian Youth Day in Hong Kong

The Fourth Asian Youth Day was celebrated in Hong Kong from July 30 to August 5, 2006 with some 800 participants from 25 different countries. The Youth gathering offered beside the Plenary assemblies and common worship, including Taize vespers also some 25 thematic workshops, mostly using English but also Mandarin and other languages. The theme of the gathering was "Youth, Hope of Asian Families" and thus followed the theme of the 8th FABC General Assembly "The Asian Family- Toward a Culture of Integral Life" which was celebrated August 2004 in Daejeon, Korea.

A Final Statement reflects not only the experiences of the young people in these days but also gives insights and lists challenges to conclude that "we believe that there are seeds of faith in Asian Youth." If "this faith is nurtured well, they can truly be a hope of the Asian family."

The Asian Youth day was organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family under the direction of Mrs. Joy Candelaria in close cooperation with the diocese of Hong Kong. Some 240 of the participants came from this diocese which hosted the young people on arrival in their families and parishes as a first step in the common experience of the Youth Day. The meeting also underlined in a special way the importance of Inter-religious Dialogue within the Asian communities and families.

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Thailand Mission Congress: Towards the Asian Mission Congress

A national mission congress for Thailand will be celebrated from Aug 11-12 at the St Joseph's School in Samphran, Nakhon Pathom. The congress is part of a year of evangelization for Thailand in preparation for the FABC organized Asian Mission Congress to be celebrated October 19-22 in Chiang Mai.

The theme of the national congress is the same for the Asian congress, "Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia."

The national congress expects some 300 participants from the dioceses but includes also a youth gathering with some 1,000 young people as well as other youth involved in the different activities.

The gathering will also includes cultural activities and presentation on the history of the catholic Church in the country. The theme song of the Asian congress which was composed by a Thai seminarian will be the theme song for the national congress this August.

The Church in Thailand is altogether some 300,000 Catholics in 10 dioceses out of a total population of 10 million.

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INDIA Delegates Will Bring Indian Experience To Mission Congress In Thailand

BANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Indian Church people who attend the upcoming Asian Mission Congress will highlight inculturation and interreligious dialogue in presenting Christ in Asia, according to local Church officials.

"The Church in India is a neighborhood communion, which is constantly in dialogue with other communities and religions," says Father Siluvai Ignaci, coordinator of the Indian delegates to the Asian Mission Congress.

Representatives of India's Latin and two Oriental rites are set to attend the Oct. 18-22 congress on "Telling the story of Jesus in Asia." About 1,000 people from Asia are expected to take part in the event that the Office of Evangelization of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC-OE) is organizing in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

Father Ignaci told UCA News Sept. 13 that 40 delegates would represent the Latin Church, the largest of the three rites, while the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Churches would be represented by about 10 delegates.

The two Oriental-rite Churches, both based in Kerala state, southern India, trace their faith to Saint Thomas the Apostle and follow Syrian Church traditions. They and the Latin rite, largely the product of efforts by European missioners from the 16th century, make up the Indian Catholic Church.

Father Vijay Shantiraj, secretary of the proclamation commission of the Latin rite bishop's conference, told UCA News Sept. 13 that the Indian delegation would present their Church's experience and concerns through cultural programs, sharing and reflections, as well as through papers.

Father Saturnino Dias, FABC-OE executive secretary, based in Goa, western India, said the congress seeks to demonstrate and deepen faith. "It's a kind of reliving the joy of being Christian and coming together to share this faith with one another and with the world," he told UCA News.

Participants will bear witness to the presence of Jesus in the life of families, youth, the elderly, migrants and the poor. Also, people of other religions will share how they perceive Jesus and how knowing Jesus has enriched their lives, Father Dias said.

Workshops on the three full days of the congress, Oct. 19, 20 and 21, are meant to interiorize each day's theme and enable delegates to reflect and share the joy of their faith, he added. The first workshop will discuss the "Story of Jesus in Peoples of Asia," the second will consider the "Story of Jesus in the Religions of Asia," and the last will have participants reflect on the "Story of Jesus in the Cultures of Asia."

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CCA Headquarters Move to Chiang Mai

Christian Conference of Asia

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Protestant counterpart of the FABC, has moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to Chiang Mai, Thailand. The conference will have their own administrative and related buildings in the city, some 800 kms north of Bangkok. Operations start this September from a rented place until CCA's own buildings are ready. FABC and CCA have occasional joint staff meetings as well as activities especially in the field of ecumenical/ interreligious dialogue and human development. The 12th general assembly of the conference in March 2005 decided to move the headquarters to Chiang Mai also because of lower administrative costs there compared to Hong Kong. All CCA offices are located in the main center whereas the FABC works with a decentralized system where the different offices are are spread throughout the continent. CCA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2007.

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Workshops Central To Asian Mission Congress

Workshops are essential part of the Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai October 18-22, 2006. Everyday all the participants will have an opportunity to share with others experiences and insights into the themes of the different days. Whereas the question for the first day workshop is about "My personal faith story," the second day asks "What do I appreciate in the followers of other religions?" The third day workshop asks "What practices or traditions in my culture do best express the Gospel of Jesus?" The workshops are destined to make the whole congress more "interactive" and to go beyond general presentations.


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Indian CBCI Communication Survey 2005 Published

The Commission for Social Communications of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) in New Delhi has published an extensive survey on Catholic communications in India. The project was commissioned by the All-India Bishops' conference during their General Assembly in January 2004 on the theme "Communication." It reflects the opinion of Catholics, bishops, priests, religious and lay about the activities and programs of regional and diocesan communication centers in the country.

The survey is based on questionnaires sent to the different regional and diocesan communication centers as well as to a random selection of individuals. Like all surveys of this kind, they can only indicate directions of working and thinking but have to be consolidated in many more detailed and locally adjusted ways.

The CBCI communication commission has to be congratulated for their work-intensive initiative which can be also an example for the planning of other bishops' conferences within the FABC.

The 384-page book with detailed reports and statistics is available at the CBCI Commission for Social Communication, Delhi, India with email:


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Asian Mission Congress 2006: Second in History

The Asian Mission Congress on October 18-22, 2006 in Chiang Mai, Thailand is the second in the history of the Church in Asia. The first mission congress was celebrated in December 1979 in Manila, Philippines as an international happening on the occasion of the 4th centenary of the archdiocese of Manila. Similar to Chiang Mai, the first congress was "co-sponsored by the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and by the Pontifical Mission Societies" as the message of the delegates from December 7, 1979 says.

"We have been deeply moved by a vision of a new world being born of millions of men and women in the search of new social structures and relationships of a renewed humanity," the 1979 message says. "Many in our Asian countries have in diverse ways met Christ and his Gospel and have been deeply attracted by them."

Unlike the Chiang Mai congress, however, which is composed of delegations from different Asian countries and will be oriented towards faith experience ("Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia") the participants of the Manila congress were mainly Church officials, theologians and especially missiologists. The Manila congress had 10 thematic workshops whose considerations and recommendations are published together with the message of the delegates in volume one of the FABC documents, "For All the Peoples of Asia" (pp. 125-163, Manila (1987): Claretian Publications).

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Indian Dance Group at the Asian Mission Congress

A dance group of the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Center (NBCLC) of Bangalore will be present at the Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai in October. The eight dancers who will be performing under the direction of NBCLC Director, Fr Thomas D'Sa, will enact a ballet on "Telling the Story of Jesus in India." The dance will depict mostly the compassionate ministry of Jesus to the poor and downtrodden and the effects of the continuation of the same mission in India by the Church.

The main reasons to celebrate the Asian Mission Congress given at a dance practice are as follows: The congress is a concrete response to the late Pope John Paul II's call for the 'Eucharist as Principle and Plan of Mission.' Another reson is the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Francis Xavier, patron of mission and missionaries. The third reason is that the year 2006 is the 300th anniversary of the approval of the oratory of Blessed Joseph Vaz, the first indigenous Society of Apostolic Life in India and in Asia (1706-2006).

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Cardinal Sepe Appointed Papal Envoy for Asian Mission Congress

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Cardinal Crecenzio Sepe as his special envoy to the Asian Mission Congress, which will be held Oct. 19-22 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Cardinal Sepe, the 63-year old archbishop of Naples, is a past prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. This was announced by the Vatican Press Office on August 19, 2006.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, the current prefect of the congregation will also be present during the whole congress.

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21 FABC-related Doctoral Dissertations

Up till now there are at least 21 doctoral dissertations completed at different universities which are partly or completely based on FABC documents and thinking since the foundation of the federation in 1970. A listing compiled by Jesuit Father Jeffrey Chang from the FuJen University in Taipei Taiwan shows that most of them are submitted to Roman universities like the Gregorian but also Urbaniana Universities and Angelicum. There are also works submitted and approved by universities in Washington, Berkeley, Ottawa, Innsbruck, Nijmegen and Muenster.

The present listing, confined to doctoral theses only, contains completed works and does not include works in progress. A listing is also confined to doctoral theses only, a listing of Licentiate and Masteral studies will probably be much longer though it has not been developed yet.

A newly erected FABC Documentation centre in Bangkok will try to acquire all papers to make them available for researchers. Any help in this endeavour will be appreciated.

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Indian Team For Asian Mission Congress Meets Bishops

BANGALORE, Karnataka (SAR NEWS) -- Thirty-eight delegates chosen from different regions of India to attend the October Asian Mission Congress in Thailand had a meeting with the bishop-members of the Conference of Catholic Church in Bangalore, August 8.

Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi, chairperson for the Congress organized by the of Asian Bishops' Conference, said that he was happy that the delegates were chosen to represent India at the congress and are enthused to know more about its structure.

'Telling the story of Jesus to the people of Asia' being the theme, the delegates should prepare themselves to spread the story of Jesus to their fellow country people, the bishop said.

The congress will experience the rich variety of mission activity present in various parts of the continent and the delegates would learn from each other the ways and means to communicate the essence of the Gospel in their own milieu, the chairman said.

Chairperson of the CCBI Family Commission, Archbishop Agnelo Gracias, who had recently been to Valencia as the representative of India, felt that a thorough catechesis of mission animation should be prepared to animate the entire Church of India at all levels so that the event of the Congress becomes part and parcel of Christian life of India.

Calling every baptised Christian a missionary, the archbishop advocated dialogue, proclamation and catechesis as the means to make the Indian Church a Missionary Church.

President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, Archbishop Oswald Gracias, spoke of the need of the Congress and said that the Church in India should organise a National Mission Congress after the Thailand Asian event.

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Asian Mission Congress Registration Ends September 1

The final date to register for the Asian Mission Congress from October 18 to 22 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has been set for September 1. All later registrations can not be considered any more for organizational reasons. The different Asian countries have a quota which is handled by the national Pontifical Mission societies offices and the respective Mission Commissions of the Bishops' Conferences. Registrations are to be send to the General Secretariat which is with the FABC Office of Evangelization (e-mail: Media personnel has to register with the FABC Office of Social Communication (e-mail: or for accreditation. The registration fee for the official delegates is 1000.- Thai Baht (ca. 25.--US $) for all others 1500.-- Thai Baht.

( For further details see the Asian Mission congress section in the website! )

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Asian Mission Congress as Faith Experience

The upcoming Asian Mission Congress (October 18-22) will not be an academic or scholarly conference but it supposed to be an experience of Faith in Community. The details of the program show that there will be sharings of personal experiences in different mission related areas like with elderly and youth with the different Asian religions with the world of Media but also the fact of Consumerism or the experience of Migrants. There will be workshops on different themes to give the participants themselves an opportunity to share their own life and expectations. Every day is under a different heading beginning with the Story of Jesus in Asian Peoples to be followed by the Story in Religions and Cultures of Asia up to the Life of the Church. At the conclusion of everyday, also a "Reflective Theological Synthesis" is foreseen.

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Asian Presentation of the Compedium on the Social Doctrines of the Church

An Asian presentation of the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" is going to be organized by the FABC Office of Human Development in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican. Some 150 invited guests are expected to attend the event to be held at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Bangkok in Samphran, in the outskirts of the city, from January 25 to 27, 2007. Speakers will take up several themes from the document. There are already special editions of the book printed in different countries like in the Philippines and India. Translations in Asian languages are also in the working..

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AsIPA: Towards a Church of Communion

The final statement of the fourth AsIPA General Assembly from November 8-15 in Trivandrum concentrates especially on the Asian Church as a church of communion. The church as "a living organism and constantly undergoing transformation" is challenged by the world which rapidly changes value systems.

The church is reflected in the document as a "communion of communities." "Neighborhood communities in each parish gathered around the Gospel in the power of the Spirit," strengthened by the sacraments and especially nourished by them, are in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, and committed to "compassionate and just society."

The document looks back to the experiences of the past as well as present, but also projects into the future with its challenges and concerns. These include the need for "a common responsibility in building a community of communion." To contribute and support responsible leadership in parishes and Church institutions, "interreligious dialogue and ecumenical collaboration should be promoted as well as an ongoing contextualized formation and training."


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Interactive Communication for the Church

The old communication paradigm of one-way, top-down communication has no relevance any more today. This is what communication experts told some 40 communication bishops and secretaries from different Asian bishops’ conferences at the 11th annual “FABC-OSC Bishops’ Meet 07” in Taytay, Rizal, Philippines (November 20-25, 2006). The concern of the conference was “Managing Communications for Bishops’ Conferences.”

Asian bishops’ conferences could have a wealth of information and would be more able to respond to the modern communication culture, if they were better organized and equipped to follow the demands of Vatican II and related Church documents for national communication offices of bishops’ conferences and dioceses.

The Final Statement and recommendations repeat, beside others, the admonition of “Aetatis Novae” for proper pastoral planning, and call for media workshops as well as professional and academic training for Church personnel. Bishops and Church leaders are also encouraged to share inspiring experiences and stories with their people.


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Communication in Asian Religions

Social Communiation in Religious Traditions in Asia

"Social Communications in Religious Traditions of Asia" is the title of a new book just published by the FABC-Office of Social Communication. The new publication documents the papers presented at a Roundtable organized by the same office in cooperation with the Graduate School of Philosophy and Religion of Assumption University and the Asian research Center for Religion and Social Communication (ARC) at St. John's University both in Bangkok from October.

The Roundtable brought some 20 scholars together and at least two of them presented papers on the role and understanding of social communication in different Asian religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Confucianism. The initiative was a follow up of an earlier "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication" (BISCOM) on "Interreligious Dialogue as Communication" which was held in November 2004 in Bali, Indonesia.

The proceedings of that meeting are presented in volume 6 of the FABC-OSC Books. The new publication of 191 pages is volume 7 in the FABC-OSC Books series and published by Logos Divine Word Publications in Manila.


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AsIPA General Assembly in Trivandrum

The fourth AsIPA General Assembly opened on Nov 8 with some 300 participants in Trivandrum, Kerela, India. The opening Eucharist presided by Archbishop Quintana, apostolic nuncio for India, some 18 bishops from different Asian countries and some 130 concelebrating priests. The following days were filled with reports and reflections about the "Asian integral Pastoral Approach" (AsIPA), an FABC promoted way to Basic Christian Communities and deeper reflection on sacred scripture in daily life. The keynote address of the assembly was given by Bishop Fritz Lobinger from South africa, one of the fathers of the so-called "Lumko" approach to Scripture and action as developed by the Lumko Missiological Institute in South Africa. Over the November 12 weekend, the participants joined different parish communities in their AsIPA experience.

AsIPA is an activity of the FABC Office of Laity and Family based on the South African Lunko approach. It follows the invitation of the FABC General Assembly in Bandung 1990 for "A New Way of Being Church in Asia." Within the Office of Laity and Family, a special AsIPA Desk promotes and organizes AsIPA activities.


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Managing Communication for Bishops' Conferences

The 11th annual meeting of bishops responsible for communications in Asia in their bishops' conferences and their secretaries, "Bishops' Meet 06," will take place from November 20-25 in Taytay, Rizal near Manila.

The theme of the gathering will study the role and work of communication offices of bishops' conferences as prescribed by Church documents and teachings. The actual work of these offices will be discussed and experts will present their findings and proposals for such a mission.

The meeting is organized in cooperation with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and will include a video conference with resource persons from Singapore and the United States.

The first Bishops' Meet took place in Tagaytay City (1996). This is the second time that the annual gathering, which is always in the last full week of November will be again in the Philippines. Other Bishops' Meets were held in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Bishops' Meets are organized by the FABC-Office of Social Communication together with the national communications office of the host country.

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Requirements for Family Catechesis

Family catechesis must be integral despite many modern developments which hinder such an approach. The final statement of a conference on "Family Catechesis" at Assumption University, Bangkok declares.

The meeting of some 30 participants lists special criteria like the following: the need to base such catechesis on a new vision of family which has been elaborated already by the FABC. Family catechesis must aims at instilling Gospel values in such a way that they are also acceptable to non-Christian partners. Further, new catechetical models should be developed so that parents become aware that they themselves are to be the main catechizers within their families. Special programs should be developed for families in special situations like those affected by migration as well as inter-faith families which are in a growing number Asian realities. Basic Christian Communities could help to prepare a positive ground for family catechesis.

The conference at the Bang Na campus of Assumption University was organized by the FABC Office for Education and Student Chaplaincy from October 23-27, 2006.


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Family Catechesis Conference

Family Catechesis is the theme of an international conference organized by the FABC Office for Education and Student Chaplaincies at the Bangna Campus of Assumption University in Bangkok from October 23 to 27, 2006. Some 40 participants from 15 different Asian countries study the situation, the needs and challenges of Family Catechesis in Asia. The meeting follows the considerations of the last FABC General Assembly in Daejeon, Korea, 2004 on the theme of Family in Asia.

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World Mission Magazine With Special Edition

"World Mission", the Asian Catholic Magazine of the Camboni missionaries of the Philippines has published a special edition for the Asian Mission Congress. The 80 page edition tries to draw a portrait of the Church in Asia. At the center of the publication is an overview with basic data for the different Asian countries similar to an earlier documentation (1995) of the same magazine. Additional documentations like the listing of FABC General Assemblies and articles complement the issue to reflect the Story of Jesus in Asia.

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Asian Mission Congress on Internet

The proceedings of the AMC in Chiang Mai will be available on the internet during the celebration days. The internet server of the Thai bishop's conference will be made available to stream parts of the proceedings of the congress but also other additional information will be available.

The fabc website will provide a direct link to the Thai server so that those who will not be present in Chiang Mai can also participate. The congress begins in the evening of October 18 and will last till mid-day of October 22, Mission Sunday

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  • Some parts of this site are still under construction, please bear with us..

Other web-based functionalities will be included which will help provide information to users of the Web site and would also allow users to interact and participate in the fulfillment of the FABC’s objectives.

FABC Papers are designed to bring the thinking of Asian experts to a wider audience and to develop critical analysis of the problems facing the Church in Asia. The opinions, however, do not necessarily represent the official policies of FABC or its member Episcopal Conferences. FABC Papers on-line is a special service of the Union of Catholic Asia News

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