Now on its fourth year, the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) 4 was once more held at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion from July 28 to 30, 2017. According to PCNE organizers, more than 6,000 participants attended the conference, the biggest number so far in the four years that the conference is being held.
Office of the Promotion of New Evangelization Director Fr. Jason Laguerta, said that the participants consisted of priests, lay people, students, youth, catechists, members of other communities and organizations and participants from other dioceses in the Philippines.
The theme for this year’s PCNE is “Of One Heart and Soul (Acts 4:32),” and is aimed to celebrate the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities as declared by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Archbishop Salvatore Rino Fisichella, D.D., president of the Pontifical Council on Promoting New Evangelization, delivered the keynote message on the theme “Being Christian in the age of indifference” during the second day of PCNE 4, July 29 while Archbishop Bernardito Auza, D.D., the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations talked on the topic “The role of the Church among community of nations” on the third day, July 30.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D., who presided over the opening mass on the first day, on June 28, held his much-awaited stories of conversion in his “Heart to Heart with Cardinal Chito” segment. His celebrity guests were Dimples Romana, Dingdong Dantes, and Alden Richards.
The life of Blessed Justus Takayama Ukon, San Lorenzo Ruiz and other martyrs was recalled in an exhibition titled “Ecclesia Peregrinans: Refugees, Migrants, and Martyrs of Manila” was opened with Cardinal Tagle and Hon. Yoshihiro Shintani, Superintendent of Education of Toyono, Osaka, Japan together with Mr. Takaki Ohnishi and Ms. Megumi Imaizumi, officials from the Toyono-cho Government Office as special guests. Blessed Takayama was born in Toyono, Osaka.
The exhibition was prepared by UST Archivist Prof. Regalado Trota José as consultant and curator and his team from UST that included researcher-writers from the UST Central Seminary Sem. Elson Santos, Sem. Marti Sandino Espenido, and Sem. Paul Obispo. Mr. Jonathan Gamalinda, an alumnus from the College of Fine Arts and Design, prepared the lay-out design.
The second day of the conference focused on the theme “Making Room” where challenges that the Church, as a community of disciples of Jesus, have to face today, were discussed. The third day of PCNE 4, aptly themed “Embracing Mission,”tackled the primary tasks of Christians as missionary disciples.
Ten tracks of concurrent sessions on school, catechist, family, youth, new media and evangelization, social justice, new movements, ecology, interreligious/intercultural/ecumenical, and parish/BEC were conducted. Among the speakers in the concurrent sessions were Cotabato Archbishop Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, Caloocan Bishop Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D., Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, D.D., Bro. Bo Sanchez, Chairman of the Shepherd’s Voice Radio and TV Foundation.
The first PCNE took place in 2013. Cardinal Tagle, PCNE’s primary mover, introduced it to the people as a local response to the call of new evangelization. It was held from October 16 to 18, 2013 at the University of Santo Tomas with the theme “God makes all things new (Rev 21:5)”. PCNE I focused on rekindling the ardor of evangelization and renewal of faith experience in the local and Asian context.
The second PCNE was held from January 15 to 17, 2015 to coincide with the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Philippines. The theme of PCNE II at the University of Santo Tomas was “Blessed are you… (Matthew 5:1-12).”
For PCNE 3 the theme was “Awa, Unawa, Gawa: The Filipino Experience of Mercy.” It was held from July 15 to 17, 2016 at the University of Santo Tomas.