The Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (AUST) and the UST Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET), commenced with their weekly Church History Seminar-Workshop titled “Writing Our Church Story” on June 7, 2021. This was organized in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (CBCP-ECCHC), and the Church Historians’ Association of the Philippines (CHAP).
Held every Monday from June to August 2021, the three-month webinar series will air a total of 11 episodes regularly via Zoom and will remain accessible to the public via livestreaming on the following Facebook pages: CBCP-ECCHC, CBCP News, UST GS-CCCPET, and the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.
As one of CBCP’s flagship projects to celebrate the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, the capacity-building initiative was conceptualized to review the past and guide the future narrative of the Church.
CBCP-ECCHC Chair Most Rev. Julito B. Cortes, D.D., Bishop of Dumaguete, highlighted in his opening message the “prevalence of truth and fallacy, reality and fantasy, claims and counterclaims that often lead to historical revision to lionize events, places, and people.”
The Bishop envisions that more clergy and laity will be equipped not only with the research skills and methods, but also with the right attitude of discipline, humility, and patience.
The inaugural episode, “Introduction to Church History Research and Writing: On the need for church history research and writing on the local level,” was a roundtable discussion moderated by USTGS-CCCPET Director Prof. Eric B. Zerrudo, Ph.D.
The panel included highly respected church historians in the country, such as: Fr. Antonio de Castro, SJ, of Ateneo de Zamboanga; Archivo Recoleto Administrator Fr. Emilio Edgardo A. Quilatan; Fr. Albert Cecilio A. Flores of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Manila (AAM); UST Archivist Prof. Regalado Trota José; and Chair of the Tagbilaran Diocesan Church Heritage Commission Fr. Milan Ted D. Torralba.
The second episode “Archives, Sources, and Methodologies. Importance of Sources and Technical Analysis of Historical writing; The Pursuit of Primary Sources; Traditional and Innovative Methodologies in Historical Interpretation,” was also a roundtable discussion.
The panel from the previous session was joined by Fr. Nestor C. Impelido, SDB, who teaches Church History at Don Bosco School of Theology, and Fr. Antolin V. Uy, SVD, of the Divine Word Seminary of Tagaytay. The subsequent session was led by Fr. Quilatan with his lecture on Recoletos archives.
For the first session of July, which was actually the fourth episode of the webinar series, Prof. José presented the Dominican or UST archives, while art historian and Jesuit archivist Fr. Rene B. Javellana, SJ, discussed the Jesuit archives during the fifth episode. The last session for the month of July focused on the Salesian archives where Fr. Impelido served as the lecturer.
Each week, the webinar series was attended by clergy and church enthusiasts from Dioceses across the Philippines.
In August, the webinar series will air five more episodes on the following topics: Writing the history of the parish I (Archdiocese of Manila) with Fr. Flores; Writing the history of the parish II (Archdiocese of San Fernando) with researcher and book author, Ms. Nina L.B. Tomen; Writing the history of the parish III (Archdiocese of Zamboanga) with Ms. Ma. Christina Cañones, chair of the Social Sciences Department of Ateneo de Zamboanga; “Doing research in the Archivo Segreto Vaticano : On the first three apostolic delegates to the Philippines” with Fr. Antolin Uy as speaker.
The last episode will serve as the closing ceremony.