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) launched the Church History Seminar-Workshop entitled “Writing Our Church Story” last June 7, 2021. Scheduled mostly on Mondays of June, July and August, the three (3) month activity was implemented though the collaborative manpower of the Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas and the UST Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (GS CCCPET).
As one of CBCP’s flagship projects in the celebration of the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, the capacity building initiative was conceptualized to review the past and guide the future narrative of the Church. Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortez, Chair of the CBCP ECCHC, highlighted in his opening message the “prevalence of truth and fallacy, reality and fantasy, claims and counter claims that often lead to historical revision to lionize events, places and people.” It is envisioned that more clergy and laity will be equipped not only with the research skills and methods but with the right attitude of discipline, humility and patience.
The inaugural episode was a panel discussion participated in by highly respected church historians of the country- Fr. Tony de Castro SJ of Ateneo de Zamboanga, Fr. Emil Quilatan OAR of the Archivo Recoleto, Fr. Albert Flores of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Manila (AAM), Prof Regalado Trota Jose of Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (AUST) and Fr Milan Ted Torralba of the Tagbilaran Diocesan Church Heritage Commission. Attended by clergy and church enthusiasts from Dioceses across the Philippines, the inaugural episode was viewed by an overwhelming attendance 180 on-liners in the zoom and 800+ netizens in the FB platforms of CBCP ECCHC, CBCP News, UST GS CCCPET, and the 500 Years of Christianity.