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Bible Ministry celebrates silver anniversary

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : A colourful celebration of the silver anniversary of the Hong Kong Filipino Catholic Biblical Pastoral Ministry began with an energised song and prayer of blessing and thanksgiving at Holy Family parish, Choi Hung, on August 9.

Around 50 people from several Filipino groups gathered to mark the occasion, which ran under the theme, Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving.

The 15 minutes of music and prayer set the tone for a celebration of trust in the Lord as the source of strength and hope, together with a strong faith that God will indeed act in human affairs.

The group thanked God for being a good shepherd over the past 25 years and featured a long list of various images from the bible that reveal the loving, caring and saving power of God.

Special thanks was also given to the priests and brothers from the Divine Word Missionary Society who have put much time into guiding, sharing and teaching the two communities that the Bible Ministry organises.

Members of the Bible Ministry led a solemn procession, placing red roses around a small altar before the parish priest of Choi Hung, Father James Areechira, enthroned the bible in the place of honour.

He then offered a prayer of thanks for the enthusiasm and willingness that members of the ministry have shown over the years in sharing their wisdom with others, as he welcomed the 50 or so visitors who came to celebrate with the members of the ministry.

The co-founder of the Bible Ministry, Columban Sister Tammy Saberon, was the guest of honour for the afternoon. She reminisced on the joy of seeing a fledgling beginning in 1990 not only survive, but continue to provide the nourishment of the word of God over such a long period of time.

“Although I was not here over all the time, I give thanks that the Lord made such a small seed grow,” she told the gathering.

“I was ever only a partner. The group lasted, because of the dedication of those who put in the hard work,” she added.

She then displayed some of her hidden talent, sharing her accomplished voice and deft guitar work in performing one of her own compositions.

She said that since she has returned to live in The Philippines she has had the time to compose several hymns and recently recorded them on CD.

During an afternoon of entertainment, three scenes from the gospels were presented in imaginative and striking drama.

The Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan and the Agony in the Garden all gripped the imagination, as well as providing comic relief with the simplicity of some of the creative props.

The coordinator of the ministry, Elena Rizardo, told Mabuhay that it runs two regular annual activities, the Basic Bible Seminar and the Bible Encounter, popularly known as the bible quiz.

Rizardo explained that those who graduate from the seminar are invited to join the quiz, as well as people from any of the many communities around the city.

She said that anyone who wants to do the work is welcome.

It takes people months to prepare for the quiz, as they need to do a lot of study to be able to answer the questions posed on the bible.

She added that the ministry also has a pastoral outreach, and members visit prisons and hospitals as part of their living out of the challenges put to them by the word of God.

Rizardo said that it is difficult to get people involved in the Bible Ministry, but the two committees  function well and she believes that they will bear fruit, as they have developed a refined ability to cooperate with each other.

 

‘I was ever only a partner. The group lasted, because of the dedication of those who put in
the hard work’

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