Tuesday, 28 February 2017 00:00

Cuba: Closing of the II Theological Biblical Course for the laity in the Diocese of Holguin

After three years of study, on February 18, the graduation of 16 participants in the Second Course on Theological Biblical Formation took place in Holguin. The course was taught by Carmen Aparicio Valls, Theology Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, with the support of Araceli Cantero in matters of spiritual integration. The course has received academic support from members of the Teresian Association and logistic support from San Arnoldo Janssen Center for the Formation of the Laity of the Diocese of Holguín, which was the location for the face-to-face meetings and the graduation ceremony.

0227-1According to Holguín católico, Diocesan publication, the "graduates are lay people committed to their parish community and their lay testimony in their family and society." The course, in addition to imparting knowledge, "teaches participants to think for themselves and the group sharing favors communion within the diocese," explains Professor Aparicio.

Emilio Aranguren Echeverría, Bishop of the diocese, addressed the group of lay people who had taken the course and emphasized the importance of doing things gradually and having patience in their formation, and encouraged them to continue taking steps. "Let's move forward little by little with a lot of confidence in God and a certain amount of confidence in ourselves," he said. He also thanked the members of the Teresian Association, guides and teachers of the Course, and the managers of the Janssen Center for their logistical support.

During the ceremony, the students presented a summary of their final project and the motivation that led them to choose their topics.  Some of these were: Mercy, Human Dignity, Laity, Evangelization in the Acts of the Apostles, Dignity of Women, the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, and Parish Councils.

Pablo Casañas, a member of Velasco community, whose work centered on "the sacraments of Christian Initiation," said that his choice was motivated by the fact that “I see the need for the commitment of the baptized and especially of those who finish the Christian Initiation program. This is to express gratitude to all those who have trained me and helped me grow as a Christian."

The theological biblical course has a blended mode. One of its objectives is to offer a systematic theological formation, deepening into Sacred Scripture and lay spirituality, based on the study of the main documents of the Second Vatican Council, of the universal magisterium, and of the Church in Cuba. The themes are grouped into three modules designed for three years of study: I. The Church of Christ; II. The Church as Communion; III. The Church in Mission.

The methodology includes two face-to-face meetings each year during the months of February and July, working guides that the students complete and send to the teachers who, after revision, return them to the participants. Students also must complete a final project. When explaining this process, Carmen Aparicio said that "this task has a practical aspect with emphasis on reflection on their life experience."

The participants in this second course decided to take Blessed Victoria Díez as their patroness, a young educator and catechist and member of the Teresian Association.  She who was born in Cordoba, Spain and gave her life confessing her faith in Christ in 1936, soon after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.  In 2003 she was declared a martyr by Saint John Paul II.

The final projects have been placed in Dr. Bernardo Fernández Diocesan Library to serve as consultation documents for others.

The third course will begin in July

The diocese and the organizers plan to continue the experience with the realization of a third course that is scheduled to begin next July.

Source: Holguín Católico



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