What we do with ALL Forum
The partners have agreed to the following objectives:
I. Providing systematic Formation for youth leaders:
In order to ensure sustainability and bridge the gap between the senior and younger generation of lay leaders, we bring them together – local Church and FABC officials, and those from other continents in the name of “solidarity”. Solidarity should be made manifest with increased laity involvement in decision making at all levels of the Church. To achieve this goal, we will promote the various formation programs run by us, and promote new ones, especially for young lay leaders. We employ the Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs) as the main tool or methodology, as well as the spirit or principles of FABC like “Triple dialogue”.
- Short Term – As an effective spiritual formation, the ALL Forum places much emphasis on the religious identity amid the all-things-mixed global world. Strengthening the Christian identity of the young is very urgent and relevant because they need to be conscious of their role as witnesses. Christians are also a minority, and are under pressure in many countries. This moves beyond the UN and West-dominated international NGOs perspective on development that is areligious or biased against faith based approaches. It aims to make the lay leader a “contemplative activist” equipped with socio-political awareness, socio-cultural analysis and understanding spiritualties from various religions.
- On-going Formation – The participants will be informed of the various partners’ on-going program and these will be promoted during the ALL Forum. In turn, the partners will also integrate the ALL Forum into their own calendar of activities, send their alumni and personnel for this formation, as well as incorporate gradually the learning and experiences of the Forum into the CAPS, IFF Asia, RTRC, IMCS AP and JCIM events and formation programs.
- Long-term – Establishing a functional pan-Asian partnership offering such programs and other “practical” courses and institutional support for Church-based leaders, NGOs and animators in Asia – is vital for the growth of the Church’s mission and God’s reign in Asia. (See point (iv) below).
II. Providing a New Vision and Spirit for Lay Missionaries based on FABC & CSTs:
Going beyond “classical” missionary activities like giving aid and verbal preaching, it focuses more on “Integral human development-based mission” (IHDM) in line with the FABC’s famous “Triple Dialogue” with the poor, diverse religious and cultural traditions. The IHDBM approach could be a paradigm shift in doing mission by responding to “Right-based Approach” (RBA) in human development fields like the UN’s the Post 2015. This is also a parallel to the “area based integrated development” approach for greater sustainability. On the other hand, the IHDBM stresses the “spiritual dimension” in development by placing more emphasis on local people’s spirituality, inter-subjectivities and inter-becoming in building their communities where the Spirit of God works. It has a close relationship with practicing interreligious dialogue and collaborations as “dialogue in daily life”, which must be “lay-centered” simply because they are the ones who live out actual lives with different religious followers or non-believers as their neighbors.
III. Providing a Platform for “Asian Theologies” Concretized in Each Context:
When it comes to studying and doing theology, one probably thinks that the job should be taken up only by bishops or priests. Although Asian theologians have focused much on “contextual theologies”, it remains unclear to what extent it has reached the people at the grassroots and how has such theological thinking enabled Church workers to practice their social ministries. A similar question can be posed for the FABC documents and Vatican II Council teachings. ALL Forum could be a platform for lay workers to become such “theologian-actors” as well as be infused with sound theological reflection, that the Church of Asia will be greatly helped in her mission. Theologians should work together with scholars, experts on cultures, actors and many others in various fields, to make Christian theology resonate with the concrete realities in Asia.
IV. Providing Practical Pastoral Support for “Pastoral Partners”: Not assistants but partners, the ALL Forum and its partners’ intends to gradually build-up a network of shared resources and capacity for any further assistance that can be offered through this partnership to various levels of the parish, diocese and region. Since local Churches’ situations vary, and are often found wanting in capacity in many emerging Churches, any modules or workshops can be adapted to the local situation.
- The ALL Forum intends to stress and provide how to build the Basic Human Community (BHC) going beyond the boundary of the institutional “Church”, a right response to Pope Francis’ view on the Church as the “field hospital Church”. That includes people in neighborhoods and streets.
V. “Triple Dialogue & Peace-building Pilgrimage” Program in Asian Context:
The concept of the pilgrimage program is to be understood as an “Applied Triple Dialogue”—that is trips to places in Asia where Christianity and other traditional religious beliefs live together in harmony by being well localized or inculturated in terms of dialogue with the poor, culture and religious traditions. On the other hand, it could also provide visits to religion-related conflict regions where the pilgrim witness an urgent need of the Church’s working for peace. The pilgrimage will be divided into three regions: East Asia, South-East Asia and South Asia according to the groupings made.
These pilgrimages will be a “contextualized” trip to improve or complement the current “Israel-and-Europe-focused” pilgrimages, seeking to revive locality and its spirituality in Asia, following the recommendation of FABC (BIRA IV/2, 1985). The ALL Forum organizes such a new kind of pilgrimage in which each pilgrim will experience actual life of the poor, rich cultural diversity and sacred places of various religious traditions in Asia in order to promote peace and interreligious dialogue.
The pilgrimage will have various modules or types, one of which will include a visit to centers or institutions of Faith-based Organizations (FBO) working for social actions in order to understand a right role of religion in the world. Below are some examples of which most people in Asia, including Catholics, do not have any knowledge:
- Marian shrine in La Vang, Vietnam: Our Lady surrounded by many lights appeared first time in 1798. The Vatican officially approved it in 1998 after that millions have visited to the shrine a year.
- The Shrine of Our Lady of Dong Lu, Hebei province, in China: Pope Pious XI approved in 1932.
- Spiritual Pilgrimage with Filipino: Black Nazarene Feast and Procession in Church of Quiapo, Manila, “Santo Ninyo” (Baby Jesus) feast, and many other celebrations related to the local “Filipino” Christian culture.
- “Religion & Peace Pilgrimage” to Religion-related Conflict Areas in Asia:
- Vanni, Sri Lanka: Conflicts between Singhalese ethnic (Buddhists) and Tamil ethnic (Hindu).
- Mindanao, Philippines: Conflicts between the government and separated groups for independence like MILF, Abu Sayyaf and BIFF.
- Rakhine state, Myanmar: Conflicts between the Buddhist government and Rohingya ethnic, a Muslim minority.
- “Interreligious Pilgrimage to Hindu and Islam Shrines”: Seeking peace through understanding and visiting Islamic heritages, religious leaders and their thoughts. Pilgrimage to cultural-religious cites of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam through some places in Pakistan, northern part of India and Indonesia.