How a 1-year old parish builds community via ‘Bibliarasal’

How a 1-year old parish builds community via ‘Bibliarasal’
Fr. Paul V. Merida, parish priest of San Jose Manggagawa Parish Montalban FB PAGE OF SJMPM

RODRIGUEZ, Rizal – A small parish in San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal (formerly Montalban, Rizal), San Jose Manggagawa Parish Montalban (SJMPM) is just a little over a year old, but it is growing in spurts, thanks to community efforts like Bibliarasal and livelihood projects.

Under the care of diocesan director for Biblical Apostolate and parish priest Fr. Paul Merida, the parish, which was founded in May 29, 2016, wasted no time in working to unite the locals through several activities like Bibliarasal, Misa de Calle, and livelihood programs.

“Thankfully, all (church organizations) are working as one to help us achieve our goal to become a parish community that praises and serves the Lord—in words and in deeds,” said SJMPM Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) director Greg Cayetano.

Sharing in Buklurans

According to him, every week, Buklurans, groups from different communities under the parish gather to read and reflect on the Sunday readings and the Gospel in an activity called “Bibliarasal,” which aims “to promote awareness, knowledge, and reflection to the Word of God.”

“Each member shares their insights on the readings, and once all the members are done, the head of the Bukluran also imparts additional insights for better understanding of the Gospel,” explained Cayetano in Filipino.
Bibliarasal is a compound term for “Bibliya” (Bible) and “dasal” (prayer).

Candle-making, Missa de Calle, and more

In its aim to uplift the community by helping those who have less in life, SJMPM also offers livelihood programs like candle-making training, tentatively set in November this year, said Cayetano.

Another initiative is the Miss de Calle, which the parish used to hold bi-monthly.

The BEC director explained that the parish brought the Holy Mass to the streets with the purpose of reaching the “unchurched,” saying: “We also wanted the faithful to be aware that we are now a parish [which is] very much willing to serve and help the community with their spiritual needs.”

“At present, this is on a hiatus to give way to activities that the parish organized in the past months, as well as projects to come,” Cayetano added. However, he said the street masses “are to resume soon.”

Though Cayetano admitted the parish lacks “people who are committed to their faith,” as well as material resources, he is happy that the church organizations working as one towards building the community more than makes up for the seeming lack. Pamela Mendez/CBCPNews