INTRODUCTION

"of ONE heart & soul"

Those who believed were of one heart and soul (Acts 4:32)


Just 8 men own same wealth as half the world. This was the stunning heading of the Oxfam International 1 report in January this year. The organization compellingly noted that it is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day.


Here in our country, it is no less encouraging. According to a survey firm, in the last quarter of 2016, forty-four percent (44%) or about ten (10) million families considered themselves poor. From Philippine Statistics Authority, we are told that 3.8 million, or 33.5 percent of all Filipino children up to five years old, are biologically stunted. More than 2.2 million people are without decent housing. Unemployment and contractualization remains a major scourge in spite of the promises to eliminate them. The killings continue. Cruelty and dehumanization have become ordinary. Fake media colonizing discourses and altering narratives. The threats to life and culture, human and environmental ecology, marriage and family have not let up.


How do we talk about communion in the midst of so much exclusion, inequality, abuses and oppression? How do we talk about solidarity, of being one heart and soul, when clearly there is so much that separates us?


The Fourth Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization (PCNE 4) is being audaciously called forth not primarily to offer solutions but to allow us as bearers of the memory of Jesus and proclaimers of the Gospel to come together and discover the path that the Lord wants us to take in the midst of destitution and hate. In sharing our stories, we find not easy answers but inspiration and light. In the predicaments that we have to deal with every day, we can only turn to the Lord who walks with us and who takes our tears away.


Thus, we gather for three days as a response to the inescapable challenges of our times and as a non-violent resistance to the eerie post-truth culture of deception and death. We gather in the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities and we advocate the formation of basic ecclesial communities as a way of being Church in the small groups. We celebrate the message of unity and harmony. We share one heart and soul as a community of disciples, as a Church of and with the poor, as agents of communion, participation, and mission. Together, we will bring into prayer and discernment the following fundamental questions that we, as Christians of the millennial age, must face:


  1. How do we encounter Jesus in the context of poverty, suffering and conflicts?
  2. How can we embody our identity as Church of communion and solidarity especially with the poor and the cast-off?
  3. How do we concretely practice our communion-in- mission in the midst of secularization and globalization of indifference?
Phases Conclusion

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