SURIGAO CONDUCTS ASSESSMENT AND CONSOLIDATION CONFERENCE ON RI PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION
by Marujah Doverte on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 9:42am
About seventy-eight  Religious Instructions [RI] teachers responded to the summon of the Bishop of Surigao to come to Masgad Parish and attend in the 3-Day Assessment and Consolidation Conference on RI Program Implementation of the Diocese held on October 20-22, 2011.
The conference was intended to assess the progress and extent of RI Program implementation in the whole Diocese, to design appropriate measures to enhance and improve RI Program implementation, and to consolidate all sectors and churches in the Diocese for common efforts and cohesive work strategy in future RI Program implementation.
Surigao Diocese started its RI Program implementation in 1997, though some parishes began the implementation even before the diocesan formation in 1995. The RI Program was borne out from the provision of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines affording all churches in the Philippines to teach their children on Christian faith at classes in public schools, at least three  times a week, thirty  minutes per day.
Armed with the permission of the DEPED authorities issued every year, Surigao Diocese, from 1997, held RI classes in public schools within the jurisdiction of every parish and mission, from elementary to secondary levels, using the RI Curriculum and Manual designed and popularized by the national church in the early nineties. The leadership of the Diocesan WOPIC took the initiative to spearhead the RI Program implementation, taking responsibility in the monitoring of the program and uniforms of the RI teachers. The Diocese appointed the late Mrs. Aurora Balandra and, after her death, Mrs. Princesa Echin, to serve as the Diocesan CE Officer, coordinating the RI Program with the clergy of the Diocese.
A major component of the conference was the workshop sessions divided into four with the purpose of coming out basic profile and inventory of RI Program, sorting out its strengths and weaknesses, looking at the various threats and opportunities of program implementation, and drawing up measures and mechanisms to intensify program implementation and consolidate the whole Diocese to pursue consistently the RI Program. The workshop sessions were grouped into deaneries and presided over by the respective deans.
A number of BTR’s and lectures preceded every workshop sessions. Revd Carlo Morales gave the first BTR on the subject: “Let the Children Come Unto Me;” while Revd Joaquin Estoconing presented the second BTR entitled: “Blessed are the Children.” The Bishop of Surigao, on his part, presented a three-series lecture “On Christian Education and Faith Formation.” He also presided over and preached at the daily Eucharistic worships in the conference, ably assisted by the Clergy of the Diocese.
Capping the activity was the Plenary Session presided over by the Revd Carlo Morales, the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Christian Education and Nurture, where the Workshop Reports and other documents [Masgad Communique, Statement and Resolutions] were adopted.
The presence of the clergy of the Diocese throughout the conference provided inspiration and morale to the participants, while Masgad proved again to be a gracious host by opening the homes of the members to accomodate the participants and clergy and by providing lavish and sumptous meals every day.