(Manila, Philippines) The first Local Coordination Meeting after the Reformation Period was organized by the National Coordination Team of the Prayer and Life Workshops Philippines (PLW Phil) last November 3, 2012 at Spiritus Hall, Ruah Parish Center, Holy Spirit – BF Homes, Quezon City. It was a well represented meeting with 12 participants coming from Antipolo, Bataan, Bulacan, Manila and Marikina Coordinations and 7 members from National Coordination headed by Domeng and Mila Mendoza.
The meeting focused on specific key themes lifted from the Philippine Culmination Week experience last August 3-6, 2012 facilitated by the founder and motivator of the Prayer and Life Workshops’ Fr. Ignacio Larannaga, OFM Cap. “Integration and Expansion” were the two key ingredient words that best describes the initiatives and plans for 2013-2014.
Each key function of the Local Coordination Team were represented by the National Coordination Team counterparts that provided updates, strategic initiatives and orientation points on various forms and processes to help support 2013-2014 integration and expansion plans. Lively forum on best practices in coping with adjustments as well as addressing local concerns have forged a stronger support system across all coordination.
The meeting was spiced when everyone listened with anticipation sample Filipino songs that are on the way for completion together with the translation work for English messages, prayers from the Encounter Book and Silencing exercises to Filipino. The songs are recorded with the exact tune of PLW English songs making it a closer resemblance to the original sessions. The lyrics were creatively translated to Filipino and sung by a talent tapped by the National Coordination Team.
Domeng Mendoza, PLW National Coordinator begun his presentation with a projected forecast of having 100 PLW Guides by the end of Cycle 1 of 2013 with the completion of schools of formation across local coordinations and nuclei groups. He also revisited key themes that will guide the integration and expansion plans for 2013-2014 with emphasis on personal conversion, development of talks for general public, change on structures with moderation, prayer and life circles and thrust for evangelizing couples.
Local expansion in the Philippines were presented with projected workshops and schools of formation to happen in Tarlac City, Cebu City and Davao City by end of 2014. Asian expansions were also envisioned giving workshops and schools of formation to potential sites in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan.
The thrust to develop a stronger sense of family amongst guides in the PLW Phils were the focused initiatives of the National Coordination Team headed by the secretariat-couple Derrick and Kathleen Lara. With the “Integration and Expansion” mindset at hand, the National Secretariat has presented latest innovations in the communication system amongst the guides: (a) Creation of facebook page for PLW Guides Philippines; (b) Creation of facebook page for workshop promotion; (c) PLW Philippines wordpress site.
Local reporting via online collaboration tools were discussed so as to ensure proper recording and collating of cyclical reports due for every end of cycle including a presentation of an automated tracking system for every workshop sessions initiated to help keep track of PLW sessions being offered every year.
Janice De Guzman, National Treasurer presented on the other hand the status of outstanding accounts as well as the funds at hand reflective of the National Coordination’s thrust of transparency and empowerment. It has been announced that there will be an increase cost for a set of materials for English sessions effective Cycle 1 of 2013 but having similar fees for Filipino sessions.
Supporting Local Expansions
PLW Philippines Formation Plans. Joy Lara, National Formation Guide points out the differences between Intensive School of Formation and Regular School of Formation.
The formation scope was handled by Consolacion “Joy” Lara, National Formation Guide providing insights on various differences of the newly presented Intensive Formation that will allow the student of the school of formation to finish by 6 months versus the Regular School of Formation that has 1 1/2 years to complete.
The participants were engaged with a lively discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of the two schools of thought with regard to quantity or quality of guides that will support the expansion programs for 2013-2014.
The thrust to run the Intensive Formation will be dependent on the availability of materials from the zone as well as the readiness of formation guides and participants given the duration of this program type it requires.
A short but sweet presentation on the status of PLW Materials was presented by Sofia Origenes, National Materials-in-Charge. With the expansion plans for 2013-2014, the local coordinators were reminded of responsible placement of materials and prioritization of local stocks consumption to ensure there is enough materials being printed and distributed for every cycle. A new pick-up location was handed to the local coordination treasurer to complete the presentation.
Responding to the Expansion Opportunities
Cebu Mission. Norma Garcia, Antipolo Coordinator together with Rhodora Felix, Antipolo Secretary provides insights of their mission trip in Cebu with Marikina Coordination.
The Local Coordination Meeting was capped with a narrative reporting of Marikina and Antipolo’s mission trip to Cebu last October 23 – 26 as part of their efforts of promoting the Prayer and Life Workshops in the south. Both teams have shared their personal accounts of their various experiences in introducing PLW to various church organizations and parish priests in general who were commonly requesting for a recommendation from their respective local bishops. There is a huge potential to expand to Cebu given the warm reception to PLW’s methodology therefore requesting the presence of the National Coordination team to initiate a working plan of having workshops and schools of formation by January 2013.
The National Coordination Team will be setting meetings with Antipolo and Marikina to finalize the roadmap work for PLW expansions in Cebu in the next 2 weeks.
Domeng and Mila Mendoza summarized the meeting with the following key points : (a) PLW Roadmap; (b) Improvement in Reporting and Tracking; (c) Maximizing technology-related tools for better interaction and (d) PLW Expansion Plans.
The National Coordination Team has given away materials for promotion such as old version of encounter books, Pagtatagpo, Song Books, PLW Posters and Workshop Announcements as part of the promotion efforts of bringing more people to know the workshops.