Lipa archdiocese launches ’synodal book’

January 15, 2024 - 2:38 PM
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Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa leads the book launch of “Enlarging the Space of our Tent” at the Parish and National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Jan. 13, 2024. (CBCP News)

A new book, featuring reflections from church people and laity across various walks of life, offers insights into the “transformative impact of synodality”.

Published by the Archdiocese of Lipa, “Enlarging the Space of Our Tent” is a 271-page book inviting readers to step out of their comfort zones and engage in conversations fostering mutual respect, support, and understanding.

It was formally launched on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Batangas province’s Santo Tomas town, south of Manila.

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa said the book “presents an interesting perspective,” bringing together the voices of some bishops, priests, farmers, young people, politicians, and even experts from abroad.

“This really is a synodal book,” Garcera said during the launch. “And in this book you’ll see communion and participation in response to the mission.”

In the book’s epilogue, the archbishop said that one of the reasons they decided to publish it is for people to “embrace a more inclusive perspective.”

“They will be reminded of the richness and diversity of human experience,” Garcera wrote.

Among the writers are Bishop Pablo Virgilio David and Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, the president and vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), respectively.

The two bishops were also two of the four Philippine delegates to the first session of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality at the Vatican in October 2023.

The release of the book coincided with the launch of Garcera’s pastoral visits to the 66 parishes in his archdiocese, scheduled to take place from April to August this year.

Among other reasons, a bishop’s pastoral visit aims to bring encouragement and hope to those engaged in pastoral work and parishioners.

Garcera, 64, has been the archbishop of one of the country’s largest ecclesiastical territories since April 2017.