Statement of VIVAT Workshop, Philippines 2012


Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center | Quezon City, Philippines

November 26-30, 2012


Coming from various parts of the Philippines, we, the 44 members of nine religious congregations of VIVAT International – SSpS, SVD, OMI, CSSp, ASC, MCCJ, LSA, SCJ and RA, consisting of provincial superiors, delegates and lay partners accompanied by the core team of VIVAT International, New York and Geneva, JPIC Coordinator of SVD Generalate, and SVD ASPAC Zonal Coordinator, gathered together to attend the workshop of VIVAT International.

We assembled together:

> to broaden our understanding of VIVAT and its mission and goals

> to help us embrace and make them ours, then carry this sense of ownership back to our local communities

> to learn how VIVAT advocates on behalf of the marginalized, carrying out a ministry of advocacy on JPIC matters in partnership with local groups and communities and at the international level.

During this workshop, we listened to each other and shared our experiences of working to promote justice, peace and integrity of creation in our respective mission throughout the archipelago. The stories inspired us and led us to know each other better as well as the ministries of our congregations.

From the sharing of experiences we identified major issues confronting the country and its people, namely: corruption, mining, the need for electoral and political reforms, framework agreement on “Bangsamoro” and land ownership.

The valuable inputs on Justice and Peace in the Bible and in the Catholic Social Teachings helped us to deepen our understanding of these issues and invited us to renew our commitment to the original covenant relationship between God an his people.

Inspired by all the inputs and motivated by the vision and mission of VIVAT International to seek justice, promote peace, and preserve the integrity of creation, we renew our commitment to upholding human rights by working towards the eradication of poverty, restoring the rights of indigenous peoples, preserving creation, upholding sustainable development and working for structural and political change.

We are grateful for the presence and support of VIVAT International Team and the inputs of resource persons that gave us courage to stand for the rights and respect the dignity of each person, especially those of women and children at the grassroots level and through the mechanisms and procedures of international fora, especially through the United Nations.

We acknowledge that the issues are complex and we also see the strength of the networking that has begun.  We are open to collaborate with other NGOs who share our vision.  Believing that “Action on behalf of justice and participation in the struggle of the poor is an integral part of preaching the Gospel,” (Synod of Bishops 1971 #6).

Thus, we recommend the formation of VIVAT-Philippines and the required mechanisms.