As the 6th Philippine OCDS Congress was ending last April 24, 2016 two persons asked me what my impression of the Congress was. My immediate reply was that it was enriching and spiritualizing. Upon further reflection I want to add a third quality of the Congress as far as it impacted on me. It was also centrifugally undulating. The last two words may be unfamiliar to many. I will make them clear later.

First, it was an enriching experience for me. It was the first time that I participated in the Congress election as a voter. I was able to feel the solemnity of the occasion. I learned so many things because we were given a copy (soft one in our USB) of the reports of the Councilors. These reports give us a well informed picture of the OCDS in the whole Philippines. As far as I can remember it was only during this Congress that we were given such reports.

And these reports were very well done. The pictures were very beautiful. The data were precise. The explanations were clear.

Secondly, the 6th OCDS was spiritualizing. The word "spiritualize" has been used derogatively to indicate a flight from the mundane affairs of life.  Maybe I should have used the words "spiritually invigorating". But the first and basic meaning of "spiritualizing" in the dictionary is "making spiritual". And that is what I mean. This Congress made us spiritual or more spiritual. From the beginning to the end the role of the Holy Spirit was prominent. And the Holy Spirit spiritualized us, made us more like him, a spirit.

At the opening of the Congress before Neng Bendero of the Tacurong Community said the opening prayer she announced that I would lead in the singing after her prayer. She gave this assignment to me a month before the Congress. The first song I picked up for the opening hymn was "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty". Then I changed my mind. I thought to myself that the song has to do with the Holy Spirit. So I picked up another song, "Come, Gracious Spirit". But on second thought I said that the song was not familiar to most of us. So, I picked up the old song, "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest". But lo and behold, when I intoned this song before the participants, another song was sung by them, "Come, Holy Spirit, We Need You", the standard opening song in a charismatic movement meeting. And I was happy. The Holy Spirit indeed took over. And he continued to guide and enable us during the Congress. Thus he spiritualized us, made us to be like him as spirit.

The third quality of this Congress was that it was centrifugally undulating. These words merely mean that the Congress created ripples undulating from the center (Philippines) to the farthest places of the world. When I use these words I am only repeating what our Provincial Delegate Fr. Benedict Piangco said when he gave the new officers of the Philippine OCDS Congress their charge during the last Mass we had. He said that he expected their work to spread not only in Asia but throughout the world. This statement is prophetic. We did it already through the Manuals of Formation. These Manuals have gone to all parts of the world. We will be creating ripples again of revival in our OCDS way of life through the work of our new Council Officers (who are not really new since all of them were in the Council in the last triennium, but they are newly mandated).

Indeed our 6th Philippine OCDS Congress for me was  enriching, spiritualizing and centrifugally undulating.

For a narration of what happened during this Congress go here

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