by Daryl Elize Bañez
2nd April 2019

“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom you give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears the likeness to you, Most High One. “
“Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful. “

St. Francis of Assisi

How do you teach Catholic catechism to our Lumad (indigenous) parishioners?

INCULTURATION is defined as the adaptation of Christian liturgy to a non-Christian cultural background. This is what our very own Fr. Benido Tumol, MSC with the help of Mr. Kevin Quilantang from the Programs Department intended to do during the “Catechetical Workshop for Volunteer Catechists” in Butuan City on November 20 – 22, 2018. Held in Our Lady of Sacred Heart MSC Pastoral Center, the three-day workshop was attended by Lumads and non-Lumads alike, parishioners of San Luis Parish and the Immaculate Conception Parish of Butuan City and other parts of Agusan del Sur. “We taught them to create learning modules and learner’s profile. We also taught them tools to create the profile and, with them, prepared sample learning modules for the sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, and Holy Eucharist.” reported Kevin Quilantang. We had the idea that we were there to teach these volunteer catechists. It turned out to be an event where active exchange of knowledge, beliefs and practices transpired. Each Lumad participant went home with a deeper understanding of what Christian/Catholic beliefs and practices are all about. On the other hand, the Christian participants got to know more about the beliefs and practices of the Lumads. Christians give thanks to God every day; the Lumads give thanks to Magbabaya (Supreme Being) once a year. Lumads have rituals to ask permission from their Gods first before they hunt animals or cut trees. Just like St. Francis of Assisi, Lumads see God’s creation as brothers and sisters.


The volunteer catechists working on their learning module.

In the end, everybody parted happily and satisfied with what they have learned from each other’s cultural beliefs and practices. This was only the first phase of the three phases of our “Catechetical Workshop for Volunteer Catechists.” We look forward to conduct the second phase next year. The success of our pilot attempt proves that inculturation can bridge gaps, and create deeper understanding among peoples from different walks of life.