Theology professionals develop knowledge in Scripture workshop

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Superintendent Richard Alvia, left, and Archbishop Michael Byrnes, right, smile as Christy Alcantara, center, of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam expresses her gratitude to the attendees of the Scripture workshop for theology professional development coordinated in part by Alcantara and the Office of Catholic Education. (Photo by John Michael D. Pineda / jpineda@umatuna.org)

By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os

On the morning of Oct. 28, approximately 50 educators and administrators of our schools and parishes attended a workshop that was taught by Archbishop Michael Byrnes at the St. John Paul the Great Center for Evangelization in the Chancery Office on San Ramon Hill.

The workshop was a fruit of the labors of the Office of Catholic Education Superintendent Richard Alvia’s “Breaking Bread” meetings with various personnel and stakeholders of the Catholic schools, specifically with the theology department chairs of each educational institution.

Archbishop Byrnes, left, spoke to over 50 participants of the Scripture workshop that he taught on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the St. John Paul the Great Center for Evangelization in the Chancery. (Photo by John Michael D. Pineda / jpineda@umatuna.org)

This specific workshop sprouted from the idea of the theology department chair of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, Ms. Christy Alcantara.

According to Alvia, after the Catechetical Conference held at the Father Dueñas Memorial School’s Phoenix Center in Sept. 16 of this year, Alcantara approached the archbishop with the proposal of him teaching Scripture to a few educators in the Catholic education system.

Lo and behold, the concept came to fruition this past Saturday as Archbishop Byrnes found  himself in a somewhat familiar environment, teaching Scripture as he did back in the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit where he served as a faculty member before becoming its vice rector in the early 2000s.

Over coffee, doughnuts, and other pastries, participants of the Scripture workshop engage in discussion about certain Bible passages and accounts with instructions by Archbishop Byrnes.
(Photo by John Michael D. Pineda / jpineda@umatuna.org)

The archbishop’s Scripture workshop focused on three main parts: 1) the purpose of the Scripture; 2) Approaches to interpreting the Bible; and 3) key themes of Scripture that unite the story of Christ. With this, Archbishop Byrnes also incorporated science and scripture, along with questions from the participants. Several topics and questions were given by the attendees prior to the workshop; some of which pertained to their students and understanding biblical theology.

A “first” of many more sessions, Alvia said that the Office of Catholic Education plans to hold more professional development seminars and workshops in the future which each of the schools will coordinate.