Claretian Communications Foundation, Philippines held an online annual gathering ‘CLARETIAN COLLABORATORS’ APPRECIATION EVENT’ for Claretian authors, writers, contributors, and collaborators in the publishing ministry on December 2, 2022.
For the past years, this event has become an avenue for Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc. (CCFI) to impart and discuss with collaborators the company’s current status, the publishing trends in the country, and other exciting topics that would provide new information and awareness to Claretian collaborators. This is CCFI’s sincerest way of sending messages of hope, inspiration, solidarity, and gratitude to Claretian collaborators’ valuable contributions in spreading the Word of God.
Fr. Alejandro O. Gobrin, CMF, Executive Director of CCFI, welcomed the participants. He shared with them his experiences during the Frankfurt International Book Fair in Germany. One of his great discoveries during the fair was a book by St. Anthony Mary Claret, Reflexiones Que Hace A Todos Los Cristianos, Y A Cada Uno En Particular, translated in 1867 in Bicolano, one of the major languages in the Philippines. This proves that even before the Claretian Missionaries arrived in the Philippines in 1946, the writings of St. Anthony Mary Claret had reached its shores. This is a manifestation of how publications can be a powerful tool to spread the message of the Gospel.
The event was also graced by the presence of Fr. Elias L. Ayuban, Jr., CMF, Provincial Superior of the Fr. Rhoel Gallardo Province, who gave an inspiring message, expressing the Province’s commitment to supporting CCFI and its collaborators in all their endeavors.
Ms. Charisse Aquino-Tugade, Executive Director of the National Book Development Board of the Philippines, was invited as a guest speaker for this gathering. She shared with participants the latest updates on the country’s publishing climate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the book publishing industry’s recent challenges.
Ms. Ma. Agnes Simona “Agie” Inocencio, Senior Marketing Manager of CCFI, reported on the initiatives and activities of the Marketing Division. She shared during her presentation the struggles and challenges and, at the same time, new opportunities that opened for CCFI during this pandemic. She also acknowledged Claretian authors who were winners and finalists during the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards and reported on the success of the WORD CONFERENCE 2022 last November 30, 2022.
Meanwhile, Mr. Robert Laurio, Production Manager, gave updates on the FilCatholic Websites and informed everyone of the publication of Ang Galak ng Ebanghelyo, Evangelii Gaudium at iba pang Mahahalagang Akda ni Papa Francisco, a collection of encyclicals written by Pope Francis and translated in Filipino. This is the first time such a project has been initiated in the country. He also expressed gratitude to the representative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for the joint publication of the Catholic Directory of the Philippines. CCFI has co-published with CBCP the directory since 1999.
Two authors were also remembered and given special tributes for their works: Mr. Antonio Romualdez (+June 18, 2022), author of The Paschal Mystery and Divine Compassion, and Most Reverend Joseph Nacua, OFMCap, DD (+September 10, 2022), author of Francis of Assisi: Model for our Conversion.
The event’s highlight was the acknowledgment and giving of certificates to each collaborator who has supported the Claretian publishing ministry, followed by an Open Forum where questions and concerns on royalty, manuscript approval, and publication schedule were addressed. Mr. Alvin Buenaventura, Executive Director of the Filipinas Copyright and Licensing Society, Inc., shared why it is essential to understand the Philippine Copyright law and how it will benefit both authors and publishers.
Ms. Rosario Garcia, FEC, a long-time collaborator of the Claretians and delegate coordinator of Fraternidade Ecclesial Claretiana hosted the event.