Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Circles of Discernment

What is a Circle of Discernment? This was the main agenda in the meeting held last March 6 meeting of San Isidro Labrador Vicariate in OLAP.  Representatives from the different parishes attended this introductory briefing which was discussed to the body by  Fr. Tony Labiao, the diocesan vicar for pastoral concerns. In the one hour talk, he explained the current thrust of the church with regards to the coming May 2013 elections.
Simply put, the circle of discernment is a group of 7-10 individuals who go through the available information about the candidates for election and, with the help of prayer and spirit-filled discussion, choose among themselves the candidates they will support. These 7-10 individuals then form new circles which quickly expands the collective wisdom of the people to choose the candidates they feel will work for the common good. Similar groups put together make up the Circles of Discernment.
The latter part of the talk involved an exercise where all representatives from each parish grouped themselves together and, collectively, discerned the positive and negative traits of “chosen” candidates. Prior to the groupings, the body decided on the three candidates for councilor in QC’s District 6 (where all the parishes belong) who will be subjected to the “discernment” process based on the PPCRV’s LASER (Lifestyle, Action, Supporters, Election Conduct and Reputation) test which was introduced in the 2010 elections.

As the session ended, and the points tallied, it was revealed that there were more questions than factual data to come up with an objective discernment. No matter what, the body decided that this process will be helpful to parishes in choosing candidates who will work for the common good...provided though that accurate data are available for true discernment.


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