|October 21, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
The Bible, cover to cover: 4 days, 10 hours, 34 minutes
It took us 4 days, 10 hours and 34 minutes to read the entire Holy Bible aloud from cover to cover. The around-the-clock reading began at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 29 and ended at 9:04 p.m. Oct. 3. Everyone read from the same New American Bible in the Adoration Chapel of Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont.
This might be the first time anywhere in the world that the entire Catholic Bible was read aloud at one go, while at the same time being streamed live. We might have created history!
About 200 people participated in this marathon reading, and 2,390 people visited our website — www.holyspiritfremont.org — and viewed the live streaming of the reading. Most of the readers read for half an hour while some others read for several hours. Some of the participants came as a family to proclaim God's Word. Holy Spirit School children were among the readers.
Jeff Van der Sluis, parish business manager, set up the Internet sign-ups for the participants and Vanessa Barrett, parish secretary, coordinated the telephone reminders to the readers. Robert Alberto, a Holy Spirit parishioner who is professional videographer, placed his equipment at the service of the Word and set up the live streaming.
A guessing game was conducted along with Bible Reading Relay. Parishioners were asked to guess when the reading of the entire Bible would end. Parishioner Maria Miranda made the most accurate guess, short by only one hour.
This has been a very powerful experience for the readers and has created profound impact in their lives. Here are some of their comments:
• Lolita Q. Bercasio: "Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of the Holy Spirit Parish Bible Reading Relay. I enjoyed, loved reading the American Bible aloud. It was an awesome and exceptional experience for me. It really touched my heart with the Word of God."
• Teri Gooden from Concord: "The Bible Reading Relay was indeed very special. I feel very privileged to have participated in your parish event. Yes, this experience has whetted my appetite for breaking out the Word on my own and also for joining a Bible study during Advent and Lent. All-in-all this program was run very efficiently. No drama. A list of 'rules' was sent to the readers, and the rules were also posted at the door of the chapel. The 'reader's seat' was labeled and ready for us along with a copy of the Bible where we could check the progress of the current reader and gauge where that reading would end."
• Dolores Galvan: "The reading of the Bible was a great and inspirational experience. What a wonderful idea!"
• Diane Imperial: "I just arrived from reading the last chapter of Matthew and the beginning of Mark's Gospel. The time went by so fast! I was enjoying the reading and a bit sad when my time was up (I could have gone another 30 minutes, at least). Thank you for this opportunity!"
(Father Vellankal is pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont.)
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