Traslacion: The RCAM Road Map
In the Chrism Mass last Holy Thursday, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM), Cardinal Jose Advincula, launched the Traslacion RCAM Road Map Project, the journey of renewal for the archdiocese, which he and his priests had been working on since October 2022.
In line with the Synod on Synodality, which Pope Francis will hold later this year in Rome, Cardinal “Joe” and his key advisers went around the archdiocese last year to dialogue with RCAM’s stakeholders in various sectors. One of these dialogues, which His Eminence himself conducted, was held with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). It was a listening session, the Cardinal emphasized. He needed to hear what the concerns of MAP are as regards the Church and its people.
MAP invited about a dozen of its members for the session with the Cardinal. I was privileged to have been part of the MAP team. During the dialogue, I presented to the Cardinal a project that we were discussing with his predecessor, Cardinal Tagle, regarding a possible road map for RCAM—a project that had been shelved because of his transfer to Rome. Cardinal Joe apparently liked my brief presentation that he suggested that I present the material to him and eight of his key priest-assistants at a later date. After the second presentation, the Cardinal decided to organize a strategic planning (stratplan) session with 42 priests and a layman, lawyer Alex Cabrera, chair emeritus of PwC Philippines/Isla Lipana & Co., who happens to be one of the members of the Finance Committee of RCAM. Former Finance Secretary Dr. Jesus Estanislao and I conducted the planning session with the assistance of Center for Excellence in Governance (CEG) and Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) staff. The Balanced Scorecard Strategy Formulation and Execution Framework of Robert Kaplan and David Norton was used in the two-day planning session. This is the same methodology that CEG and its sister institutes ICD and ISA use for their clients and partners.
At the end of the stratplan session, the Cardinal and the participants were able to craft the updated RCAM governance charter or statements of core values, mission and vision; identified five strategic perspectives of the archdiocese (people, process, constituencies, finance and social impact); and, went through a detailed analysis of their internal and external environments using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis) and Pestel (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal) frameworks. They also agreed what the strategic shifts should be. All three (SWOT, Pestel and Strategic Shifts) used the same five perspectives as the common frame of reference. Given these inputs, the group was able to develop 14 strategic objectives which, if achieved, can result in the fulfillment of the RCAM’s vision for the future.
The RCAM governance charter can be described as follows: “Grounded on the core values of fidelity, synodality and stewardship; and pursuing the mission, as a people called by the Father in Jesus Christ, to become a community of persons with the fullness of life witnessing to the Kingdom of God by living the Paschal Mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit with Mary and Joseph as companions; RCAM’s vision by 2028 is to raise the level of integral faith formation and to promote human development and stewardship of the Archdiocese and its ecclesial communities to best pastoral practice in the Philippine Church.”
The group also agreed to call the updated and renewed strategy as “Traslacion RCAM Road Map” with the core purpose of transforming the archdiocese into a community of missionary disciples committed to living and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfillment of its role as a Church of the Poor.
The 14 strategic objectives adopted by RCAM can be summarized as follows:
1. Adopt an appropriate human capital strategy for the clergy and lay employees.
2. Strengthen the formation and professionalization of the clergy and the lay employees.
3. Review the organizational structure and adjust for relevance and appropriateness.
4. Strengthen institutions, ministries, parishes, etc. using traditional and digital technology.
5. Proclaim the Gospel with greater clarity and relevance consistent with the social doctrine of the Church.
6. Ensure that ecclesial communities become centers for the new evangelization in coordination with local governments.
7. Instill in the faithful a strong sense of belonging to RCAM as a community of missionary disciples.
8. Establish strong relationships with government, social and other institutions for formation of social conscience.
9. Update and strengthen fiscal and financial systems and policies, including internal controls and transparency.
10. Determine best use for RCAM resources and develop innovative ways of resource generation to ensure sustainability.
11. Develop and implement policies on judicious and prudent spending and leverage on partnerships.
12. Cultivate a “culture of encounter” to propagate the truth and Catholic social teaching.
13. Address the issues of poverty, inequality and exclusion and become the Church of the Poor.
14. Be a leading participant in the promotion of social and environmental justice (e.g. human rights, climate change, etc.)
The RCAM Strategy Map is not complete until the RCAM Performance Scorecard is developed. The scorecard is where the “rubber meets the road.” The technical working group of Traslacion RCAM Road Map is currently reviewing the draft scorecard developed in the stratplan session. This includes determining the measures based on the strategic objectives, establishing the baselines (2022), developing annual targets until 2028 and adopting initiatives that will ensure attainment of the objectives.
The next step will be to cascade the RCAM Road Map to the parishes and other archdiocesan component units (commissions, ministries, vicariates, etc.) and ensure that the subsidiary road maps are aligned with the Traslacion RCAM Road Map. In the video presentation during the Chrism Mass last Holy Thursday, Fr. Jason Laguerta, the episcopal vicar for the Traslacion RCAM Road Map, revealed that the cascading process shall be completed by the end of 2023.
It is encouraging to note that RCAM has decided to avail of proven management planning and execution methodology that CEG, ICD and ISA have used successfully in helping their clients and partners in the last 25 years. We wish RCAM the best of luck and success in their bold endeavor. Indeed, we look forward to our dream that our Church finally becomes a Church for the Poor.
This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and not the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines. The author is chair of MAP Shared Prosperity Committee. He is also vice chair of the CEG and the ISA and former chair of ICD. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.