Trinitarian concept among unschooled Catholics as evoked by the religious images in the Philippines

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education Major in Religious Education and Values Education

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts


Theology and Religious Education

Thesis Adviser

Jaime A. Belita, CM

Defense Panel Chair

Andrew B. Gonzalez, FSC

Defense Panel Member

Basilio P. Balajadia
Carolina B. Fallarme
Ma. Carmen R. Gaerlan
Lydia G. Marave


The Trinitarian doctrine is the core of Christian faith, the reason for God's self-revelation and the very essence of Christianity. Christians are called to commit themselves to live the Trinitarian life and to unite themselves to this life totally in order to achieve what God had promised to those who believe--a life of intimate communion and friendship.It is in the mystery of the Holy Trinity that the identity of the Church is centered. But there is a great problem in the understanding of this basic dogma among the Filipino Catholics. They often find it very hard to understand because of its concept as a profound mystery. Thus, its proclamation in the process of evangelization in churches and schools is often neglected, set aside, and totally forgotten. It is for these reasons that this study is undertaken.The study seeks to discover the Trinitarian concept among unschooled Catholics through the religious images they venerate in their homes or chapels, and practices they are exposed to in their parishes.The researcher conducted an informal interview among unschooled Catholics and made use of the images of the Holy Trinity found in their parishes, chapels, and homes. The researcher compared the responses with that of the Trinitarian doctrines worked out by the local Church over the years and the official statements of the Magisterium. The researcher also traced the development of the use of religious images and symbols in the history of the Church and how the Filipino Catholics appropriated these images and symbols to the ones they created.

Analyzing the results of the interview, the researcher discovered that there is a hunger among the unschooled Catholics to understand the deeper meaning of the Trinitarian God. That there is a common experience of salvation which they attribute to their belief in God. They express their faith response by creating images, sharing this faith to a group and organize themselves as a community. They go to healing missions and pilgrimages.The responses do not manifest a Filipino Trinitarian theology. They are only echoing the Church's Trinitarian doctrine received from the Western Church and taught in parishes and catechism classes. What can be considered as Filipino which is rooted in Filipino culture is the manner the respondents express their faith: they create images, they make panata or promises in exchange for a blessing or grace.The study found out that there is no Filipino Trinitarian theology developed among the Catholic faithful. Perhaps if the understanding of God's inner life and action in the world could be deepened by renewed evangelization as PCP II suggests, then eventually the Filipino Catholics could make a deeper reflection and start doing theology based on their religious experience of the Holy Trinity in their life. Only through a renewed Catechesis can this understanding of the Trinity be lived by the Church as the true image of God.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

258 numb. leaves ; Computer print-out


Idols and images; Trinity; Theology, Doctrinal; Dogma; Catholic Church--Doctrines

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