Demystifying ‘The Way’

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The Neocatechumenal Way inspires commitment, stirs controversy

Balbina Terlaje, 85, was among the pioneer members of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam when the evangelical movement — also known as “The Way”— was introduced to the island in the late 1990s. “NCW told us to open the Bible so we could find peace within ourselves,” Terlaje said.

Terlaje joined her NCW group on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where they saw NCW founder Kiko Argüello. “During the ceremony, we had to go with Archbishop (Anthony) Apuron and get scrutinized,” she said. The scrutiny involved declaring all her sins to Apuron and the congregation. “I kneeled before him and he said that I couldn’t get out of the NCW.”

But the pressure became too stressful for Terlaje. “Every time NCW had an event, I had to be there. When my husband was bedridden, I had to leave him to attend the convivence.”