No. 911 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 20 January 2017
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ theme for 2017 is “The Parish: A Communion of Communities”.
Sub-theme is “Forming BECs as Agents of Communion, Participation and Mission”. We will explain the Basic Ecclesial Communities, Communion, Participation and Mission.
A. BEC – A New Way of being Church
(1) Explanation of BEC
- Basic means belonging to the base of the economic pyramid (materially poor), political (powerless), and socio-cultural (little or no schooling, unskilled and semi-skilled, neglected, etc.).
- Ecclesial means a part of the Church.
- Community means with unity.
(2) Description of BEC (cf. PCP II, nn. 137-140)
In Marbel Diocese a BEC is a small group of Christian families – from 30-60.
Usually located in the rural areas.
Members know each other.
United to the parish priest, BEC is maintained by lay leaders.
Members have regular catechesis; gather on Sundays for the Bible Service with communion; and share their talents, time and treasure.
B. Communion. Members are united with God, with one another and with the parish priest. “A communion of life, love and truth” (Vat. II, The Church, 9; cited by PCP II, 89). “A community of faith, hope and charity”. (Vat. II, op.cit., 8; PCP II, ibid.).
Acts 2: 42-47 and 4: 32-35 inform us of the life in Community of the early Christians. One faith – listening to the Apostles’ teaching. One bread – celebrating the Eucharist in common. Communion of goods – sharing their possessions.
PCP II, 98 “In the Philippines, participation largely means enabling the laity to participate more fully in the life of the Church and in its task of mission.” Participation means co-responsibility.
As members of Christ’s Body, BEC members must be empowered to Enable them to have “greater involvement in decision-making…more participation” (PCP II, 326). “People’s participation is a recognition of God’s fundamental gifts of freedom and responsibility” (PCP II, 327).
D. Mission. Integral Evangelization.
PCP II “Basic Ecclesial Communities are visibly a significant expression of ecclesial renewal… Their potential for evangelization is a great hope for the Church in the Philippines”. (n. 140)
Blessed Paul II “This is evangelization: the proclamation above all, of SALVATION from sin; the LIBERATION from everything oppressive to man; the DEVELOPMENT of man in all his dimensions, personal and communitarian; and, ultimately, the RENEWAL OF SOCIETY in all its strata through the interplay of the GOSPEL TRUTHS and Man’s concrete TOTAL LIFE (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 9, 29. Cited by PCP II, 166).
2017 Year of the Parish – Communion of Communities
Prayer for the Parish
Loving God, you gather us as a people of the new covenant sealed with the blood of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. You formed us into a community of faith, hope and love; a priestly, prophetic and kingly people.
Humbly we ask you, make our parishes truly a communion of communities; a worshipping community, a witnessing and an evangelizing community, and a servant community.
Guide our pastors, the religious and lay leaders, and all those who labor in the parish, with your wisdom and love.
Bless all the parishioners who compose the Parish and BECs, as they offer their time, talents and treasures as stewards of the graces you gifted us, for the building up of your Church.
May the Holy Spirit enlighten, inspire and invigorate us to actively participate in the mission you entrusted to us in the parish. May we continue to be a discerning community, reading the signs of the times and interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.
May we truly become the leaven in society by penetrating all its strata with the Gospel and restoring its order according to the values of the Kingdom.
And may the spirit of collaboration and co-responsibility bring us into a fuller and fruitful communion with you and with one another.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
N.B. Translation in Tagalog and Visayan are available in the internet. Bp. D.G.
Pres. Duterte has been waging a violent campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality – with not much success.
These causes disorder and disunity.
We believe human efforts are in vain without God’s blessing. “If Yahweh does not build the house, in vain the masons toil; if Yahweh does not guard the city, in vain the sentries watch”, (Ps. 127: 1).
What to do? PRAY. St. Paul writes to Timothy: “My advice is that, first of all there should be prayers offered for everyone – and especially for Kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right and will please God our Saviour” (1 Tim. 2: 1-2).
Accordingly, Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes, South Cotabato, called for a prayer gathering for Peace and Unity on 27 January 2017, 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon, South Cotabato Sports Complex Ground.
All believers of Adwata, Allah and Yahweh are called to this very important gathering.
Please answer positively. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God.
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