No. 911 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 20 January 2017
- CPCP’S 2017 THEME
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).