BEC ORIENTATION March 4, 2017
In the light of the proclamation of the Year of the Parish: Communion of Communities by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), our parish leaders and members of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) underwent an orientation seminar to refresh, renew, and understand what BECs are and how and where to organize them.
An abridged report on this is found on the front page of our official newsletter ALAB (April 2017, Vol. 2 No. 2).
In the morning of March 4, 2017, some 180 active Catholic parishioners gathered for the seminar. Most of them were current leaders in their respective ministries, organizations and movements. The three-part seminar began with a very participative and insightful preparatory activity, after which the first part, an overview of BEC, was delivered. The second part tackled the challenges confronting BECs while the third part discussed the process of organizing BECs and of looking for new leaders.
For the preparatory activity, the participants were grouped according to their geographical area of residence. They were asked to think about the good characteristics they wanted to see in their respective communities and draw symbols to illustrate these characteristics on white drawing paper.
The guide questions were:
1. Ano ang mga magagandang katangian na nais ninyong makita sa inyong kapitbahayan?
2. Gumamit ng mga simbolo sa bawat magandang katangian ng pamayanan.
From the lively sharing to elaborate on their artworks that the participants had produced, lead facilitator Fr. Lito Ancla, CMF, segued into discussing the nature (the what) of BEC: Basic, Ecclesial and Community. Then he presented the scriptural (Acts of the Apostles) and magisterial (Redemptoris Missio & PCP II) bases of BECs, all pointing at the BEC as the right place of evangelization and the seed towards authentic societal change. Different kinds of BECs were also distinguished: liturgical, developmental, and liberational.
Then the three main challenges towards building BECs were tackled: (1) lack of understanding of the significance as well as the role of the BECs in the overall mission of the Church,( 2) lack of know-how in organizing, leading, and growing these small communities, and (3) insufficient knowledge and skills of the lay, perhaps even misconceptions of the lay, about BEC.
To end the seminar, the participants watched animated films about the types of leaders and leadership that are present among human communities to help them discern good role models for servant leaders of BECs. Lunch capped a very fulfilling morning.
(See related PowerPoint presentations of the various topics with additional details. Inasmuch as the seminar was conducted in Pilipino so that everyone could understand, the PowerPoint is also in Pilipino.)