BACOLOD, Nov. 6, 2016 – In anticipation of the Church in the Philippines’ observation of 2017 as the “Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities”, a new book explaining how various generations of Christians lived their faith was launched Nov. 5 in this city.
The book, titled “Christians in Community, Then and Now: Early Christian House Churches and Basic Ecclesial Communities”, presents a socio-historical analysis of the early Christian “House Churches” in the Epistles of St. Paul and a phenomenological explanation of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).
As a rationale for the work the author, Biblical theologian Fr. Deogracias Aurelio V. Camon, PhD, claimed that a “socio-historical study of the early Christian ‘House Churches’ can yield important insights and directions for the present-day BEC.”
Camon proposed that, despite the wide historical gap between the early “House Churches” and the BECs, “we can still find some significant and relevant insights in relation to how the Holy Spirit works in the present life of the Church”.
“Christian communities – whether it is the early Christian ‘House Churches’ or today’s BECs – are situated within a specific historical context which inevitably influenced how these communities understood itself and how it responded to the challenges of its particular society,” explained the Biblical theologian.
The priest believes the present-day Basic Ecclesial Community is undergoing a moment in its own development by which “it is in a ‘search for a narrative’ that will unify the various hermeneutics with regard to the issue of BEC.”
Aside from the author’s research data and analysis, the book utilized testimonies of well-known proponents of the BEC in the diocese of Bacolod during the term of the late Bishop of Bacolod Antonio Y. Fortich, D.D.
During a session of the 113th Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Plenary Assembly on July 9, it was announced that the CBCP will issue a Pastoral Letter on 2017 as “Year of Parish as Communion of Communities”, which will be read on Nov. 27, 2016, the 1st Sunday of Advent, in parishes all over the Philippines.
Those interested to receive a free copy of the book may reach the author through his email at email@example.com. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)