TAGUM City, Nov. 24, 2012—After years of existence as faith communities, the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) need to be revitalized and be in tune with the present times, BEC expert priests said during the recently concluded1st Mindanao BEC assembly held in Tagum City.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on BECs executive secretary Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR said the lack of participation during Kasaulogan sa Pulong (KSP) and in community initiatives, disunity among members and with other communities, rigid policies and sanctions for inactive members, among others are indicators that there’s a need to revisit and assess the state of BECs in Mindanao.
Although Mindanao BECs are considered to be advanced throughout the country, this may not be so anymore, said Picardal, as he noticed in his visits to BECs built and strengthened in Luzon and Visayas regions.
“BECs should be holistic and not just only liturgical or beautification of the chapels,” said Picardal, adding that addressing social issues like the environment, drugs, and poverty should be part of the BECs.
Fr. Ronald Lunas, another BEC expert and professor of St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Mindanao, deepened the foundation of BECs according to Vatican II’s view of the Church as People of God, Body of Christ and Temple of the Holy Spirit.
He said this Trinitarian view calls for participation, communion and mission, making the Church grow in faith.
Lunas, who is also Director on Interreligious Dialogue Ministry of the Diocese of Digos, emphasized PCPII’s vision of the Church as community of the disciples of Christ and Church of the Poor towards integral evangelization.
Both experts spoke before the 321 delegates of the 1st Mindanao BEC assembly last November 19 to 22, participated by bishops, religious and lay leaders challenging the ordained ministers to inspire the laity in making BECs not just like any church organization but as a way of life. (John Frances C. Fuentes)