MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon, Dec. 9, 2016 – Diocesan Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) directors, and coordinators coming from 72 dioceses from all over the Philippines, including representatives from several CBCP commissions and renewal movements gathered from Nov. 28 to 30 in this city for the launching of the Year of the Parish asCommunion of Communities.
Organized by the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and hosted by the Diocese of Malaybalay under the leadership of Malaybalay Bishop Jose Cabantan, chairman of the CBCP-BEC Committee, the event brought together 174 participants from all over the country. Also in attendance were Bishops Crispin Varquez of Borongan; George Rimando, Auxiliary Bishop of Davao; and Oscar Florencio, Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu.
Bishop Honesto Pacana, Bishop Emeritus of Malaybalay, presided over the opening Mass at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 28 at the Cathedral of Malaybalay. This was followed by the welcome dinner and program at the Diocesan Formation Center in Impalambong. After dinner, the delegates were brought to their respective foster families in BEC areas in various parts of the city.
Challenges of the BECs
On the second day, Fr. Amando Picardal, CSsR presented the framework for the observance of the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities, which should take into consideration the situation and the challenges BECs face.
There were also workshops and reporting by regions and sub-regional groupings to discuss the situation of BECs as well as external and internal challenges. After a synthesis of the reports by Fr. Danny Pilario, a panel discussion and open forum followed in the afternoon. The panelists were composed of Bishop Jose Cabantan, Mgr.Manny Gabriel, Fr. Danny Pilario, CM, Dr. Estella Padilla, and Fr. Picardal.
In the evening, the delegates had dinner and Gospel sharing in the homes of their respective foster families together with neighbors who are part of BEC cells.
Understanding the theme
Two talks were given on Nov. 30 to deepen the understanding of the theme of the Year of the Parish Communion of Communities: the theological-ecclesiological perspective by Mgr. Manny Gabriel and the missiological-pastoral perspective by Picardal. Three delegates, Fr. Tony Addauan from Luzon; Rowena Daquilanea from Visayas; and Fr. Bong Dublan from Mindanao, shared their experiences and response to the theme.
This was followed by a panel discussion and open forum. The clergy, religious, and lay leaders of the diocese of Malaybalay were also in attendance.
After lunch, the delegates had regional/sub-regional planning session followed by reporting. The launching Mass of the Year of Parish as Communion of Communities was celebrated at 5:30 pm in the San Isidro Cathedral. After the Mass, participants attended a closing dinner and cultural program at the diocesan formation center.
The next National Gathering of Diocesan BEC directors and coordinators and culmination of the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities will be held in Tagbilaran, Bohol in November 2017. (CBCPNews)