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Lay people’s participation fundamental to BECs mission

Formation, conferences and assemblies are on-going throughout the nation to equip the lay community in the call to mission for 2017’s Year of the Parish: Communion of Communities. In an interview with Fr. Amado Picardal, Executive Secretary of the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, active participation to the mission was emphasized. “We have to depend on the lay people. When you ask who are involved in this duty: it’s the lay people as community,” he stressed. “That’s the theme’s emphasis: Communion, oneness and participation in mission. And ultimately it’s going to be the lay people who will help in this, remember we only have few priests; there are only 9,000 of us,” the CBCP-BEC executive secretary noted. Picardal also elaborated how Basic Ecclesial Communities can be ‘Agents of Communion, Participation and Mission’ as long as the lay people acknowledge and believe that their part is essential and attainable. “We’d like to awaken lay people to bear responsibility and their right to actively participate in this mission,” he said. “Of course the lay people need to believe in themselves, that they can do it. There should be missionary dynamism,” Picardal added. BECs role in Social Issues Picardal, also known as the ‘biking priest’ who biked around the country bringing his advocacy for life and peace, says BECs can help pacify social issues by ‘striking at the root, because most of the problems stems there—from poverty and alienation.” “[Transformation] has to begin at home and in the community. We have to shape the conscience of the people, knowing what is good and bad and forming them to resist evil and to do well. It’s the most important: promoting the value of life, and all the values we hold dear as Christians,” he said. He also encouraged people to speak out, saying “we cannot remain silent towards these issues and we don’t have to wait for only the bishops and priests to speak against it, we are the Church, all of us have to act and speak out.” (Christine Paguirigan/CBCPNews)

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