PENTECOST ‘2018: BEC Integration Urged; Evangelization Revitalized

By Araceli C. Delgado

The Office for Religious Movements (OREMOS) with its membership celebrated the Feast of Pentecost last May 19, 2018 at the St. Raphael the Archangel Parish Church, Pili, Camarines Sur. The grand occasion was a double treat: a reunion of ecclesial communities and religious movements and a celebration of the birth anniversary of the Catholic Church. As in a birthday celebration, notwithstanding the intense summer heat, the lay faithful were all fired up with love, peace and unity -thanks to the Holy Spirit who was present and alive in their midst. It seemed like more than two thousand years ago when Jesus breathed on the apostles and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit for those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.” (John 20: 22-23) Communities flocked at the parish church at 8:00 am, to register participants who represented their respective religious movements. The Praise and Worship was led by Families for Christ, hosted by Bro. Willie Menes of Adonai’s Love. OREMOS Director, Fr. Lorenzo Juan B. Jarcia III, welcomed the attendees and gave a talk on the ‘Role of Renewal Movements in the Basic Ecclesial Communities’, tracing the beginnings of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) from Jesus, when he entrusted to his 12 apostles the divine mission to preach the Gospel to the children of Israel and then to all nations (Rom 1:16). Currently, the BEC thrust is for everyone to be a Christian to his neighbour, in answer to PCP II’s invitation that “each one must give a personal response to Jesus’ call”. Bro. Melchor T. Matias, CRC presiding elder, with the representatives from the different religious movements shared updates on the BEC activities and evangelization tasks in their respective parishes. Fr. Erwin Obias, Vice Rector of the Peñafrancia Basilica emphasized the Archdiocesan thrust of the Basic Ecclesial Communities, i.e., re -evangelizing the nominal Catholics, reaching out to non-Catholics and mainstreaming of those who are lukewarm in their Catholic faith. The celebration included a healing session eagerly participated in by the attendees, earnestly claiming healing and blessing from the Holy Spirit. The culmination of the event was a Eucharistic Celebration officiated by Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, DD with Fr. Jarcia as concelebrant. The Archbishop, in his homily, exhorted the attendees to constantly invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit who tirelessly informs, lovingly inspires and constantly urges every lay faithful to get involved in the life of the Church. The occasion registered a total number of 455 participants to wit; Adonai’s Love, 50; Neo Catechumenae, 71; Familia, 24; Families for Christ, 93; Women for Christ, 30; El Shaddai, 27;Our Lady of Penafrancia Healing Ministry, 6; Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Charismatic Community, 19 and CRC, 135. This year’s OREMOS’ Pentecost Celebration rallied the theme “Thrust of Different Communities Towards the Basic Ecclesial Communities.”