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CBCP-BEC consults Bikol dioceses

On June 22 and 23, CBCP – BEC, the commission on basic ecclesial communities of the Philippine bishops’ conference, gathered diocesan BEC teams of Bikol dioceses with the theme: “Regional BEC Formation, Reorganization and Discernment in the Spirit of Synodality.” The consultation, attended by 44 delegates, was part of a series held nationwide.


The Archdiocese of Caceres and the dioceses of Legazpi, Sorsogon, Masbate, Virac, Daet and Libmanan were represented at the Sorsogon State University for the two-day activity organized under the direction of Most Rev. Jose Bantolo, D.D., the bishop in-charge of BEC in Bikol.


From Caceres, the delegates were: Frs. Emmanuel G. Mojica and Mayo Cesar G. Herrera; Dr. Ma. Asuncion “Marita” P. Quimlat; Geraldine C. Alvina; Julma M. Narvadez, Merly Jean A. Plaza and Butch Jaucian.


In his address to the participants, Msgr. Manny Gabriel, Executive Director of CBCP-BEC explained that the consultation was a way to discern “where the Spirit is leading us.” He noted that after the consultations in preparation for the Synod on Synodality, dioceses were one in saying that the “best way to implement synodality is through BEC.”


Msgr. Gabriel informed the body that the CBCP has made BEC a commission, and not only a committee organized for a specific and temporary purpose. This is a welcome development, he said. Moreover, he announced that the annual national assembly was scheduled for November this year, after being suspended due to the pandemic. The last assembly was held in 2019. The first workshop focused on how BECs were engaged as basic human communities, particularly how they responded to the pandemic and recent calamities, and how BECs could become basic ecological communities, in response to the call to care for ecology. Also tackled were interfaith dialogue and the role of the young people and their use of technology. Meanwhile, the second workshop dealt with the diocesan plan to improve delivery of services to the parishes and BECs. The dioceses were candid as they presented the challenges they face in strengthening their BECs. Nonetheless, all expressed hope that more parishes would form BECs.


The election of the regional BEC team was held through casting of ballots. Fr. Michael R. de la Rosa from the Diocese of Libmanan was elected Coordinator; Fr. Tristan T. Briones, Diocese of Masbate, and Fr. Mojica, Co-coordinators; Dr. Quimlat, Treasurer; Sr. Nilda G. Arribas, Diocese of Virac, Assistant Treasurer. The Secretariat was composed of one representative from each diocese. Narvadez was selected to represent Caceres in the Secretariat. The team will be working under Bishop Bantolo’s guidance. Msgr. Gabriel commended Bishop Bantolo for his presence during the entire consultation process. In his closing message, Bishop Bantolo urged the participants to “make our BECs the face of Our Father.”

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