After celebrating the 6:00 mass this morning in the parish church, I proceeded to the Basic Ecclesial Community in Maglana where I spent the whole day conducting a leadership seminar for the council leaders of the community.
The topics covered:
Session 1: The Role of the BEC leaders in building up the Basic Ecclesial Community/ Developing the BEC Culture
Session 2: Avoiding the Dark Side of Leadership (Self-interest, greed for wealth, power and glory as motivation), Christian Leadership as Servant-Leadership (Humble & Loving Service)
Session 3: The Models of Leadership (avoiding dictatorial & laissez-faire models, adopting the participative/democratic model), Pastoral Management competencies: Leading, Planning, Organizing & Control (monitoring, evaluation systems).
At four-thirty in the afternoon, we ended with a celebration of the mass with the whole community. Within the mass, the leaders re-affirmed their commitment to serve the community.
Maglana is one of the poorest community in the parish. In the coming months, I will be spending more time here to help build up the Basic Ecclesial Community. From time to time, I plan to attend the bible-sharing sessions that are being held in their homes at night. In the past I have conducted an evangelization seminar for the whole community, a youth evangelization seminar and a men's fellowship seminar here. I want to continue this process. I also want to help the community come up with a more effective program for addressing the problem of poverty. The parish has started micro-finance project in Maglana several years ago that helped set up IGP (income generating projects) but this has not been enough.
"Passion for Christ, Passion for the Poor." This is the theme that we Redemptorists in Visayas and Mindanao adopted last year as the thrust of our Congregation. We committed ourselves to become closer to Christ and to the poor in our midst. Thus, we are exerting much effort in nurturing the contemplative dimension of our life and at the same time moving closer to the poor. As a professor and theologian, I cannot just confine myself within the church, the monastery, the classroom and the library. That is why I want to spend more time with the poor within the parish. Theologizing must be done not only in the classroom and the library but among the poor in the Basic Ecclesial Communities.