Since last Monday afternoon up to noontime today (June 1-4), 97 delegates coming from the dioceses of Davao, Digos, Tagum and Mati gathered at the Mergrande Beach Resort in Davao for the DADITAMA BEC congress. Besides the lay leaders, priests and sisters, 5 bishops attended the congress - Archbishop Fernando Capalla (Davao), Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz (Tagum), Bishop Patricio Alo (Mati), Bishop Jimmy Afable (Digos), Auxiliary Bishop George Rimando (Davao). I was invited as an observer as a consultant of the CBCP-BEC national office.
The theme of the congress:
"The vocation and mission of the BECs in the present challenges of the times"
The objectives were the following:
1. Clarify the trends and the challenges they pose to the BECs
2. Review the ecclesiological foundation, canonical norms and leadership role (bishops, priests, lay leaders) in relation to the vision and mission of BECs.
3. Come up with recommendations for the sustainable growth of BECs.
The three resource speakers were:
Msgr. John Macalisang, STL, Ph.D (the global and national trends and how they affect the BECs)
Fr. Bong Lunas, STL (ecclesiological foundation)
Bishop Jimmy Afable, DD (canonical norms).
The talks formed part of the basis for the workshops that came up with their assesment of the BECs and the recommendation for their sustainable growth.
This morning, at the last part of the congress after the synthesis and recommendations were presented, I was asked to share my observation and reflections with the delegates.