From October 11-13, 2011, directors/coordinators of Basic Ecclesial Communities coming from 57 dioceses all over the Philippines and gathered at the Bukal ng Tipan Center, in Maryhill, Taytay Rizal. the delegates from Surigao and Catarman failed to arrive due to Typhoon Ramon. The gathering was organized by the National BEC team of the CBCP-BEC committee composed Bishop George Rimando (chairman), the executive secretary (yours truly), the consultants (Mgr. Manny Gabriel, Mgr. Jomari Delgado and Dr. Estela Padilla). Bishop Broderick Pabillo (vice-chairman of CBCP-BEC Committee and chairman of Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace) also attended together with 2 observes from the National Secretariat of Social Action. The Staff of Bukal ng Tipan (headed by Fr. Mark Lesage) acted as the secretariat and documentors of the gathering.
The purpose of this gathering was to establish contact between the CBCP-BEC national office and the diocesan BEC directors, come up with a general assessment of the BECs in the Philippines, develop regional networking/linkages and plan for the regional BEC assemblies starting 2012. This was also an opportunity to explain the role of the CBCP-BEC Committee and the National BEC team. I also introduced our new website (the Cyber-Office) which will function as a means of means of inter-connection, communication and exchange.
The whole gathering went very well and I was amazed at the commitment and enthusiasm of the delegates. I will be very busy in the coming months and years, following them up, helping in the preparation and facilitation of the regional gathering all over the country.