Sunday, July 08, 2012

Report to the CBCP Plenary Assembly

This morning, I attended the plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and gave a report of the Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities to over 90 bishops who were present. This was the content of my report.

Report to the CBCP 105th Plenary Assembly
(July 2011-June 2012)

After the CBCP plenary assembly in July 2011, preparations were made for a National Gathering of Diocesan BEC Directors. Invitations and survey forms were sent to all the 85 dioceses of all over the Philippines. The BEC directors were requested to fill up the survey form and send it back to the CBCP-BEC office for tabulation and interpretation.

On October 13-14, 2011, the National Gathering of Diocesan BEC directors  took place in the Bukal ng Tipan center in Taytay, Rizal. 58 out of 85 dioceses (68.2%) were represented (34 from Luzon, 13 from Visayas, and 11 from Mindanao).
The result of the survey (with 58 respondent-dioceses) was presented to the participants and they were able to have an initial/overall picture of the BEC programs in the various dioceses. The survey  showed that the formation of  BECs is a high pastoral priority in 75.6% of the dioceses. The BECs have also became the  basic pastoral unit of 68.3% of the dioceses. BECs in 90.2% of the dioceses have gone through a renewal in faith-life through Word & Sacraments. BECs are involved in renewed social apostolate (social transformation, justice and integrity of creation) in 63.4% of the dioceses. 100% of the dioceses recognize the role of the clergy in the growth of BECs. Where the clergy are actively involved in their promotion, the BECs grow and thrive. Without their support and initiative, BECs fail to emerge and grow. Thus, the need was expressed for the clergy (with their bishops) to own and implement the BEC thrust that PCP II decreed.

This gathering also provided an opportunity for the BEC directors from all parts of the country and the members of the National BEC team to get to know one another and to develop a bond of fellowship. Part of the process was to bring together the directors of neighboring dioceses or sub-regions and ask them to come up with concrete plans for networking and cooperation for the next two years. These plans were to be followed-up by the directors and the National BEC team. The gathering generated a lot of enthusiasm among the participants and encouraged them to continue their task of promoting the growth of BECs in their respective dioceses and sub-regions.

 The period following the national gathering was spent in implementing the plans of the sub-regions. The BEC directors of Northern Luzon met in Baguio in November 2011 to plan for the Northern Luzon BEC exchange. The BEC directors and practitioners of Southern Tagalog Region met in January 2012 in Calamba, Laguna. During the middle of February, the Diocesan BEC directors of Mindanao met in Cagayan de Oro.  By the end of  February , the Northern Luzon BEC Exchange was held in Sinait, Ilocos – attended by 160 delegates (including 5 bishops and 23 priests) coming from 10 dioceses. On June 26-27, 2012 the Mindanao BEC directors had another gathering in Davao City. The recommended a Mindanao-wide BEC assembly (this was approved by the Mindanao bishops and will be held on Nov. 19-22, 2012)

Within the next two years, more activities that would enhance regional networking, cooperation and gatherings are expected.

Other activities/gatherings which the CBCP-BEC office, represented by the executive secretary/or chair, was engaged in for the last 12 months:

 International Meeting: Asian Continental Meeting on BECs (Taipeh, Sept. 2-5, 2011)

Diocesan BEC Celebrations:

Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocesan BEC Exchange (July 29-30, 2011)
Kalookan Diocese BEC Week (Aug. 8-13, 2011)
Kabangkalan Pastoral Assembly (Oct 2011)
Sorsogon Diocese BEC Day (Feb. 4, 2012)
Consolacion (Cebu) parish BEC Congress (May 5, 2012)
 Boac Diocese 30th BEC anniversary (May 7, 2012)
 Cubao Diocese BEC Day (May 26, 2012)

BEC Seminar-Workshops for Religious & Lay Pastoral Workers:

BEC seminar-workshop for religious/lay missionaries & parish formation teams held in the Holy Family Redemptorist Retreat House, Cebu (April 12-15, 2012)

Workshop on Word of God & Laity (BEC Perspective) for Catechists & Youth Ministers – Blessed John Paul II Summer Institute (Makati, May 18, 2012)

BEC Workshop for BEC parish formation teams of Kalookan Diocese (May 19, 2012)
BEC Seminar  for lay formators of Cagayan de Oro archdiocese (June 21-23, 2012)

BEC Talks/Seminars to Clergy

BEC Seminar to Newly-Ordained Priests of Cebu archdiocese (July 14-16, 2011)
Word of God and BECs to CBCP assembly (Jan. 29, 2012)
BEC Forum for Kalookan Diocesan Clergy (March 14, 2012)
 Lenten Recollection to members of Clergy Discernment Group on "BEC as Force for Integral Development" (March 16, 2012)
BEC Seminar for the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro (June 18-20, 2012)

Ongoing Tasks/Projects

Assisting dioceses in BEC assessment and evaluation (Daet, Mindanao)
CBCP-BEC website development – news & updates, resource material, etc.
Building up the BEC library in the CBCP-BEC office (gathering of BEC books, articles and resource material for scholars doing research)

Incoming Projects

Building up national BEC data-base (regional, diocesan, parish levels)
Research & Documentation of BECs (case studies & best practices), BEC video-documentaries (joint project with CBCP Media Office)
BEC & New Evangelization (papers, symposia, etc)

Composition of the Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities

Bp George B. Rimando – Chairman
Bp  Broderick Pabillo  – Vice-Chairman
Bp Pablo David
Bp Antonieto Cabajog
Abp Socrates Villegas
Bp Gabriel Reyes
Bp Julius Tonel
Bp Jesse Mercado
Bp Joel Baylon

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR – Executive Secretary

National BEC Team:

Bp George Rimando, DD
Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD
Mgr. Manny Gabriel, STD
Mgr. Jomari Delgado
Dr. Estela Padilla, PhD

Prepared by:    Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD 
Executive Secretary, ECBEC

Noted by:        Most Rev. George B. Rimando, DD
Chairman, ECBEC

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