BASIC ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES
In 2017, the Philippine Church celebrated the “Year of the Parish: Communion of Communities,” this being the 5th year of the 9-year New Evangelization Program of theCBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Phils.) to prepare the entire nation for year 2021 -the 500th Anniversary of the arrival of the Catholic Christian Faith into our shores. The purpose of this year is to strengthen the BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities) Program in parishes.
During his 1981 visit to our country, St. John Paul II said: “As laity, you are called to build up the Body of Christ, small Christian communities where personal exchanges and the practice of fraternal love and solidarity can be more achieved, and open vast opportunities for creativeness in the apostolate.”
Thus, in 1996, the Provincial Council of Manila II (PCM2) directed all parishes that “BEC programs should be taught and promoted more extensively in every parish, diocese …in the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila” (Title 1, Article 4).
The BEC Program begins with the organization of the parish into sectors headed by Sector Heads. Street Leaders from our various villages were identified and constantly formed so as to become effective missionaries to their neighbors in establishing our BEC Units (Simbahan sa Kapit-bahayan). Some of BEC activities are street masses, block rosary visits, Stations of the Cross, ecology/arts advocacies, house-help catechism, outreach programs for poor parishes, and other church activities. Since every catholic parishioner is a member of their street BEC unit, the parish hopes to invite all catholic families of our villages so “that all may be one” (John 17:21).