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Building up Basic Ecclesial Communities

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Presentation on theme: "Building up Basic Ecclesial Communities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building up Basic Ecclesial Communities
A Strategic Framework Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD

2 Pre-Requisites for Building up Basic Ecclesial Communities

3 1. Building BECs as Pastoral Program of the Parish & Diocese
Since the BECs is a new way of being Church, its formation must eventually be adopted by the diocese and parish as a pastoral program. The diocese, through a Diocesan Pastoral Assembly or Synod must officially endorse the building of BECs as a pastoral priority. The parish, through a Parish Assembly, must also adopt the BECs as a parish program

4 Why is it Necessary to be a Pastoral Program of the Diocese and Parish?
To emphasize that it is the project of the local Church and not the external agents/organizers. To ensure stability and continuity of BECs that are formed. To get the support of the pastors (Bishops and priests) and the lay leaders To facilitate the acceptance of the lay people, especially those who are resistant to change.

5 2. The BEC Formation Team A Parish Formation Team (PFT) is necessary to build up the BECs in the parish. This team must be formed, supported and coordinated by the parish priest. The composition of the team: lay pastoral workers (full-time & part-time), religious sisters, etc. There should be a regular meeting of the PFT for planning, reporting, evaluation and ongoing staff development. These meeting should be attended by the parish priest.

6 Role of the Parish Formation Team
Implement the parish pastoral program and help develop a parish pastoral plan Help in gathering data about the parish and the local communities and make a strategic plan Assist in Evangelizing the local communities Organize the BECs and help train leaders Help mobilize BECs for social transformation Monitor the development and growth of BECs.

7 The Diocesan Formation Team may be formed to support the formation of the Parish formation team. Their function is not organizing but training and providing material necessary for BECs formation External Pastoral Agents can also help form the PFT and provide technical support. They can help the PFT carry out its function of evangelizing, organizing and mobilizing the BECs. Since they are transitory by nature, the external agents should ensure that the PFT become self-sustaining.

8 3. Environmental Analysis
To build BECs, the PFT must know the place and the people. This means knowing the local geography, history, political terrain, culture and religious situation. The context will influence the kind of BECs that will be formed, the appropriate strategy or approaches that will be used in building them, the context or message of evangelization, etc. There are many ways of data-gathering: survey, interviews, observation, participatory research, focus group discussion.

9 Strategic Planning The parish priest together with the parish formation team and other lay leaders should undertake pastoral strategic planning. The strategic plan should be based on the results of the environmental analysis and the vision-mission of the parish, the thrust of the diocese. The PCP II vision of a Renewed Church and the BECs can be adopted by the parish. The goals and objectives can be set, the means can be determined, and initial programming be done.

10 Approaches in building up BECs
Diocesan Level Simultaneous (all parishes at the same time) Piloting (select pilot/priority parishes, replicate later) Parish Level Simultaneous (all communities at the same time) Piloting (select pilot/priority communities, replicate later)

11 The team will have to decide what is the most viable approach:
Pilot areas? Selecting two to four communities for experimentation. Develop these communities as model BECs. Replication can be done afterwards. Simultaneous? All the communities are developed at the same time. Top to bottom approach. Selecting leaders from each community, orient & train them, send them back to their communities for organizing.

12 Adopting a Strategic Framework
Evangelization of communities Organizing the communities into BECs Mobilizing BECs for social transformation

13 Renewed Evangelization
The potential leaders and members of the BECs are evangelized. Focus also on the family. Reach out to nominal members, men, young people. Expected outcome: They deepen their relationship with Christ, experience conversion, make a commitment to live out their discipleship in community. They own and internalize the vision of new way of being Church – the BEC. Means: Evangelization seminar, bible-sharing, family evangelization (visita familia), men’s fellowship.

14 Organizing BECs Goal: to set up sustainable structures, activities & ministries that will facilitate the growth of BECs as Community of Disciples This means concretizing what it means To live in communion To be a prophetic, priestly and servant communities To be a Church of the Poor

15 Forming a Core Group/Nucleus
The task of organizing BECs is not only the work of the PFT It needs the active participation of a core group within a community This core group is composed of committed people and potential leaders that have emerged during the evangelization stage. We follow Jesus’ method who called an initial core group of disciples and apostles whom he trained

16 Function of the Core Group/Nucleus
The Core Group is like leaven, light & yeast in the midst of the community Filled with missionary dynamism they continue the process of evangelization They expand the BEC, set up structures & activities that enable the BEC to grow The leaders of the BECs will come from among them

17 The Early Shape of the BEC
Occasional Core Group/ Nucleus Nominal

18 Later Development of BEC
Cell Cell Cell Core Group Cell Cell

19 Sustainable Activities/Structures
Prophetic Communities: bible-sharing, visita-familia, men’s fellowship, ongoing catechesis, occasional seminars (Education Committee) Priestly Communities: Celebration of the Word (bible-service), Regular mass (monthly or bi-monthly), Seasonal liturgies, etc. (Worship/Liturgy committee). Servant Communities: Regular meeting & assembly to discuss problems, action planning & evaluation (Social Action/Service Committee)

20 Emergence & Training of Leaders
During the organizing stage, the potential leaders that emerged or spotted will be tested, trained and formalized During the early stage of organizing an informal/adhoc leadership is more desirable to allow the emergence, testing and training of new breed of leaders. The formal election of leaders take place later after the BECs have become mature.

21 Emergence & Training of Leaders
Leadership Training seminars should be conducted Emphasize servant leadership Participative/Collegial Leadership – Council of Leaders, teamwork, regular meeting (planning, evaluation) Term of Office (3 years, subject to recall & reelection)

22 Structure of Developed BEC
Council of Leaders Worship Education Service Temporalities Family Life Youth Cell Cell Cell Cell Cell

23 Parish Organizational Structure
PP Parish Office Staff Parish Formation Team Parish Pastoral Council Worship Education Service/ Social Action Temporalities (Finance) Family Life Youth BEC Zone BEC Zone BEC Zone BEC Zone LOMAs

24 Mobilizing BECs for Social Transformation

25 The Evangelization and Organization of BECs should ultimately lead to mobilization for social transformation The BECs are instruments for renewing the Church and transforming society BECs should not be inward looking communities but has social responsibility. Mobilizing BECs for social transformation is part of the mission of BECs as prophetic and servant communities. BECs are called to participate in the struggle for development, liberation, justice, peace and the integrity of creation

26 BECs as part of Civil Society
The Civil Society paradigm is appropriate for BECs BECs as part of civil society (including NGOs, Pos, etc) transforming society from below Areas of engagement: Socio-economic, political, environment.

27 Socio-Economic BECs may be mobilized to engage in socio-economic projects that can transform the socio-economic terrain. (IGP, coops, livelihood projects) Should be done only after evangelization and organizing phase Participatory research & planning Linking up with parish/diocesan social action program Networking with NGOs The need for close monitoring and system of check and balance

28 Political BECs can be mobilized to empower people to participate in the decision making process During elections, BECs can become part of the local network of PPCRV or NAMFREL BECs can become fiscalizers in the LGU BECs may be mobilized against government policies that are contrary to common good BECs will be part of the peace constituency – advocating for peace & building zones for peace BECs can monitor human rights violations

29 Ecology BECs may be mobilized to protect the environment and maintain ecological balance This may mean struggling against companies that destroy the environment (logging, mining, pollution, etc) (ex: San Fernando, Bukidnon)

30 Concluding Remarks Building BECs is an ongoing process.
It is aimed at renewing the Church and transforming Philippine society Like the kingdom of God, it is an “already-not-yet” reality. The strategic framework is a road-map that can help us find our way towards reaching our goal

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