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  • Julma M. Narvadez

“We will proceed with the building of BECs,” says new Caceres Archbishop

Nine days after his installation as Caceres Archbishop, Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D., urged parishes to continue building BECs.

On May 11, the Archdiocesan Office of Basic Ecclesial Committees, also called SKK-Caceres, held the 4th SKK Day. SKK stands for Saradit na Kristyanong Komunidad – the Bikol translation of BEC. In 2019, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines designated Trinity Sunday as BEC Sunday. In Caceres, the annual SKK Day is celebrated prior to Trinity Sunday so it would not coincide with other archdiocesan activities.

Attended by 118 priests and lay leaders from more than fifty parishes, the gathering was held at the Archbishop Legaspi Hall at the Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Naga City. It was the first time for Alarcon to meet BEC-parish implementers and parishes preparing to implement BEC.

In a circular issued on April 19 by Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D., now Archbishop-Emeritus of Caceres, parish priests, chairpersons of parish pastoral councils, SKK and Education Ministry parish coordinators were asked to join the activity.

Alarcon, in his homily, noted the ways society has changed vis-à-vis the need for the Church to be responsive amidst these phenomena. He cited the developments in the banking industry where bank managers are now frontliners and in business organizations where shared commons, networking and collaborations are essential for sustainability. He noted how media has evolved so much so that anyone can be a content creator, compared to the traditionally one-way communication through radio, tv and print.

For her part, the Church responds to the signs of the times, Alarcon said. He cited the fruits of the 2nd Vatican Council in ensuring greater lay participation. The celebration of the Mass in local languages and the service of lay lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion during Mass are some of the ways the Church has responded to emerging needs and realities.

Locally, the 2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines was instrumental in crystallizing the vision of the Church to be a “community of disciples,” and “a communion of communities,” Alarcon added. He said forming basic ecclesial communities is a concrete means towards this vision.

He recalled that as a seminarian, he joined ACI sisters in holding prayer meetings and organizing BECs at Sabang, Naga City. Thus, he said, BECs – now called SKK in Caceres – is not new but there is a need to deepen and strengthen BEC as a pastoral thrust.

He assured the participants that current structures such as the pastoral councils, finance councils, ministries, religious organizations and movements will not be abolished, but instead, will be strengthened as a community.

“Before any structure, before any strategy, is our relationship as brothers and sisters with the Lord. We are building the BEC to realize the Kingdom of God and this all begins in our relationship with God,” Alarcon urged the congregation.

“Dai na kita masibog sa BEC. (There is no turning back on BEC). We have already made a decision. An bilog na Simbahan kan Pilipinas, nagsasabing mahalaga ini. (The entire Philippine Church attests that BECs are vital.),” he emphasized.

After the Mass, the lay participants, grouped per vicariate, reflected on the benefits of BEC, the factors that hold them back from forming BECs and the assistance they need to promote BECs in their parishes. On the other hand, the clergy group shared their joys and challenges with BEC and identified recommendations to strengthen BECs in the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocesan PREX Music Ministry opened the activity with songs that energized the participants. Meanwhile, the Magarao Children’s Choir led the singing during the Mass.

The Archdiocesan Office of BEC is headed by Fr. Emmanuel G. Mojica, parish priest of St. Anthony of Padua, Camaligan, Camarines Sur.


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