Basic Ecclesial Communities: An Ecclesiological Vision

Journeying towards a
New Way of Being Church
Rev. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, STD
Presentation Topics
An Ecclesiological Vision of the BECS
A Historical /Phenomenological View of BECs
A Strategic & Pastoral Perspective in Building up
the BECs
The implication of BECs for the laity and the
BECs: Ecclesiological
Vatican II Vision of a Renewed Church
The Call for Church Renewal
John XXIII convened Vatican
II to renew the Church -- for
It was a council of the Church
on the Church
Vatican II Vision of the Church
The Church as community and communion
a community of faith, hope and love
a communion of life, love and truth
The Church as the People of God
in Christ’s mission
as prophetic, priestly & kingly people.
The active role of the lay-faithful in the life and
mission of the Church
Lumen Gentium
Thrust of Vatican II Ecclesiology:
Renewed Church
A communitarian vision of the Church
A holistic vision of the Church – people of God
that is prophetic, priestly, kingly (servant).
Concern for the temporal order (economic,
political, cultural) – for justice & peace
Lay Participation in the Church’s life & mission
Renewal of the Clergy – a more holistic
understanding of ministry
Post-Conciliar Reception and
From 1965 up to the present -- reception and
implementation of the council’s decree and
spirit after the council
The task of renewing the Church now falls on
the local Churches
MSPC as Reception of Vatican II
MSPC I (1st Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference) in
The theme: The Church of Mindanao-Sulu: A
Witnessing, Worshipping & Serving Community
Note: the communitarian and holistic perspective of
Vatican II in MSPC theme.
The promotion of GKK (Gagmayng Kristohanong
GKK as worshipping, witnessing and serving
communities. (katilingbang maampoon, masaksihon
ug maalagaron)
MSPC I vision of the Church
and the BECs
PCP II Vision of the Church
The PCP II has adopted the image of the early
Church in Acts and the ecclesiology of Vatican
II as its basis for its vision of a renewed
Community of Disciples
living in Communion
participating in the mission of Christ as
priestly, prophetic & kingly people
and as the Church of the Poor
BECs as Expression of the PCP II
Vision of a Renewed Church
“Our vision of the Church as communion,
participation and mission, about the Church as
priestly, prophetic, & kingly people, and as a
Church of the Poor- a church that is renewed is today finding expression in one ecclesial
movement. This is the movement to foster Basic
Ecclesial Communities.” par 137
PCP II Vision of BECs:
Community of Disciples
BECs as Way of Being Church
Thus, when we speak about a new way of being
Church we refer to the PCP II vision of renewed
Church which finds expression in the BECs.
What can be said about the Church in general
can be said about BECs. The BECs are the
microcosm of the Church – it is a new way of
being Church.
The BECs are the most local expression of the
Church: the church at the grassroots, the church
in the neighborhood, the church in the barangay.
BECs a Way of Being Church
Through the BECs, the Church is truly
experienced as a community of disciples.
The lay faithful experience communion.
The lay faithful live out their vocation as
people of God that participates in Christ’s
prophetic, priestly and kingly mission
The church becomes truly the Church of
the Poor
The Church as Communion
The image of Church as communion
emphasizes the communitarian and
interpersonal dimension of the Church.
Ecclesial communion can be lived out in
various levels:
Universal (communion of local Churches)
 Local (communion of dioceses/parishes)
 Parish (communion of BECs)
BECs as Expression of
According to John Paul II, the BECs can be “true
expression of communion and a means towards
construction of a more profound communion.”
In the BECs the members have a strong sense of
belonging & responsibility for one another.
The members experience the bond of unity which
is based on shared faith, celebrated in the breaking
of the bread, concretely expressed in the sharing
of material goods.
Living in Communion as BECs
A new way of being Church means looking at
the parish as network of BECs – a communion
of communions.
The members of BECs experience communion
among themselves, while each BEC is linked to
other BECS.
Although ministered by lay leaders, the BECs
maintain a bond of communion with their
pastors – the parish priests & the bishop.
Church as People of God:
Prophetic, Priestly & Kingly
Vatican II, MSPC I & PCP II view the Church as
a people of God that is prophetic, priestly &
kingly by nature and mission.
This image of the Church asserts that all the
baptized share in the life and mission of the
Thus, the laity have the right and responsibility to
actively participate in the prophetic, priestly and
kingly mission of the Church
Prophetic, Priestly, Kingly People
This provides us with a holistic view of the Church.
It negates the exclusively liturgical/ sacramental
image of the Church.
The Church is not only a worshipping community, it
is also a prophetic and servant community.
This image of the Church can be experienced by
ordinary lay people at the BECs since these are
prophetic, priestly and servant communities.
The Church as Prophetic People
It has the mission of proclaiming the Good news –
a mission of evangelization & catechesis.
It is also called to be the conscience of society –
this is the mission of denouncing evil and all its
manifestation: injustice, oppression, violence, the
culture of death.
It witnesses to the word & calls people to
The prophetic mission of the church can be
exercised in the universal and local level by the
hierarchy and the laity,
BECs as Prophetic Communities
It is in and through BECs that lay people can
participate in the mission of the Church.
The BECs come together to listen to the Word, to
proclaim and give witness to it.
They are evangelized and evangelizing
communities, they are witnessing communities.
BECs have the task of evangelizing & catechizing
families, neighborhood communities and
BECs as Prophetic Communities
BECs carry out their prophetic & evangelizing
mission whenever they come together in their
homes and chapels for their bible-service to reflect
on the word of God and their concrete situation.
The Church as Priestly People
The Church is a worshipping and celebrating
The priesthood of the faithful is expressed in
the full and active participation in the liturgical
and sacramental celebration.
The lay-faithful can exercise their priestly
mission not only in the parish level but also in
BECs as Priestly Communities
They gather weekly in their chapel to celebrate the
Liturgy of the Word presided by lay leaders.
Their monthly or bi-monthly celebration of the
Eucharist with the parish priest is festive and well
They have communal liturgies or rituals for various
occasions (birthdays, planting & harvesting,
sickness, wakes & funerals)
Liturgy of the Word
BEC Mass
The Kingly/Servant People
The Church as a Kingly People is called to be a
Servant Church.
The mission of the church is not purely spiritual.
The Church is called to be attentive to the situation
of poverty, injustice, armed conflict, human rights
violation, ecological degradation,
PCP II calls for a renewed social apostolate and for
the Church to actively participate in the work for
justice, peace, development & integrity of creation.
The church is to be involved in social
BECs as Serving Communities
It is in & through the BECs that lay people can
actively participate in the process of social
In response to the problem of poverty, they can
set up socio-economic projects (IGP, livelihood,
cooperatives, sustainable agriculture, etc.)
BECs as Serving Communities
In response to the armed conflict, they can establish
peace zones and be part of the peace movement that
pressures the government and revolutionary forces to
pursue the peace process.
BECs as Serving Communities
BECs as Serving Communities
To ensure clean and honest elections, the BECs
can be mobilized to help the PPCRV or
They can help in defending the environment
They can be mobilized to participate in
nationwide prayer rallies and vigils for various
causes taken up by the CBCP or the diocese
The Church of the Poor
The most popular image of the Church in PCP II –
the Church of the poor
This requires that the leaders and members of the
Church embrace evangelical poverty, live a simple
life-style and share their resources with the poor.
Those who are not poor are called to make an
option for the poor, to be in solidarity with the
poor and to defend their rights.
The poor members are empowered & called to
actively participate in the life & mission of the
BECs as expression of the
Church of the Poor
The BECs enable the poor to embrace evangelical
poverty and to actively participate in the Church’s
prophetic, priestly and pastoral mission
The poor are not only evangelized, they also
become evangelizers
The poor are not just passive recipients of aid,
they are active participants in the process of social
The building up of BEC is part of the reception
and implementation of Vatican II and PCP II
vision of the Church
Through the BECs, the Church can truly be
experienced as Community of Disciples, whose
members live in communion, and participate in the
mission of Christ as worshipping, witnessing and
serving communities, and as the Church of the
The Church can truly be renewed through the