On September 16-18, 2013, some 135 diocesan BEC directors and coordinators coming from 64 dioceses in the Philippines gathered at the Holy Family Retreat House in Cebu City.
The gathering started at 4:30 pm on September 16 with welcome remarks by Bishop George Rimando – the chairman of the CBCP-BEC Committee and overall facilitator of this event. This was followed by a roll call and the opening activity. At 5:15 pm Fr. Amado Picardal gave the background and orientation. At 6:15 pm – the opening liturgy facilitated by Mgr Joemarie and Estela Padilla. This was followed by dinner.
The following morning at six, Archbishop Jose Palma presided at the opening Eucharist. He also gave the keynote message. After breakfast, there were two presentations: Fr. Picardal on “The National BEC Profile (8:30-9:30 am) and Mgr. Manny Gabriel on “New Evangelization and BECs” (10:30 – 11:30 am). During the open forum, Bishop Varquez of Borongan shared his own experience of BECs in his diocese. In the afternoon after lunch-break, the delegates were divided into small groups where they shared their own experience of how BECs are becoming evangelized and evangelizing communities. This was followed by reporting in plenum. The day culminated with an evening liturgy followed by dinner and socials.
On September 18, the whole morning was spent in brainstorming and planning by regional groupings. There were two questions that the groups answered: (1) their expectations and suggestions for the 2015 BEC National Assembly (theme, process, resource persons, possible venue and dates), (2) how they can enhance their regional networking and cooperation. After lunch break, the delegates gathered for reporting in plenum. After the reporting, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao shared what happened during the Synod of Bishops which he attended and how BECs was discussed. After his sharing, Fr. Carmelo Diola of Dilaab was given time to explain the printed material that he was giving to the delegates for the coming barangay elections. The closing Eucharist was presided by Archbishop Valles at 5:15 pm. After an early supper, many of the delegates joined the “Cebu by Night” tour with two airconditioned buses provided by the city Mayor.
After breakfast on September 19, the participants were on their way home.