Home > Reflection > BECs: The Shape of the Church to Come

In a book  which he wrote almost 40 years ago entitled “The Shape of the Church to Come,” Karl Rahner made a prediction: “The church in the future will be one built from below by basic communities as a result of free initiative and association. We should make every effort not to hold up this development, but to promote it and direct it on the right lines.”

I believe that the future that Rahner predicted is already a reality in many parishes and dioceses in the Philippines and other countries. As I ran & walked across the Philippines last summer,  I became aware of the extent of the spread of BECs in our country. From Mindanao, across Eastern Visayas, Norther Luzon, Central Luzon, the Cordilleras, and up to Aparri, I learned that BECs are spreading in different forms, shapes and stages of development. While attending BEC gatherings in Surigao, Lingayen and Kalookan recently I was pleasantly surprised to see that BECs are thriving not only in rural areas but also urban areas.  Of course, not everything is rosy.  There are BECs that are struggling to be born, needing the support of the clergy. There are BECs that have stagnated and needs to be revitalized. Still, there are many signs of hope. There are many wonderful stories about BECs that needs to be told and documented.

There is much to be done. The promotion of BECs which started over 40 years ago continue. Much has been accomplished over the years, yet more effort is required to realize the vision of a renewed Church promoted by Vatican II almost 50 years ago and PCP II twenty years ago.


5 Comments, RSS

  • cristina

    says on:
    August 31, 2011 at 9:23 am

    hi Fr Pics. this is a good site you are developing 🙂 in reflection to your reflection: i am a BEC practitioner in an upper urban parish and currently working in the village i live in which is a pilot area. i agree that BEC has different shapes , size etc though what doesn’t change is the BEC spirituality which is what helps me in my mission. here wherein livelihood is not a problem but rather participation to build the community either as an association or as a barangay. people need to build relationships to move a house (community) forward . and i believe that as one develops communityhood ones faithlife grows as well. integrating BEC by adapting to the normal flow of the community. working with the existing structures . instead of wanting to change a community by establishing structures , we work with existing structures , political , economic, spiritual , education, social etc etc because i do believe it is a matter of bringing out the BEC spirit as seen in our Culture of bayanihan salusalo damayan which are our strengths as Filipinos . but of course how does one adapt to make use of such dynamic energy for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
    wanting everyone to follow a structure as prescribed by top management does help of course when it comes to the area of getting people organized to work systematically. but to get these talented people to work with you needs a sort of a “tom sawyer approach”. meaning , they have to find it interesting enough , makabuluhan enough for them to want to take part .
    the hunger for fulfillment for meaning as a person for growth as a person is nature to man. it is good that the church being a shepherd does consider what kind of food the sheep needs today. the challenge of tapping onto the young sheep today. the older sheep , the sheep elders have been so used to the food they were receiving before but today it is either fast food for those working their butts off to earn a living and you have the gourmet cooking that established people want to eat because it isn’t about quantity or speed but rather it is about quality and if it is appetizing to the senses …to experience the joy of eating 🙂 a hopeful sign indeed happening in our midst kaso lang it does need a lot of adjusting , adapting , flexiblility to reach out to the various kinds of herds . but one thing i can say as a BEC practitioner is that what truly keeps me alive to want to eat and live and have my being is that Christ accompanies me via THE WORD OF GOD. some say, it worked in the time of Jesus but it can’t work today. that is if you don’t internalize Christ as with you He exists, thru you He exists and in you He exists. it is a struggle but He is the best companion towards missioning towards the new way of being church 😉

    • Seminarian. Arturo B. Baluarte Jr.

      says on:
      February 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      …God bless us all..

  • Jeson R. Buba

    says on:
    September 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Hello Fr.
    I am taking the subject course BEC organizing. After reading the different articles about BEC’s, I doubted some cases from the different parishes. There are times that the BEC started to grow in the parish but sad to say that the next parish priest whom assigned to that parish others do not continue the growths of the existing BEC’s. The parishioner sometimes also doubting the changes of the BEC’s with the parish priest. Isn’t good to continue the growths of the existing BEC’s program of the parish? I hope many priest’s will continue the program of the existing BEC’s in the parish.

  • ben

    says on:
    September 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Hello Father,

    May I ask how many dioceses or parishes in the Phil Church are having BECs? I would appreciate if you would refresh me with some new notes/updates about BEC in the Philippines. My parish in Salmiya Kuwait is on the process of building SCCs (India’s term) or BEC in our country. I have a series of talk about my personal experience during my mission exposure with the Redemptorists in Ginitligan, Baras Catanduanes way back in the 2000s.

    God bless and with prayers,

    Fr. Ben

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      September 30, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Hi Fr. Ben of Kuwait, I will send you by email the National BEC Profile which I presented to the National Gathering of Diocesan BEC Directors & Coordinators.