Kaloob-Katiwala Program and the BECs: Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish

The BECs in Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish started in 2006 during the incumbency of Rev. Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan who was the Parish Priest, from 2006 to 2009. These continue to grow under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Joselito I. Jopson, the incumbent Parish Priest, from 2009 to the present. The parish is situated in Ortigas Ave. Extension, Rosario, Pasig City.

“It was in July 15 and 22, 2006, when a group of Diocesan BEC Core Members from the Diocese of Pasig, led by sis. Nene V. Concepcion, Diocesan BEC Coordinator (DBEC), through the Vicariate of Sto. Tomas de Villanueva, conducted a two-whole day, successive Sunday Parish BEC Orientation (POBEC) Seminar in the Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish. It was attended by 65 church workers headed by then the Parish Priest, Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan, and the Parish Pastoral Council Lay Coordinator, Bro. Robert Suarez. This DBEC Core Group from the Diocese of Pasig conducted a series of lectures on the origins of BEC, beginning with the 12 disciples and the original Christian communities following the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. They also gave a lecture on the five stages of church development starting with the first stage, the All Provided Church or “Simbahang Palabigay”, through the 2nd, 3rd, 4th stages, ending with the 5th and last stage, namely, the Participative Church or the “Mumunting Kapitbahayang Kristiyano or MKK” more popularly known as BEC today. Before closing that orientation seminar on the second Sunday, the Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish BEC Core Team was organized. From out of the 65 attendees, 18 were nominated and appointed Parish Core Group members by Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan. After a series of meetings, this core team then divided themselves into three sub-groups, the first sub-group called the Education or Formation Team; the second was called Operations or Organizing Team; and, the third was the Planning and Executive Team. Again, after a series of discussions, the Sto. Rosario BEC Core Team was later renamed the BEC Secretariat.

Closely guided by Msgr. Cesar, the Secretariat met weekly every Monday evening to discuss goals, strategies and activities. First on the agenda was the development of the “Parish BEC Vision and Mission” statement. Subsequently, after a year of endless meetings and discussions, the Parish BEC General Assembly was called last September 28, 2007, about a week before the Feast of our Lady of Sto. Rosario de Pasig on October 7, to ratify the Vision and Mission statement which they did, voting overwhelmingly to adopt BEC as the new way of being church in the Parish. The Assembly was very well attended, with over 1,200 attendees, filling the church to the last seat. There was total fun, excitement, drama and prizes. For entertainment and better appreciation of BEC, the various ministries, WESTYFLA, brought to life all the above five stages of church development by presenting corresponding drama presentations. Since then, every year a Parish General Assembly was held, hosted by the BEC Secretariat, to assess the progress in BEC and in the various ministries and to usher in the annual fiesta.”

Through map and actual surveys, in consultation with incumbent leaders in the community, the various Kawans in every Pamayanan; and, the MKKs in every Kawan, were then identified. A homogenous group of about 150 families were called Kawans; and, a smaller group of 15 to 20 neighborhood families within the Kawan, usually located within a block, a cluster, along a street, eskinita, or alley were called Munting Kapitbahayang Kristiyano or MKKs. These Pamayanans and Kawans were given names after their chosen Patron Saints while the MKKs were given names after their chosen Litany of the Holy Rosary. As an MKK consists of 15 to 20 families, a Kawan of about 150 families or about 10 MKKs, a Pamayanan would then consist of 2 or more Kawans, with about 300 or more families. Initially, 14 pamayanans in the parish were organized from out of the six puroks and eight subdivisions. Four new subdivisions later joined increasing the number of Pamayanans from 14 to 18. These four Pamayanans were also given the names of Saints. Hence, today, they have all in all 18 Pamayanans. From out of the 18 Pamayanans, 72 Kawans were identified. These Kawans were likewise given the names of Saints. From out of the Kawans, the BECs or MKKs (Munting Kapitbahayang Kristiyano) were formed. These MKKs consisted of 15 to 20 neighborhood homes and families, all situated side by side, adjacent, next to each other, in the same road, street, looban, cluster or eskinita.

BEC or MKK started with various activities in the 18 Pamayanans, as follows:
1) Station of the Cross in every MKK with 15 to 20 neighborhood families hold their own Station of the Cross processions during Lent. Each group of 15 to 20 families, organized and conducted their own MKK procession with the 14 Stations of the Cross. As their availability would allow, Msgr. Cesar and some guest priests, joined the MKK Station of the Cross processions. All songs and music, now in CDs, and prayers were provided by Msgr. Cesar. There are about 130 MKK Station of the Cross processions held yearly up to now which started during the incumbency of Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan, following a schedule drafted in 2008. This was the first entry activity, the beginnings of MKK in the Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish.

2) After the Station of the Cross processions, the MKKs also held “Landas ng Liwanag” processions, following Easter, and following the same pattern as the MKK Stations of the Cross processions, the second BEC/MKK activity.

3) To usher in the Annual Fiesta celebration on October 7, an annual visitation of Our Lady of Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish to all the 18 Pamayanans was also held yearly with a fitting 9-day novena. The Kawans and MKKs took turns conducting vigil watch with agape as the Lady stayed with them during a 24-hour period. This was the 3rd BEC Pamayanan/Kawan/MKK activity.

4) During the year of the Priests in 2009, a schedule of visitation and novena for St. John Vianney as the patron saint of priests, was also conducted in all the Pamayanans. This was the 4th BEC Pamayanan/MKK activity.

The following new developments have been undertaken under the Pastoral Leadership of Rev. Fr. Joselito I. Jopson:
1) The massive religious activities undertaken during the incumbency of Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan have been further strengthened with a BEC seminar conducted by Fr. Joselito I. Jopson. This “13 Weeks BEC Seminar”, consisting of 11 modules, prepared and conducted personally and diligently by Fr. Lito, for 13-weeks, half days, every Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. As of today, four batches, four 13-Saturday seminars have been conducted with 167 graduates finishing the course, including two guests from St. Jude Parish, an average of about 40 graduates per batch. This program started last 2010 and continues up to the present. Only certified graduates of this BEC Seminar are being appointed by Fr.Lito and given official functions as Coordinators in their respective Pamayanans, Kawans or MKKs.
To be called a graduate in the BEC Seminar, a candidate should have attended substantial number of sessions in the 13-Saturday sessions and must pass the Oral Examination given personally by Fr. Lito, aside from having been baptized a Catholic and married in church, if married.

2) Oral examination is given in groups of 4 to 8, usually by pamayanan. To pass, the examinee must talk and explain satisfactorily, before Fr. Lito and the group, a question or situation, as described in a set of questions/conditions prepared himself by Fr. Lito. Those who fail or who did not take the exams, but was given assignment anyway as Coordinators, were appointed tentatively as a Contact Persons, as needed and those who pass are given certificates and are commissioned officially in a solemn mass held for the purpose.

While the Kawan and MKK concept were conceived during the incumbency of Msgr. Cesar, it was in 2010, after the first batch of BEC graduates were commissioned, that the 72 Kawans were born. These Kawans and MKKs were given flesh and personalities as the new graduates were appointed as Kawan and MKK coordinators (or tentatively, as contact persons).

3) During the first quarter of 2012, Fr. Lito introduced the Parish Registration System and Kaloob Membership, a step towards Stewardship, of sharing time, talent and treasure, of giving offerings during Kawan masses. Today, we have about 1,000 Kaloob members and have collected over a million pesos, averaging about P80,000 per month. Kaloob envelopes containing offerings are offered during Kawan street masses and regular Sunday masses.

Today, the Pamayanans do the following activities regularly:
1. At the MKK, Kawan or Pamayanan level, members conduct weekly Bibiliarasal (Biblia- Aral- Dasal) and Block Rosary prayer meetings, throughout the year. Weekly Sunday gospels are being published in the Parish Bulletin with the accompanying insight prepared by Fr. Lito, Fr. Maico (Rescate) or Fr. Alex (Pelayo). A Bibiliarasal Guide is also prepared weekly by Bro. Steve Navarro, BECS Vice Coordinator and Finance Council Coordinator (together with wife Sis. Butch), copies of which are regularly distributed weekly or emailed on request.
The bibliarasal guide followed the agenda outlined by Fr. Lito in his article in the SRP parish bulletin Vol. 1 No. 10, 7/20-7/27/2010. (For comparison, refer to the appendix of the BEC Bible which describes at least 7 models of the prayer meeting agenda.) The bibliarasal guide is compiled from sources, such as, the Sambuhay missalette for the readings and gospel, the SRP parish bulletin for the gospel insight, the munting katesismo and parish announcements issued by the parish office, and discussion items taken from the Kaloob Manual.

2. During Lent, they hold Stations of the Cross processions in their respective MKKs.

3. Last year, 2013, the Kawans also held monthly “Year of Faith” Living Rosary rites aside from a similar Living Rosary rite held in the Parish every 7th day of the month which started last February 7, 2013 up to October 7, 2013.

4. Every month, the Kawans hold street masses with Kaloob offerings in their respective kawans. Please note that the Kawans are building up their own sets of officers, WESTYFLA ministries, their own set of Lectors and Commentators, EMHC, KOA, Mother Butler, Ushers and collectors; and, choir.

Today, the BEC and the Pamayanans are the biggest, regular resource of strong, motivated manpower and support, of time, talent and treasure, in all activities of the Parish while all the six ministries, WESTYFLA, and all the mandated organizations, all in place, also continue to extend unrelenting support to all the activities of BEC and the Parish. Together, they make up the strong “Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish.”

A call for building and sustaining the Basic Ecclesial Communities through sharing of resources has led to the Kaloob Program which enables them to commune with God and neighbors and give according to his/her capabilities. “The Faithful also have the duty of providing for material needs of the Church, each according to his/her abilities.” (CCC2043)
The Gift (KALOOB-Kaloobang Alay sa Diyos at Buhay) is a program of the parish on finance and solidarity for the development of the Christian community. It invites every jurisdiction of the parish such as individual, family, organization or company to participate in parish activities to grow not only in the financial aspect but also in matters related to developing family and community with faith and work together.

During all the BEC 13-week seminars conducted, Fr. Lito has been stressing to change the paradigm where church servers are confined in their church activities, and should actively participate in the BEC activities in their respective communities (kawans and pamayanans). Some of the church servers participate in the “street masses” in their communities, but very few attend bibliarasal meetings or be members of the Kaloob program.

Fr. Lito’s BEC model contained in the Kaloob manual (2012) has 4 basic elements: fellowship (or communio), word of God (bible), breaking of bread (eucharist), and sharing of resources (stewardship). Fr. Lito has implemented this BEC model in the two other parishes: at the Queen of the Poor Parish and at San Guillermo Parish. Fr. Lito claimed that he learned this model from Fr. Manny Sarez of Cubao Diocese which covers Fr. Lito’s residence. On the other hand, the Pasig DBEC model has the following elements: kapatiran (neighbours), word of God (bible), action (service), and link with the wider church (parish connected).

The presence of Finance council members at every kawan (street) mass explaining the Kaloob program and campaigning for support played a significant role in the membership growth. The speakers’ bureau being organized by the BEC secretariat is envisioned to sustain this effort.

The Stewardship program was part of the BEC agenda as defined in the Kaloob manual issued in 2012, initially citing “sharing of resources (treasure)”, intent on complying with the PCP II directive on the gradual abolition of the arancel system (PCP II, Art. 118). The other Stewardship programs (faith, time and talent, vocation, and ecology), including parish programs and kawan projects, are financially supported by Kaloob fund collected.

This KALOOB Program was endorsed by Bp. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D. on January 17, 2012, and it was implemented in Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish in February 2012. All those belonging to the parish, who wish to offer their contribution/tithing and responsive to the objectives of this program may be a member of GIFT (KALOOB). They can be a KALOOB member by contacting the Parish at telephone no. 641-0728, the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance Council, or the Kawan Coordinators of the communities. The duties of the members of GIFT are the following: 1. Attend Orientation Seminars to learn and understand the true essence and meaning. 2. Join in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Parish or Kawan mass and there to offer a GIFT with a joyful heart. 3. Regularly attend meetings of GIFT to know the status of the fund and the programs it promoted. 4. Join and participate in the advancement of parish programs.

The collected KALOOB fund goes to Parish Sustenance Fund (40%), Parish Pastoral Projects (30%), Kawan (BEC) Projects (25%) and Trust Fund (5%). The KALOOB Fund is protected by the following procedures: 1. Fund of KALOOB members will be counted and noted based on ID number. 2. Each Kawan has tally sheet in which the KALOOB of each member is listed. 3. There will be a regular report issued by the Parish Finance Council to inform everyone the status of their funds and this report will be monitored in the Parish Bulletin and Bulletin Board. Also, each Kawan will be receiving a copy of tally sheet so they can check if their fund is noted accordingly.

In order to use the Kaloob Fund, the Pamayanan/Kawan Coordinators will submit Kawan Project Proposal, Request for Appropriation from Kawan Fund & Letter to the Parish Priest and wait for the assessment & approval for the release of Kaloob Fund. It is subject for liquidation.

4 out of 18 pamayanans have used their Kaloob fund in 2014 as follows:

1. Pamayanan ng “Birhen ng Kapayapaan”/NAPICO – P5,400 for portable sound system, microphone & MP3 player used in Kawan masses.
2. Pamayanan of the Risen Christ – P38,600 for 100 pcs. monoblock chairs, 30 pcs. Booklets of Way of the Cross & catechetical paraphernalias used in Way of the Cross, May Flower Novena & Kawan masses.
3. Pamayanan ng San Lorenzo Ruiz- P8,000 for 200 pcs. monoblock chairs used in Kawan masses, Bibliarasal & meetings.
4. Pamayanan ng Birhen ng Guadalupe – P8,990 for 1 set portable sound system used in Kawan masses, station of the cross & meetings of Kawan of St. Jerome.

Insights and Learning Experiences:

1) Overall, the BEC in Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish has widespread support from all sectors of the Parish, starting from the Parish Priest up to the volunteer church workers; i.e. the PPC, the Finance Council, mandated organizations, ministries, the Pamayanans/Kawans/ MKKs and from the basic units of society, the families. The parishioners love the vision/ mission and the pastoral leadership of Fr. Lito, who sincerely believes in the BEC way of being church. They have a strong BEC Secretariat headed by Bro. Fortune Perlas, serving as the BEC Core Group and Parish BEC Coordinator, who similarly believe and continue to push and support the Vision and Mission of the Parish, willing to heed a call for new evangelization. Likewise, they have a strong Parish Finance Council, led by a couple-coordinator, Bro. Steve and Sis. Butch Navarro, who fully complement the BEC Secretariat on Kaloob and Stewardship matters and in the Parish Registration System.

The church calendar contains a holistic year-round set of activities that continues to provide inspirations and motivation to share time, talent & treasure; and heed a call for spirituality of stewardship on faith, vocation and environment. The 13-week BEC seminar serves as a vehicle for recruitment, training, motivating, building confidence and qualifying leaders and coordinators in the Pamayanan who in turn organize and maintain new Kawans and MKKs to spread the good news to everyone, especially to the poor and to the unchurched. The oral examinations challenge them to evaluate their knowledge, strengthen and profess their faith.

2) The KALOOB program has a capacity to sustain the BEC activities in the grassroots level plus the impact it may bring to the lives of the unchurched, the poor, and the sick by obtaining a tool to process a project proposal and allocate the Kaloob fund for certain target beneficiaries that promotes human/social transformation in the future. Solid monitoring and evaluation of long term programs are necessary such as KALOOB Program & 13 weeks BEC seminar.

3) BECs are working together for the common good of Sto. Rosario Parish. The 18 pamayanans do their regular Kawan Mass with KALOOB Program implementation/contribution. The Finance Council is always present to collect, record the contribution & submit the KALOOB envelope to the Parish Office; and deepen the understanding on the “KALOOB Program & somehow give updates. The Speakers Bureau was organized to encourage the Pamayanan Coordinators to lead in the information campaign & eventually attract new KALOOB members.
In weekly MKK Bibliarasal, the Bibliarasal Guide (printed handout in 3 pages of short bond paper, composed of opening prayer, 1st reading, gospel reading, reflection & sharing; catechesis, announcement, prayer of the Faithful & singing of the “Lord’s Prayer) helped the facilitator effectively lead the Bibliarasal. All present in the Bibliarasal have chance to share his/her personal reflection, to some who are not ready to share reflection is respected.
Two big Parish BEC gatherings are active in Sto. Rosario Parish; i.e. Parish Monthly BEC General Assembly (BEC meeting w/ formation) – half day program for 50-100 BEC leaders, being held every 2nd Saturday of the month at 8:00 a.m.-12:00 n.n. and the Parish Annual BEC General Assembly (BEC celebration w/ theme) – half day program for 100-300 BEC leaders & members from 18 pamayanans which being held a week before parish feast day. Both assemblies strengthen the bonding/relationship of the BECs & the monthly pamayanan progress report reveals the status of the BECs and serves as monitoring tool.

The parish reflects the spirituality of stewardship or “Katiwala”. The Kaloob-Katiwala program help develop among the BEC members’ a spirituality of stewardship – of time, talent, treasure, faith, vocation & environment. This can lead the BECs to grow into the fullness of life.

References:
1. Interviews: Fr. Joselito Jopson, Bro. Fortune Perlas & Pamayanan Coordinators
2. Parish BEC Profile by Bro. Fortune Perlas
3. KALOOB, 3rd edition, Sto. Ro
4. sario de Pasig Parish, Feb. 2012
5. Parish Bulletin, Vol. 5, Issue No. 4, May 4-17, 2014
6. Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish Calendar of Activities 2014