Home > FAQ > What is the BEC Culture?

The Seven Pillars of BEC Culture

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR

The BEC is not just an activity or program. It is a way of life. It has its own culture.

Community Culture is defined as the way of life of the community which includes patterns of interaction, behavior and the underlying values, beliefs and worldview. It is the kind of environment that prevails in a community.

 It includes the rituals, symbols, creed, and code of ethical conduct.

 It defines what behavior is right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate.

 The community culture also defines patterns of relationship – whether personal/intimate or impersonal/functional. It also defines the boundaries.

 It also defines how leadership is exercised, and how decisions are made.

A BEC without a clear culture  cannot grow nor can it be sustained.

What are the elements of BEC culture? What follows are the 7 pillars of BEC culture.

  1. Awareness  as Renewed Christians (metanoia)
  2. Communion (koinonia)
  3. Word of God (kerygma, catechesis)
  4. Prayer and the Eucharist (leitorgia)
  5. Social Action (diakonia)
  6. Option for the Poor (anawim)
  7. Participative Membership and Servant-Leadership


1. Awareness of self as Renewed Christian

We are  renewed Christians-

We have  accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.

We have turned away from sin and living a new life.

We have become aware of the presence of the Spirit in our life, the Spirit that  renews us, unites us and empowers us for mission.

We have gone through a process of conversion and commit ourselves to live as true disciples of Jesus in community, and continue his  priestly, prophetic and pastoral mission.

 2. Communion. koinonia

   (pagkakaisa, pakiglambigit, pakikipag-unay, pakikisama, pakigsuod)

  We are family/community, we are close to one another, we live as friends, we care for each other, we share with each other, we take care of each other.

We  regularly  spend time together to  deepen our relationship.

As we strive to be close to one another we observe proper boundary and respect for each other. We will never exploit or take advantage of each other.

We are a community of equals and we recognize our diversity of temperaments and gifts.

When conflicts arise we will always strive together for dialogue and reconciliation.

 We  are connected to other BECs in the parish, we are part of the bigger community – the parish, diocese, universal church. We will never isolate ourselves from the wider Church to which we are connected. ln view of this we affirm our solidarity with our pastors – the priests, bishops and our Holy Father, the successor of St. Peter.

We are open to a dialogue of faith and life with people of other faiths and religious traditions  – especially other Christians belonging to other denominations and with Muslims.

3. Word of God

The Word of God as recorded in the Bible and reflected in the tradition and teachings of the Church is the guide of our life.

We come together regularly to listen to the Word and share it. We allow the Word to challenge us and to continually transform our life.

We continue to study to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Word and the teaching of the Church.

We proclaim the Word to others and to give witness to it with our life.

We uphold the teachings of the church in matters of faith and morals  – including its social teachings that promote peace, justice, freedom, human rights and respect for life.

When necessary we will speak out against any manifestation of evil and  culture of death in our midst – i.e., abortion, war, capital punishment, injustices, oppression, corruption, violation of human rights, ecological destruction, etc.

4. Prayer and Eucharist

Prayer expresses and deepens our relationship with God  and with  one another.

We come together at least once a week for community prayer or liturgical celebration (bible-service).

We gather regularly as a community to celebrate the Eucharist (depending on the availability of a priest).

We celebrate communally our fiesta and the liturgical seasons – Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.

We fully and actively participate in the liturgical celebration in our community and the parish.

5. Social Action

We believe that faith without good works is dead.

As a community we are concerned about our brothers and sisters who are in need and we show our love and care for them concretely.

We meet regularly to assess our concrete situation – social, economic, political, ecological. We identify the problems, issues and needs that we have to respond to as a community.

We  actively participate in the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating programs and projects that will address these problems and needs.

We are guided by the social teachings of the Church, especially the principle of the common good, total human development, human dignity, justice, peace and integrity of creation.

We  affirm our commitment and option for the poor.

We  live simply and share with our time, talents and resources.

We collaborate with other communities, groups and people of good will in the struggle for social transformation.

We do not allow ourselves to be used and controlled by ideologies, political parties and movements. We reject terrorism and violence as means in bringing about social transformation.

7. Option for the Poor

We embrace evangelical poverty. We totally depend on God.We affirm our commitment and option for the poor. We  live simply and share with others our time, talents and resources. We  make sure that the poor in our midst will fully participate in the life and mission of the Church and our local community. We strive to become truly the Church of the Poor

6.  Servant Leadership and Participative Membership

We recognize the authority and leadership of our diocesan and parochial pastors (bishops and priests) over our community. Through them we affirm our communion with the universal church and our universal pastor – the pope.

We avail of the structures in the parish and the community that enables us to actively participate in the process of decision-making.

We recognize the authority of the local leaders of the community.

Leadership and authority is to be exercised in the spirit of humble service.  Leadership should never be regarded in terms of power, privilege and prestige. There is no place for an autocratic or dictatorial style of leadership in the community. The leaders will function collegially – as a team or council- and will adopt a participative model.

The leaders are  chosen or elected after a prayerful process of discernment  on the basis of their integrity, commitment and competence.

7 Comments, RSS

  • emel;itamanalo

    says on:
    January 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    sa aking pagbabasa ang dami kung natutunan…………sana masabi ko at maibahagi dito as aming bayan……………

  • Angie B. Viterbo

    says on:
    May 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    My research on BEC lead me to your site. The BEC in our community (San Andres Apostol Parish, Greenwoods, Cainta, Rizal) is still in infancy (going our 3rd year, this 2012). I find your website a treasury of information on BEC. I would like to ask your permission if I may reprint the article above as well as the “Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Philippines: A Reception and Realization of the Vatican II Vision of a Renewed Church” a report you presented during the Asian BEC Conference in Taipei on Sept. 3, 2011. The reprints will be use during briefing of the BEC units (92 units, to date) to give them an overview of the BEC’s mission and guide them in the process. Hoping for your kind consideration. May God bless you.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      May 31, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Sure, Angie. You have permission to use whatever material you find useful here. May God bless you in your endeavors. Please document your activities and send us your stories, news, updates and pictures that can published in this website.

  • Angie B. Viterbo

    says on:
    May 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Thank you father for your prompt reply. I will be send you photos, stories and articles from our incoming workshop (June 30).

  • Freidrich P.de Guzman

    says on:
    May 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Fr. Picx, ano po ba kaibahan nang isang Bible Sharing Group at BEC cell group? may kaibahan po ba?

  • Xavier

    says on:
    September 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    i am one of the BEC leader in my church. Even the BEC was introduced more than 10 years ago, it was not well accepted by the christian communities here. Everytime when there is any event, the participation by the family is very few and i`m looking is there any info i can get from internet to make them realize how important the BEC is. Thanks for the info that i got it from here and hope i can share this to all my BEC if permitted. Please advice how shall we go about it to make all the catholic family involved actively in this BEC. For your info We have 5 BEC under 1 ZONE. Total Zone is 16
    Thanking you in advance.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      September 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Dear Xavier,

      Your question requires a long answer which I cannot give in this comment section. We are in the process of drafting a Manual for Forming and Revitalizing BECs which we hope will help BEC pastoral workers and leaders in their efforts to build up BECs. Please go over the articles and case studies in the website.