On February 4, 2012 over a thousand delegates coming from the various parishes of the diocese of Sorsogon gathered in Pilar, Sorsogon to celebrate the 3rd diocesan BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities) Day.
The theme chosen for this gathering was: “Saradit na Kristianong Komunidad padagos sa paglakbay na nagsisimbag sa pangapodan na magin mga tunay na Kristianong Disipulo”
(Basic Ecclesial Communities continue to journey in response to the call to become authentic Christian disciples)
The delegates riding on trucks, jeepneys and cars began the motorcade/caravan at seven in the morning from Sorsogon City and reached Pilar by 9:30 am. The caravan symbolized the BECs of Sorsogon journeying together, led by Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD and the parish priests from 28 parishes. Upon reaching the entrance of the town, the delegates alighted from their vehicles and processed to the parish church led by several local marching bands. They were welcomed by the parishioners along the way.
The mass was celebrated in the newly renovated parish church with tents set up around the church for the delegates who could not be accommodated inside. Over 30 priests concelebrated a t the mass presided by the bishop. After the mass lunch/agape followed. The BEC delegates where grouped according to vicariates and they held exhibits containing pictures of their activities and products of their livelihood projects.
The program started after lunch at 12:30 with a welcome address of the vice-Mayor of the town. This was followed by several presentations from the vicariates. The presentations of the various BECs from the four vicariates of Sorsogon highlighted the life and experiences of the BECs in the diocese. The drama and songs showed how the BECs transformed the lives of the people in the community. These also expressed their efforts to evangelize the communities, initiate projects in sustainable agriculture, their concern for the environment and their opposition to mining and the geothermal explorations.
In his inspirational talk entitled “The Challenge for the BECs in Sorsogon”, Fr. Picardal emphasized the need to sustain and expand their efforts in four areas: poverty alleviation, environmental protection, good governance and peace advocacy.
In his message to the delegates, Bishop Arturo Bastes told the delegates that their striving for holiness gives them courage to continue their journey. He reiterated his support in their efforts to build up the BECs and in their efforts to address the various social issues that they face.
Msgr. Rene gave a status report on the BEC program in the diocese. Fr. Sabi Fulo, the parish priest of Pilar gave the closing message.
By 3:30 pm, the delegates were in their way home.