The church, for some, can be considered old-fashioned. This trait is two edged – it’s one of the things that has kept the church alive for so long yet it is also one of the reasons why the church isn’t as enticing to some of the millennial.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared 2017 to be the Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities.
One of the priorities for this year is the rebirth and development of the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) in all the parishes around the country. The formation of BECs in local parishes has been inconsistent and at times very hard; sometimes because the local parish priest will be moved and the new priest will have a different goal for the parish, but mostly BECs fail to be sustained because there aren’t a lot of people from the community who are willing to be active.
With the growing number of active members in the church, wether it be Youth for Christ (YFC), Parish Youth Ministry (PYM), Chiro Youth Movement, Filipinos for life, Dominican Youth Movement or any other youth orgs who embodies the mission of Christ, there isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind that the youth has a strong love for God and that they can certainly step up if need be.
So why aren’t there a lot of youth stepping up in helping the local parishes in the formation of BECs?
In my opinion we can say that majority of the youth and the church almost seem to move in two different dimensions. While this generation’s young people and technology seem inseparable, the Church and Internet on the other hand seem to not blend in just yet.
And since this is a generation where everyone uses the internet as a primary source of information — why not make announcements, invitations and posts about masses or church-related, BEC-centered events online? Why not have a social media presence?
The Church having a social media presence will not only help in spreading news about BECs but also help in encouraging the youth, or the millennials, to join the BECs in their local parishes.
Another possible problem could be, they just don’t now that BECs exist. Without having information on the how, why and what – people won’t really have interest in it. So, won’t it be nice to show them? (and what more effective way than being present in a space where they are always in: ‘social media’)
The BEC formation for this year of the parish can be made stronger with the help of the youth. They just need a little encouraging, a little boost. Besides, there are more youth than adults in a community, appealing to the younger ones will up the numbers and they will definitely keep BECs alive. (Ira Taylo)