Identifiers of a healthy Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC)

 A screencap from CBCP News Conversations interview with Fr. Amado Picardal
A screencap from CBCP News Conversations interview with Fr. Amado Picardal

A Facebook show entitled CBCP News Conversations hosted by Christine Paguirigan invited Father Amado Picardal, the Executive Secretary of CBCP-BEC as guest to find out the identifiers of a true community.

Fr. Picardal, a renowned resource speaker who has traveled all over the country to visit, meet and talk to communities has been spearheading the activities for this year’s celebration of the Year of the Parish.

Father Picardal defines Basic Ecclesial Communities as “local communities of Catholic faithful within parishes where Catholic members are close to each other and foster relationships.”

Every parish is a communal community, and within that are smaller, tighter knit groups among the neighbors. Being active in parochial or even diocesan service is different from building relations with your neighbors.

“A community could be a group of 7 neighbors. In BECs, it’s never about the quantity but about the quality of community,” the BEC executive secretary noted.

A Platform and an Antidote

BECs can also become a platform to train lay leaders. They become accountable to each other in ensuring their vigorous service and continuous growth in faith.

Throughout the interview, Father Picardal clarifies that while BECs are usually found in smaller communities, their effect is at a larger scale.

Because evangelization is at the grassroots, BECs are available to develop the conscience of society.

Especially in this time when extra-judicial killings (EJK) and violence are rampant, it is the BEC that reminds people to stay true in our faith and reject all forms of sin.

“Communion is the antidote to addiction,” Fr. Picardal explained.

Father Picardal shares the message behind the call of the Stop The Killing, Start the Healing campaign saying ‘it is important that every individual has an access to a supportive group where he is encouraged in his recovery.’

BECs also provides comfort and assistance to grieving families, especially those left behind by EJK victims.


Ultimately, a BEC is an extended family. “We cannot continue being isolated,” Father Picardal reminds us.

An active BEC is the Church’s answer against the “Me, myself and I” mentality and aims to destroy a Church of Strangers and build a true community that grows together.

Every region has its own uniqueness. Every community is diverse, but all works towards a common objective of building a community where belongingness is palpable and participation is active.

To watch the whole interview go to this link: (By: Mariz Ponti)

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