Diocese of Pasig Post-Pentecost BEC General Assembly
By Lilian G. Comsti
It was an event very much anticipated by members of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the Diocese of Pasig. Held last June 10 at the Pasig City Sports Complex, this event was aptly held after the Solemnity of Pentecost, as this feast, the birthday of the Church, is the inspiration for the BECs.
The well-organized gathering was participated in by the BECs of the four vicariates of the Diocese. Members came in color-coded shirts: blue for the Vicariate of the Immaculate Conception, green for Sto. Tomas de Villanueva, yellow for St. Anne, and red for Sto.Nino.
The program started a few minutes past 8:00 a.m. In the opening liturgy, Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., said, “Ngayon ay parangPentekostes. Nagkakaroon ng bagongpagsilang ng Simbahansabawatyugto ng atingpagigingdiyosesis.” His exhorting words were: “Magbuklodtayoupangmakitasaatinangpamayananbilangsambayanan ng Diyos.”
Rev. Fr. JoselitoJopson, Diocesan BEC Priest Coordinator, delivered the opening remarks. He emphasized the task of every Christian to spread the Good News which could be accomplished through the BECs – small communities of believers that are rooted in the Word of God.
Guest Speaker: Msgr. Manuel Gabriel
Msgr. Manuel “Manny” Gabriel discussed St. John Paul’s Theology of Communion-in-Mission. It involves the mission of the Church which is the mission of Christ. The Church has to actively participate in the mission of Christ towards the goal of making the human race one People of God, one Body of Christ, and built up into the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
He echoed the call of Pope Francis to conversion- missionary and ecclesial. Missionary conversion calls for welcoming everyone without exception and evangelizing the excluded, while ecclesial conversion involves openness and commitment to constant renewal.
He cited immersion as the key strategy in evangelization. Each one must go to the streets and offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ.
During an open forum that followed, when asked for a model for BECs, Msgr. Gabriel mentioned the Good Samaritan: “Ipakita kung hanggangsaanhandangtumulong, huwagtingnanangresulta.” The need to conduct orientation to Church organizations and ministries regarding their membership in the BECs was also discussed.
With Mr. Ping Javier as moderator, BEC coordinators of the Diocese shared their experiences and concerns in their respective parishes. Present were Mr. and Mrs. Danny and Magda Cabildo, Mr. Danny Magdangan from Sto. Rosario Parish, and Fr. Arnel Martinez. Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara was at hand to answer questions and suggest modes of action that could help promote BECs in the parishes.
Priestyle Mini Concert
People are used to seeing these members of the clergy of the Diocese of Pasig wearing their habit and celebrating Mass. That afternoon, they were dressed in maong pants and coat as they sang OPM hits with matching choreography. They are the PRIESTYLE – the singing priests of the Diocese. The group is composed of Rev. Fr. JoselitoJopson, Rev. Fr. Mar Barranda, Rev. Fr. OrlinOrdona, Rev. Fr. Angelo Te, and Rev. Fr. Edgardo Barrameda. Each one had a solo number; each one showed his singing prowess. They performed like a professional boy band. In the middle of their performance, Bishop Mylo Vergara joined in, to the delight of the crowd.
As the performance went on, people rose from their seats while clapping, swaying to the beat of the music, and taking pictures with their cameras and smartphones. They asked for an encore and the group readily obliged.
Bishop Mylo Vergara together with some members of the clergy of the Diocese presided at the closing Mass. In his homily, he reminded those present about the challenge to participate in the mission of Christ. The principal agent of this mission is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will animate the Church. He said, “Ang Espiritu Santo angmagpapakilossaatinupangmabuonatinangmgapamayanan. Sapagpuntaninyosamgamuntingpamayanan, ipakikita ng Espiritu Santo angmgasugat ng inyongkapwa. Kayo angmagdadala ngpaghihilom. Huwagmatakotdahilang Espiritu Santo angmagbibigay ng lakassaatin.”
Presentations and special performances
Parishes and the four vicariates of the Diocese contributed varied presentations to the program – dances, songs, and tableau. Most were participated in by members of the youth ministry. There were special performances by the Miguel sisters, Bro. Albert, Ms. Sheryl, and Mr. Cloyd Villegas.Program hosts were Ms. SidiMaming and Bro. Jay Dador Jr.