Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) also called Basic Christian Communities, Small Christian Communities. Some contend that the movement has its origin and inspiration from Liberation Theology in Latin America. However, many would regard the emergence of BECs as part of the concrete realization of the communitarian model of the Church (as Communion and as People of God) promoted by the Second Vatican Council. The communities are considered as a new way of “being the Church”— the Church at the grassroots, in the neighborhood and villages. The BECs were not meant to reject or supplant the existing Church structures but to make it possible for ordinary Catholics or lay-faithful to experience the Church as a community and to actively participate in the life and mission of the Church. The vision of a renewed Church that Vatican II spelt out in the conciliar documents Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes was to be realized in the BECs.
In the BECs, the members are called to live in communion with the Triune God, with one another, with their pastors. They actively participate in Christ’s prophetic mission by listening to the Word of God, proclaiming it and giving witness to it. They are called to announce the message of total salvation, peace and justice. They are to denounce the evil and all its manifestation in society – the idolatry of wealth and power, violence, injustices, the culture of death.
The ordinary faithful are enabled to exercise the common priesthood by actively participating in the liturgical celebrations. They participate in Christ’s kingly mission by their loving service to others especially the poor and the needy, their work for justice and peace for social transformation. Thus, in many parts of the world, BECs are referred to as prophetic (evangelizing), priestly (worshipping) and kingly (serving) communities echoing Vatican II’s vision of the Church as People of God.
Our St. Joseph’s Cathedral Parish has nearly 20 BECs. In our BECs, we engage in a meaningful and enriching practice known as Bible sharing. Through this process, we follow five essential steps that deepen our understanding and connection with the Scriptures. These steps involve reading and reflecting on the chosen Bible passage, sharing personal insights and experiences, discussing the relevance of the passage in our lives, praying together, and finally, committing to action based on the teachings of the Bible. We request the members of that BEC to partake in this Bible sharing and prayer without fail as we foster a sense of community, spiritual growth, and a deeper relationship with God through the transformative power of the Scriptures. The following are the list of BECs & their days of gathering:
Name of the BEC
St. Devasahayam Pillai
St. Jude Thadeus
St. John Mary Vianny
St. John Bosco