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Parishes to continue with BECs

Ecclesial communities necessary because of remote island locations, synod says

Participants of the deanery's synod Participants of the deanery's synod
  • Benediktus Sulistiyono, Pangkalpinang
  • Indonesia
  • June 17, 2011
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Around 60 priests, brothers, nuns and laypeople from seven parishes in the deanery of the Bangka-Belitung Islands have unanimously agreed to continue developing Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).

The agreement was reached at the end of the deanery’s June 14-15 synod held at the Puri Sadhana Retreat House in Central Bangka district.

Divine Word Bishop Hilarius Moa Nurak of Pangkalpinang was among the participants.

“Everyone recommended that the BECs should be continually developed here,” said synod spokesman Father Fransiskus Tatu Mukin.

He said ongoing development of BECs is important for two reasons.

Firstly, the diocese serves an area with several islands. Secondly, Catholics live far from each other with some even living on small islands that are cut off from the nearest parish.

“BECs make it possible for Catholics to build a sense of brotherhood among them and other religious followers as well. Through BECs, strong individuals who can serve the Church may emerge,” he said.

The deanery has been developing BECs since 1995, made them a priority at the synod in 2000.

In his homily during the Mass concluding the synod, Bishop Moa Nurak said the development of BECs was the materialization of a participatory Church in the deanery.

“BECs can be interpreted as a communion of God’s people who always see Christ as the center of everything and who continue Christ’s mission in their daily life,” the prelate said.

BECs are groups of Christians who, at the level of the family or neighborhood, come together for prayer, Scripture reading, catechesis, and discussion on human and ecclesial problems with a view to a common commitment.

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