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September 22, 2005


Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,


Greetings of peace and joy in Jesus our Lord!  Today we conclude our three day CBCP-BEC National Assembly in Cebu City. In our Eucharistic celebration we heard the words of Yahweh to the prophet Haggai (Hg. 1:8), “Now the time has come to rebuild the house of the Lord!” These words remind us of the difficult task of renewing the Church for the mission of integral evangelization. Our Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (1991) echoed the urgent call of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) for integral renewal. We are more than aware of the lights and shadows of the Church in the Philippines and of our land, so full of promise and yet so filled with tragedy, politically, economically, and culturally.


We rejoice that since the 1970s our major pastoral contribution to the renewal of the Church and of society has been the building of Basic Ecclesial Communities in various parts of the country. In today’s gathering of 67 dioceses, we have shared experiences of failures and successes, of anxieties and joys. Yet our path of renewal is lighted with deep faith and hope. Our faith is deeply inspired as we witness the commitment of many of our clergy, religious and lay people in thousands of BECs all over the country to serve as a leaven within the church as well as in society. We are filled with hope in the success stories of BECs in inter-religious dialogue, in new participatory ways of church governance, in preferential service to the poor, in co-responsible action for mission. These are truly inspiring ways of authentic discipleship of the Lord, of communion with the Lord and with one another.


We encourage you dear brothers and sisters who live and work out your religious faith in the thousands of BECs all over our land. No matter how isolated you seem to be in far flung barangays, the Word of God that you share weekly, the Eucharist that you celebrate regularly, the BEC activities that you do faithfully – are signs of unity and strength shared with BECs everywhere. The love and care of the Lord is with you. And all this in order to rebuild his house, renew his Church.


May the reflections that we shall share with you in our Final Statement help sustain your efforts to build and strengthen your BECs. Let us together push forward in our one mission of transforming our cultures and our society with the eternal values of the Gospel and of the Kingdom of God. With Mary ever beside us as our Mother and Guide, we know we only have to be faithful and we shall succeed in working with the Lord, who himself builds his own house.


For and on behalf of the CBCP-BEC National Assembly,



+Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I.

Archbishop of Cotabato

Chairman, CBCP-BEC National Office