The building and sustaining of the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) is the main pastoral direction of the Diocese of Novaliches since its creation as a separate juridical entity from the Archdiocese of Manila in 2002. In the Vatican II and PCP II model of Church, the BEC is the direction and an expression of a renewed Church, a new way of being Church. Building and sustaining BEC, as enshrined in the Diocesan Vision-Mission, serves as a strategic vehicle to promote integral evangelization, empowerment of the laity, and upliftment of the poor towards total human development and social transformation.
BEC embodies a participatory Church and a Church of the poor.
Central to building and sustaining BEC is the awareness that we are the people of God called to be an authentic community of disciples where we continuously promote vigorously, and live up faithfully to the triple mission of Christ as priest, king and prophet with our immediate neighbors. This means that BEC, in order to be genuine and integral, should be characterized by small neighborhood communities that both worship together (priestly), serve each other, especially the poorest of the poor (kingly), and boldly proclaim the good news by being witnesses to the Kingdom of God in the here and now (prophetic). Hence, BEC building and sustaining is only possible when there is an intimate collaboration and synergy among and different church ministries, commissions, organizations and movements. In BEC, everybody feels belonged; no one is excluded.
In 2012, the Diocesan BEC Pastoral Team (DBPT) conducted a BEC Assessment. The results showed the different levels of involvement by the parish priests and the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) in building and sustaining BECs throughout the diocese. The survey results provided a glimpse into the status of BEC building in the Diocese in its first 10 years. Out of 64 parishes (29 of which are pastored by religious priests and 35 by diocesan priests), 48 parishes were observed to be supportive to BEC building while 16 were not.
Parishes were categorized into three levels of being supportive. These were minimal support (level 1), average support (level 2) and maximum support (level 3). Twelve parishes were categorized under level 1 (7 diocesan; 5 religious); 24 parishes under level 2 (14 diocesan; 10 religious); and 12 parishes under level 3 (3 diocesan; 9 religious).
The survey showed that to be effective in promoting, building and sustaining BEC, the agents, namely priests, religious and lay people, should be firmly convinced in the significant role of BEC in the renewal of the Church and should commit to this urgent task. The priests and religious, most specially parish priests, have undeniably played the central role in the implementation of BEC building as the main pastoral program in their respective parishes.