Bishop Rapadas is new head of Church’s BEC body

Bishop Jose Rapadas of Iligan was elected as the new chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC), succeeding the late Bishop Ronald Lunas of Pagadian.

According to CBCP News, this appointment marks a significant step for the 51-year-old Bishop Rapadas, one of the youngest bishops in the Philippine Church, who has been serving the Iligan diocese since 2019. The Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities plays a crucial role in coordinating the activities and objectives of BECs across the country, aligning them with the CBCP’s mission of “integral evangelization” and fostering synodality at various levels of the local Church. The BECs, which celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019, have been instrumental in the grassroots evangelization efforts in the Philippines.

The CBCP in 2021 upgraded its BEC body from a “committee” to a “commission,” reflecting the growing importance of these communities in the Church’s structure.

Additionally, the bishops elected Archbishop Julius Tonel of Zamboanga as chairman of the CBCP Committee on Bishops’ Concern. This committee is dedicated to addressing the personal needs and concerns of bishops, ensuring their welfare and effective ministry.

These elections occurred during a seminar in preparation for the CBCP’s plenary assembly, scheduled from January 27 to 29 at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila. The assembly is set to inaugurate the newly elected members of the bishops’ Permanent Council and heads of various CBCP commissions, committees, and offices. They will serve their terms from December 2023 to November 2025, beginning with a swearing-in ceremony at the opening Mass on Saturday.

These leadership changes come at a crucial time for the Philippine Church, as it continues to adapt and respond to the evolving spiritual and social needs of its faithful. (Luis Angelo Sta. Maria/Volunteer Writer – San Felipe Neri Parish | Photo from CBCP News)


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