The impact of the coronavirus outbreak in a Catholic parish might have been worse but for the help of small Christian communities.
Father Luciano Felloni of the Diocese of Novaliches’ Kristong Hari Parish said Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) are proving its worth during the pandemic.
At a time when they are running short of people for frontline jobs, he said the BECs made their relief works easy and organized.
“The strength of a parish is really in the BECs,” Father Felloni said in a virtual media forum on Wednesday, May 20.
The Argentinian priest said that BECs are important in the effectiveness of parishes “because they are in touch with the daily realities.”
He said that parish was also tapped by the Quezon City government to help in identifying the beneficiaries for its relief operations.
“They saw that the Church is organized so it served as a bridge for the distribution of assistance and coordination with the government,” Father Felloni said.
The parish on Commonwealth Avenue covers communities from the urban poor sector, and where there are reported cases of COVID-19.
The strict quarantine also affected many of its parishioners who belong to the “no work, no pay” workers.
Father Felloni said the parish is also maximizing its capacity to reach out to its flock not just in terms of religious services but also in accommodating help through social media.
In recent weeks alone, the parish was able to collect about 2.5 million pesos from its online fundraising campaign.
“These are small amounts but when gathered together, it’s a big help,” he said.
While BECs are important in responsiveness to the pandemic, Father Felloni said that the Church should also be “creative enough” to adopt with the situation by using all the available means.
The situation, he also said, spurred them to open accounts in some mobile wallet apps to make the parish more accessible for those who want to help.
“We really have to maximize our capacity and a parish without a BEC will be much affected in times of challenges,” Father Felloni said.