Victorias, Negros Occidental, Philippines, 18 September 2023 -- St Joseph the Worker parish celebrated Sunday mass at 10:00 AM on 17 September together with the different Basic Ecclesial Communities from barrios and chapels. Led by the parish priest, Fr. Norman Broderick “Brodie” T. Segovia, SDB, the parish community gathered around the Eucharistic celebration to build a sense of being Church and to strengthen the relationships among the different BEC cells.
The parish circumscribes a large geographical area in the center and outskirts of Victorias City in Negros Occidental. While the regular parish activities are now being held in the church of Mary Help of Christians in Cane Town within the same city, the majority of the parishioners belong to far-flung settlements separated by large tracks of sugar cane plantations. Salesians working in the parish have to travel from half an hour to more than an hour through paved and unpaved roads to reach these communities and provide pastoral services.
The Philippine Church through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has prioritized a BEC-based ecclesiology that focuses on the communities of families as the building block of every parish. Through regular faith animation and interaction, SJWP follows the call of Pope Francis of a closer “walking together” or synodality within the Church.