NBVM BEC leaders election 2009
Finally the much awaited elections are here.Elections are undeniably the best way of selecting our leaders be in the church or outside.Our new parish priest,Fr.Victor Louis,must be commended for his vigor and enthusiasm to elect the various leaders of BECs and other church ministries.
The above is a list of guidelines circulated to all BEC members with the impending election of BEC leaders this week. I do not know who were responsible for drafting these guidelines but I feel they unrealistic and ridiculous. One has to be saint to qualify to be elected a BEC leader.
Let’s analyze some of these criteria listed that would qualify one for the post of BEC chairman.
No.1 : We all know is almost impossible to have all members present at any one meeting. To expect all to attend is wishful thinking.
No.2&3: An irreproachable person is one without fault and therefore impossible to criticize. I wonder who such a person is. To have a good moral life is fair but who decides whether a person is moral or otherwise as morality seem to have become so subjective these days.
No.4: To be a leader his/her children must be believers. Those of us who have children will understand how difficult it is to bring them up as Christians. We may take them to church, send them for catechism, make them participate in church activities and pray regularly at home but do all these guarantee that our children continue to be believers and good Christians? We may be able to have control over them when they are with us until the age of 18 or so. What happens after that God only knows. Can a parent be penalized for the failures of his children after they leave homes?
No.5&6 : Arrogance and hot temper are bad and we must discourage these characters but to be totally devoid of them is almost humanly impossible. We must be humble and obedient not only to those above us but also to those under our care whom we are supposed to protect. However blind obedience to authority and power is morally wrong. As Christians we are taught to always bear witness to the truth at all times and all places. That is what Christ did and what we must do to be his followers.
No.7: There is no doubt that a BEC leader must be able to work closely with the parish priest. This close working must be a two-way process where there is mutual respect for each other’s ideas and opinions. The BEC leader must be given some freedom to carry out his duties within accepted norms. He represents the people’s voices which is paramount.
No.8: Limiting the duration of service and getting the parish priest’s consent before undertaking major decisions are all acceptable. The priest is the main adviser and guide who should ensure the proper running of the BECs. By his right attitude he should be the catalyst to build the BECs not demoralize and destroy them.
Distributing these ridiculous criteria is an insult to the intelligence of the people. I don’t think anybody will ever qualify to be a BEC leader based on those criteria. One has to be a saint to be eligible to be a leader.
Changes are necessary but they should not be made just for the sake of doing so. They must be well planned and implemented gradually so as not to upset the long-serving parishioners who have devoted many years of their lives in serving the Church. These parishioners should be duly appreciated for their services and not sidelined unceremoniously and without respect as that would amount to punishing them for what they have contributed.
Parishioners of NBVM have reached a state of maturity and wisdom. All major changes must be preceded by dialogue and even debate as each and every member in the BEC/church is of equal importance in keeping with the slogan “We are the Church”
God bless NBVM