02/05/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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In Manila a professional group spreads the Church’s social doctrine

The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals has been evangelising among business leaders and professionals for the past 28 years in an field that needs the Christian message and witness.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – For the past 28 years the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) has developed into a network of some 30,000 members across the Philippines for the purpose of bearing witness to Christ in their respective professions, bringing Christ to the country’s workplaces and boardrooms, spreading the Church’s social doctrine to the business community, and carrying out their respective tasks without losing their faith.

“We become modern evangelisers in our work place. It is a platform to share professional and faith experiences as professionals or businessmen,” said L. Fernandese, a judge in Pangasinan, north of Manila, who has been a BCBP member for two decades and has been enriched by it.

For attorney Maria Anna, the “BCBP has the distinct task of bringing Jesus into the marketplace. We carry this out by bringing fellow businessmen and professionals into the community, by our own personal witnessing in our places of work, and taking an active part in the transformation of business organizations.”

People from a variety of professions have indeed flocked to the BCBP. They are medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses; each dedicated to bringing Gospel values to the workplace and bearing witness to them in whatever they do.

It all started in July 1980 when 24 Catholic professionals met in what was to be the first Men’s Breakfast. The initial breakfast season grew as more and more businessmen and professionals started attending.

In two years, the first BCBP chapter was established and the rest, as they say, is history. Today there are 51 full chapters and 62 outreaches in the Philippines and two outreaches in California, USA.

Each chapter is further subdivided into small units, of 10 to 15 members, who closely interact with each other, sharing their faith and professional expertise.

They also form Basic Ecclesiastical Communities, which for the Church is the modern way of being Catholic.

“The members of the Brotherhood have become evangelisers within their own professions,” said Fr Herbert Scheider SJ, the BCBP spiritual director. “The BCBP’s focus is to up educate, improve and interpret from a Christian perspective what happens at work and in the market.”

Ultimately, the latter must change and reflect Christian values but to do so it needs people from each sector who know Christ’s message and are willing to bear witness to it.

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