It was in the late 50’s when the Church through the leadership of Pope Pius XII was bothered by the subsisting pastoral context in Latin America. The Church was faced by a throng exodus of Catholics to Protestantism and socialist-inspired trade unionism. What was the response of the Church? The Church created a pastoral strategy namely:
(1) Form several small units of parishioners from a large parish;
(2) Ensure formation and participation in each block;
(3) Even if priests are in shortage Christianity remains vibrant (CELAM 1955).
It was first implemented in the Diocese of Barro do Pirai in Brazil in the late 50’s with the help of Don Angelo Rossi and the lay catechists of the diocese. In the early 60’s, it spreads like wild fire throughout the neighboring countries of Latin America. It was called “Communidades Christianas de Base” then “Communidades Ecclesiales de Base”. This moved was recognized by Conferencia Episcopal de Latina America (CELAM 1955) and replicated in other countries after the second Vatican Council. In the late 60’s it continued to exist even after the threat of Protestantism and Socialism had been...