Andhra Pradesh Jyotirmai Society

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Official name Andhra Pradesh Jyotirmai Society
Country / Continent India / Asia
Director of the institute Fr. Dusi Devaraju.
Legal holder of the institute Most Rev. Govindi Joji, Chairman, Bishop of Nalgonda
Sponsor of the institute DKA – Austria; Missio – München, Diözese of Eisenstadt – Austria, KFB – Austria, Kindermissionswerk - Germany.
Year of foundation 1969
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) Central Office staff: 4, Regional Animators: 3, CB Desk Coordinator: 1, Diocesan Coordinators (field staff): 12, Diocesan Animators (field staff): 345, Lay Volunteers: 3500.
Staff members of your institute Mr. T. Rayappa Reddy, CB desk Coordinator, Mr. G. Deva Kumar, Regional Animator, Mr. G. Christopher, Regional Animator, Mr. Neteti Sreenu, Regional Animator, Mr. B. Mathias, Clerk cum comp. operator, Mr. M. Lourdu Raju, Driver, Mrs. P. Mary, Office maiden, Mrs. S. Shobha Rani, Cook and office maiden.
Contact Fr. Dusi Devaraj

Executive Director/Secretary

A.P. Jyotirmai Society

2/3 Sikh Villane, Secunderabad – 500009

Andhra Pradesh, India

+ 91-27890956

+ 91-9704555092


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Andhra Pradesh Jyotirmai Society.

Director of the institute

Fr. Dusi Devaraju.

Legal holder of the institute

Most Rev. Govindi Joji, Chairman, Bishop of Nalgonda

DKA – Austria; Missio – München, Diözese of Eisenstadt – Austria, KFB – Austria, Kindermissionswerk - Germany.

Vision / mission statement

Vision: ‘to make the local church participatory and self-reliant’ and

Mission: ‘to establish BCCs in all the Catholic villages of all the parishes of all the dioceses of Andhra Pradesh’.

Main areas of work

Helping the Local Church in setting Pastoral priorities.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

A.P. Jyotirmai Society, 2/3 Sikh Village, Secunderabad 500 009, A.P. INDIA

Year of foundation

1969 by Andhra Pradesh Bishops’ Conference (APBC).

Organisational structure of the institute

Andhra Pradesh Bishop’s Council (APBC), General Body – Members 57 (Office bearers + four members from diocese and one each from regional organisations). Governing Body – Members 16 (one member from diocese known as DJC and Office bearers). Executive Committee – Members: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Director and Treasurer. Office Bearers: Chairman, Vice- Chairman, Director, Treasurer.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Central Office staff: 4, Regional Animators: 3, CB Desk Coordinator: 1, Diocesan Coordinators (field staff): 12, Diocesan Animators (field staff): 345, Lay Volunteers: 3500.

Staff members of your institute[2]

Mr. T. Rayappa Reddy, CB desk Coordinator, Mr. G. Deva Kumar, Regional Animator, Mr. G. Christopher, Regional Animator, Mr. Neteti Sreenu, Regional Animator, Mr. B. Mathias, Clerk cum comp. operator, Mr. M. Lourdu Raju, Driver, Mrs. P. Mary, Office maiden, Mrs. S. Shobha Rani, Cook and office maiden.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

CB Desk Coordinator – M.Sc Agr. & Ph.D., Mr. G. Deva Kumar, Regional Animator – B.Sc., Mr. G. Christopher, Regional Animator – Intermediate, Mr. Neteti Sreenu, Regional Animator – B.A., Mr. B. Mathias, Clerk cum comp.operator – B.A., Mr. M. Lourdu Raju, Driver – 10th standard, Mrs. P. Mary, Offcie maiden – 7th standard, Mrs. S. Shobha Rani, Cook and office maiden – 7th standard.


Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

Animating and empowering lay people in the Church. Making the Church self-reliant through establishing Basic/Small Christian Communities which is new way of being the Church to build or create a participatory Church.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Animation. Lay Empowerment. Establishing BCCs/SCCs.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

Make the local Church a Participatory and self-reliant.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Arranging personnel/animators and their payments for the local Church in establishing BCCs/SCCs. Conducting Gnana Jyothi Bible Quiz exam. Training Lay Leaders for leadership to assist in BCCs /SCCs. Publishing Trimonthly news bulleting ‘Velugu’ and circulating for local communities. Producing of audio and video communication material. Providing Primary Education Scholarships to the orphanages through diocesan set ups. Providing Higher Education Scholarships to the professional education students.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

We have revisited BCCs through training animators, co-ordinators, diocesan Jyotirmai directors. Enhanced their knowledge of BCCs, re-motivated them to work with conviction, renewed their spirit to commit themselves for evangelisation. We have also helped them to understand Lay Ministries such as being Lectors, Preachers. We trained them for proclamation of the Gospel, Mass serving, catechism, preparing people/children for various sacraments. Empowerment of Lay people through Lay Leadership, training camps. Initiating Participatory leadership which leads communities towards self-reliance.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

Active participation of the laity is assured. Through the participation of laity in teaching catechism, faith formation of children and youth becomes an asset to the Church. The coming up generation has necessary knowledge of their faith and they participate in the life of the Church more actively and help with development of the Church. When lay people take up important liturgical role as deacons, the burden of the priest is lessened and lay participation is encouraged. Liturgy is at the heart of the Church. It was the sole domain of clergy, the ordained ministers. Lay presence at the altar has more meaning and assistance to the overburdened clergy with the liturgical ministry.

What notion of God inspires your work?

God as community of Love. God as Family, Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, are equal as one and at the same time distinct, and love the humanity. The biblical notion of god as love (1 John 4:16) “God is love and whoever remains in Love remains in God and God in him”.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

After Holy Scriptures, the Bible, Christian Traditions renewed by Vatican II forms the basis for our work. Our work today mostly based on the teachings of Vatican II. through His Holiness, Pope Paul VI and his successors. Andhra Pradesh Bishops’ Council (APBC)’s vision of Andhra Pradesh region, along with the CBCI and CCBI does matter. Gospel values and age old Christian traditions and spiritual values do help in our work.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

Through relevant Scientific approaches. Verification principle also kept in mind to analyse data to reach a conclusion. Reasoning, logic and common sense is used to establish reality or standards that lead us to understand reality. Though pastoral care is based on faith, faith is based on reason as grace is built upon nature. Our faith is not baseless but firmly based on reason and our pastoral care is not out of any unreasonable or superstitious sentimentality but scientific evaluation of the reality considered. The ultimate goal of course is building the Kingdom of God, the Church, based on truth, Jesus Christ.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

India is a country still bearing the scars of poverty, illiteracy and inequality coupled with injustice and oppression. Going to those who are marginal in the society is central in the Church. The option that universal church takes is the fundamental option for the poor and the downtrodden. So every institute in India in someway connected to this ideology of eradication of poverty and bringing justice and dignity to the oppressed. The Church has gone through persecutions in several places in India for ex. Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, due to churches involvement in bringing justice and harmony among the poor and marginalized. A.P. Jyotirmai Society, has taken up programmes related to animating or conscientizing the peoples mostly through small Christian communities or BCCs. Through BCCs we aim at achieving integral development of our communities and social transformation. Through these programmes we also help the poor esp. children hailing from poorer sections through primary and higher education scholarships. Thus we hope to build a generation not only in faith but also in education that enables them to live in dignity and respect.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

Jyotirmai is mainly an animation centre where it plans and executes animation programmes. In the organizational structure, we not only have Central Office but also Diocesan structures that is Diocesan Jyotirmai Committee, Diocesan Jyotirmai Director, Coordinator and animators. From time to time as the need updating of information regarding the institution, its projects and updating is done through seminars, training camps and evaluation sessions. In the training camps there are Lectures, input sessions, discussions and power-point programmes are held. Till now we have not conducted any Congress. We are preparing ourselves for Congress.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

Every quarter, the Society is publishing news bulletin called “Velugu” to communicate the developments taking place in the BCC villages of Andhra Church. Today it has developed into an inspiring and informative magazine. It is circulated to all the Bishops, DJCs, parishes, convents, animators and local leaders of A.P. It has already won many hearts as it contains many interesting columns, success stories and other interesting features. We do give important messages, news and announcements in the bulletin. It binds together all the Animators, Local Lay Leaders and Christian faithful in BCCs across the state as they share their progress and other activities through this bulletin. Jyotirmai also produced audio-cassettes/CDs mostly based on BCCs. It is mainly for the village folk. The Society also developed Video Programmes, promoting leadership skills for the growth of the BCC’s and parish communities.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

Promoting and establishing BCCs in the dioceses and thereby making the local Church participatory and self-reliant in all aspects.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

Through professional analysts team in 2004 evaluation was conducted and in 2008 a rapid evaluation was done. Once in a year Executive, Governing and General Bodies gather to evaluate and execute the decision of evaluation.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

We still need to co-ordinate diocesan bodies in connection with Diocesan Jyotirmai Committee’s. Developing capacities of each member and various bodies that help govern and strengthen the BCCs.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

Our work has to be carried through dioceses. Dealing with the local bishops and the parish priests to some extent poses problems. Cooperation and commitment of the local people and leaders also is an important factor in the growth of the institution.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

Partner Agencies step by step, wants to withdraw support given for the diocesan animators in the form of remuneration. Continuity of animators in the dioceses is challenge for the Institute.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

The vision of the Institute is to make the local church participatory and self-reliant. We hope to achieve this.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

The Society conducts Lay Leadership training throughout Andhra region, empowering them. We animate lay people through Basic Christian Communities to participate in the ministries of the Church and become members of the Parish Council.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

The Society was established in 1969 and from then onwards it has developed a permanent structure in the centre of the City and has infrastructure to communicate regularly through letters, fax, internet and through tri-monthly newsletter “Velugu”. Once in a year we present our annual report in APBC.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

Andhra Pradesh Bishops’ Council (APBC) itself has established A.P. Jyotirmai Society to assist the local church in the pastoral activities. The bishops of Andhra Pradesh are members in it. Among them elect Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Once in a year the Society has to present its annual report during the annual meeting of APBC. The council in return tries to sort out problems and appoint sub-committees to solve problems.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

At national level NBCLC informs of their courses conducted and if falls under our criteria we try to send our personnel for trainings. Commission for Proclamation wing of CCBI is contacting Jyotirmai to conduct Missions Congress in our region. This has been already carried to APBC and CRI, talks are underway and soon plan to conduct it in the year 2011. National commission for Laity and BCCs also conduct training camps and seminars on National level in which Jyotirmai teams attend.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

International level our links are nil at present. Only contacts we have are with Partner Agencies.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

APBC has Commission for inter-religious dialogue. Commission has Chairman and Secretary who work out programmes and we participate in them at their invitation.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

APBC has Commission for ecumenism which has a Chairman and a Secretary. They have Federation of Churches, where ecumenical meetings are held. On invitation we attend these meetings and rallies, when conducted.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

APBC has called for an assembly before entering into third millennium Assembly, under the leadership of A.P. Jyotirmai Society and APBC has drafted Vision and section plan for Andhra Pradesh Church at the wake of new millennium. A.P. Jyotirmai Society is bound by this Vision statement released on 22nd of February 2001. Except this affiliation to APBC and its vision we have not other affiliations.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

In the Indian context especially in the context of the region, Andhra Pradesh and Church in the region, there is still need to liberate people from poverty, illiteracy, oppression and social discrimination. We need to proclaim the Good News of liberation or freedom of the children of God. So your assistance on international or inter-continental level is meaningful and apt. Today people feel false prestige about themselves and their country. Sure India is growing and prospering not with the poor and the oppressed. The condition of poor is still worse. The rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. Country stands in need of liberation.




  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.