East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI)

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Official name East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI).
Country / Continent Philippines / Asia
Director of the institute Rev. Fr. Arthur Leger, S.J.
Legal holder of the institute EAPI itself.
Sponsor of the institute The Society of Jesus: Jesuit Conference of Asia and the Pacific (JCAP).
Year of foundation 1961
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 37
Staff members of your institute The Staff members are composed of 5 religious priest, 2 religious sisters and 6 lay people; all the support staff are laypeople.
Contact EAPI – East Asian Pastoral Institute

P.O. Box 221, U.P. Campus, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines




Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI).

Director of the institute

Rev. Fr. Arthur Leger, S.J.

Legal holder of the institute

EAPI itself.

The Society of Jesus: Jesuit Conference of Asia and the Pacific (JCAP).

Vision / mission statement

EAPI Vision Statement: The East Asian Pastoral Institute – EAPI – is a multicultural community of disciples striving to witness to a new way of being Church. We commit ourselves to the churches of Asia and the Pacific in their mission to serve at leaven (Lk. 13:21) in a vast region characterized by ancient cultures, diverse religious traditions, widespread poverty, and complex social changes.

Mission Statement: The East Asian Pastoral Institute, following the way of Jesus Christ, places itself at the service of the transformation of societies and cultures in Asia and the Pacific towards the values of God’s reign by providing programs of integral formation for laity, religious and ordained ministers to help them become more conversant with Sacred Scriptures and theological insights, rooted in their own cultures and spiritualities, aware of their social and ecclesial contexts, skilled in pastoral methods and approaches, motivated in their apostolic commitment to the triple dialogue with faiths, cultures and the poor, and enriched by a lived experienced of intercultural and interpersonal exchanges.

Main areas of work

The EAPI provides programs on pastoral renewal, pastoral leadership, and sabbatical pilgrimage. It also offers graduate programs on pastoral studies to interested participants after their regular pastoral courses.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

The participants come from the different countries and areas from around Asia, the Pacific and from the world. These participants are ordained ministers, religious brothers and sisters and laypeople who are active pastoral workers in their respective parishes, dioceses, religious communities and as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Year of foundation

1961 (Naming of the institute).

Organisational structure of the institute

Director as the head of the institute with the following units working closely under him: academics, animation/spiritual accompaniment, and administrative/personnel/finance.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Currently, there are 13 Executive Staff (8 full-time; 5 part-time); 24 Support Staff (employees); some visiting (non-resident) lectures/staff are also invited to conduct modules/sessions in every program/course.

Staff members of your institute[2]

The Staff members are composed of 5 religious priest, 2 religious sisters and 6 lay people; all the support staff are laypeople.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

By virtue of their fields of expertise and career experience, staff members are invited and hired by the EAPI based on this qualification primarily.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

For the first 4 questions please refer to the EAPI vision/mission statement (Part I, # 5 above).

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

EAPI has been leading the way in training pastoral agents for leadership and enhancement of pastoral skills, empowerment of the lay and women to take on leadership position in the church. Recently, EAPI also conducted research project in partnership with AsIPA(Asian Integrated Pastoral Approach) concerning the current situation of BECs in five countries in Asia (South Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and South India).

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

The participants go back to their respective countries and ministry with substantial resources and knowledgeable about theological and pastoral concepts and skills and with a sense of interculturated liturgical celebrations. They are eventually more focused on how to serve their respective communities.

What notion of God inspires your work?

An inclusive God, God of the poor who co-create with God, one divine Spirit Who is actively creating and present in all creation: culture, religion, political structure and sending us to be prophets and mystics.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your 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?

It is not clear what is meant by “to analyse reality.” If it is the reality of EAPI, then we would answer: we use (1) the different evaluations done by the participants; (2) the feedback received; (3) the staff meetings and discussions; (4) the meetings of the different committees. We suspect, however, that the questions refers to the “reality” of “East Asia” and beyond, the reality of the countries from which the participants and students come, i.e. the social, cultural, religious, political and economic context of the countries of Asia, the Pacific and even Africa. – There is not systematic analysis of those realities. Come to think of it, we SHOULD do it … The question is relevant.

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

What is meant by “prophetic approaches” and “shaping society”? We can guess what is meant, and even assume that they use a correct understanding of “prophetic,” but we are not sure about the purpose of the question. In a very tentative way we could mention: the choice of articles to be published in the journal EAPR; the open lectures; the open modules.

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

To answer this we would refer to the vision-mission and programs as explained in the website and the brochures of the Institute.

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

Handouts and teaching materials of the programs are not published. There are no magazines, books or manuals published by the institute. The only publication is the quarterly journal East Asian Pastoral Review.

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

To bring Asia and the Pacific together. To be a place where pastoral workers from these countries experience Catholicity. To provide an experience of a multi-cultural community. To live according to the vision and mission of EAPI, preparing leaders in Asia and the Pacific.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

Given the general goals, we are achieving them relatively satisfactorily. One method we use to evaluate our work is through the evaluation done by the participants when it comes to the courses we offer. There used to be an evaluation done by the professors.

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

Re-aligning of all our activities to the Vision and Mission of EAPI. Clarifying our vision and priority areas. Putting more emphasis now on English. Something new: spiritual accompaniment/counselling as an integral aspect of our programs. Giving more personalized attention to our participants.

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

Quality of our participants: in terms of their English proficiency as well as in their academic standard; many are not prepared academically and some don’t have the capability to study.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

How to deal with our answer to #16.

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

Through social marketing: to have a steady “supply” of participants. Better quality of participants who are able to learn and able to contribute. To be able to respond to the needs of participants through continuing research from the participants themselves and from information offered by FABC, FCBC. Network of EAPI alumni in each country so they can collaborate and work together for the welfare of the local churches and to feed EAPI with the needs of the local churches. Create in each country an association of EAPI alumni with 1 or 2 in-charge. Equip participants to be a participatory Church.

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

The EAPI supports the laity in the Church and society by: Hiring lay staff members for key positions in the institute (6 out of 15 are lay). Having a strong all-lay support staff. Granting scholarships for lay participants in the various programs. Including modules that promote the participation of laity in Church’s mission. For 4 years, holding the summer course Lay Discipleship in a Participatory Church, specially designed for lay pastoral workers form parishes, lay movements and Christian humanitarian organizations (100% free tuition fees). Maintaining a climate of Lay-friendly atmosphere in a place dominated by clergy/religious. Personal initiatives of staff or outreach to lay people in forms of retreats, seminars, training conferences, etc. Fr. Felipe Comes, SJ. keynote speaker in this year’s International Lay Congress held in Korea. Availability to minister to parishioners through celebrating mass and hearing confessions in the parishes (or lay groups).

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)?

Communicating experiences and results to the respective local Church and other Institutions through: Sending annual reports to funding agencies/partner institution. Holding open lectures, special forums, esp. during Alumni Homecoming. Sharing with partner institutions during forums on common concerns (ICLA, IFRS, SVTS, CBF, etc).

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

Cooperation with Bishops/Bishops’ Conferences in the Region: In the past, EAPI Directors, staff served as facilitators, speakers, resource persons for FABC conference. Just recently: Close Communication and Coordination with the Bishop of Cubao Diocese (Bp. Ongtioco). Very soon: EAPI to work closely with local Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) in cooperation with Bishop Pablo David. Nee: revive ties.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

(Refer to the response in the next item).

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Our linkages: On the local level: With all the institutions serving Asia-Oceania (ICCLA, IFRS, LST, Fondacio, etc. ECBA, Diocese of Cubao). On the international level: CBF, FABC-AsIPA, Our Publications: EAPR and the Bridge, JCAP.

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

Inter-religious Cooperation with non Christian religions: Very little, but EAPI has an open, friendly stance. In the past, sponsoring open lectures on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism. Teaching Modules in the PRP and ESL course to understand them and acquire positive, dialogical attitude towards them.

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

Ecumenical Cooperation: In the past, there were modules on Fundamentalism, Ecumenism and its implications on Mission, Ecumenical Spirituality. Resource persons from other denominations were invited as lecturers.

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

Theological Mergers, Associations EAPI (and some EAPI staff) are affiliated with: Catholic Biblical Federation; Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (Scholars). All partners in missio: ICCLA, IFRS, LST, SVTS (Saint Vincent School of Theology).

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

Assistance needed from funding agencies: Important Data from donors, like this one, to become more mindful of the broader dimensions of the project/programs and accountability. Funding. Resource-exchange through forums, official visits and relationship-building mtgs. More “personalized” partnership in mission, more than just giving funds. Some exposure/visitation to witness some of the “fruits” or results of the sponsorship/collaboration with us.

  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.