Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, JCTR

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Official name Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, JCTR.
Country / Continent Zambia / Africa
Director of the institute Fr. Leonard Chiti, SJ Director of the Institute.
Legal holder of the institute Society of Jesus, Zambia-Malawi.
Sponsor of the institute Society of Jesus, Zambia-Malawi.
Year of foundation 1988.
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 16 full-time, 2 part-time and 6 volunteers.
Staff members of your institute Three (3) religious and 13 lay people.
Contact Plot 5880 Great East Road

Kalundu

P.O. Box 35391

Lusaka, Zambia

lcchiti@yahoo.com


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, JCTR.

Director of the institute

Fr. Leonard Chiti, SJ Director of the Institute.

Legal holder of the institute

Society of Jesus, Zambia-Malawi.

Society of Jesus, Zambia-Malawi.

Vision / mission statement

To foster from the faith inspired perspective a critical understanding of current issues.

Main areas of work

Research, education, advocacy, consultancy.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Year of foundation

1988.

Organisational structure of the institute

Three (3) thematic programmes, an outreach support and a national secretariat (Lusaka).

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

16 full-time, 2 part-time and 6 volunteers.

Staff members of your institute[2]

Three (3) religious and 13 lay people.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

4 with BA, 3 with MA, rest with diplomas and certificates.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

We carry out education on the Catholic Social Teaching, CST.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Our focus tends to be with religious groups and lay Catholic professionals.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

To achieve Social justice by focusing on the option for the poor, protection of human dignity and the common good.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Mostly education through sensitisation.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Formation on good leadership qualities.

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

N/A

What notion of God inspires your work?

The God who creates all human beings with a God given dignity.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

It is the heart of what we do as a faith based organisation.

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?

We employ the Pastoral Cycle.

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

Research results feed into advocacy activities aimed at working for a society where faith promotes justice for all with particular focus on the poor.

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

We do a lot of publications on the Catholic Social teaching, we give courses and sometimes call meetings.

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

We publish two publications, our Bulletin and a Jesuit Supplement.

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

Offer values into public discourse and policy making.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

We have an in-built Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism which is employed regularly.

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

The country just elected new leaders and therefore we are focussing our attention on ensuring that these leaders follow the model of servant leadership.

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

Sometimes we encounter resistance from political leaders when challenged about the morality in public office and also when policies are critiqued.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

At the moment the biggest challenge would be to get through to the new leadership that the concerns of the poor should be uppermost in their minds.

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

We hope that our message which is a Christian message can penetrate public life and discourse.

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

By offering courses on the Catholic Social Teaching for those in public life and for those in business.

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)?

We use the media a lot as well as our outreach support network.

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

There is a very good relationship with the Bishop’s conference and we are regularly invited to input into their perspectives on economics, politics and social sectors of the country.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

We network with like minded organisations on various issues such as debt, aid and trade.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

We network with various Catholic groups around the world particularly with those connected to the Society of Jesus.

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

We participate in many activities organised by the three Christian umbrella organisations, viz., The Christian Council of Zambia, CCZ, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, EFZ and the Zambia Episcopal Conference, ZEC.

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

see above.

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

None at the moment.

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

We have cooperated with the German Bishops Conference on research study. This is one of the ways in which we can relate with you. We can also relate with you on some common pastoral issues such as education on values in public life.




  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.