LUMKO Institute

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Official name LUMKO Institute
Country / Continent Republic of South Africa / Africa
Director of the institute Fr. Gabriel Afagbegee
Legal holder of the institute Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Sponsor of the institute
Year of foundation 1962
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) Teaching and facilitation staff: 5

Administration staff: 4

Staff members of your institute 3 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 religious brother, 4 laity
Contact Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg

3 Saratoga Avenue


Johannesburg, 2198

Republic of South Africa


Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

LUMKO Institute

Director of the institute

Fr. Gabriel Afagbegee

Legal holder of the institute

Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Vision / mission statement

Vision: “I have seen the miserable state of my people … I have heard their appeal to be free … yes. I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them … and bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land.”

We, the staff of Lumko Institute, hearing these words in the context of Southern Africa, are full of hope for a liberated and transformed society, in which people are able to develop their full humanity, and where there will be unity and justice.

We wish to respond with initiatives which challenge the Church to renew itself. And so we promote a Church which is a prophetic sign of God’s Reign and which acts as an instrument for the transformation of society.

We whish to build community and trustful relationships among its members based upon their equal dignity. We wish to promote local leaders who serve in the spirit of Jesus (cf. Mark 9: 33-35; John 13. 12-17).

Mission: Aim – The aim of Lumko is to promote a Church which is a sign and instrument of God’s Reign in a society struggling for liberation. This aim encompasses three areas of action and reflection: a) Helping the Church to move towards becoming a Communion of Communities (which finds its best expression in Small Christian Communities) where: the Gospel is the source of its faith, people are invited to the fullness of their humanity, human dignity is respected, there is work for justice and full human promotion, traditional values are reflected upon and appreciated, people are given a real experience that they are the Church, people are invited to engage in ministry within the Christian Community, people gather to celebrate life and faith in liturgy and worship.

b) Working towards a leadership of service which: emerges from the active participation of the people themselves in the mission of the Church; is prophetic and enables the people to search for the will of god and implement it together.

c) Promoting communities which share the aspirations of those who work for justice and respond: by being communities in which a new society becomes visible; by addressing immediate social issues, together with others; by examining the roots of social evils and working to eradicate them.

Target Group: We address our efforts to pastoral workers whom we envisage primarily as animators who promote a Community Church at parish level.

Means: We achieve our aim by: studying church teaching and researching the needs of the people and the socio-political situation in the light of God’s Word, offering courses and workshops both in Lumko and elsewhere, preparing and writing resource material, making publications available to Christian communities in Southern Africa and beyond, promoting African creativity in worship, liturgy and music; by inspiring local talent through group work backed up by research.

Main areas of work

See above.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Mr. Mike Olien, Fr. Sylvester MotIhokoa, Sr. Antoinette Ndubana, OSB, Mrs. Georgina Strydom, Mr. Blessing Ngema, Fr. Villa Pietro, Fr. Kenn Matsuura, Fr. Tawanda Makuvaza, Sr. Rosemary Sibanda, Mr. Nephas Kawina, Mrs. Rosana Wakumelo, Fr. Reuben Andrew Mokgothu, Ms. Dorothy Pule

Year of foundation


Organisational structure of the institute

Lumko Board, Director, Associate Director, Teaching and Facilitation Staff (faculty), Finance Officer, Administration Staff.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

Teaching and facilitation staff (includes director and associate director): 5 Administration staff (includes financial officer): 4.

Staff members of your institute[2]

3 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 religious brother, 4 laity.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Doctorate and Masters’ degrees.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

As can be seen from our vision and mission statement above, the pastoral option we feel obliged to is the building of a church of Communion of Communities that work towards becoming self-propagating, self-ministering and self-reliant; a communities in which there is active participation by all; communities in which laity, religious and clergy live and work collaboratively, each exercising according to their state of life, their priestly, prophetic and kingly mission by virtues of their baptism.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

See above.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

See above.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

See above.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

More intensification of our formation/training programmes in the areas of pastoral leadership of the Parish Pastoral Councils; promoting understanding and appreciation, and implementation of the Baptismal Catechumenate as the model for all catechesis.

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

What notion of God inspires your work?

The Trinitarian notion of God – One God, Three Persons who have communion with each other – different yet one; The church of Communion of Communities that we promote is based on this notion – a church that is the People of God, the Body of Christ; different parts (each with its special gift) of one and the same body.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

The nature and dynamics of Lumko’s work is within the context of the Christian faith community, and the Bible and Church documents and directives form this basis and give direction to such work, hence what we done is very much shaped by the spirituality and self understanding.

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?

In giving courses and preparing material we use an adult education method which includes life experience, input and modern media. Other methods are used as appropriate like the Pastoral Cycle. Emphasis is put on skull training and theological reflection.

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

Formation and training of our course/workshop participants on social awareness and social engagement and we have a number of publications for that purpose.

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

There are three areas of Lumko’s work: Research, Developing and producing formation/training materials and Training and Formation of pastoral agents.

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

I will attach a price list of our materials which will give you an idea as to what we have.

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

Providing and articulating the vision of church according to Vatican II, and offering formation and training programmes for pastoral agents to prepare them bringing this vision into reality through their pastoral ministry.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

At the end of our courses/workshops etc., participants , are provided with evaluation forms to complete. In addition to this from time to time some external experts are invited to look at our materials and programmes and evaluate them – Last there was such external evaluation.

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

Animating and facilitating the Church today from tomorrow.

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

Having an adequate and stable team (faculty) and the finances to carry out programmes and activities.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

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

To be able to train trainers of different dioceses and parishes to carry on formation/training of others in the dioceses and parishes in a systematic and sustainable manner.

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

By formation and training them in the understanding of the nature and dynamics of the church; training them for lay ministries; creating awareness among them of their social responsibilities and engaging social issues as part and parcel of their Christian calling.

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)?

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

Lumko is our Bishop’s Conference Institute and so what we do is on behalf of the conference and to keep the Bishops informed and abreast with what we do, one of them represents the Conference on the Lumko Board. In addition to that the Director presents report at every Plenary of the Conference plus sometimes also presenting reports at the conferences Board meetings.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

Have linkage with all the Departments of our Bishop’s Conference and serve on the part of two of them – Liturgy and Christian education and Culture and Evangelisation. Also have linkage with Catholic Higher Institutions – Jesuits Institute, St. Augustine’s College and Bible College.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Linkages with Catholic biblical Federation; Biblical Centre for Africa and Madagascar (BICAM).

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

Our Bishops’ Conference has a body responsible for that.

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

Other church groups use our facilities and some even use or some of our training materials. We have also had some Lutheran ministers attending some of our courses.

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

Officially none yet.

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

Facilitating contacts and maybe sometime in the future organizing an international consultation where ideas and resources could be shared.

  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.