Navjoyti Niketan, Regional Pastoral Centre

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Official name Navjoyti Niketan, Regional Pastoral Centre
Country / Continent India / Asia
Director of the institute Fr. Joy Pulikunnel SJ
Legal holder of the institute Navjyoti Niketan Registered Society.
Sponsor of the institute Regional Bishops Conference of BIJHAN (Bihar, Jharkhand and Andamans)
Year of foundation 1968
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 15
Staff members of your institute 3 priests, 1 religious sister and 11 lay persons and several visiting professors.
Contact Navjyoti Niketan

Sadaquat Ashram PO

Patna, Bihar 800010

India


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Navjoyti Niketan, Regional Pastoral Centre.

Director of the institute

Fr. Joy Pulikunnel SJ

Legal holder of the institute

Navjyoti Niketan Registered Society

Regional Bishops Conference of BIJHAN (Bihar, Jharkhand and Andamans)

Vision / mission statement

Vision statement: The vision of Navjyoti Niketan as the Regional Pastoral Centre for the BIJHAN region is primarily to form, renew and deepen the faith of the Christian community, priests, religious and laity in the person of Jesus and also to collaborate with all people of good will, in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect to bring about the values of the Kingdom.

Mission statement: The mission of NJN is to empower the laity, the priests the religious and the catechists for leadership, by imparting regular training and renewal programs in pastoral, spiritual, psychological and social spheres through seminars and workshops at the centre as well as through the outreach programs.

Main areas of work

Biblical, catechetical, liturgical, renewal of laity, leadership of the laity, youth animators training, training for formators of priests and religious, renewal programs for priests and religious, formation of basics Christian communities, value education, and empowerment of the poor.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Laity, youth, children, priests, religious, pastoral leaders, people of other faiths, especially the woman, youth and the poor from the villages.

Year of foundation

1968.

Organisational structure of the institute

The chairman of the Bijhan Bishops Conference is the President of the Institute. The Governing body comprises all the bishops of the 15 dioceses. The Institute is administered by the Director along with the departmental heads like Faith Formation, besides the Administrator, Registrar and Dietician.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

15.

Staff members of your institute[2]

3 priests, 1 religious sister and 11 lay persons and several visiting professors.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Many of the visiting professors hold doctoral level degrees and others are with post graduate level degrees.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

We feel we are called to respond to the pastoral needs of the 15 dioceses of Bihar, Jhanrkhand and Andamans: To impart regular training and renewal for leadership in pastoral, catechetical, liturgical and biblical aspects of faith experience. To deepen the understanding of Scripture in the light of the modern psychological social and cultural insights and its implications on our spirituality. To promote justice as an integral element of faith through animation and reflection on the emerging trends of the country and to give a Christian response. To dialogue and learn from people of other faiths, irrespective of caste, creed and ethnicity to build up a broader human community. To promote the study of local languages and cultures so as to enhance pastoral effectiveness and to initiate movements into the various forms of inculturation. To encourage the publication of books and materials of Christian faith, moral and social values. To keep in contact with the different dioceses of Bijhan Region in order to understand and respond to their changing pastoral needs. To serve primarily the BIHAN region and be open to serve the dioceses in the other parts of the country.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Faith formation, leadership and participation of the laity, ongoing formation of the catechists, Biblical catechetical training of children, youth and adults, faith formation of basic Christian communities, deepening of the family values, ongoing formation and renewal of priests and religious, social empowerment of the poor and interfaith dialogue.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

Updating and empowering the laity, catechist, religious and priest that leads to effective leadership and witnessing. Developing lay leadership in the church. Collaboration and harmony between people of different faiths. Inculturation of faith.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Organising renewal programs for the catechists, lay leaders, the priests and religious and those who work in the formation of priests and religious. Bringing together of the catechists. Equipping the teachers of catechism and value education. Empowering those in faith education and value education. Training of pastoral council members. Helping children to taste the Word of God and bring it alive through various art and communication forms. Training volunteers to work for children’s ministry.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Encouraging the parish priests to hold the Bible based programs for groups of faithful in the parish, including the children in the parish, deanery and diocesan level. Gathering together the catechists from different dioceses to experience solidarity. Participative and creative liturgy that the people are trained to organize.

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

More lively and participative and group specific liturgy. More scripture based faith. Awareness of the missionary duty of every baptized. Empowered laity taking leadership in various ministries in the parishes.

What notion of God inspires your work?

The God of love and compassion manifested by Jesus, who invites all His children to establish the Reign of God.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

Nourished by the daily celebration of liturgy, personal and group prayer and committed to the demands of the gospel we endeavour to make God present through our ministries.

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 analyse the reality in the light of the Gospel through gospel sharing and reflection and discernment. In the pastoral context we encourage more familiarity with the Bible.

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

Enabling the participants, the priests, religious and the laity to become agents of the Good News in shaping the society by challenging the prevailing conditions of poverty, injustice, illiteracy, exploitation, oppression and gender discrimination.

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

Conducting seminars, workshops, training programs, retreats, lectures, conventions and publication of books.

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

We bring out books and manuals especially on catechetical methodology, formation of small Christian communities, and a series of books on the encounter of the gospel with the culture.

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

Empowering the leaders form laity, religious and priests through seminars and workshops for the 15 dioceses of the Region of Bihar Jharkhand and Andamans.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

From the perspective of the vision of the renewal of the church Navjyoti Niketan has done a tremendous work in training trainers and inspiring the establishment of several diocesan and Regional pastoral centres. The present services that we provide are of supplementary nature by way of being a resource centre for all these centres.

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

Establishing Small Christian Communities. Laity empowerment. Developing the personal and other resources of the local church.

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

The main difficulty that we face is insufficient number of laity participation in some of our programs due to the problems in reaching the information of our services to them, who are mostly in the far flung villages where transportation and communication facilities are poor. The participants, mostly being daily wage earners, find it hard to forgo their wages, pay for their travel as well as meeting the expenses at the Centre. As a result the Centre is constrained to look for financial help to lighten their burden.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

The struggle of evolving a clear vision for the whole local church of the Region, clarifying priorities and strategies, comes on the way of organizing relevant programs that respond to the needs of the church.

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

Navjyoti Niketan being a Regional Pastoral Centre, we hope to become a synergy centre that pools together the hopes, dreams, visions and experiences of the 15 dioceses of the Region and to become a resource centre accessible to the whole Region, with national and international linkages.

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

We support the lay people, by organizing programs for them and subsidizing their financial requirements with the help of missio. The majority of our programs are for the lay people.

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 share our experiences with the 15 bishops, who gather together as the governing body of the Institute annually. The information is also shared with the participants of our programs.

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

As the Regional Pastoral Centre, we are fully accountable to the Regional Bishops Conference of BIJHAN (Bihar, Jharkhand and Andamans). As such we share our reports, budgets and plans in the annual governing body meeting.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

We net work with the various ministries commissions of the 15 dioceses, to discern and plan relevant responses to the needs of the Region.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

There is no linkage in the international level, except for the linkage with Missio for subsidies for some of our programs.

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

We organize programs in which people of other religions also participate. Secondly, our facilities are made available to people of other faiths.

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

We welcome people of other churches, for their seminars and prayer meetings in our Centre.

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

As an Institute we are affiliated to World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate. On personal level our staff is associated with Catholic Priests Conference of India, Indian Catechetical Association, Association of Trainers of Formators, and Conference of Catholic Psychologists, India.

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

We would be happy to be introduced to the intercontinental exchanges, sharing of experiences and resources, as well as exposure to new pastoral and theological initiatives and developments.




  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.