Pastoral Centre, Bhopal

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Official name Pastoral Centre
Country / Continent India / Asia
Director of the institute Fr. Abraham Michael
Legal holder of the institute Most Rev. Leo Cornelio, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bhopal
Sponsor of the institute Missio, Aachen and Archdiocese of Cologne.
Year of foundation 2000
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 14
Staff members of your institute Priests, Sisters and laity.
Contact E/6 Arera Colony,

Bhopal MP 462016

0755-2564695, 4077499

pastcent@gmail.com


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Pastoral Centre.

Director of the institute

Fr. Abraham Michael.

Legal holder of the institute

Most Rev. Leo Cornelio, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bhopal.

missio, Aachen and Archdiocese of Cologne.

Vision / mission statement

Empowerment of the Priests, Religious and the Laity of the Archdiocese of Bhopal through administering of empowerment and renewal programs as deemed necessary from time to time and if needed to extend these services to the others in the region.

Main areas of work

Renewal programs for priests, religious and the laity, empowerment programs for the youth, laity, parish council member, internovitiate programs for the novices of the various religious congregations, marriage preparation course for those preparing for marriage, marriage encounter programs for married couples, Intensive Hindi Course for Priests, Brothers and Sisters working in the missions.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Priest, Religious, and Laity of the Archdiocese of Bhopal and the Dioceses in the region.

Year of foundation

2000.

Organisational structure of the institute

Director – Assistant Director – Sisters – Support Staff.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

14.

Staff members of your institute[2]

Priests, Sisters and laity.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Varies from Higher Secondary to Post Graduation.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

To provide place, facilities, resource persons and opportunities to the laity and those who are involved in the building up of the people of God at different levels.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Faith formation, renewal programs to enrich the lives of the laity in assisting them to enhance participation at various levels – small Christian communities, parish and diocesan levels.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

Strengthening the fabric of parish communities through various renewal and empowerment programs so that they can actively contribute to the communitarian aspects of the Archdiocese.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Training programs, empowerment programs, preparation programs, lay leadership programs and spiritual renewal programs are some of the services that we provide. Towards this end we arrange for resource persons and all necessary facilities, expert guidance and evaluation services.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Serious efforts to reignite the Small Christian Communities, Church building exercises, encouraging critical lay participation in the building up of parish communities, providing basic training to catechism teachers, imparting value education to children at different age groups.

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

People and children are aware of the teachings of the church, there is more active and meaningful liturgical and Paraliturgical celebrations, better understanding of the sacraments are some of the impact areas.

What notion of God inspires your work?

God wants wholesome growth of each one of his children irrespective of his/her status, caste or education in life, and that God continues to assist people in their growth. We as his ministers on earth are to supplement. His efforts in building up His people.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

We believe that persons are not finished products but are works in progress. There is, in everyone, the capacity to evolve and we are to assist him or her in the process of evolving. Besides, people are meant to life in communities and therefore are called to enrich and be enriched by each other.

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 take feedback from Parish Priests, Catechism teachers, Catechist of various parishes and involve Parish Council Members in taking stock of the ground realities of the ground realities of the laity. We also have Pastoral Council meets, which normally throws up a number of felt needs of the people. We try and design our programs accordingly so that what we provide as renewal or empowerment programs have a realistic flavour.

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

We look at the mirco as well as the macro realities of the situations and demands, the changes in the demographic make up and the other spiritual as well as societal trends to plan out our various course contents.

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

Newsletters, short term as well as crash courses, seminars, lectures, workshops and conferences along with occasional live in programs.

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

We do not have a full-fledged publication network. However, we do publish newsletters for certain occasions, such as during the season of Lent, Advent and Easter. These are more informal and are meant for private circulation.

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

Empowering priest, religious and laity and assisting in their spiritual renewal.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

We always have an evaluation session at the end of each program – both from the point of view of the resource persons as well as from the participants. besides, when we have a follow up program, we usually take a feed back on what has been carried out between the last program and the present one. This gives us a rather authentic picture of what has been achieved.

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

We are working on a comprehensive spiritual renewal program that involves the various aspects of individuals and families.

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

Financing the various programs is a major constraint that keeps us limited to the number of people we can take though the persons who would benefit from these programs are rather large.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

To be able to motivate the laity towards better and more critical participation in their respective parish communities, to be able to keep pace with the trends outside and then design programs accordingly, and to assess the actual effectiveness of our efforts in the field are some of the challenges we face.

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

To be a truly resourceful institute in contributing to the efforts of the overall Archdiocesan vision and mission, to be a centre wherein people of all walks of life can find something for themselves in the process of evolving as children of one God.

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

Most of our programs are designed and conducted with the laity in mind. We also choose programs and themes that are the felt need of the local church and the laity. It also covers almost all aspects of their Christian living.

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)?

Occasional newsletter and regular meetings of various key persons in the local churches are the common methods we adopt to communicate with the local churches.

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

The local Bishops communicates with us the will, the decisions and the thinking of the Bishops at the national level and we have regular interaction with the local Bishop to know the direction the diocese must take and plan our work accordingly.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

We share our experiences at the various diocesan forums by interacting with various personnel of the different dioceses in the country. Often these networks are personal rather than electronic apart from regular mails and newsletters.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

We are in constant touch with our donors and sponsors apart from news agencies to know the trends and avenues there so that if found useful they could be adopted by us for the local church.

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

We are in constant touch with our donors and sponsors apart from news agencies to know the trends and avenues there so that if found useful they could be adopted by us for the local church.

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

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

We are in touch with theological institutes of repute primarily for availing of the human resource they posses in abundance.

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

Please provide information and method of working of some like minded institutes like ours so that we can begin meaningful exchanges of ideas and share their expertise which will benefit us and the people of the archdiocese of Bhopal.




  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.