St. Martins Pastoral Centre

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Official name St. Martins Pastoral Centre.
Country / Continent Papua New Guinea / Asia
Director of the institute Rev. Dr. Augustine Kulmana, BTheol.MATheol. SThD.
Legal holder of the institute Diocese of Aitape.
Sponsor of the institute Diocese of Aitape.
Year of foundation 1964-1965.
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 7
Staff members of your institute Only 1 priest is the Director of the Centre. Other employees are laypeople.
Contact Aitape

Papua New Guinea

c/o Bishop’s House

P.O. Box 179

Aitape

Sandaun Province 553

Papua New Guinea

guskulmana@yahoo.com


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

St. Martins Pastoral Centre.

Director of the institute

Rev. Dr. Augustine Kulmana, BTheol.MATheol. SThD.

Legal holder of the institute

Diocese of Aitape.

Diocese of Aitape.

Vision / mission statement

At present there is no vision/mission statement. We are in the process of forming one.

Main areas of work

Spiritual, Pastoral and Social Formation of Lay Church Leaders.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Year of foundation

1964-1965.

Organisational structure of the institute

Bishop

Diocesan Consultors

St. Martins Board Director

Staff, Employees, Volunteers.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

7 (Director, 1 Administration Officer, 1 Cook, 1 Security, 2 workers & 1 Maintenance/Plumber).

Staff members of your institute[2]

Only 1 priest is the Director of the Centre. Other employees are laypeople.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Only the Director has a Masters in Pastoral Theology and a Doctorate in Missiology. All other employees have no academic qualifications.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

The centre (institute) is obliged to fulfil the mission of the Church that is propagated through the local Church (diocese). In this context, the institute form lay leaders that will implement the pastoral activities in their parishes and communities.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

The main focus of the institute is to train, animate and form laypeople, religious and clergy so they could be proactive in implementing the mission of the Church. The Church’s mission is implemented through the pastoral activity of the local Church.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

The Institute provides these services. Pastoral, theological and spiritual formation of laity and religious. It also accommodates various programs for Caritas, Catholic Women’s groups, youth and other non-government organisations that require the services of the institute.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

The aim of the institute is to re-evangelize, catechize and empower the people to be active Christians in their communities. Also, the aim of the institute is to become a significant instrument of proclaiming the Gospel within the local Church. It becomes a tool of the Church to draw people and enlighten them with knowledge, wisdom and courage to be true witnesses of their faith. It means that their faith must be rooted deeply in order to challenge their cultures, attitude and behaviour so the people can encounter Jesus Christ.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

The recent pastoral process was the evaluation and activity plan of the institute done by the staff. This process is part of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan. The Diocesan Pastoral Plan has four phases. Each phase has four years and each year of the phase has a theme that is promoted in the Pastoral programs of the diocese. This year is the year of Reconciliation.

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

This means that the institute has to concentrate on promoting the Diocesan Pastoral Plan through its courses and programs. It is done by organizing various course and programs for various ministries within the diocese. The Pastoral Plan can be communicated to the participants of various programs of the institute.

What notion of God inspires your work?

We believe that the Kingdom of God can be manifested through a participatory effort of all ministries within the Church. The Communio model of the Church is an inspiration for us.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

The objective of the institute is to be an instrument of promoting the Kingdom of God. Hence, Christian spirituality is maintained by the staff and the employees of the institute. It is emphasized to all the participants who attend the programs of the institute. Christian values, moral behaviour and attitude are advocated at all times by the institute in its activities and programs.

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?

The institute shares its analysis, processes within the framework of the Diocesan Pastoral Program. Its activities and programs are evaluated, shared and analysed using the methods recommended by the Diocesan Pastoral Program under the guidance of the Diocesan Bishop.

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

The institute is open to all sectors of the society to use its facilities for human and spiritual development. It has not political or social affiliation to any individual or organization. The institute provides a service for integral/holistic human development.

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

The institute is mostly focused on training lay pastoral leaders who do not posses great academic skills, but good pastoral workers, catechists, youth leaders etc. Due to no electricity and limited funds the institute cannot publish its own materials or get periodicals from abroad.

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

Not enough funds to afford all of these.

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

The most important service of the institute is formation for total human development.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

We have monthly staff meetings and other meetings organized by the Diocesan Pastoral Team which evaluate the activities of all diocesan institutions.

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

Presently, we are trying to replant our cocoa trees and build a fermentary so we can earn money for the sale of cocoa beans to the local market. Also, we are communicating with the Electricity Company to provide 24hour power services to the institute. We are also looking for funds to get a 4WDrive (Landcruiser) car for the institute that could transport food, materials and participants to the institute.

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

The difficulties confronted by the institute are: a) Insufficient funds to do maintenance to the buildings, b) Not enough qualified staff to run programs and activities, c) No constant water supply, d) No new books on theology, scripture, liturgy and other related disciples to modernize the institute library.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

The major challenge is to make the institute more self-reliant financially to maintain operations. Also, to form lay leaders who can develop and attitude of transformation and conversation that is rooted on the Gospel.

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

The institute must become self-reliant to carry out the mission of the Church. It must be an instrument of promoting the Gospel values in Society. Our vision is to modernize the facilities of the institute so it can greatly provide its services to the local Church and society. It is anticipated that the holistic human formation can be achieved if the institute is funded constantly in its operations.

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

The institute provides holistic formation and other spiritual and human programs that empower laypeople in the church and the society to be proactive in proclaiming and witnessing their faith.

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)?

The main basis for communicating the work of the institute is though the diocesan Bishop. He presents the status of the institute and other institutions and programs of the diocese to the Bishops’ Conference. Other neighboring institutes seldom correspond or provide or share assistance to our institute.

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

The programs of the Bishops’ Conference are implemented in the institute (e.g. Caritas, Women’s and the Youth). These programs are coordinated by the National Bishop’s Conference and their offices. The institute is available to implement these programs in the diocese.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

The main linkage to the National level is through the participation of the diocesan Bishop at the Bishops’ Conferences and their offices. Other materials for pastoral and spiritual development can be obtained form the respective departments of the Bishops’ Conference offices (eg: Youth, Women’s, HIV/Aids, Caritas etc.)

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Presently, there are no or little linkages that are active at the international level.

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

There are no Non-Christians religions here, so the institute does not have any cooperation with them.

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

Seldom, do we receive requests for the use of the institute or have collaborated with other churches in their programs.

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

Presently, the institute is not affiliated with any theological association due to less exposure of the institute internationally.

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

You can assist by sending periodicals and other materials from other institutes. Also, you could assist us to put up a website for our pastoral institute to give it more exposure internationally. You could also assist the staff or the director to attend theological conferences or workshops for update and renewal as part of his on going formation.


Conclusion: I am grateful to missio and Adveniat to provide this opportunity (Network Pastoral) so our institute is exposed internationally. This opportunity will enable our institute to advance its purpose and mission. I anticipate that our future correspondence would form the basis of mutual support and collaboration so that St. Martins will benefit from the fruits of this initiative. I look forward with hope that this rare opportunity or networking will assist the institute in its task of evangelization in this local Church (Diocese of Aitape).


  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.