Utkal Jyoti Educational Society

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Official name Utkal Jyoti Educational Society.
Country / Continent India / Asia
Director of the institute Fr. Bartholomew Bilung.
Legal holder of the institute Rt. Rev. Bishop Lucas Kerketta SVD.
Sponsor of the institute Missio.
Year of foundation 1979
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 8
Staff members of your institute 5
Contact Post Box No 6

768 201 Jharsuguda

Dt. Sambalpur

India

bartho@rediffmail.com


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Utkal Jyoti Educational Society.

Director of the institute

Fr. Bartholomew Bilung.

Legal holder of the institute

Rt. Rev. Bishop Lucas Kerketta SVD.

Missio.

Vision / mission statement

Together toward a better Society in the liberating love of Christ to all people of Orissa.

Mission statement: To disseminate knowledge and information and animate the Laity, Priests and Religious to be salt and leaven to be the vibrant Church in the Orissa region.

Main areas of work

Pastoral: a) To diffuse useful knowledge in the society for moral, intellectual and spiritual development of individuals and techniques for communicating such knowledge.

b) To train catechists, family catechists, lay leaders and empowerment of women.

General: c) To conduct training courses, seminars, lectures, discussions for students, teachers, social workers and professionals in view of social transformation.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Laity (women and men of all ages), Priests and religious. The lay organizations in the region particularly in the Catholic diocese of Sambalpur is very active both at parish and diocese level. In all 22 parishes there is pastoral council for day today parish administration (women and men) equal number, catholic sabha (catholic lay organization) consisting of all sections parishioners like men, women, youth etc. a general Body that deals with social, cultural, political and economic aspect of people in general. Bishop Lucas has put in much effort in this regard.

Year of foundation

1979.

Organisational structure of the institute

President (Bishop of Sambalpur diocese), Director, Treasurer and other staff members, Office staff, Associate Professors, Part-time Volunteers and Domestic employees.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

(Employers: 8), Mr. Bernard Tirkey (driver cum office assistance), Mr. Kumar Burh and Mrs. Anastacia Burh (Kitchen), Ms. Marsha Bahla and Ms. Tarcila Kindo

(House maintance), Mr. Deonis Kerketta (house maintenance and gardener), Mr. Sanjay Soreng (farm), Mr. Edward Samaria (security).

Staff members of your institute[2]

(5) Director Fr. Bartholomew Bilung, Co-director and Treasurer. Paul Adappoor, Sr. Fatima H.M., Br. Subodh Kindo, a regent and Mrs. Bertha Lakra.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Director Fr. Bartholomew Bilung, Master of Theology (Licentiate in Systematic Theology), Fr. Paul Adappoor B.Th., Sr. Fatima H.M., a trained catechist, regent Brother Subodh Kindo and Mrs. Bertha Lakra a trained catechist and a member of the diocesan team of Small Christian Community (Faith Formation).

Associate and part-time resource persons: Dr. Fr. Kishore Kumar Kujur, Scripture in Gregorian, Fr. Emlus Tete, licenciate in Liturgy, Rome, Fr. Niranjan Sual Singh, licentiate in Systematic, all are professors in Major Seminary. Besides we have lay volunteers like Dr. Sylvanty Jojo, Dr. Sanjay Soreng and family counselors, Mr. Stanislaus Ming and Mrs. Rose Mary Tigga, Mr. Ashish Kumhar and Kalpana Nayak. We also take the resource persons from Social Development Center of the diocese, Fr. John Kerketta and team, both religious and lay persons.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

Faith formation and Catechesis for students and the families.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Training and ongoing formation of Catechists, Family catechesis and career guidance for the youth.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

Our pastoral aim is to strive towards integral development through religious formation for all age groups.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

a) Training catechists for five dioceses of Orissa region, b) Renewal and annual retreat for catechists of Sambalpur diocese, c) ongoing formation for full-time and part-time catechists and lay volunteers for the diocese of Sambalpur, c) Intensive marriage counselling program 3 times a year for engaged couples, e) Career guidance and vocation camps for school children, f) Facilitating seminars, workshops and retreats for laity, priests and religious for the region.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

a) Keeping in view the communally sensitive situation in the state we have initiated Training of Trainers (TOT) for lay leadership in the Church who also work as animators for social change and harmonious neighbourhood community. b) Secondly, with the efforts of the Social Development Wing of the diocese we also have formed a team that supervises the peace process among all communities in the diocese, deanery levels and the parish levels especially in rural areas.

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

Our catechises and liturgical celebrations are not mere ritual celebrations but they are invitation to discover their rich symbols, for meaningful adaptation and commit oneself for social transformation. This involves greater and active participation of the laity in the liturgical celebrations. Efforts are on for intra-cultural and inter-religious exchange among the locals.

What notion of God inspires your work?

The Trinitarian notion of God and shepherding notion of Jesus’ ministry inspires our work. We make efforts to work as community sharing our responsibilities and care for one another at the same time. The mystery of incarnation inspires us to immerse into the life situation of the people and liberating love of Jesus makes us hopeful to stand by the underprivileged and the marginalized.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

In the face of pluralistic and multi religious society, the Christian spirituality has a very distinct role to play: a) Human beings as the image of likeness of God, all are to be treated with equal dignity as children of the same God. b) The liberating love of Jesus and the Kingdom values inspires us to take a stand against various subhuman social chains and bondages.

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 have ten year pastoral planning in the diocese in the end of the last millennium. Early this year we had elaborate evaluation on the life and the functions of the diocese. The diocesan priorities and needs are clarified and accordingly all parishes and institutions are regulated to achieve the goal. Accordingly we have the following action plans are taken: a) We take the help of social tools, like SWOT analysis in our TOT programs. b) We make efforts towards soliciting and networking with various commissions within the Church and likeminded groups of the society. c) Our constant effort is to reach out to the optimum target groups in the grass root level through existing resources, structures and social organization.

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

A few prophetic approaches are: a) A move towards equal and just society so as to enable the Tribals to be at par with the mainstream. b) Empowerment and encouragement of women movements and organizations that will bring lasting change in the families and society. c) Imparting motivational programs for students and youth enabling them to dream for a better society. d) Through our institution we try to make linkages with NGO’s, Government agencies to establish health relationships’. e) We need to move more playing the prophetic role in the present situation but little is achieved and much is yet to be done.

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

As regional pastoral centre we also plan our annual plan, quarterly plan according to the policy of the pastoral plan of the regional Bishops. The institute basically conducts various courses through workshops and lectures by experts and professionals like engaging doctors for the engaged couples. We have educational trips and exposures for catechists to places of historical and religious importance.

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

So far we published catechetical text books for school children, a few liturgical hymn books with Eucharistic prayers, our manuals and prayer books for children and family prayer.

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

The most important services of our institute are: a) Training of the Catechists for the 5 dioceses of Orissa region. b) Intensive marriage counselling for engaged couples that sets foundations for good catholic family and society.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

The mode of evaluation: a) Every program is concluded with oral or written evaluation. b) Gradual increase in the number of participants especially marriage counselling, which led us to form a team of married couples as counsellors. c) Some visible impacts in the Church are quite evident, namely some of the town parishes have very active parish pastoral councils, who take active role in day to day running of the parish. d) However, we need to initiate such process also in the rural parishes. Most of the parishes are in very remote, rural areas for who much is yet to be done.

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

a) Strengthening of the Staff personnel and ongoing formation of our team. b) Identifying committed volunteers and part-time members, their training who would be available at the service of the institute. c) To provide minimum structural and boarding facilities to the participants in the programs. d) To create conductive atmosphere for prayer, meditation, learning, a place for personal growth.

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

Lack of proper accommodation for the women participants. We put the women on first floor and men on the ground floor, with no privacy for women as there only common toilets.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

a) With growing industrialization in the neighbourhood along with increasing pollution, temperature and price rise on all items including food is a concern for the maintenance of the institute. b) The global warming particularly this industrial belt has made it unbearable to use our houses with existing facilities during summer (April-July).

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

With improved infra-structure and conference hall we can fetch better revenue. Gradually we can generate our corpus for maintenances and the upkeep of our programs in the institute.

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

a) In spite of the rising cost we charge the laity about U$ 2.00 (INR 100.00) per day. We subsidize the lay people to encourage their participation. b) So far over 200 catechists have been trained who work selflessly in the 5 dioceses of Orissa. c) Through your generous support over 50 lay volunteers have been trained in theology who takes leadership in different walk of life in the society. d) With lay leadership training and empowerment there are visible changes in the parish structures, greater lay participation and involvement leading to increasing

contributions of time and money. e) There is considerable change in the perception and understanding of the Church. The dream of a vibrant Church is not too far a dream as few parishes in the diocese of Sambalpur are self reliant in their maintenance. Now we look forward to make this institutes self reliant both in personnel and finance.

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)?

a) I submit annual report in the annual meet of all the 5 bishops of Orissa region. I also seek their suggestions for our plans and activities. b) For all other activities Bishop Lucas Kerketta SVD the Bishop of Sambalpur is consulted. c) We send circulars to dioceses and parishes on a quarterly basis.

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

The institute is directly linked and accountable to the regional Bishop’s conference. Our activities are monitored and I seek their prior approval for any major program or policy matter.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

a) All pastoral centres are linked with the region. So also all regional centres are linked at the national level. From time to time we have workshops and annual meet in which certain issues and policies are discussed. The CBCI (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India) has several commissions who take initiatives to organize such seminars. b) As catechetical in charge of the diocese and as regional centre director we have workshops, plans and programs from time to time.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

So far no linkage or networks seem to exist at the international level.

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

Keeping in view our situation we take special care to organize inter-religious gatherings in our centre. We look for opportunities of common interest, like Christmas, Mother Teresa centenary celebration, felicitation of civic authorities and political leaders etc. Our centre is being made use of for celebrations and gatherings for police officers of the district.

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

We also have a few common celebrations and ecumenical gatherings like prayer gatherings, Christmas, common action plan etc.

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

I am a member of the “Indian theological Association”.

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

a) International magazines/periodicals, b) “Network Pastoral” may evolve some common platform for exchange of news and views that can be very informative and educative to us. c) Periodic workshops/conference could be held on issues of importance.




  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.