This is the report of the missionary training for Priests and Religious and lay
leaders who are fully involved in the ministry of Evangelization, conducted in
Suvarta Kendra, Pachmarhi from 1st May to 5th May 2023. There were 27
participants from different dioceses of North India. Though 36 participants
registered for the course, due to various reasons all could not attend the
A great opportunity was given by NBCLC and the funding agency Church in Need to conduct the missionary training for Priests and Religious and lay leaders.
The main objective of telling the story of Jesus in our context in a synodal way was to give an orientation that our Church is a synodal Church and the promotion of new evangelization through new ardor, new method and new expression. This was done by focusing on three main aspects: proclamation of the kerygma, use of Bible and spiritual charisms and life in community.
Through teachings, practical activities, group sharings and powerful moments of prayer, the participants were taught a very simple, effective and creative method of evangelization. The zeal, enthusiasm and active participation of the participants enabled us to overcome the tight schedule and everyone enjoyed the program. Telling the story of Jesus demonstrated the basic elements needed to proclaim the kerygma to the people today.
We are grateful to Fr. A. John Baptist, NBCLCand Church in Need for the encouragement, support and financially helping the missionary trainingprogram.
St. Paul said, "Woe to me, if I do not preach the gospel" (1Cor9:16). The participants realized and came to the understanding that these words are not simply a declaration but a vocation to serve the gospel in the challenging context today. Many people have never heard the gospel in our country and still others are yearning to hear it. To bring the gospel to others is a serious undertaking, requiring that a person be deeply committed. Also it requires boldness, courage, humility and total trust in the Holy Spirit who is the "principal agent of evangelization." Therefore the participants decided to identify the lay leaders and form and strengthen the mission teams.
Telling the story of Jesus provided the participants with an opportunity to learn how to transmit their own faith experience successfully. The course helped the participants how to know, love, use and pray the Scriptures and taught the participants how to announce the Gospel in a practical, simple, effective and creative way.
Evaluation and Commitments taken as an outcome of the missionary training:
One of the participant said, Testimony course is a tool to introduce people to an initial proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As Pope Francis says, 'Nothing is more solid, profound, secure, and meaningful and wisdom – filled than that initial proclamation.' (EG 165).
The course offered a very strong experience which has changed participants mentality radically. The course offered the instruments to evangelize with effectiveness and transmited an evangelizing mentality.
The course had the potentiality to change in a radical way how to evangelize and the way of thinking and acting. It gave the participants a new evangelizing vision.
Majority of the participants expressed that they were enriched and empowered by the missionary training program. They said besides enriching them, they developed a simple spirituality and skills in preaching the gospel.
Reflecting and praying upon the synodal way the following commitment is made:
- Accompany youth and families so that faith is deepened, family prayer is nurtured, and the bonds of communion are strengthened.
- As responsible people in the society, continue to transmit the story of Jesus to the younger generations.
- As consecrated persons and leaders, take more seriously our responsibility to care for families, individuals and all to whom we are sent.
- Promote, foster and sustain BECs in all our parishes.
- Utilize the occasion of celebrations of the Eucharist and Sacraments to catechize and tell the story of Jesus in a meaningful way so that people may experience the Lord in their lives.
- Stand in solidarity with those affected by persecution, displacement, discrimination and marginalization.
- Make it our mission to protect and preserve mother earth (which Pope Francis has described as our ‘common home’ in Laudato Si), by employing all means at our disposal to promote eco-friendly lifestyles at all levels.
Resource Persons and their details:
- Fr Raju Mathew:
The Associate Executive Secretary, CCBI Commission for Proclamation and the director of Suvarta Kendra, Pachmarhi. He is also the Regional Secretary for proclamation in Madhya Pradesh, holding Degree in Commerce, Working in CSB Bank for 4 years, B.A. in Hindi Rastrabhasha; Trained in New Evangelization in Rome by International School Of Evangelization, had Catachetical Training in NBCLC, Bangalore and diploma in Biblical studies ( Dei Verbum) from Rome, six Month methodological course in New Evangelization training program in Rome, having lot of experiences in the Mission in North India, Training Lay Missionaries and guiding them as a Community and an experienced retreat preacher: for priests, religious, seminarians, and laity.
- Sr. Sheeba:
Member of Koinonia Community and she is a secular sister. As a finally professed sister, she has done her Theological studies from Marianum Pontifical Theologate, Rome. She has done methodological studies in New Evangelization formation programmes like Paul Course, Community Course, Philip Course, Preachers course etc. from the International School, Rome as well as Czech Republic. She is very good in conducting dynamics, action songs and animation. She is often invited for conducting recollection and retreats for priests and religious.
- Sr. Julia Samaria:
Member of Koinonia Community and she is a secular sister. As a finally professed sister, she has done her discipleship studies and Methodology studies in Rome and Czech Republic. She is very good in conducting Music ministry, and animation. She is good in Action songs and a good musician.