(Malayalam Laity Seminar) - 19-04-23 to 25-04-23
A seven-day training program on Christian leadership in church and society was
organized at NBCLC in Bangalore from 19-04-23 to 25-04-23. The program
aimed to empower laity leaders from each diocese, including the pastoral
council secretary, a female leader, and a youth leader, to take up leadership
roles in pastoral activities. Seventy participants from 20 dioceses attended the
training. The program was initiated on 19-04-23 at 9 am with Rev. Dr. A. John
Baptist, the director of NBCLC, welcoming the gathering and Rev. Fr. Stephen
Alalhara, the secretary of CCBI, Bangalore, inaugurated the function by lighting
the lamp. He delivered a motivational speech in his inaugural address.
Representatives from participants, faculties, and organizers were present for the
lighting of the lamp.
The first session was on group dynamics and the importance of laity leadership, led by the national trainer Mr. Jossy Peter. He applied various techniques and games to create group cohesion among the participants, which proved to be very useful for the purpose of group dynamics.
The second day session was on family spirituality, family movements, and the role of laity. Facilitators Mr. Ajay, Mrs. Ceby, Mr. Franklin, and Mrs. Della explained the importance of family in society, the challenges faced by modern families, and how to help families tighten their bonds, prevent family breakdowns, and lead a spiritual and happy family life. In the afternoon session, Ms. Tessy Biju explained family movements and facilitated a discussion on family spirituality. Participants felt that the sessions could be shortened and that more input sessions could be added.
The third day session was on the social involvement of laity, Indian social analysis, and the documents of the Second Vatican Council on social involvement of laity led by Prof. K.M Francis. In the session, he analyzed the social situation in India and compared it with Europe. He also stressed the social contribution of the Christian community in India. The session facilitated by Prof. K.M Francis was inspiring and evoked an urge among participants to study more about it.
The fourth day session was on the pastoral role of laity in the Church, theological and Church teaching facilitated by Rev. Fr. Jose Kizhakakethu CMI on 22-04-23. In the session, he meticulously explained the pastoral role of the laity using the Second Vatican Council to substantiate his views. The session was interesting and useful to participants, who longed for further study. The afternoon session was led by Rev. Fr. Alex Velacherry on the participatory structures of the Church for laity, canonical, and pastoral approach, which was also very interesting, motivating, and informative.
The fifth day session was conducted by Mar Pauly Kannookadan, the chairman of NBCLC, on lay involvement in liturgy, which was very interesting, interactive, and informative. It was followed by a session on catechism and laity facilitated by Rev. Dr. Rejoy Pazhaatil. The session enriched participants with knowledge and inspiration.
On the sixth day of the training programme, Rev. Dr. Rajesh CMI facilitated a session on mission evangelization, inter-faith dialogue, and ecumenism. He explained the need for mission activities and how laypeople can support them. In the afternoon, Rev. Dr. Charles Leon led a session on the social teaching of the Church from a lay perspective. It was an interesting session that motivated us to become more involved in society to bring about the kingdom of God on earth.
The session of the seventh day was on the Bible and discipleship conducted by Rev. Dr. Nysson Luka, the course coordinator. He explained the duties of discipleship with the help of teachings from the Bible and the Second Vatican Council. The session was very informative and useful.
A small valedictory session was conducted to conclude the 7-day training programme and certificates were distributed to the participants. Representatives from the participants expressed their evaluative opinions and appreciated the excellent training provided for the lay leaders.
Throughout the programme, there was a daily Holy Mass in either Latin or Syro-Malabar rite, along with adoration and rosary, which helped to enrich the spiritual growth of the participants.