17 Pastoral Training for Empowerment - Thomas Lobo

posted Aug 21, 2018, 11:29 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 21, 2018, 11:30 AM ]
A key component of growth in successful organisations is the systematic and organised training of employees. The training is tailor-made to suit the diverse needs of the organisation, and aimed at developing individuals to take on the myriad roles and responsibilities that evolve as companies grow, progress and prosper.

If this is a prerequisite for growth in the corporate world, surely the same importance should be given to training in our Church organisations, Cells, Associations and various other bodies, including the Small Christian Communities.

Pedagogy (learning) today spans a broad range of practice: its aims range from furthering Liberal learning (the general development of the human potential) to the narrower specifics of Domain learning (the imparting and acquisition of specific skills). With the increasing role of EQ (Emotional Quotient) being identified as a key factor for success in life, it is one's ability to deal with self and others on an emotional level that helps in striking a balance between the task and relationship focus that is at the heart of any effective activity. More so in the spiritual realm, where the heart predominates over the head, the work of animating communities requires skills that cover a vast gamut of human interaction and development.

If lay people are to be co-responsible for the mission of the Church, they must be well equipped to handle this role and responsibility. We need to give sufficient importance to the training of the laity. Canon Law and the Documents of the Church (Vatican II and post-Vatican II) emphasise the need for formation and training of the Laity for ministry in the Church: "However, in order to exercise their proper role, lay persons have the obligation and right to acquire a formation in Christian doctrine, suited to their capacity and condition."(Canon 229)

The Post Synodal document on the Laity – Christifideles Laici (The Lay Faithful of Jesus Christ) – also focuses extensively on the formation of the Lay Faithful: