Meetings attended by the The Secretary,Rev. Fr. Charles Irudayam

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, participated in “Idea of India Conclave” at Constitutional Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi from on 4 July at 9:30 onwards.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, attended meeting “Ministers of Christian leaders”  with Mr. Arvind Kejriwal at Bishops House from 4:30 to 6:00 pm on 17 June.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, had taken one full day session during Justice, Peace & Development Commission, Karnataka Region Meet held on 5 – 6 June at KROSS, Bangalore.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, attended memorial service of Fr. Thomas Kocherry at Indian Social Institute (ISI) Lodi Road, New Delhi on 15 May at 3:00 pm, organised by Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG).

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam,  took part in  ‘Socio-political reflections on India & Pakistan’ on 5 April 2014 from 3:00 pm onwards at The Attic 36, Regal Building, Connaught Place.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, had a meeting with Kenyan Bishops Conference Team Consisting of Archbishop, Secretary General and Director of Caritas Kenya at our office during their visit to Caritas India on 5 March 2014.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, participated  National United Christian Forum [NUCF] Joint Working Committee Meeting on 27 February from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at CBCI Centre.

The Secretary, Fr. Charles Irudayam, participated  in National Workshop for “Election Manifesto for Common People” on 28 January 2014 at ISI,  Lodhi Road New Delhi.

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Two-day workshop on ‘Encyclical on Ecology (Laudato si) and CST’ at Jalandhar on 7 – 8 August

REPORT ON

Seminar on Catholic Social Teaching

7th-8th August 2015 at Navjeevan Charitable Society, Jalandhar

Organized By:

Office for Justice, Peace and Development, CBCI

The seminar started on 7th August with a prayer song led by Sr. Nisha followed by lamp lighting by His Excellency Rev. Dr. Franco Mullakal (Bishop, Diocese of Jalandhar), Rev. Fr. Charles Irudayam (Secretary, Office for Justice, Peace and Development), Rev. Fr. Savari raj (Director, Chetanalaya), Rev. Fr. Xavier Director Diocesan Education Board, Jalandhar and Sr. Sheela, Secretary of the Women’s Commission, Jalandhar Diocese.

Fr. Antony Madassery, Director, Navjeevan Charitable Society, welcomed everyone for the seminar and introduced Fr. Charles and Fr. Savari raj to the participants. Fr. Savari Raj gave brief information about CBCI, Northern region forum and Office for Justice, Peace and Development and requested Bishop Franco to speak a few words and share his thoughts on the seminar. Bishop Franco, in his inaugural address, spoke about the current situation prevailing in the country for Christians and how “because of the poverty of our people we are yet to grow”, and shared the measures needed to deal with the situation. Citing example from Luke’s and Mathew’s chapter Bishop spoke about the coming of Jesus being related to the salvation of our souls and parallel to it shared the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and the message that holy spirit through bible wants us to give with regard to this story. He added that there is a moral demand and we have an obligation to that demand, we cannot rest.

Fr. Charles Irudayam started the first session on Catholic Social Teaching and Church’s concern on human rights and its involvement in social activism. He discussed how Catholic Social teaching acts as a roadmap for social activism, its need in the present scenario and how diocesan interventions, should be focused on bringing about transformations in the society on a structural level rather than just following a charity model. He has also said that we as beings created in the image and likeness of god have a moral responsibility to accept other persons as our brothers created by god and work to respect, defend and promote their human rights rather than living in isolation. Further, he also added how JPD commission considers as its duty to disseminate information and teachings of church to Dioceses so that in turn these teachings are brought to every faithful, which would make people aware of their social and moral responsibilities in the society.

After tea break, Dr. Maria Dason took session in which he discussed about relationship that exists between religion and economics and how it contributes to the process of social change. The central theme of this presentation stressed that church should Involve people in economic development activities for transforming their lives. He guided that mere learning Christian values is not enough; they should be put into practice to bring about transformational effect in the life of others through god’s guidance and through understanding of the bible and realities. He also spoke about how the diocese has to be communicative in its approach and dialogue with government regarding the social projects they are carrying out and provide enough credible evidence to support their initiatives that will also help them to grow and develop as an organization

Fr. Charles continued post Lunch session with a presentation where detailed explanation regarding the dimensions, features, arenas, methods, strategies and goals and objectives of People Centered Advocacy was delivered. Excerpts from movies were shown to the participants as an example of negotiation and persuasion strategy applied by Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in their times, to help participants understand the advocacy process. He insisted on the need to develop diocesan programs in a way that would involve establishing linkages with government, networking with other churches and likeminded organizations and using media to generate publicity of the activities that they are carrying out. He also shared the definition of development given in 1987 by Pope Paul VI “development is moving from less human condition to more human condition” and clarified how it is the duty of the Church to intervene in the development that is challenging the creation of god. His presentation also focused on the fact that Indian constitutional rights are just abstract rights and that there was a need to give opportunities to the poor to get these rights through promotion of their capabilities and legalization of the rights like European nations.

Meeting on 8thAugust started at 9 A.M with a prayer followed by discussions carried out of day 1 activities along with the participants. Fr. Charles led the first session of the day on the latest encyclical written by Pope Francis, “Laudato Si” and shared the practical tips in the encyclical for helping the environment and Pope’s views for sustainable development. He discussed the Pope’s advice for world organizations, nations and communities, in the way they must move forward and the way individuals, believers and people of goodwill should see, think feel and act. He laid emphasis on the fact that globalization and free market economy has led to the social exclusion of the vulnerable section of the society. He added that as priests and Sisters, we are ordinary people chosen from ordinary people to live an extraordinary life, for the sake of others and so as members of the church; it is our responsibility to include the excluded ones.

Mr. Gaurav from Chetanalaya, Delhi, took the next session about Domestic workers and the program implemented by Chetanalaya for the protection of rights of the domestic workers. Issues relating to domestic workers were discussed along with Chetanalaya Interventions on this social problem and project strategies applied to deal with them. Stress was given to the fact that existing government schemes and acts have many loopholes and that there was a need for Indian government to take strong steps to address this issue in the country than just supporting it at international conventions such as ILO 189. He shared many success stories of the project and guided the participants on how they can work for the cause of Domestic workers in their respective parishes.

Fr. Charles in his concluding speech appreciated and thanked all the participants for their active participation and reflections. Fr. Antony extended vote of thanks to OJPD, SSDNR, Fr. Charles, Fr. Savari Raj, Mr. Gaurav and Dr. Maria Dason for conducting such inspiring sessions that has motivated each participant to work not just as a social worker but also as social activists. Fr. Antony also thanked all the participants for taking time out of their busy schedules and attending the seminar. The seminar ended at 1:15 P.M.

Rev. Dr. Charles Irudayam

Secretary

Office for Justice, Peace and Development

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Delhi