nivas indiaMeetingClaret Nivas, Barackpore: The visit of Bros. Arnel Alcober and Robert Omondi from the General secretariat of JPIC in Rome was an occasion to evaluate the JPIC distant education diploma course undertaken by the Claretian theology students of Chennai province in Barackpore, India.

The pilot program of JPIC diploma course is offered by Duquesne University in USA to promote JPIC consciousness among seminarians.

Three congregations representing the continents of Africa and Asia are participating in this pilot program which began in the year 2010. The participants are the Oblates of Mary (South Africa), the Spiritans (Zimbabwe) and the Claretians (India). Bro. Arnel from the general secretariat facilitated the participation of the Claretians.

The idea of promoting JPIC among seminarians though distant education emerged in the world Religious superiors meeting that was held in the year 2009 in Italy which looked for concrete ways to integrate the study of theology with the concerns of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). The Spiritan congregation responded to this need by offering JPIC studies through distance learning under the DESQUESNE University in USA.

The theology students of Claret Nivas began the course on 13th August 2010 with Fr. PJ Xavier, the JPIC coordinator of the dependent delegation of Chennai province, as local facilitator.

The participants are to complete three sets of courses for the diploma program. The Claretians have already completed the first set namely The Foundations of Theological Reflection known as TR, which contains thirteen units in four parts.

After having completed the first part of the course in the year 2010-2011,  an evaluation was made in the presence of the JPIC coordinators Bro. Arnel Alcober CMF, and Bro. Robert Omondi CMF from 10th to 13th July, 2011 at Claret Nivas. All the participants found it a fruitful complement to theological studies as this course has helped  a process of reflective practical theology through JPIC distant learning. The students expressed their enthusiasm and commitment to continue with the course. Many opined that it has helped them to deepen their academic Theological studies and clarified about the contextual theology and practical theology. Many found the course helping them to read the science of the times and to see the presence of God in the day today realities. Groups sharing as part of the course was enriching. There were initial technical difficulties in communication with the university and the problem was resolved soon.

Fr. Bhyju, the provincial prefect of formation too was present in the evaluative meeting.


The following are the courses completed by the students in the year 2010-2011.

Part 1

Unit 1: Roots, Definitions, and Purpose

Unit 2: Scriptural Metaphors and Themes for TR

Unit 3: TR as Formative for Ministers

Part 2

Unit 4: Critical Concepts

Unit 5: Goals, Participants, and Elements

Unit 6: Method and Flow

Part 3

Unit 7: Doing TR with Examples 1

Unit 8: Doing TR with Examples 2

Unit 9: Generating Your Own TR Examples

part 4

Unit 10: Working in Groups with Your Own TR Examples

Unit 11: Your Gifts and Goals for Ministerial Growth

Unit 12: Imagining and Adapting TR in Your Ministry

Unit 13: Preparing for Course 2: Foundations for Social Analysis

– Reported by student Selvamani cmf