The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) Laity Commission successfully hosted the National Laity Conference from November 11–13, 2023, at the St. Joseph Vaz Spiritual Renewal Centre in Old Goa.
The central theme of the seminar, "The Role of Laity in the Post-Synodal Indian Church," provided a comprehensive platform for meaningful discussions and insights.
Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferro, the President of CCBI and Archbishop of Goa and Daman, presided over the inaugural Mass and keynote address during the opening session. His address set the tone for the enriching exchange of ideas that followed.
Distinguished speakers contributed to the seminar, offering valuable perspectives on various aspects.
Father Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore and Chairman of the CCBI Laity Commission, shared profound insights in sessions on "The Situation of Christians in India Today" and "The Response of the Institutional Church to the Situation Today."
Fr Anthony J. Fernandes, the Executive Secretary of the CCBI Laity Commission, delivered enlightening sessions on "Using the YOUCAT to Empower the Laity" and "Using the DOCAT to Empower the Laity," emphasizing practical tools for the laity's empowerment.
Paul Pudussery, CSC, conducted four thought-provoking sessions, covering "Lay Leadership," "Church in India: Past and Present," "The Role of the Laity in the Post-Synodal Scenario," and "The Way Forward," offering a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
A significant highlight was the session by Mr. Adrian Rosario, who provided a lay perspective on the church today.
His insights added a unique dimension to the discussions, fostering a holistic understanding of the current landscape.
The conference saw active participation from 65 delegates representing various dioceses and regions across India. The diversity of perspectives and experiences enriched the discussions, making the event a vibrant and inclusive platform for dialogue and collaboration.
“As we reflect on the successful national laity conference, we anticipate continued growth and engagement in the evolving role of the laity within the Church in India,” said Fr. Anthony Fernandes, Secretary of the Commission for Laity.
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