Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Pastoral Activities Commission
The Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia has entrusted national pastoral activities of the Conference to Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Pastoral Activities Commission. The Pastoral Activities Commission is entrusted by Conference to facilitate pastoral initiatives at national level. Pastoral Activities Commission is involved in facilitating many activities of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia. Without pastoral activities at all level it is inconceivable to speak about the presence of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia. Besides the ordinary pastoral ministry in the parishes we need to have well coordinated, planned and structured pastoral activities at all levels. The Church exists in order to do pastoral activities and all her social activities are part and parcel of her pastoral ministry. Pope Paul VI speaking in Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi states that “the Church exists in order to evangelize”. Pope Francis states that evangelization Confessing the limitations of PAC we can state that in the past twenty eight years the Pastoral Activities Commission has contributed marvels works to the local Church in Ethiopia through its various activities.
The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat Pastoral Activities Commission was established in 1987 and the first Coordinator of the Department was Fr. Zordan, a Consolata Father. Since its establishment Fr. Dino Duzzi, Fr. Tamarat Seyoum, Fr. Isaias Gaetano served the Commission and currently Fr. Hailegabriel Meleku is serving the PAC office. The ECS Pastoral Activities Commission takes the role of coordinating the national office and collaborates with the Diocesan Pastoral Activities Coordination offices in capacitating them in the field of pastoral ministry through meetings, experience sharing and workshops.
Based on the mandate of Jesus “Go therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you’ (Mt 28:19), the Pastoral Commission tries to implement the command of Jesus to teach all the people to observe his command by facilitating workshops, preparing teaching materials, etc. The Coordination office imports, translates, publishes and distributes different religious books and Church documents which are considered useful to deepen the Catholic teaching. Additionally the Coordination Office supervises Catholic Book Center and provides religious books by importing from international Catholic publishers and locally published books.
In the year 2014 there have been 10 pastoral seminars conducted at national level. The topic of the year was Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). It was received enthusiastically and the document is translated and printed in to Amharic language. At the moment the Pastoral Activities Commission has all together 19 personnel and comprises of the following Departments and Units:-
- PAC Coordination
- Social and Communication Coordination
- Justice and Peace Department
- Family, Laity and Youth Ministry Unit
- Catechism Ministry and Biblical Apostolate Unit
- Youth Ministry Unit
- Catholic Book Center
- National Laity Council
The ECS Pastoral Activities Commission is guided by the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the Catholic Church. The PAC Office is meant to render service to all ecclesiastical jurisdictions in view of establishing a national pastoral plan which could reflect unity, and deepen the faith of the Catholic community through its activities. At the moment we are working on National Strategic plan for the coming five years.
One of the objectives of Pastoral Commission Office is organizing different ongoing formation programmes at national level in collaboration with the Diocesan Pastoral Coordination Offices to agents of evangelization. Pastoral Activities Commission organizes workshops on recent Church documents such as Evangelii Gaudium. The main objective of the seminar was to disseminate the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium at grass root level or at parochial level. Every year it offers training for clergy, religious, Catechists, YCW leaders, Addis Ababa Priests Association, Our Lady’s Catholic Priests Association, Youth leaders, Catholic Professionals, couples, Associations, Laity leaders, ECS staff etc. The training is meant to equip the faithful with the Catholic Church teaching founded on Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Social Doctrine of the Church. The training gives the participants the opportunity to proclaim the Good News of the Lord with conviction and enthusiasm in their respective jurisdictions and try to live an exemplary life in the society where they live. The ECS Pastoral Coordination will continue to coordinate and capacitate the diocesan pastoral agents in cooperation with Diocesan Pastoral Coordination offices of the twelve jurisdictions and one Pastoral Territory.