1. Diocesan Commission for Evangelization, Catechism, Catechists and Jyothirmai
Director: Fr. Damala Vijaya Kumar, Director of Pastoral Centre
2. Diocesan Commission for Bible
Director: Fr. Nuthalapati Kishore
3. Diocesan Commission for Laity & Pontifical Mission
Director: Fr. Imandi Maria Swaminadham, Director of Catholic Centre
4. Diocesan Commission for Liturgy
Director: Fr. Nakka David Raju
5. Diocesan Commission for Judicial Matters
Director: Fr. Kolakani Marianna, Judicial Vicar of the diocese
6. Diocesan Commission for Vincent de Paul Society & Legion of Mary
Director: Fr. Mesapam Gabriel (VG)
7. Diocesan Commission for Vocations & Formation
Director: Fr. Bhupathi Vijaya Kumar, Rector of St. Ambrose Minor Seminary
8. Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism & Interreligious Dialogue
Director: Fr. Muvvala Prasad (VG)
9. Diocesan Commission for Family & Counselling
Director: Fr. Kamatham Mariadas, Director of Samvruddhi Counselling Centre
10. Diocesan Commission for Youth
Director: Fr. Damala Vijay Kumar, Director of Prerana Youth Centre
11. Diocesan Commission for Education
Director:: Fr. Guzzula Michael,DGM
12. Diocesan Commission for Social Apostolate
Director: Fr. Pasala Thomas, Director of Social Service Centre
13. Diocesan Commission for Educational Aid
Director: Fr. Kondru Simharayalu, Director of Diocesan Educational Society
14. Diocesan Commission for SC/ST/BC
Director: Fr. Polimetla Joachim
15. Diocesan Commission for Communications
Director: Fr. Matta Lazar, Director of Divyavani TV Zonal Centre
16. Diocesan Commission for Public Relations
Director: Fr. Muvvala Prasad
17. Diocesan Commission for Women
Director: Fr. Polimetla Christu Raju
- Pastoral Centre Director: Fr. Damala Vijay Kumar
The Pastoral Centre of the Diocese
The foundation stone for the Diocesan Pastoral Centre was laid on 18th March 1978 by Most Rev. Joseph Thumma the late bishop of the diocese of Vijayawada in memory of his sacerdotal silver jubilee. It was repaired and renovated and was blessed on 21st July 2006 by Most Rev. Mallavarapu Prakash, the then bishop of Vijayawada. A separate conference hall was built and blessed in 2009. It is located at the parish of Carmel Nagar. It is adjacent to many institutions like blind school, Deaf and Dumb school run by Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pondicherry; St. Ann’s of Luzern Provincialate and Don Bosco Minor seminary etc. It is one of the major centres in the diocese. The centre serves as a venue for seminars, closed retreats, training programmes, consultations and even longer courses especially for the laity and religious throughout the year. There are about 650 lay catechists are working in the diocese. They are under the care of pastoral centre. To strengthen their Willingness and commitment, very often pastoral camps, renewal programmes and seminars are arranged in the pastoral centre. They frequently gather at the pastoral centre and discuss the failures and achievements in the missions.
The Mission of the Catechists
Lay Catechists are the primary pastoral agents of the Diocese of Vijayawada. They play an important role in the work of evangelization and the renewal of the faith. The diocese has 99 parishes and each parish has an average of 15 villages under its parochial administration and pastoral care. Only a few parishes have an assistant parish priest but majority of the parishes have only one priest and he has to care for the 15 villages under the parish. He is able to visit the village only twice a month or so. In such a situation, it is the lay Catechists who keep the communities alive in faith continuously. Practically, they live with the people in the villages and they represent the situation and problems of the people. They organize the prayer meetings, conduct special camps for children youth and adults. Hence, they are the real direct agents of evangelization, preparing the ground-work for the life of faith with the guidance of the parish priests.
Today the mission has become charismatic in its approach and its expression. Many charismatic programmes are being arranged in different villages by different denominations of Christianity. Catholics too are participating in these programmes. In order to respond to the need of the local Church, the selected number of catechists are called to get into the line of Charismatic teaching so as to quench the thirst of the faithful. Special personnel are contacted to organize this programme for the spiritual welfare of the mission. These personnel will enable the Catechists to improve their preaching skills and also teach the methods and ways to participate actively in the liturgical services.
These renewal programmes aim at the renewing of the knowledge and the faith of the lay leaders. Priests and lay leaders, who are specially trained for this, will guide the lay leaders to renew their knowledge.
Ecumenism and Dialogue
Our country is a secular country. And hence, it is an abode of multi-religions. Our mission is also composed of people belonging to many religions like Hinduism, Islam and other minor religions. In order to maintain friendly relationships with them and to have mutual understanding of the religions there is always a scope for dialogue. So to enter into the dialogue and have comprehensive understanding of the different religions, the lay leaders have to be equipped with knowledge of different religions in order to enter the inner space of different religions. Resourceful persons from different religions will be called for this purpose.
The Basic Christian Communities (BCCs) or the Small Christian Communities (SCCs) can be said to be places of focal points and vehicles for evangelization. The members of the Small Christian Communities are both hearers of the gospel and privileged beneficiaries of evangelization, as well as proclaimers of the gospel themselves and they do this both in words and in actions. In and through them, the poor hear the good news. Many Catholics today, through the Small Christian Communities have developed a new love for scripture and as such, they give witness to the truth of these words. They now explicitly discover the Word of God in the Bible as a source of nourishment for their religious life. The Word of God in scripture always serves as a source of inspiration and stimulation for their lives and actions. Special training will be given to the selected Catechists and they in turn go to the villages to train the animators of the local community.
2. Social Service Centre Director : Fr. Pasala Thomas