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COVID-19: Equipping Pastoral Agents at ITCJ

Renaud Adjaho SJ

From Monday May 4th to Saturday 9th May 2020, the Centre de Counseling Professionnel et de Pastorale Clinique (COPAC) of l’Institut de Théologie de la Compagnie de Jésus (ITCJ) in collaboration with Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour la Paix (CERAP), organized a training program for priests and religious in Africa. The theme for this workshop was “Psycho-Pastoral listening and intervention in times of crisis.”

This workshop was carried out with the aim of equipping pastoral agents with the necessary tools to address the challenges that may arise in this period of crisis. The training workshop was carried out entirely online with the use of Zoom and Google Classroom platforms.

In all, about 30 participants, spread across different African countries (Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon and Angola) took part in this.

At the end of the program, which was spearheaded by Fr. Jean Messingué, SJ, the Director of COPAC, some of the participants had a few words to say which you will find below.

 

Testimonies:

  • "The image that best expresses what this formation was for me is that of the disciples of Emmaus. At the end of this session I leave enriched thanks to the various conferences and sharing of experiences."
  • “This training came to ease the trouble I was going through without even knowing it. I will now be able to help myself, and better help others to leave fear to find life in God."
  • “This formation has allowed me to open up new horizons, with regard to the pastoral care of my young confreres as well as the accompaniment of young people who come to me."
  • “This training will help me better manage my emotions and be useful to those going through a crisis related to COVID-19 and its consequences."
  • “I will now focus on empathetic listening in my pastoral practice in order to better understand people to better help them."
  • “I plan to speak with the parish priest about the achievements of this formation in order to readjust our pastoral plan."

Looking towards the future, the next module is scheduled to take off from 18-22 May, 2020 with a new group.