Bishop Bosco Penha is the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay in India. He is also the Director of Small Christian Communities in the Archdiocese. Regarding the well-organized communities in the area numbering nearly 1800, he writes the following.
- The SCC project entered the archdiocese through what is known as the Bombay Priests’ Synod of 1980 which made a declaration that every parish and every priest would give a priority to the building of Small Christian Communities.
- The work actually began in a systematic manner in June 1984; thus the year 2009 will make 25 years that this effort is on. As a result almost every parish in the archdiocese is now structured into SCCs. We have approximately 1800 communities and 12,000 animators (between 5-10 animators per community, on an average).
- An Auxiliary Bishop (myself) is in charge of the entire project and is helped by a team of around 25 persons, consisting of priests, the religious and laity, known as the F.I.L.M.C. (Formation and Involvement of the Laity in the Mission of the Church) Team, which services the SCC programs in parishes. It is largely due to this team that the project has been successfully implemented in every nook and corner of the archdiocese.
- The SCCs implement programs of various types: religious, socio-cultural, outreach, civic and political. Of these, the SCCs are generally stronger in the first three and weaker in the latter two categories. Nevertheless many beautiful acts of love and mutual helpfulness take place all around the archdiocese because of these SCCs.
- At the present historical juncture of the growth of the SCC project in the archdiocese, we have initiated two new moves:
- To break-up the communities into smaller clusters of families for more effective involvement. Thus far, the average community size is about 50 families and from this large number, some are likely to slip through without taking part in the SCC activities. Hence we have suggested breaking up of these Small Christian Communities (SCCs) into smaller clusters of about ten families each.
- Every community is now requested to organize a youth group so that we are able to get more youth involved in the SCCs and through the SCCs, in the parish at large.
Director of SCCs
Archdiocese of Bombay
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