ARUA DIOCESE WEBSITE>> DIOCESAN SYNOD 2005 - Related: Church teaching on integral development - Fr. Sabino Anyanzo



It is Christ who tells us how his church should live in these days. His plan is our plans as the local church of Arua. Poverty is one of the things that dehumanizes our people and affects the work of evangelization.
Christ said “I have come that they may have life and have it to the Full” Jn 10:10 we would like to put it clearly that the followers of Christ must avoid tragic separation between faith and every day life. They can neither shrike their earthly duties, nor, as second Vatican council declared “Immerse themselves in earthly foreign to religion and were nothing more than the fulfillment of acts of worship and the observance of a few moral obligation” (Pastoral Constitution on the church in the Modern World no 43).

By this Synod we believe that people shape the economy and in turn they are shaped by it. Economic arrangements can be sources of fulfillment of hope of the community or of frustration, isolation and even despair, they teach virtues or vices and day by day help to mold our characters. They affect the quality of people’s live at the extreme even determining whether people live or die. Serious economic choices go beyond purely technical issues to fundamental questions of value and human purpose. We believe in facing these questions, the teachings of the church and moral tradition can make an important contribution.


Our theme Economic empowerment of the Christians and Christian Communities sums up the many steps we want to take during the coming five years and beyond in order to reduce and alleviate poverty so that our Christians and Christian communities live full spiritual and human life.
Poverty is one of the greatest scandals of our time because it is an attack on human dignity. When people are unable to meet their basic needs, such as housing, food, clothing, security, health and especially work, then they are indeed poor.
In our pastoral plans we would like to address the root causes of poverty in Arua Diocese like misdirected priorities dependence thinking, lack of awareness, lack of skills and knowledge, lack of Co-operation especially among men. Negative beliefs, customs and superstitions lack of capital and saving, irregular rainfall. We want our plans to be person centered because one of the reasons for the failure, of the past efforts by the church and other organizations and the government, to reduce the level of poverty is aiming to do something “for the poor” rather than “doing with the poor”. In this way we shall be able to empower them. As the Second Vatican Council explained the importance of the development of people in the document. “It states just as human activities proceeds from man, so it is ordered towards man, for when a man works he not only alters things and society, he develops himself as well. He learns much, he cultivates his resources, he goes outside of himself and beyond himself. Rightly understood, this kind of growth is of greater value than any external riches. A man is more precious for what he is than for what he has”. (GS no 35).
Therefore by economic empowerment we want to mean;
• Ability to set up the community’s standard of living
• Ability to restore human dignity of every human being
• Ability to identify and mobilize resources
• Ability to have access to property and ideas.

When the above are being done we will be empowering the Christians and Christian Communities.
This means that all stakeholders intensify ‘their activities right from the families small Christian Communities, Chapel Parish, Diocesan departments and institutions. Much has to be done to the families and Sccs so that they became a Center for spiritual and material development of the Christians. Therefore the role of parents and Sccs be reinforced in order to change the negative attitudes of the people.
The diocesan departments and institutions must be restructured with regard to logistics and personnel in order to give good service to the Christians and Christian Communities. A special attention is to be given to vocations office, Justice and peace commission, Arua Diocese Garage and Procure, and income Generating institutions.

Our Pastoral Plans Builds on the Work of the Past.

We have already gone through three Synods, where we were able to use the time talents, energy and lives of our Christians so that the faith might take root throughout our diocese.
The plans of this Fourth Synod is an expression of that gratitude. We have gone through a variety of activities, Christian education of children and adolescents, ministry to youth, adult catechesis, caring of the sick, here we do not want to overlook the effort in fighting HIV/Aids, the poor and the needy; encouraging vocation to the priesthood and religious life; preparing couples for Christian marriage enriching marriage and family life, in cultivating participation in liturgy; making parishes self-supporting, training local leaders, building up lay movements establishing small Christian communities.
The purpose of this synod pastoral plan is not to do away with all these but to empower the Christians and Christian communities by providing them with a vision within which they can relate the plans to one another.
We believe that as a community we can work to reduce the poverty level in our area. Therefore the poor must be provided with a means to help themselves through learning opportunities, ready access to the means of production, provision of affordable basic services and the protection of law. Self-reliance is the means to this through economic empowerment.
Therefore we make the following plans of action as we continue to implement the previous plans of the past Synod.

Responsibilities of families and Small Christian Communities

1. Parents shall teach their children the true value of material goods. Children must grow up with a correct attitude of freedom with regard to work and material goods, by adopting a simple and austere life style and being and being fully convinced that a person is more precious for what s/he is than for what s/he has. Every SCC shall discuss this issue and determine ways forward at their community meetings at least six times a year using materials like God renews the world through us.

2. Parents shall within these five years teach children the right use of leisure. Excessive use of the media for passive entertainment displaces conversation and other activities, such as reading and handicrafts and so prevents children’s development. Every SCC shall discuss this issue and determine ways forward at their community meetings at least six times a year.

3. Parents shall prefer choosing a sound Catholic school for their children’s education. Sound Catholic schools are a great help to parents in fulfilling their responsibilities regarding the religious formation and moral education of their children. Parish Education Committees shall ensure that PTA’s exist in every Catholic-founded school and that parents take an active role in the PTA meetings.

4. Parents shall provide their children proper and timely education in sexuality. Children should not be told everything about sexuality all at one time. Instead, some aspects of sexuality shall be explained repeatedly and in different ways as they mature. The chapel family life coordinator shall discuss this issue and ways forward with the parents when they meet during sacrament preparation sessions (Infant Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation).

5. Parents shall try to find or form a suitable community where they can be fully involved in the SCC activities. Since a hostile social environment makes it far more difficult for parents to fulfill their responsibility, they should try, to raise their children in a community friendly to their faith. Every SCC shall discuss this issue and determine ways forward at their community meetings at least six times a year.


6. The DFPC in collaboration with the Parish and chapel Finance, Planning and Development Committees shall encourage and develop schemes for savings and investments for Christians and Diocesan Institutions by the end of 2007.

7. The Diocesan Finance and Planning Commission in collaboration with the Parish Finance, Planning and Development Committee shall establish at least one vital income Generating Activity for each parish by the end of 2009.

8. The Priests saving in the parishes and parish pastoral council shall help the community to identify their needs, prioritize them and identify the sources of income to achieve then annually.

9. The Caritas Department in collaboration with the Diocesan Finance and Planning Commission shall develop materials and training for use in parishes on self-reliance at lower levels in regard to human, spiritual and material resources annually. The Diocesan Technical Institution shall promote the training of our youth to instill in them skills and spirit of self-reliance.

10. The Caritas Department in collaboration with the deans shall establish catholic cooperatives societies and village banks for the farmers by the year 2007. the Caritas Department with the help of CERUDEB and other Microfinance Institutions shall revitalize the activities of loans to groups.


11. Diocesan Education Commission shall develop materials to be used by the Parish and chapel Education Committees to sensitize teachers and parents on the importance of vocational and technical schools. The materials shall be ready at the end of 2006.

12. The chapel Pastoral Council shall meet and identify persons to be trained as instructors who be trained be the Diocesan Education Commission using the materials developed by it by the end of 2007. The Parish Education Committee shall supervise the learning process.

13. The Diocesan Education Commission shall develop Constitution for Catholic Teachers’ Association to guide the association. Every Parish Priest shall facilitate the formation of the Catholic Teacher’s Association not later than 2006.

14. The On-going formation Commission shall appoint a committee of four persons to research or make feasibility studies on necessary requirements, finances, etc for the establishment of a theological school and make recommendations ready for the Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting of 2007.

15. The Diocesan Education Commission shall develop policies for the management and government of Catholic founded schools to be approved by the local ordinary by the end of 2006.

Vulnerable and Disabled

16. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office shall establish and train Parish Health Committees which shall identify health Conditions of the Vulnerable and disabled groups in the Christian Committees by the end of the year 2006.

17. The Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission shall establish Parish and chapel Justice and Peace Committees who shall carry out sensitization programme on the rights of vulnerable and disabled groups in the Christian Communities by the end of the year 2006.

18. The Diocesan Education Commission and Parish Education Committees shall identify the educational needs of the vulnerable and disabled groups and after relevant education opportunities for the same, in the Christian Communities by the year 2010.

19. The Pastoral Finance Planning Committees in collaboration with Parish/Chapel Pastoral Councilors shall sensitize the Christian Communities on their solidarity role towards the vulnerable/disabled groups within the Christian Communities.

20. The Parish/Chapel Finance, Planning and Development Committees in collaboration with the office of Caritas/SSD shall ensure that vulnerable/disabled groups in their Christian Communities form their own Associations in their Christian Communities to enable them to have joint ventures.

21. The Parish Finance, Planning & Development Committees shall establish Parish Agricultural Committees and train them by the end of 2006.

22. The Parish Pastoral Council together with Parish Finance, Planning and Development Committee shall acquire a piece of land at zone level for demonstrations by the meddle of 2007.

23. The Department of Caritas/SSD in collaboration with Parish/Chapel Agricultural Committee shall ensure food security in the communities and encourage proper storage facilities by the year 2007.

24. Parish/Chapel Agricultural Committees shall encourage Christian Communities to form cooperatives to market their goods by the 2007.

Land and Its Use

25. The Diocesan Land Board in collaboration with Parish Pastoral shall ensure the formation of Parish and Chapel land Committees and train them on the “Land Acts” by 2007.

26. The Chapel land Committees in collaboration with the Parish Land Committee and Diocesan Land Board shall acquire land and lease it for the chapels and encourage the families to ensure the ownership proper use and conservation of their land by the end of the 5 years (2006-2010).

27. The chapel Land Committee in collaboration with Parish Land Committee shall sensitize the Christians and the Sccs to make proper use of their land for crop and animal farming for 2006 to 2010.

28. The Diocesan finance & Planning Commission in Collaboration with Diocesan Land Board shall seek to acquire land for extensive and integrated farming by the year 2010.


29. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with Pastoral Coordinator’s Office (Family Life Desk) shall organize to meet and plan for trainings with the parish/chapel CFA educate the Christians about the dangers of Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Suicide from 2006 onwards.

30. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Diocesan Youth Office/Catholic Associations and Movements and Health Centres (or Parish Health Committees) shall organize awareness course, trainings and counseling on HIV/AIDS through Music, Drama, Poems and films in the parishes, chapels and schools for the Christians from 2006 onwards.

31. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Health Centres/Parish Health Committees shall identify and organize the traditional medical practitioners together in each parish/chapel for training/sharing of ideas to help the Christian community Communities on Health issues from 2006 to 2010.

32. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Health Committees formed at all levels shall ensure that Primary Health Care Services rich the Christians at all levels by 2008.

33. The Diocesan Health Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Pastoral Coordinator’s Office shall ensure that functional Health Commission/ Committees be formed at functional Health Commission/Committees be formed at all levels by December 2006.

Vocation and Seminary

34. The Diocesan Vocations Director’s Office shall form a functional Diocesan Vocations Commission which shall ensure that Vocations Teams are formed in all the parishes and chapels by the year 2006, for effective advocacy and animation of vocations in all the schools by the year 2007.

35. The Rector of Pokea Seminary shall establish PTA for the Seminary by the year 2006.

36. The Bishop (of Arua and Nebbi) and the Diocesan Vocations Commission shall study the possibility of having foster Parents and scholarships for seminarians by the year 2007.

37. The Parish Finance, Planning and Development Committees, and Vocations Teams shall find ways of supporting Pokea Seminary and Major Seminarians annually by special collections, contributions, fundraising and income generating activities from 2006 to 2010.

Personnel Development and Management

38. The Diocesan Finance and Planning Commission with the Diocesan Personnel Board shall develop an Employment and Retirement Policy by the of the year 2006. This shall include Personnel/staff development Programme.

39. The Personnel Board in collaboration with the Diocesan Finance and Planning Commission shall develop an Appointment and Transfer Policy concerning the Pastoral Agents of Arua Diocese to be approved by the Local Ordinary and the Presbyteral Council by the end of 2006. This must state clearly the direct role of the Christians in their welfare.

40. Arua Diocese CARITA/SSD department shall develop a staff Loan-Scheme in collaboration with the Diocesan Finance & Planning Commission by the end of 2007.

41. The Administrators at various levels shall be responsible to supervise staff and Pastoral Agents within their territories of jurisdiction as a routine. For Diocesan Departments, this shall be quarterly

Liturgy and Catechesis

42. The Pastoral Coordinator’s Office in collaboration with the Catechetical Commission shall prepare materials about the Social Teaching of the Church, justice and peace and defence of creation to be used for catechesis by the end of 2007.

43. The Pastoral Coordinator’s Office shall prepare courses for Parish leaders using the materials prepared on justice and peace, defence of creation by the end of 2007.

44. The diocesan Liturgy Commission shall prepare materials on the need to share with and to sacrifice for other as Christ Sacrificed himself for us. The materials shall be used by priests and catechists in their homilies several times every year to help Christians participate in the life of the church beyond the celebration of Mass.

45. The Pastoral Coordinator’s Office by the end of 2006 shall prepare materials on the theological and scriptural reasons on the duty of Christians to cooperate financially and materially on the needs of the church in the form of tithe, stole fee decimal and other forms of collections.

46. The Liturgy Commission in collaboration with the Diocesan Youth Office shall Organize Music, drama, and dance as a means to pass out the Gospel Massage and generate income for self-sustainability yearly from the year 2006.

Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue:

47. The Pastoral Coordinator’s Office shall set up a desk for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue to handle the issues arising among Catholics and other protestant denominations and other religions.

48. The Personnel Board in collaboration with SSD/CARITAS Department shall ensure that all institutions, cooperatives, groups, etc from grass root level upto Diocesan level are headed by Catholics but the personnel employed and beneficiaries may be all the people of God by the end of the year 2007.

49. The Ecumenism and Dialogue and Commission shall undertake research on why more Catholics are joining other religions rather than others joining the Catholics, poor material support by the Catholics to the Church, undermining Catholics in Business sector & politics by other religions.