By Sujata Jena
Rome, April 25, 2019: As many as 52 priest and nuns from 19 countries are currently undergoing a training program in Rome to become development personnel.
“Many congregations today experience a bottle neck situation, of drying of traditional sources and emergence of new mission territories demanding financial resources. Responses are not easily available,” says Claretian Father Lord Winner, organizer of the April 23- 27 “Project Management and Fundraising Training.”
Leaders of congregations and bishops are overwhelmed by such situations and genuinely seek credible answers, says the Indian priest, who is the general mission procurator of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as Claretian Missionaries.
Father Winner, who coordinates the program at the Institute of Theology of Consecrated Life Claretianum, also observed that many challenges from technological advances and discerning donors evolve the philanthropic landscape at a faster pace.
The training project is one of the responses and a joint venture of Proclade Internazionale Onlus, Mission Project Service (USA) and the Institute of Theology of Consecrated Life Claretianum.
They have decided to conduct similar programs during the Easter holidays starting from this year.
The Training brings together experts from Catholic donor agencies, development consultants, practitioners of religious congregations, dioceses and laity to explore a viable solution for replication across the world in Catholic development practice.
Most priests and Religious working as mission procurators and development officers have expressed that they lack skills required to fulfil their responsibility, Father Winner said.
Thousands of Catholic organizations engaged in development practice all over the world look for contemporary theories and practice guidelines.
The training aims to empower such people to procure funds for the apostolate using scientific methodology.
The priest pointed out that the Catholic Social Teaching is linked with social work and Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
The training offers a five-day package where the participants learn the components of project management as well as theories of fundraising. The intensive training comprises important topics such as theory of change, participatory project planning, logical framework approach and project cycle management.
The participants get ample chances to interact with representatives of major Catholic donor agencies to learn current trends in fundraising, priorities of donors and sharing of success stories.
The program offers expert advice to set up dynamic project management offices in congregations and organizes one to one meeting with donor agency representatives