Santa Clara University

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

Local Ecclesiologies in Dialogue

At the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley Co-sponsored by Santa Clara University May 28-31, 2009


A video of the Local Ecclesiologies in Dialogue Conference is available to view. Click here to be redirected to YouTube to view the video.


To initiate a dialogue and foster mutual understanding among representatives from a wide cross section of the world's cultures concerning issues of theological and pastoral concern in the local churches.


The following papers were written by attendees of the conference. They are no longer available for download, but many are included in Many Tongues, One Spirit: Local Ecclesiology in Dialogue (Solstice Press, 2013), edited by Thomas Cattoi, Ph.D.


In consultation with colleagues around the world, JST invited both theologians and theologically trained people working at the grassroots level to participate in this conference.

Faculty and Pastoral Workers from Asia:
Faculty from Africa:
  • Orobator Agbonkhianmeghe, SJ (Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Margaret Aringo, FSJ (Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Yvon Christian Elenga, SJ (Institute of Theology, Abidjan, Ivory Coast)
  • Gabriel Mmassi, SJ (Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya)
Faculty from Latin America:
Faculty from Europe:
Faculty and Pastoral Workers from the United States:
Offering Theological Reflection:


The planning committee at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley envisioned a participative process. Attendees had the opportunity to share their experience of the context from which they come and to be enriched by conversing with others.


Thursday, May 28
  • Welcoming and Evening prayer - 5:00 Gesù Chapel
  • Dinner (light) and Social - 6:00 Chardin House
Friday, May 29
  • 7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast
  • Session 1: 8:30 - 10:00
    1. Evelyn Monterio, SCC, and Selva Rathinam, SJ (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune) One Indian Church or Many Local Churches of India? "An Emerging Vibrant Church of Adivasis" (Sr. Evelyn); "The Emergence of 'a Dalit Face' in the Indian Church." (Fr. Selva).
    2. Brett Hoover, CSP (GTU, Berkeley) God's Scattered Children: Local Theologies of Mission from a Parish Shared by Mexican Immigrants and Euro-Americans in the U.S. Midwest.
    3. Shu-Chin Hu, FI (Fu-jen University, Taipei) Theological Method: Some Thoughts on the Mystagogy Based on Karl Rahner's Mystical Thought.
    4. Yvon Christian Elenga, SJ. (Institute of Theology, Abijan) Dynamics of African Ecclesiology
    5. Nicanor Sarmiento, OMI (Cuzco, Peru) The Emergence of Indigenous Local Churches in Latin America: Towards an Andean Ecclesiology
  • 10:00 Break
  • Session 2: 10:30 - 12:00
    1. Alexander Zatyrka, SJ (UIA, Mexico City) Emerging Successful Ecclesiologies: The Autochthonous Church in the Bachajón Mission, Chiapas.
    2. Gabriel Mmassi, SJ (Hekima College, Nairobi) Palaver: A Challenge for African Church Leadership.
    3. Thierry Robouam, SJ (Sophia University, Tokyo) Heterodox and Nomadic Speech: Catholic Priest Teaching Buddhism in Japan.
    4. Olga Consuelo Vélez Caro (Javeriana, Bogota) Pastoral Practice and the Theological Activity Within the Scope of the Ecclesial Community Construction.
    5. Bismoko, SJ (Facultas Teologi Wedabhakti, Yogyakarta) When the Peasants Become Teachers: From Social and Ecological Consciousness through Rituals to the Communication of that Consciousness through Immersion Programs.
  • 12:00 Liturgy
  • 12:45 Lunch
  • Session 3: 2:30 - 4:00
    1. Fu Lan Yap (Archdiocese of Jakarta) "Catechesis for the Oppressed Society" Inter-Diocesan Catechetic Conference of Indonesia (ICCI) IX Seeking a Strategy for Engagement in the Broken Society. 
    2. Heru Prakosa, SJ (Facultas Teologi Wedabhakti) Building Interreligious Dialogue as Survivors in Line with Local Wisdom.
    3. Bishop Franciso Claver, SJ (Diocese of Bontoc-Lagawe, Philippines) Strategies and Modalities of Social Justice Engagement in the Philippine Church.
    4. Orobator Agbonkhianmeghe, SJ (Hekima College, Nairobi) Ecclesia in Africa: Strategies and Modalities of Social Justice Engagement.
    5. Poulose Mangai, SJ (Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi) Strategies and Modalities of Social Justice Engagement in My Community.
  • 4:00 Opening Remarks, Virgilio Elizondo, Mexican American Catholic College, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Barbeque Supper
Saturday, May 30
  • 7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast
  • Session 4: 8:30 - 10:00
    1. Margaret Guider, OSF (Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry) Theology of Extinction: Making Meaning of the Decline and Demise of Parishes, Institutional Ministries and Religious Congregations—A Theological Imperative for the Church in the United States.
    2. Francis Gonsalves, SJ (Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi) Glocalizaton: Problems and Prospects for Theology.
    3. Margaret Aringo, FSJ (Hekima College, Nairobi) Theological Method: A Contextual Reading of the Parable of the Vineyard (Mk 12:1-12).
    4. Geraldo De Mori, SJ (Faculty of Philosopy and Theology, Belo Horizonte, Brazil) Doing Theology From the Bases in Brazil: New Challenges.
  • 10:00 Break
  • Session 5: 10:30 - 12:00
    1. Rev. James Ponniah (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune) The Story of 'Bible Mission': The call of a Lay Man and his Ministry.
    2. Anne Grycz (Diocese of San Jose, California) Vocation of the Laity.
    3. Bienvenu Mayemba, SJ (Institute of Theology, Abijan) The Prophet and the Good Samaritan: Reclaiming the Church's Credibility and Relevance in Africa: A Voice from D.R. Congo.
    4. Fred Bugarin (Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska) Faith-based Community Organizing: Putting Faith into Action.
  • 12:00 Community prayer
  • Session 6: 2:00 - 3:30—Student session, New Horizons of Theology and Church: Listening to the Next Generation.
  • Plenary Session: 3:30 - 4:00—"Where do we go from here?"
  • Festive Dinner at Santa Clara University
    Speaker: Robert Schreiter, CPPS, from the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, reflecting on what's happened thus far.
Sunday, May 31
  • 9:30 Mass at St. Patrick's Parish, West Oakland
  • Reception/lunch
The Planning Committee:

Thomas Cattoi
Eduardo Fernandez, S.J.
Gina Hens-Piazza
Bruce Lescher
Rob McChesney, S.J.
For further information contact: