Office of Evangelization (Peace & Harmony)









Asian Mission Congress


Historical Notes on FABC Office of Mission/Evangelization

  1. The Central Committee established the Office in 1977 with Bishop Patrick D'Souza of Varanasi, India, as its Chairman. He continued as a one member Committee till 1979, when it was set up with five members.

  2. The first meeting of the FABC Secretariat for Apostolate and Missions was held on October 22, 1977 in the Collegio Urbano, Rome on the occasion of the Synod of Bishops on Catechesis. The purpose of the meeting was to draw up the outlines of a systematic plan of action for the FABC/M. It was a Consultation with five participants, Bishop Patrick D'Souza as Chairman of the FABC/M and Fr. Engelbert Zeitler, SVD as its Secretary, operating from Pune, India.

  3. This Consultation proposed among other things BIMAs (Bishops' Institute for Missionary Apostolate) or zonal meetings of the type of BISAs:

  4. A meeting of 7 experts representing the 3 Zones was held on December 10, 1977 to prepare a draft on BIMAs. The First BIMA was held in Baguio, Philippines from July 19-27, 1979. BIMA II was held in Trivandrum, India from November 22-30, 1980 for South Asia. BIMA III was held in Changhila, Taiwan from 17-25 August 1982. The objectives of BIMAs are:

  • To identify basic missionary problems of the local Churches and regions and to relate them to wider issues in an Asian context.
  • To point out the possible solutions.
  • To animate the participants for missionary action.
  • To create a sense of solidarity and co-responsibility among the Asian Churches while at the same time inculcating the principle of subsidiarity according to which every Church must be allowed to function on its own strength and be helped to the extent needed.


The BIMA IV was a Consultation on Islam. And it was a joint effort of BIMA and BIRA, but the Office of Mission was responsible for its organization. It was organized by the Islamic Studies Association, India from 23-25 November 1983.

  1. A planning sessio for the Mission Section of the FABC was held in Manila on December 4, 1979 in connection with Manila World Mission Congress attended by Bishop Patrick D'Souza, Chairman; Fr. Edward Malone, Dy. Secretary General, FABC, and Fr. E. Zeitler, SVD, Secretary of FABC/M. It drew up the future plans for missionary action, which were finalized at the first Joint Planning Meeting of the FABC Offices, July 13-16, 1981 in Hong Kong.

  2. A meeting of the FABC Office of Missions was held in Hong Kong in 1980 to review its identity and the terms of reference, and plan for the next two years.

  3. A planning session of the FABC Office of Mission organized at Majowe Centre, Plentong on 15 June 1983 was attended by 5 Bishops including Bishop Patrick D'Souza, Chairman and Fr. E. Zeitler, Secretary. At this meeting a proposal was made to change the name of the Office to Office for Evangelization. Reasons for change: There was general dissatisfaction with the present name "Office of Missions". "Mission" is not used any more after Evangelii Nuntiandi. It has also a pejorative connotation in many Asian countries. The new proposal: "OFFICE FOR EVANGELIZATION". This is also the present name for the "Mission Office" of the Church in Rome and has no negative connotations. It is not the ideal name either, but for our purpose it is good enough.

  4. The Report of the Office for Mission at the Joint Meeting of FABC Offices in Korea, May 7-9, 1984, among other things mentioned that :
  • A systematic documentation be made on the work of evangelization in Asia. The Ishvani Kendra Centre in India has started a library, covering Churches and countries of the FABC (so far a thousand books). The Report of the Office given on 15 June 1983 for the period from 1981-82, speaks of Ishvani Kendra as a missiological research, training and orientation center in Pune, India presently also acting as Secretariat of the Mission Office is building up a missiological library (at present 10,000 volumes) with specialization on Asia and a documentation center, and has already established an audio visual center for the missions. In due time similar arrangements elsewhere will fill up a long felt information gap concerning Churches in Asia.
  • This office should think of those areas which at present are not the primary responsibility of any office as it did for Laity in 1977, before the Committee for the Laity was set up. One such area now is priestly formation, initial and continued.
  • The question of a full time secretary is a complicated one. Is he the secretary of the Chairman or of the Office, one who continues even when the Chairman is changed? How can a Secretary function far away from the Chairman? Could we encourage the Secretary to build up a Secretariat?
  • All BIMAs, specially the consultation on Islam, have shown the importance of an integrated approach to ministry. Though each office has its own specific area of concern, the theme selected for reflection by one office, affects, often substantially, the other offices as well. Hence the need of collaboration. Consequently, the common meeting of all offices assumes a particular importance.
  1. Fr. Ed Malone, writing to Fr. Sebastian Karotemprel, successor of Fr. E Zeitler, on 31 March 1988, said: "I think we should settle on the name of your office as 'Office of Evangelization'".

  2. A meeting of the FABC Office of Evangelization was held on 16 January 2001, on the occasion of the FABC Central Committee meeting at the Archdiocesan Formation Center, Baan Phu Waan, Samphran. It discussed and finalized the plans for the next three years.






Executive Board


Most Rev. George Palliparambil, SDB

Bishop of Miao

Bishop Chairman - FABC OE


Most Rev. Bartolome Gaspar Santos

Bishop of Iba

Bishop Member - FABC OE


Most Rev. Simon Poh Hoon Seng

Archbishop of Kuching

Bishop Member - FABC OE


Most Rev. Joseph Son Sam-seok

Bishop of Busan

Bishop Member - FABC OE


Most Rev. John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen

Bishop of Ratchaburin

Bishop Member - FABC OE


Rev. Dr. Camillus Fernando

Exe Colombo Catholic Press

Ganartha Pradeepaya Mawatha,

Colombo 08


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