Priest Defends US Youth Ministry Model

Priest Defends US Youth Ministry Model

Fr. Emmanuel Kadankavil of Kalyan-Mumbai diocese. Photo: C.M. Paul, SDB

ROME, Italy – Fr. Emmanuel Kadankavil of Kalyan-Mumbai diocese has successfully defended his doctoral thesis on a U.S. model of youth ministry in catechetics, 7 June, at the Salesian University Rome.

“Realizing the urgency of intervention in the field of youth ministry and the need for providing a stronger foundation and vision to today’s youth ministry, I did a research on the relevance and importance of the model of youth ministry propounded by Maria Harris, an renowned American author and faith educator,” says Fr. Kadankavil.

The topic of his three years of research and study was: “Maria Harris’ Model of Youth Ministry: Integrating the Psychological and Spiritual Dimensions –  An Analytical Critical Study” Download Image

He says that his youth ministry experience both with the Salesians in Kolkata province and in the diocese of Kalyan-Mumbai, aw well as two years as chaplain at the University of Tor Vergata, Rome, motivated him to pursue his doctoral research on the theme.

He develops the topic by dwelling upon the five-fold dimensions of the model, viz., Didache, Leiturgia, Koinonia, Kerygma and Diakonia, giving emphasis to the psychological and spiritual dimensions of it.

Prof . Cyril De Souza SDB guided the study. The other professors on the examination panel were Prof. Jerome Vallabaraj SDB and Prof. Medeiros Damasio SDB.

“The uniqueness of the American author and teacher Maria Harris’ model consists in the fact that she has propounded a theory-based model of youth ministry which is holistic and integral,” opines Fr Kadankavil.

He adds, “my research is unique in as much as it is the first of its kind.”

Following an analytical and critical methodology he has highlighted the need for reformulation and adaptation of the youth ministry model to each situation and context. The basic approach to the research was one of theological and anthropological.

Born on 18th November 1966 in Thudanganad, Kerala, Fr. Kadankavil did his initial seminary formation with the Salesians of Don Bosco. As regent he taught literature and music in Salesian College Sonada, Darjeeling. In 1988 he joined the diocese of Kalyan and served as pastor, teacher and administrator in the diocese. He also holds a BA Hons. degree in Arts and Literature from North Bengal University, and a Diploma in Counselling and Spirituality from the Dharmaram University Bangalore.

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