Coming close to its 50th Year of existence, the East Asian Pastoral Institute is a Jesuit – run residential pastoral institute for renewal, updating, sabbatical and leadership training. It is located within the beautiful sprawling campus of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. Yearly, the EAPI houses around seventy men and women from different parts of the world – laity, religious and clergy – who live together as one family, and are taking time to be in the programs that suit their specific needs for personal renewal, a “spiritual pause and review of life”, growth and greater effectiveness in their ministries as pastoral ministers and leaders of communities.
In keeping with tradition and spirit of Vatican II , the EAPI is a unique place and a community for the on-going integral formation of pastoral workers in a multi-cultural context of faith. For more than fifty years, we have sought to provide training and formation program and a community experience, which integrate faith and life, within the cultural heritage of many countries, especially of Asia and the Pacific.
As an intercultural co-educational academic community, the EAPI is certainly unique. The exposure to and immersion in such a group is in itself a process of authentic conscientization. It sharpens the sensitivity and widens the understanding of social, cultural and political situations, as experienced by the participants. It offers numerous points of reference to evaluate local situations and to discern specific plans of action. It challenges in many subtle ways the quality of our Christian vision and, of course, the degree of one’s personal, psychological maturity.
EAPI continues to respond to the invitation by Pope Francis who urges us to create spaces where pastoral workers can be helped and healed, “places where faith itself in the crucified and risen Jesus is renewed, where the most profound questions and daily concerns are shared, where deeper discernment about our experiences and life itself is undertaken in the light of the Gospel, for the purpose of directing individual and social decisions towards the good and beautiful”.