The Department of Pastoral Praxeology was brought to life within the structure of the Institute of Pastoral Theology at the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin under the regulation of the university president as of 11 June 2014, regarding the transformation of the Department of Sociology of Religion, the Department of Charity Theology, and the Department of Organization of Pastoral Care into one department. The staff of the newly-established Department of Pastoral Praxeology are the scientific and didactic workers of the former departments: Rev. Professor Wiesław Przygoda, also performing the function of the head of the department, and Rev. Professor Dariusz Lipiec, professor of KUL and Rev. Professor Kazimierz Święs.

The Department of Pastoral Praxeology benefits from methodological experience, academic research and works by the former workers of the previously mentioned departments which form the basis and the departing point for carrying out further research in various aspects of religious life of the faithful, and various forms of the redeeming activity of the Church in Poland. The Department of Sociology of Religion boasts the longest tradition as it was established under the regulation of the Council of the Faculty of Theology and accepted by the Academic Senate of KUL as of 23 May 1958. It belonged, together with the Department of the General Pastoral Theology and the Department of Pastoral Psychology, to the structure of the Section of Pastoral Theology, established in 1958 during a higher course of theology at KUL. A few eminent scholars worked in of the Department of Sociology of Religion within the 56 years of its existence, e.g. Rev. Professor Józef Majka, Rev. Professor Władysław Piwowarski, Rev. Prof. Kazimierz Ryczan. In 1968, by the decree of the Sacred Congregation of Catholic Institutions (Sacrae Congregationis pro Institutione Catholica), the Section of the Pastoral Theology was transformed into the Institute of Pastoral Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin, with the still existing Department of Sociology of Religion with Rev. Professor W. Piwowarski as the department head from 1969/1970. In 1992-2011 the head of the Department of Sociology of Religion was Rev. Professor K. Ryczan, who, still being an academic worker of KUL, was consecrated on the 11th September 1993 and began his ordinary service in the Kielce diocese. In 2011-2014 the head of the department was Rev. K. Święs, the current worker of the Department of Pastoral Praxeology. Academic workers of the Department of Sociology of Religion made a major contribution into, among others, development of social research into religiousness in Poland, development of research tools, and also development of pastoral-theological research at KUL. A tangible effect of the academic activity in the department, apart from numerous publications, is the number of the supervised PhD theses: Rev. J. Majka – 9, Rev. W. Piwowarski – 62, Rev. K. Ryczan – 14, Rev. K. Święs – 1.

            The Department of Organization of Pastoral Care was established in 1974. The academic research performed in the department led to the development of models of pastoral activity in the Church. From the very beginning until 1991, the head of the Department of Organization of Pastoral Care was Rev. Professor Romuald Rak. In 1991-1998 this function performed by Rev. Professor Ryszard Kamiński. From 1998, as a result of organizational changes within the Faculty of Theology, the research topics concerning the organization of pastoral care were undertaken by the Department of Specific Pastoral Theology. Under the regulation of the Senate of the Catholic University of Lublin as of 26th Janurary 2012, the academic work within the Department of Organization of Pastoral Care was resumed, and Rev. D. Lipiec became the head. Among the academic achievements of its workers, apart from numerous publications, is the number of supervised PhD theses: Rev. R. Rak – 24, Rev. K. Kamiński – 54.

 

The Department of Charity Theology was established by the Council of the Faculty of Theology and the Academic Senate of the Catholic University of Lublin on 1st October 2005. Its first and so far the only head was Rev. Professor Wiesław Przygoda. In 2007-2012 Rev. D. Lipiec was an assistant lecturer and then an assistant professor in the department. The main area of research of the Department of Charity Theology was to look for theological, anthropological, historical, and social foundations of the charitable activity of the Church and to develop pastoral models of charity within the Church structures, both general and local, as well as in parishes. A main source of knowledge was also a critical analysis of the Church teaching concerning charity service, especially from the time of the pontificate of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. The subject of research was also the state of poverty of the Polish society in an existential, psychic, social, and spiritual dimension. In order to determine the state and character of the poverty of the Polish society, the workers and PhD students of the Department of Charity Theology carried out their own empirical research and analyzed the available results of the studies performed in Poland by some other centers.

An important direction of research for the Department of Charity Theology was to look for new forms of cooperation between the Church and the state in order to solve the problems of the poor and rejected. A form adequate to the contemporary challenges is voluntary service, the development of which yet requires many analyses and regular conceptual work. The Department of Charity Theology initiated a research project concerning the apostolic dimension of voluntary service behind Caritas in Poland, summed up by the book publication titled: Apostolski wymiar wolontariatu charytatywnego w Polsce. Studium teologicznopastoralne na podstawie badań wolontariuszy z parafialnych zespołów Caritas (”Apostolic dimension of charity voluntary service in Poland. A theological-pastoral study on the basis of interviews with voluntary workers from the parish groups of Caritas”), Lublin: Wydawnictwo TNKUL 2012. Rev. D. Lipiec carried out some research concerning pastoral care of the blind and the short-sighted, crowned with the postdoctoral dissertation titled: Duszpasterstwo niewidomych i słabowidzących w Polsce. Studium teologicznopastoralne (“Pastoral care of the poor and the short sighted in Poland. A theological-pastoral study”). Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL 2011. The Department of Charity Theology cooperated with Caritas Polska and the Charity Commission of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate, as well as with PosT-Netzwerks der mittel- und osteuropäischen Pastoraltheologinnen und Pastoraltheologen, European Society of Catholic Theology, and many other scientific centers and associations in Poland. In 2005-2014 Rev. W. Przygoda supervised 11 Phd theses.

Academic workers of the Department of Pastoral Praxeology, established in 2014, are mostly preoccupied with three major areas of research: sociology of religion, organization of pastoral care, charity theology. As it could be seen: these are areas of research which are quite diverse content-wise, yet also have some common denominator. This is the common subject of research understood as religious life of Christians and the stimulating redeeming activity of the Church, as well as analyses of a praxeological character. The aim of the research is not only to develop the pastoral theory but also to refine the praxeological models of pastoral activity of the Church in Poland.