At the Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC). We experience the joy of reaching out to hundreds of people, many belonging to other faiths, to spread the great message of God’s love for us, His children.


Dear Child of God, I request you to lift your hearts to God and join me as I pray: Loving Father, pour out your abundant LOVE into the hearts of the reader and the hearers through the Holy Spirit, whom you have given as your gift to us. Dear Holy Spirit, fill them with divine wisdom to know and love you. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.



Catholic Information Service Society (CISS) is a diocesan print media communication centre. The Ahmedabad Diocese has entrusted the Centre to the Society of Jesus in Gujarat to run it. A Jesuit priest, Fr Varghese Paul is its Founder-Director. He has run it from its beginning in 1984.

The specific purpose of the Centre is to inform, instruct and motivate all interested people to encounter God through Jesus Christ. CISS works to help all people of good will to respond to the stirring of the Spirit in their hearts to know, love and follow Jesus Christ as the fullness of their life.

For this purpose CISS conducts free correspondence courses on Jesus Christ and the Bible through specially prepared graded literature for different target groups, especially for the people of other faiths. “We reach out to all people of good will through advertising our correspondence courses in daily newspapers all over Gujarat and in Mumbai. The beauty is that we are not imposing on anybody our free correspondence courses. People seeing our advertisements have to take the initiative to contact us to receive our graded literature on Jesus Christ and the Bible.

Apart from advertisements in Gujarati dailies it is noteworthy that our biggest promoters are our enquirers or students of other faiths who introduce our correspondence courses to their friends and acquaintances.

In its pursuit to help all persons and the whole person to encounter God in all situations and needs, CISS maintains a reading room and lending libraries of books of about 5000 titles in English, Gujarati and Hindi, and video cassettes and CDs of about 650 titles. CISS also reaches out to disadvantaged groups like prisoners and inmates of the homes of delinquent children and leper asylums through literature. It offers all these people entertainment programmes on specific occassions like Christmas, New Year, Easter and Diwali.

CISS also works as a public relation office for the Catholic Church in Gujarat and does liaison work with print media establishments and the personnel working in mass media.

CISS promotes values of truth, secularism as well as equality of all peoples and races in the media. To achieve this goal CISS through its director makes regular contributions to the press media and also conducts year-long professional journalism programmes for a few select students from tribal and backward communities offering a stipend for deserving candidates.

CISS has a long history if one takes into account its predecessor Catholic Enquiry Centre which was started by Fr Francisco Zubeldia, SJ at Surat and then transfered to Ahmedabad and run from Mount Carmel Cathedral for many years.

But CISS in its present form was launched in 1984 as a registered non-profit Charitable Trust and Society in the service of all people in Gujarat irrespective of their caste and creed.

One of the first activities of CISS was editing and publishing the Golden Jubilee Souvenir of the Ahmedabad Diocese. It is an outstanding record of the Catholic Church in Gujarat with information and statistics especially about important services rendered by the Catholic Church and specially about parish churches and religious congregations and missionary institutions in the Church!

Over the years CISS has registered over 35,500 people for its correspondence courses on Jesus Christ and the Bible. This writer has the privilege of managing its activities for the past 21 years. These years also saw the writer establish himself as a recognized literary writer in Gujarati with 21 books to his credit. Fr Varghese Paul’s 19 books are published by secular literary publishers and booksellers in Gujarat and Mumbai.

I believe that CISS has made a difference for the Church in Gujarat. The responses to our correspondence courses indicates that we have been able to remove a lot of prejudices, ignorance and antagonism against Christians and Christian institutions in Gujarat.

I consider it our greatest achievement that thousands of people in the state have come to know and love Jesus. Many have accepted. Jesus as their ‘Ishta dev’, that is, the God of their personal choice among the Hindu pantheon.

The special attraction of our correspondence courses is that it is free. It is also the difficult part of my work as I need to raise funds year after year for printing literature, putting newspaper advertisements and paying ever increasing salaries of the staff personnel. But the most consoling and rewarding part is that Jesus is proclaimed to people who would not have known him otherwise.

It is marvelous to know from the letters of appreciation from some of our students that they have transforming experiences of encountering Jesus in studying our correspondence courses. I am also happy to note that I get good support and collaboration from one and all in this ministry of promoting communal harmony and inter-religious amity.

Fr Varghese Paul, SJ
President's ACECI

"Let there be one body and one spirit, for God, in calling you,gave the same spirit to all.One Lord, one faith, one baptism."(Ephesians 4:4-5)

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