Friday, December 23, 2011


Christmas is a joyous season because we recall a momentous event in the history of the Universe. God took on our flesh and blood, so that we could see God's compassionate face in Jesus of Nazareth.

The Incarnation has set in motion a process of healing the ruptured world and broken lives. We are so fortunate to be part of that process - experiencing healing and providing healing.

May this Christmas bring you healing and peace.

Special wishes to those of you have been part of the healing process at Sumedha Centre. May the New Year bring you many blessings as you continue your Psycho-Spiritual Wholeness Journey.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The last Sumedha Sadhana (Psychospritual Wholeness Journey) for the year 2011 concluded on November 29.  The sixty day programme commenced on October 01 and had 19 participants – 12 religious women, and 7 religious men and priests – the maximum the Centre was able to accommodate.

The major module was entitled “Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey” and was facilitated by Jose Parappully PhD, the Director of the Centre. Starting from the “Now Period” of their lives, participants were helped to take an inner journey back to the beginnings of their lives and forward to anticipated time of death. On that journey they explored such issues as Spirituality, Prayerfulness, Early Developmental Experiences, Midlife Dynamics of Identity, Intimacy, Generativity and Integrity, Stress and Professional Burnout, Body, Sexuality & Spirituality, Trauma, Healing & Transformation.

Ajoy Fernandes PhD facilitated a module entitled “Jungian perspectives on Self-Awareness” in which he helped the participants to t discover their personality type and its impact on their spirituality, discover and integrate their persona and shadow, their animus and anima.

Shalini Mulackal PhD explored feminist and women’s spiritualities with the participants. She explained the concepts and the dynamics involved in the context of women’s situation within Church and society.

The climax of the programme was the 10-day group therapy led by experienced psychotherapists Peter Lourdes PhD and Jose Parappully PhD and the 5-day spiritual retreat facilitated by Jose Parappully. The retreat integrated techniques and tools from directed and preached retreats, and used music and dance, and fantasy and somatic movement meditations.

Feedback from participants show that the quality and the effectiveness of the programme as a whole exceeded their expectations.

Some typical comments:

“Sumedha Sadhana was a programme that facilitated deep reflection on my life’s journey; very valuable inputs; opportunity and guidance to undertake processes that led me to deeper awareness and openness to God’s working within me; a beginning of the healing process in a number of areas…..My goals have been achieved…. EXCELLENT on every level.” Ananda

“Everything was super. I enjoyed every bit of my time spent here.” Mary K.

The course was very, very useful for me. It helped me to look into my self and evaluate my life from infancy to the present day. It was an experience of digging deep and discovering my self. I gained an understanding of Who am I? Where do I stand as a human being and as a committed person?.... On the whole this course was a real renewal of my life. The course was planned in a way that touched every aspect of my life….Hospitality, accommodation, food, services and facilities were all excellent. I felt really at home. Every minute need of ours was taken care of.” Lucy

“Before coming to Sumedha I was going through a lot of insecurity feelings, depressed at times, fear and anger I was facing. Now I feel I learned to handle and cope with all the happenings in my midlife.” Sushila

“Group therapy was really excellent and I gained a lot through the therapy…. I came empty to be filled, and now I go back full, experiencing freedom….Welcome, hospitality, accommodation, food, services were excellent. No where we will get such kind of services.” Mary J.

“My sumedha Experience will help me to lead a meaningful life and age gracefully.” Vimal

“The degree of usefulness is 10 out of 10. It has been useful to understand myself and my problems and given me understanding of causes of many of my personal problems…The subjects were dealt very carefully and in detail. The introspection every time was very useful. Combination of psychology and spirituality is par excellent.” Vineet

“First of all it was a whole lot of new learning. It was not just learning, but rather a process which took me through experiential awareness. Outcome for me is a determination to live this experience through a process of continued growth….According to me hospitality couldn’t be better. I was at home and you made it to be so. Accommodation and food was superb according to me. Every facility I received here at Sumedha was very satisfying.” Suneet

“The programme helped me to look at my spirituality in a very personal way. I am now able to look at my midlife and my future with calm and serenity.” George

“I needed a period of break, reflection and renewal. I fell that I got much of what I needed. The programme design was greatly appropriate for me. The spiritual orientation of the programme put me on a right track. I am able to forget much of the unpleasant past, and look ahead with hope.” Mathew

“Felt at home and felt most enriching experience.” Clement.

“Sumedha – the best place to experience love, care and God.” Francis

Monday, October 24, 2011


Fr. Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, was invited to address the Catholic Bishops of India at a seminar on “Priests for Our Times- the Role of Bishops” organised by the National Vocation Service Centre, Pune from 17th 21st October. The topic assigned to him was “Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Life.”

There were 33 bishops from all the three Indian Rites.

The topics that Fr. Parappully explored with the Bishops included: Some contemporary challenges such as general immaturity among priests, celibate loneliness, clericalism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse; healthy formation process, rethinking vocation recruitment, assessment and accompaniment of candidates to the priesthood and the need to put in place policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse by the clergy, to deal effectively with allegations of abuse and to care for victims of abuse.

The workshop helped the Bishops to address more seriously the issue of Psychosexual and Celibate Integration of priests and candidates to the priesthood.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Sumedha Centre was happy to host 10 Salesian priests from the provinces of Guwahati and Dimapur from 27 to 29 September. They were celebrating 25 years of priesthood.

The Jubilarians spent the first two days reflecting on and sharing their experiences of the past 25 years. Fr. Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha, took a session on Midlife Dynamics and their implications for priestly life and ministry, which gave them further matter for sharing.

As they were all new to the Kumaon Hills, the jubilarians took time on the third day to tour the area. They were quite impressed by the surroundings, and enjoyed their visit to the various lakes in the vicinity of Sumedha Centre.

September saw a number of Sumedha Outreach programmes led by its Director, Fr. Jose Parappully.

September 5-10.  Programme for Formators - Puri
A five-day programme for formators of the Orissa region was held at Ishopranti Ashram, Puri, Orissa. It was entitled “Healthy Formation Environment and Some Challenges.” There were 19 participants including rectors of seminaries and novice mistresses.

The programme began with a reflection on how participants felt about their ministry of formation and the formation process in general. The person of the formator, the formation environment, healthy psycho-sexual and celibate integration were some of the topics explored.

The formators found the programme very useful. It provided them awareness and insights about themselves and the formation process. The topic found most useful was “Psychosexual and Celibate Integration.” 

“The programme helped me to look at myself. I received helpful information and insights about myself and the formation process,” observed one participant.

“The topics were very well presented,” commented another.

“All formators should undergo a programme like this” was a suggestion made by several of the participants.

September 12-14. South Asian Formation Commission Meeting - Kolkata
Fr. Parappully was an invitee at the Meeting of the South Asian Formation Delegates from the various Salesian Provinces. Besides the delegates, the meeting was attended by Fr. Francesco Cereda, the Salesian General Councillor for Formation, Fr. Chrys Saldanha from the Formation Department at the Salesian Generalate in Rome, Fr. Loddy Pires, the Chairperson of the South Asian Formation Commission and Fr. E. A. Thomas, the Salesian Provincial of Kolkata.

On 13th Fr. Parappully explored the theme “Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity” in an interactive workshop. He had four 90-minute sessions with the participants. He presented some of the current challenges in the area of psychosexual and celibate integration and pointed out implications for formation.

The programme was held at the Salesian Provincial House in Kolkata.

September 19-24. Retreat for Priests- Varanasi.
Fr. Parappully facilitated a retreat for priests at Nav Sadhana, Varanasi from September 19 to 24. There were 36 priests from the diocese of Varanasi, Jamshedpur and Gumla.

The retreat focused on the identity and ministry of the priest as “Bearer of the Mystery of God and Doctor of the Soul.” The retreat – content and format - was much appreciated by the participants. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Another Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey programme (August 17-31) was completed successfully at Sumedha Centre. The 14 participants, coming from different parts of the country, were very satisfied with the programmes and the arrangement at Sumedha Centre. Evaluating the usefulness of the programme on a 10-point scale, 1 indicating “very little useful” and 10 indicating “very much useful,” nine of the 14 participants gave a perfect 10, and the other five 9. The most useful modules were Midlife Dynamics and Transformational Processes, Characteristics of a Mature Spirituality, and Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy. This interactive workshop was facilitated by Jose Parappully, PhD, the Director of Sumedha Centre and assisted by John Minj, the Administrator.

The workshop will be offered again next year, August 17-31.

Some Comments:

“Being at midlife, this was a great opportunity for me for self-exploration, assessment of my life, and integration. I am quite happy with the accommodation, food and the facilities provided here. The beautiful green mountains and the pleasant weather was an added privilege.” Anu

“Inputs and reflection, meditation, liturgy, movies, music…everything was good and inspiring. Timetable was very relaxing. Had enough time for everything.” Celine

“It was a healing, learning experience for me. Gave me so much self-awareness. It helped me to reconcile with many aspects of my past.” Innamma

“The presentation on Spirituality was so enriching. It gave me a very different understanding. The presentation on Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy was marvellous…The programme gave me energy to move on in life.” Jeya

“It was a moment of grace and gift. I am so glad I came.” Lincy.

“The programme helped me find a new direction. I go back enriched.” Philo

“Celibate friendship, celibate chastity, and intimacy were explained in detail…The four fold dynamics of Input, Introspection, Interaction, and Prayer created greater awareness in me…The whole approach was excellent. The presentation were so good. Never felt bored or sleepy.”  Sriya

“I came here very worried and anxious… However, the programme turned out to be a great opportunity for me, for which I am deeply grateful. The inputs enriched me, gave great insights into self.” Vinaya.


August 8 was the Birthday of Brother John, the Administrator at Sumedha Centre. John manages the administration – taking care of the buildings, the gardens, marketing, and managing the accounts – all by himself.

Since 28th was a Sunday and the parish was celebrating the feast of St. Monica, we had a Mass for John on 27th Saturday evening, followed by the ceremonial cutting of the cake.

On 28th evening we had a Birthday dinner at which along with the participants of the Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey programme going on at the Centre, we had as guests sisters from the two nearby convents and Fr. Julian Pinto, the Chancellor of Barelly diocese and Fr. Pius Menezes, Director of Suchetana Social Service Centre, Kathgodam, and our parish priest Fr. Simon D’Cuna..

Sunday, July 31, 2011


The focus of the programme was self-exploration and self-evaluation of current experiences in the light of the psychological dynamics of midlife and their impact on spirituality and planning how to live the second half of life more meaningfully and with greater self-integration.

The participants found the programme immensely useful and relevant. A number of participants experienced it as “a semi-retreat.” Though psychological, it was also deeply spiritual. The topic that was found most useful was “Midlife Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy Integration.”  This was a topic on which participants had many “doubts, fears and questions.” The programme got excellent rating from the participants. All except one gave a perfect 10 out of 10 on usefulness of the programme. The other participant gave a 9.

Some comments from the participants:

“For almost a year I had been feeling very dry in my spiritual life and I had lots of questions troubling me. The course really helped me to get into myself and find answers. I feel relaxed and refreshed.” Alphonsa

“The inputs were inspiring and very systematic and well integrated. The programme gave a deep understanding of myself. Many of my questions are cleared. I am feeling integrated within myself. Lots of time to reflect. And lots of freedom to do what we want and to go where we want.  Felt just like being at home. Clean and well arranged rooms.” Jeevan.

“I came here empty and dry. Now I feel filled and refreshed. Everything was well arranged. The rooms were prepared thoughtfully, with everything needed in place and clean.” Monica.

“A semi-retreat for me. The topics dealt with have helped me to create an integration within me. I am experiencing greater serenity now… the presentations were thorough. I enjoyed the food, the accommodation and the environment.” Pushpa

“The programme was really relevant for me. Just what I needed at this time in my life. The place is very conducive. I didn’t lack anything. My stay here was very comfortable. The food was excellent.” Rani

“I was badly in need of a programme like this. It has helped me to make an inner journey and led me deep into myself. …I felt quite at home. Even when I was little sick, I could experience the loving care and concern” Rupa

“This programme helped a lot in terms of self-awareness, cleared a lot of my doubts, gave a lot of knowledge, perspectives, gave me comprehensive knowledge of my physical, psychological, spiritual and sexual wellbeing. The understanding I gained was not just intellectual. I was able to invest a lot in introspection, reflection, sharing and prayer… The environment is so beautiful and conducive.” Subeshna.

“The classes as a whole were excellent. The presentations were very comprehensive and clear. I was happy with the facilities. The rooms were sensitively prepared. And the food was very good.” Treasa.

Friday, July 29, 2011


The participants of the Midlife Dynamics  and the Spiritual Journey programme currently underway (July 17-31) at Sumedha Centre took a break from their serious work of self-exploration to visit the relic of St. John Bosco at Bareilly Cathedral on the 27th afternoon. Fr. Jose Parappully, the Director and Br. John Minj, the Administrator accompanied them.

Don Bosco’s relic arrived at the Bareilly Cathedral at 6.40 pm. It was scheduled to have arrived at 4.30 pm. But the inclement weather and the bad road conditions delayed its arrival.

The midlife participants had reached Bareilly by 4.30 pm after a four hour journey and enjoyed the hospitality offered by Bishop Anthony Fernandes and Fr. Paul Falleira, the Procurator of the diocese.

Don Bosco’s relic consists of a part of his right hand embedded in a full size plaster of paris replica of his body, and placed in casket. The relic is on a world tour which began from Turin, Italy in 2009 and which will conclude in 2015, the 200th anniversary of Don Bosco’s birth in a small village in Italy called Becchi. The relic will visit 130 countries before it returns toTurin. It has been in India for a couple of months now, passing through the Indian Salesian Provinces of Dimapur, Guwahati and Kolkata. Currently it is journeying through the Province of New Delhi, from where it will move to the Province of Bombay.

Don Bosco’s relic arrived in Bareilly from Lucknow. It was welcomed with dance and flowers by the girls of Snehadhan run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Bareilly. Bishop Anthony welcomed the relic to his newly inaugurated Cathedral. A prayer service was conducted in his honour in the Cathedral. It was led by Fr. Paul D’Souza the Chancellor of the diocese. The devotee had the opportunity to pay their respects and file past the casket.  The relic was at the Cathedral for an hour.

After the service the Midlife participants were treated to a nice supper by the parish priest Fr. Julian D’Souza and the other fathers of the parish and the Bishop’s House.

The midlifers reached back at Sumedha Centre at the stroke of midnight. They remarked that the visit as a “graced moment” and “a privilege.”

Sumedha Centre is the only Salesian presence in the diocese of Bareilly. It began functioning at Jeolikote in 2008. The Salesian Sisters (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) have been in the diocese for a number of years. They run Snehadhan, a home for destitute girls in Bareilly. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha Centre, facilitated a workshop on Psycho-Sexual and Celibate Integration for young Salesians at the Provincial House, New Delhi from July 9-11, 2011. There were 13 participants.

The first day was spent in looking at what is happening in their lives at this period, especially in regard to sexual and celibate integration. The topic for exploration and introspection on the second day was “Sex, Sexuality, and Intimacy,” Some common problems faced by young religious in the area of psychosexual and celibate integration were explored on the third day.

Feedback from participants indicates that they found the programme very useful and relevant.

Some comments:

“Practically all the topics were directly relevant to my life. Therefore it was useful.”

“There was learning, reflection and integration. It was very systematic and informative.

“It has opened my mind in a broader sense about sex, sexuality and intimacy.”

“It was useful for me because it helped me to clarify some of my doubts and provided more information regarding sex, sexuality and intimacy. It helped me look in to my self as a sexual being and helped me to integrate my feelings especially my sexual life with my religious life.”

“I felt very positive about the session. You have organised the session according to our level of thinking. You have conducted it according to our situation.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The Leadership team of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in India spent six days at Sumedha Centre, Jeolikote, as part of their team building exercise and retreat from July 1 to 6.

On the first day, Jose Parappully SDB, PhD, the Director of the Centre helped the Brothers look at the way they function as a team and assess their effectiveness, and challenges facing them in leading the Province at this historic moment.

Days 2 – 4 were spent in a quiet spiritual retreat.

Days 5 and 6 were devoted again to team building exercises. The Brothers were able to assess their strengths and challenges as a team, how they relate to one another and function within the team and how they confront the larger issues facing their Congregation in India.

The Brothers found the six days spent at Sumedha Centre “very, very useful” and “refreshing.” The group process was “excellent”  and “one of the best things we have done together.” It was a “deep reflective experience” that has helped to “grow in self-awareness,” “enhance team spirit” and “inter-personal relationships” and find clear focus and specific dynamics to re-vitalise their mission and charism. 

The climate and the surroundings of Sumedha Centre was also was conducive for quiet reflection and productive work.

Sumedha Centre is available for similar exercises to catholic religious institutes and dioceses. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011


The 17th Sumedha Sadhana (Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) concluded today. This 42-day programme commenced on May 20th. There were 19 participants, of whom four were priests and the others religious women, coming from different parts of the country and returning missionaries from abroad.

The bulk of the programme consisted of “The Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey” which covered topics such as developmental theory, holistic, mature and process spiritualities, prayerfulness, identity, sexuality, celibacy and intimacy, sexual abuse, generativity, and integrity. Films and music, relevant inputs, sharing in small and big groups, somatic meditations, and  inspiring and creative liturgies enriched the exploration and experience of these topics. Two other major modules were group therapy and the spiritual retreat with which the programme concluded.

Participants were immensely satisfied with the programme. Thirteen of the 19 participants gave it a perfect “10” on a scale of 1 to 10 on usefulness. Four gave a score pf “9”. One gave “7” and another “6.”Eighteen of the nineteen participants said that they got what they had been looking for from the programme and many said they received much more than they had expected.

Comments from participants give some idea about the quality and usefulness of the Sumedha Sadhana programme.

 “It provided me the renewal I was looking for. I go back energised” (Fr. Andrew). “The programme was a ‘miracle’ in my life. It helped to put my life in order” (Fr. Mateus). “I came fearful. I go back happy. The course was excellent” (Sr. Priya). “It was for me an experience of healing and transformation. Though I had made many retreats, the retreat that ended the programme was very special” (Sr. Olga). “I landed up here burned out. I go back renewed and replenished. The programme was a blend of practical, intellectual, spiritual and psychological learning” (Sr. Preetha) “The purpose of my coming is fulfilled. The classes really helped me” (Fr. Michael). “I feel nurtured” (Sr. Stella).

“The course here had a depth I didn’t find in other courses I attended. I am going to ask the Provincial to send more sisters here” (Sr. Jyothi). “I really enjoyed myself. The friendly atmosphere really helped. I have experienced lots of transformation. I wish I had attended this programme 10 years ago” (Sr. Rekha). “The psychology here was different from what I had experienced elsewhere. It had so much more depth, and so well integrated with spirituality. The retreat was the climax for me here. I realised what I need to do” (Sr. Vandana). “I got much more than what I expected. Each and every topic was so relevant and presented with such clarity” (Sr. Rosy). “I discovered my identity. It awakened in me the energy and enthusiasm I had lost” (Sr. Alma). “What helped me most was the spiritual retreat. It helped me really experience God” (Sr.  Anita).

“The place is so beautiful. I enjoyed the Liturgy the best. I regained my spontaneity. The spiritual experience was really good.” (Sr. Shanti “The liturgy was so nourishing. I enjoyed the little responsibilities given to us. Group therapy was really a transformative experience” (Sr. Lalitha). ). “I appreciated the freedom to move around. No restrictions. I could go deeper into myself than at any of the other courses I have attended” (Sr. Ruby).

 “Over all, the psycho spiritual wholeness journey was a unique experience for me. It helped to give meaning to my vocation” (Sr. Seema). “I came here a sad person. I go back a happy person” (Sr. Sunitha).

“I felt homely hospitality” (Fr. Arogya). “I felt very much at home here. The hospitality and services were very good. All things were provided. And the rooms were quite spacey and clean.” (Fr. Andrew). “Food, accommodation, hospitality were very good. Really I enjoyed everything here. We received more than what we require” (Sr. Stella). “Hospitality, food, accommodation, and services were excellent” (Sr. Lalitha).


Sunday, June 26, 2011


2012 Programmes

1.   Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) –   (70 days).
     March 01 – May 09

2.   Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual      Wholeness Journey) –   (70days)
May 22-July 30

3.  Midlife Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey- (15 days).
     August 17 – 31.

5.  Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) – (70 days).
     September 25 – December 03

Sumedha Sadhana
Course Description: This is an inner journey in quest of greater healing and wholeness. Participants begin from where they are, looking at what is happening on their spiritual journey. They then move on to explore the psychological dynamics that affect their spirituality and integrate them in healthy ways to create more satisfying and more productive life patterns.

Course Content: Holistic & Process Spiritualities; Cosmic, Creation, Women’s & Feminist Spiritualities; Religious & Community Life; Prayer & Prayerfulness; Personality & Healthy Emotional Life; Midlife Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey; Identity & Vocational Commitment; Intimacy, Celibacy & Sexuality; Generativity, Stress & Burnout; Integrity, Shadows & Subpersonalities; Trauma, Healing & Reconciliation; The Universe story, Jesus Story and Our Story -- are some of the major topics that will be explored. Special place is given to group therapy where participants have the opportunity to face their brokenness and fears, their unhelpful patterns of living and relating and move on to healing and wholeness. The programme concludes with a directed retreat.

Tools & Techniques: Insights from Christian faith and wisdom traditions, various psychological theories of development, as well as experiential tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis, Intensive Journal, Expressive Arts, multi-media, prayer & meditation practices, and Sacred Scripture are used to explore and enhance one’s psychospiritual journey.

Agnes Panikulam MA (Trauma & Healing). Ajoy Fernandes PhD (Jungian Approaches to Self-Awareness). Gerard Alvarez MA (The Universe Story, Jesus Story, Our Story – and the Word). Godfrey D’Sa MA, PGDC (Group Therapy). Joe Mannath PhD (Sexuality, Celibacy& Intimacy). Jose Parappully PhD (Therapy, Psychological and Midlife Dynamics, Mature Spirituality, Religious and Community Life, Trauma & Healing, Retreat). M. Goretti Kanakarathinam MS (Group Therapy, Befriending Our Emotions.) MC Abraham PhD (Group Therapy). Peter Lourdes, PhD (Therapy, Retreat). Shalini Mulackal PhD (Feminist& Women’s Spiritualities)
 (Participant Age limit: 30-58 years)

Midlife Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey

During midlife the meaning question looms large on our psychic horizon: What does it all mean, anyway? The quest for meaning leads to an inward journey through which we seek to embrace our self at new levels of awareness. We make a journey into the past to reconcile unresolved issues. We turn our eyes to the future, to consider how we want to live out the rest of our lives. Midlife is a time when we question our “dream”—who we wanted to be, what we wanted to accomplish. It is a time when we question our commitments and consider their impact on our past, present and future. Sexuality, which has often been repressed, rears its head and makes itself felt, often in troubling ways. Longing for a close relationship is awakened or intensifies. Our body experiences drastic hormonal changes. Emotional awareness of one’s own mortality presents life in new perspectives. These dynamics of midlife have a profound impact on our self-concept and our spiritual journey

Course Content: At this workshop we shall explore these psychological dynamics so as to deepen and enrich our spiritual journey. We will particularly explore four midlife issues identity (who we are), intimacy (the role of affectivity and sexuality in our lives) generativity (how we work and nurture future generations), and integrity (how we make sense of the whole of our life). We will explore spirituality, religious life, aging and emotional well-being, sexuality and celibacy, our hurts and our shadows in the context of shifting midlife perspectives and experiences.

Tools and Techniques: In this endeavour we will use the insights from various psychological theories of development, and from the medical sciences. Our inner process at this workshop will be enhanced by the exploratory and healing techniques of the Intensive Journal, Psychosynthesis, and Expressive Arts and the power of meditation and prayer. (Participant Age Limit: 30-60 years)

Facilitator: Jose Parappully, SDB, PhD

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sumedha Centre hosted an Educational Seminar for the Diocese of Bareilly.

Thirty five priests of the Barelly Diocese along with their Bishop, Most Rev. Anthony Fernandes, spent 5 days (May 15-19) at Sumedha Centre, Jeolikote exploring educational objectives and strategies in the diocese.

The exploration was guided by Fr. Kuriala Chittatukulam SDB, the Secretary of the CBCI Commission for Education & Culture.

The first three days were spent in the presentation of the All-India Catholic Education Policy – 2007, co-authored by Fr. Chittatukulam and Fr. Joe Armpoor SDB, and assessing the situation in the diocese in reference to the Policy.

The fourth and fifth days were spent in drawing up some concrete plans to implement in the context of the diocese the objectives and strategies recommended by the Educational Policy.

The Educational Seminar was enriched by the inputs of Fr. Chittatukulam and the meaningful Liturgy with which each day began, as well as the much appreciated hospitably offered by Sumedha Centre. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


April was very eventful at Sumedha Centre.

Group Therapy
On the 2nd group therapy commenced. Participants of the Sumedha Sadhana were divided into two groups for therapy. One group was led by Dr. Peter Lourdes (counselling and somatic psychotherapist based Kolkata) and the other by Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of the Centre and a clinical psychologist. For a number of Sumedha participants, group therapy was the most useful of all the modules offered in Sumedha Sadhana.

Participants were prepared for Group therapy with a module “Befriending Our Emotions” facilitated by M. Goretti Kankarathinam. She explored some of the major emotions, the role they play in our psychological and spiritual integration and how to express them appropriately and helpfully.

The day group therapy concluded that is, the 11th, Sumedha Centre had two important visitors, Dr. Robert Rosenbaum and his friend Robin Boustead. Dr. Rosenbaum was Professor of Psychology at the Californian Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, when Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, was pursuing his doctoral studies there. Later Dr. Rosenbaum became Jose’s graduate student advisor, internship supervisor and chairperson of his dissertation committee. Dr. Rosenbaum and Robin were on their way to trek in the Himalayas (A 100-day long trek!) and kindly accepted to visit the Centre and stay for a day and night on Jose’s invitation.

Picnic to the Lakes
The day following the conclusion of group therapy all the participants of Sumedha Sadhana packed themselves into a bus and went on a picnic to the lakes. They first visited Naukuchiatal (The Nine-Cornered Lake) where trees growing over the lake waters gave the Sumedhans the joy of climbing on them, though the risk of falling into the lake was very much there. Guess group therapy had made them bold!

After snacks (the ginger tea was wonderful) at a local tea shop they proceeded to Sat Tal (Seven Lakes) via Bhimtal (Bhim’s Lake). Sitting at the lake front at Sat Tal, they had the picnic lunch. The eagerly awaited boat ride in the lake didn’t happen as the rains started to come down after lunch and the boatwallas shut their shop and went home. So, the Sumedhans too came home, relaxed and buoyant, experiencing a further deepening of the bonding that had happened during group therapy.

Holy Week Retreat  
A unique feature of Sumedha Sadhana this time was that the last week of the programme coincided with Holy Week which was spent in silent retreat directed by Jose Parappully. Conclusion of Sumedha Sadhana was celebrated at Easter Vigil with an enriched Vigil Liturgy.

Concluding Day
Sumedha Sadhana concluded on Easter Monday. The day began with a fantasy and dance meditation accessing Inner Wisdom in sacred space symbolically created by the participants and led by Jose Parappully.

Later in the day each participant shared an integrated narrative of their Sumedha Experience (some of which we hope to post on this blog later) using creative collages.

Just as Sumedha Sadhana commenced 60 days earlier with a Eucharist at which the participants of Sumedha Sadhana were introduced to the themes of Sumedha through the Emmaus story, so too it concluded with the Eucharist at which the Emmaus story again provided a wonderful metaphor for the Sumedha experience.

Earlier Modules
This Sumedha Sadhana commenced on February 25, with 18 participants (five priests and 13 nuns) coming from different parts of Indian and abroad. The modules last month included Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey facilitated by Dr. Jose Parappully, Psycho-Sexual and Celibate Integration, facilitated by Dr. Joe Mannath, and Jungian Perspectives on Self-Awareness, facilitated by Dr. Ajoy Fernandes.

Participants’ Comments

“The entire programme is systematically planned and meticulously carried out. A very holistic programme which has brought me lots of integration” P. Pragash, Assistant Professor of English.

 “Very useful for my personality development, both spiritual and psychological. It was a community living experience.” M. Sebastian, Parish Priest.

“Therapy was most useful because it helped me to overcome my fear and anxiety and I learned to handle certain issues and problems we face in life.” M. Fernandes, Social Worker.

“Sumedha made me grow. I saw my life reflected in all the classes. As I leave, I feel so happy within myself.” C. Kanlaya, Parish Assistant

“I found this programme of Sumedha has touched all the areas of my psychospiritual journey… All the modules were useful and they have helped to integrate myself, bringing healing and transformation…. The module that was most useful to me personally is midlife dynamics. ” R. Corte, School Principal.

“It is a well planned, organised and substantial programme…Hospitality, accommodation, food, facilities and services were very good. Felt at home. I came here at the right time in my life and I am so glad I came. It has been a profound spiritual journey.” Sujita, Medical Practitioner.

Next Sumedha Sadhana
Sumedha Sadhana is offered two more times this year – May 20- June 30, and October 01 to November 29. Fro more information, contact