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.