Saturday, June 30, 2012

TEACHERS’ WORKSHOP St Theresa Senior Secondary School, Kathgodam

Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, facilitated a Workshop for the teachers of St. Theresa Senior Secondary School, Kathogdam, Nainital, on 29-30, June.

There were about seventy teachers participating in the Workshop divided into two groups for each day, high school teachers on the first and the primary teachers on the seconond.

Dr. Parappully organised the Workshop around the theme “Education of the Heart: Becoming an Emotionally Sensitive Teacher.” Starting with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence, the Workshop used the concepts of basic emotional needs from Self Determination Theory and the concepts of Mirroring, Idealising, Narcissistic Wounding and Empathic Responsiveness from Self Psychology to help the teachers look at the level of their emotional sensitivity and provided tools and approaches to enhance it.

On the second day, as most of the teachers were dealing with very young children, he gave greater importance to attachment dynamics and styles as presented in Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, and emphasised the need for teachers to be available, responsive and helpful to children’s emotional needs, so that they can develop secure attachments that will help them to explore their environment with confidence and develop as competent persons.

He used videos and songs related to the themes to deepen the participants awareness and insights and provided them time for introspection and interaction. He also used meditation practices and Vedic mantras to help teachers learn to distress.

In their feedback, the teachers observed that they found the Workshop very useful, describing it as very “effective, inspiring, and enjoyable.” It helped them, they said, to become “more sensitive and responsive” to the students’ needs, and has created in them greater awareness of the impact their words and behaviour have on students. They found the Workshop a “a confidence building exercise” in preparation for the new academic term they begin on July 2.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Br. John Minj SDB, was the Administrator at Sumedha Centre from March 2009. John had just completed his training in youth catechesis and audio-visual media at Viswadeep, Bangalore when he joined Sumedha Centre. John devoted himself to “making the participants happy” at the Centre. He took care of the house and especially the vegetable and flower gardens. He could be found often working in the garden or supervising the gardeners. His hard work and dedication had transformed the surroundings of the Sumedha Centre in such a way that it became the “talk of the town.” We had even officers from the nearby Horticultural Research Institute visiting the Centre to ascertain the way John had transformed the place.

John left Sumedha Centre in the middle of June to take up his new assignment as the Assistant Administrator at the Don Bosco Provincial House in New Delhi. We thank John for his presence and services at Sumedha Centre and wish him the very best in the Capital City.

Fr. George Malayil SDB is the new Administrator at Sumedha Centre. George is not a stranger at the Centre, having attended the Sumedha Sadhana programme here last year. George comes to the centre with years of experience as administrator, technical school supervisor and parish priest. He has been a pioneer, initiating a number of projects, particularly setting up new foundations for Salesian ministry. His latest pioneering work was at Jhansi where the Salesians inaugurated a new vocational training institute this year. We welcome George and wish him great joy and satisfaction as he takes up his new responsibilities. George arrived at the Centre at the beginning of June.

Another newcomer at Sumedha Centre is Br. Binit Dangwar SDB. Binit arrived in mid June. Binit’s most recent assignment was at the Don Bosco Yuva Sadan in Jabalpur, where he was involved in the training of young men aspiring to join the Don Bosco organisation as vowed members. While helping out at Sumedha, Binit will be pursuing post-graduate studies at Kumaon University. We welcome Binit and wish him success in his studies as well as his involvement at the Centre.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


On June 22 we completed one month of the Sumedha Sadhana which commenced on May 22.  the programme will continue till July 30th.

Most of  this time, three weeks, was spent on the module “Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey,” facilitated by Jose Parappully, the Director of the Centre. The other week had the module “Sacred Scripture for a Sacred Journey” facilitated by Br. Gerard Alvarez.

Parappully helped the participant to trace the developmental history and its impact on their current emotional and spiritual lives through the concepts of Eriksonian, Self Psychology and Attachment theories. He also explored with them the theme of “Integrating Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy” on their psycho-spiritual journey.

Alvarez used Sacred Scripture and the movie “Of Gods and Men” to help participants better understand their personal journeys as religious and priests and to understand the story of Jesus. He explored the Universe Story using the film "Humanity Ascending" and Cosmic meditations.

On 23rd the participants of the programme went for short picnic walking up the stream that flows below the Centre. It was a time to relax and recuperate energies after all the hard work they had put in for month to know themselves better and enhance their psycho-spiritual journey.

On Monday 25th the group begins another module “Core Transformation” facilitated by Dr. Jose Kuttinaimattathil SDB, PhD.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, was invited to facilitate a Workshop for the High School teachers of South City International School in Kolkata on 14-15 June.

The school building is impressive and its infrastructure and facilities state-of-the-art with central air-conditioning. The school is only 4 years old and has had a very impressive growth. Starting with about 100 students in the first year, today the school has more than 1000 students and about 70 teachers. The high school section has 35 teachers, many of them with prior experience in other schools.

Dr. Parappully organised the Workshop on the first day around the theme “Enhancing Institutional Excellence.” He used structured exercises, videos and latest insights from organisational psychology to present the crucial ingredients that contribute to institutional excellence and helped the teachers to assess the dynamics at South City International that contribute to or stand in the way of institutional excellence.

The explorations on the second day centred around the person and functions of the teacher and focused on the theme of “The Emotionally Sensitive Teacher.” Starting with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence, the Workshop used the concepts of basic emotional needs from Self Determination Theory, and of Mirroring and Idealising from Self Psychology to help the teachers look at the level of their emotional sensitivity and provided tools and approaches to enhance it.

The teachers were extremely satisfied with the Workshop. A number of them said this was “the best of all the workshops” they ever had.  It had helped them to “enhance cohesion” among themselves, “open up communication channels” and create “greater connectedness and trust” and “be more aware of and sensitive to the emotional needs” of students and colleagues.

“The workshop has touched us not only professionally but also personally. Its effect goes much beyond our life in the school.” This was another common sentiment expressed by the teachers as they reflected on their experience of the workshop. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


I got from the  Sumedha programme what I had hoped to gain, and even more. I came seeking to reconnect with myself and God and to understand my blocks in interpersonal relationships. I go back with a sense of having arrived at, with a deep hope that all I gained here will help me to live the rest of my life more meaningfully and purposefully. It also gave me lot of insights and awareness into life in general and provided a lot of meaningful rituals, tips and techniques. I appreciate deeply the Eucharistic celebrations and meditations and the many rituals we had. I have experienced the power of journaling to understand self. The somatic movement meditations helped me to relax, to come out of self-consciousness.

The topic spirituality was the central theme, I felt, which ran though the entire programme and it helped me a lot to understand as well as to live a deeper, unified life, with a sense of inner freedom and peace. Apart from the many articles provided and sessions taken on spirituality by Fr. Jose, the other resource persons too dealt with it.

I personally benefited from the topic of sexuality was handled. The theories on psychosexual development, the presentations by Fr. Joe Mannath and Fr. Jose Parappully were well appreciated and they helped to understand my personality and behaviour patterns a lot. Now I’m able to make better choices, and love being a woman with freedom and joy.

Understanding my personality and the shadows through Fr. Ajoy’s class, befriending the emotions through the sessions of Srs Maria and Agnes were also significant part of my growth process here. I particularly appreciate Sr Agnes’ contribution. She took us deeper into the emotions of fear, anger, guilt and the trauma of sexual abuse. The mandala on persona and shadow and the dance with the shadow stand out in my mind as being particularly helpful.

Br Gerard’s class too had a deep impact on me as it strengthened and challenged my religious vocation. It was also one of real HIGH LIGHTS of the entire experience at Sumedha. Sr. Shalini brought in a refreshing view through her classes and awakened in us the joy of living our lives as women, the contributions we can make to help women to live a better life.

Group therapy and the retreat helped me to experience the fullness of what I’ve learned in the classes. Without these two SIGNIFICANT  aspects the rest of the classes would have been incomplete. I really thank God and Frs Peter and Jose who led me into that experience of acceptance, liberation, inner freedom and deepening of my commitment to God.

It is difficult to come to just one thing that touched me most, as there are more than one. The retreat was the highlight of all – and in it I appreciated the presentation of God’s love and the portrait of Jesus of Nazareth. It helped me to believe in the personal love of God for me and confirmed me in my relationship with Jesus as a person.

As the name “Sumedha” indicates, the entire course is designed in such a manner that we understand and develop a healthy mindset – (knowledge and clarity on topics, develop awareness and attitudes) – so that we can live more responsibly and purposefully, that we take responsibility for our lives!

Welcome, hospitality, accommodation and food: All of these were taken care of very well. We (I) felt very much at home and comfortable. Both Fr Jose and Br John treated us graciously. And I thank both for the troubles they have taken.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


1.   (SS-22) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) (10 weeks)
     March 1- May 9

2.   (SS-23) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) – (7 weeks)
May 20-June 30

3.      (SD-8) Sumedha Dhyana (Retreat Exclusively for former Sumedha participants 2003-2008)
July 12- 21

4.      (SD-9) Sumedha Dhyana (Retreat Exclusively for former Sumedha participants 2009-2012)
July 25- August 3

5.      (SM-08) Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey (3 weeks)
August 11-31

6.  (SS-24) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) (10 weeks)
     September 22- November 30

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 & Formative Spiritualities; Cosmic, Creation & Feminist Spiritualities; Religious & Community Life; Prayerfulness & Healthy Emotional Life; Midlife Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey; Identity & Vocational Commitment; Intimacy, Celibacy & Sexuality; Generativity, Stress & Burnout; 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. (Age limit: 30-60 years)

Sumedha Dhyana

Sumedha Dhyana is an experiential and interactive approach to awareness, exploration, healing and transformation on the spiritual path. This spiritual retreat provides participants an opportunity to take a good look at what spirituality means to them, what their ways of living their chosen spiritual paths have done to them, examine whether their spiritual beliefs and practices are life-enhancing or life-limiting, and to take remedial action by adopting healthier beliefs and practices. It is also a time to heal their brokenness through Forgiveness and Reconciliation and experience wholeness and integration by reclaiming their Shadows and reaching out in compassion to their Inner Child. Process tools include Intensive Journal, expressive arts, guided imagery, active imagination, aerobics, Sacred Scripture, prayer and meditation. (Exclusively for former Sumedha Participants, 2003- 2008 and 2009-2012)

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, physical 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. (Exclusively for former Sumedha Participants 2003-2012)

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 Kuttianimattathil PhD (Core Transformation). Jose Parappully PhD (Therapy, Psychological and Midlife Dynamics, Mature Spirituality, Religious and Community Life, Trauma & Healing, Retreat). M. Goretti Kanakarathinam MA (Group Therapy, Befriending our Emotions). MC Abraham PhD (Group Therapy). Peter Lourdes, PhD (Therapy). Shalini Mulackal PhD (Feminist & Women’s Spirituality).

For further information and application form, please contact:

Sumedha Centre. Jeolikote. P. O.  Nainital Dist. Uttarkhand 263127
Ph. 05942-224328. mob. +91-9410941799 . email:

Friday, June 1, 2012


The Director of Sumedha Centre, Fr. Jose Parappully, was invited to facilitate the annual retreat of the Junior Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary at Maria Assunta Convent, Pune, from 12th to 18th May.

There were 20 junior sisters, their experience in religious life ranging from one to five years, some of them getting ready for their final vows.

Fr. Parappully presented the retreat as a desert journey, giving the retreatants opportunity to reflect over and pray about the various milestones and experiences on that journey. Process involved somatic meditations that helped body-mind-spirit integration, input on desert journey as both “Wilderness” and Paradise,” the unique journey through the desert of those committed to religious vows and the reason for that unique journey, namely, fascination with Jesus of Nazareth. Movies, songs and creative liturgies and sacred rituals also helped to enhance and deepen desert experience.

The retreatants had ample time to be by themselves in the “wilderness” to confront their inner demons, be with the “wild beasts” of Mark’s Gospel and to pray, experience “paradise,” be with the “ministering angels.”

The retreatants appreciated the “very relevant inputs” that “flowed seamlessly into one another”, and which “provided answers to questions and clarified doubts,” “ample time to pray” using “meaningful Scripture passages” that were given and “freedom to organise time” in the way they wanted. It was “a retreat quite unlike” the ones they were used to.

Appreciation from the Junior Mistress
"It was wonderful having you here with us. I want to thank you for accepting to give retreat for my Juniors. It had been a powerful, gracefilled, rich and healing experience for all of them. From their sharing I can see that they have gained an enhancing and rich experience. Many of them experienced complete healing of their back pain, cough & headache and for some emotional healing (of hurts, anger, fear and sadness) during the healing service you conducted and they happened to share this experience with me during their personal meeting. On the whole that was a powerful experience for all of them.

I too found lot of change in them and some have already began to practise their resolutions made. For me personally I found your sessions and topics were very rich (new perspective/meaning/concept) and relevant and you could come down to their level. I liked your well organised, methodical, reflective, effective and relevant presentation. You made it very rich, experiential, healing and personal. 

So thank you for the personal interest you took to make the retreat days very meaningful, rich & enhancing."