Friday, November 16, 2012

STORIES – The Universe’s, Jesus’ and Ours

“Stories – The Universe’s, Jesus’ and Ours"  - was the Sumedha Sadhana module last week.

Gerard Alvarez, former General Council Member and Province Leader of the  Christian Brothers, used stories, movies and rituals to integrate the previous modules of Sumedha Sadhana, especially to experientially bring together psychology (the explorations of the self)  and spirituality (explorations our relationship with God, others and the Universe).

The outcome of the module was to awaken and deepen in the participants the sense of interconnectedness between themselves and the universe and to arouse in them a deep respect for all created reality and the presence of God in all these --holy ground--, and greater appreciation for the Word of God expressed in both Sacred Scripture, the Universe and our human relationships.

It also helped to bring together and integrate more deeply a number of themes touched upon earlier.

The exploration various themes through stories was embedded in the participants’ consciousness of their identity as priests and religious.

The participants found the module especially useful to deepen their spiritual journey.

Some typical comments:

“This module was very experiential. The stories and the way they were presented touched me very deeply and provided new insights for my life.” Poornima.

“Brother Gerard brought alive the Scriptures for me. I am able to see the stories in a new light; they are speaking to me in a new way.” Reena

“The rituals and exercises after the inputs were very meaningful and helped to interiorise.” Emy.

“Brother took great pains to create very meaningful liturgies.” Alex

“The movie Of Gods and Men helped to create a better understanding and appreciation for religious community life” Gregory.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The module last week of the Sumedha Sadhana programme was “Sexuality, Celibacy & Intimacy” facilitated by Dr. Joe Mannath SDB and Dr. Jose Parappully.
Dr. Mannath took sessions from Sunday to Wednesday. He dealt with the following topics: Stages of psychosexual development; Psychosexual maturity; Healthy integration of sexuality and celibacy; Current issues in relation to sexuality and celibacy; Meaning of celibate chastity; Sexual attraction ministry; Helps for a happy celibate life; and Formation for celibacy.

The participants found the module very helpful. They found it very informative. What they appreciated most was the simple way he was able to present these topics which helped to clarify many of their doubts and confusions. The meaningful liturgies which integrated the themes of the day very meaningfully was also much appreciated.

Dr. Parappully followed up on Thursday and Friday by giving very detailed presentations on two important issues: celibate friendship and sexual abuse. He showed how friendships can contribute significantly to healthy psychosexual and celibate integration and explained the dynamics involved.

Dr. Parappully presented relevant research, as well as anecdotal evidence, to show that there is a high prevalence rate of sexual abuse in India, both of children and of adults. He described the effects of sexual abuse and outlined ways and means to heal from its effects as well as to help others to heal.