Thursday, March 21, 2013


The 22nd edition of Sumedha Sadhana (Psychsospiritual Wholeness Journey), the flagship programme of Sumedha Centre commenced on 12th March. This 60-day programme of healing and transformation will conclude on May 10.

There are 16 participants from India and aborad attending the progreamme.

Please find below a description of the progamme content.

Sumedha Sadhana is a programme of inner journeying together in quest of greater healing and wholeness, so that we can live our lives in more fulfilling and satisfying ways and be more effective in our service to others. A variety of approaches and techniques are used to reach these objectives.

 We begin from where we are, looking at what is happening in our lives at this point on our psycho-spiritual journey. We try to discern what God might be telling us through all that is happening in our lives. Jose Parappully will help us explore these current realities, as also spirituality in the context of changing paradigms.  Gerard Alvarez will help us explore our personal spiritual stories in the light of the Word (Story) of God.

 We then move on to explore the psychological dynamics operating in our lives at this current juncture of our spiritual journey. We look at the quintessential midlife dynamics of 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). Jose Parappully will use insights from various psychological theories of development, particularly Eriksonian, Attachment, and Self Psychology as well as tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis, Expressive Arts and Jungian psychology to help us explore these issues.

Working from a Jungian perspective Ajoy Fernanndes will help us explore our identity and understand our personality type and its implications for our spiritual journey, and help us move toward greater personal integration by exploring and owning our persona, animus/anima and shadow.

Sexuality has a profound impact on personality development as well as our spiritual journey. Joe Mannath will help us explore and understand human sexuality and affectivity and their healthy integration within our celibate lifestyle, our spirituality and our ministry. 

Special place is given in this programme to group therapy. In the atmosphere of freedom, caring and trust that the group offers, we are provided an opportunity to face our brokenness and our fears, our defences and our unhelpful patterns of living and relating, and to move toward greater healing and wholeness by adopting and practising healthier attitudes and behaviours. Jose Parappully and Peter Lourdes will facilitate this process. Jose will also be available on request for individual consultation till group therapy begins.

 We conclude our psycho-spiritual journey by seeking further healing, renewal, reconciliation and integration within ourselves and discerning God’s designs for us as we prepare to move back into our routine lives through a Spiritual Retreat. Jose Parappully will serve as guide on this journey.

This programme provides theoretical input as well as opportunities for us to reflect on our experiences and to share them with one another and for personal and common prayer. It is hoped that through this four-fold dynamics of Input, Introspection, Interaction, and Intercession we gain a deeper insight into the psychological dynamics operating on our spiritual journey and integrate these to develop a healthier self so that we can experience greater serenity, wholeness and fruitfulness as we continue our journey into the Mystery that we know and experience as our Triune God.

Welcome to Sumedha Sadhana!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Today, 19th March, marks the completion of 10 years since the Foundation of Sumedha Centre for Psychology and Spirituality. In the Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church 19th March is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, who is the Patron Saint of Sumedha Centre.

Sumedha Centre, a venture of the Salesian Province of New Delhi, was set up in New Delhi in 2003.

In 2008 the Centre was shifted to the present location, Jeolikote, near Nainital, Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills.

The Centre at Jeolikote was officially blessed on 19th March 2009, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Patron of the Centre, by Most Re. Anthony Fernandes, the Bishop of Bareilly, in the presence of a large number of priests, religious and well-wishers, including many Salesians from the New Delhi Province.

 In 10 years, the Centre has conducted 22 Sumedha Sadhana (Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) the 60-day flagship programme of the Centre. It has also conducted annually a number of shorter programmes. The Centre has also done many outreach programmes in different parts of the country and abroad.

Sumedha is a centre for renewal of body, mind and spirit through the integration of insights and practices from psychology, spiritual traditions and social sciences. It focuses on the healing, growth and transformation of individuals, groups and

Sumedha Centre marked the 10th anniversary with an International Conference on “Psychosexual Integration, Celibate Maturity & Religious and Priestly Formation” in New Delhi from 14th 22nd February this year.

Another Anniversary event is a Workshop on “Body Practices, Authentic Movement and Personal and Professional Well-Being” in New Delhi on March 31 and April 1, 2013. It will be facilitated by internationally reputed somatic psychotherapist Don Hanlon Johnson and Jungian Analyst Barbara Holifield, both from the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco.

Sumedha Centre is grateful to all those who have been supporting the Centre in different ways through these years. Thank You!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Sumedha Centre marked its 10th Anniversary of Foundation with an International Conference.

Sumedha, a centre for renewal of body, mind and spirit through insights and practices from psychology and spiritual traditions, was set up in 2003 by the Salesians of Don Bosco in New Delhi.  In 2008 the Centre was shifted to Jeolikote in the Himalayan foothills, near Nainital, in the North Indian State of Uttarakhand. 

The Conference theme was “Psychosexual Integration, Celibate Maturity &Religious and Priestly Formation” and was held at Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi from 14th to 22nd February.

Thirty seven delegates from India and abroad attended the Conference. 

The Conference was inaugurated with a concelebrated Eucharist at which Most Rev. Anil Couto, the newly installed Archbishop of Delhi, presided. He was joined at the altar by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, Syro-Malankara Archbishop of Tiruvalla, and Fr. Michael Peedikayil, the Salesian Provincial of New Delhi.

Fr. Peedikayil introduced the two Archbishops and welcomed them and the delegates on behalf of the  the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia, co-sponsors of the Conference.

Commenting on the theme of the Conference in his homily, Archbishop Couto emphasised the need for all priests and religious, especially those involved in formation,  to be conformed to the image of Jesus of Nazareth and to abide in him, if they are to become integrated persons and witness to the beauty of consecrated celibacy.

Eleven of the 17 authors who contributed chapters to the book  "Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity" co-edited by Jose Parappully, the Founder-Director of Sumedha Centre, made presentations based on their respective chapters.

There were also two panel discussions in which Bishop Koorilos, Sr. Inigo, former Superior General of the Sisters of St. Anne, and a number of Major Superiors and Formators shared their experiences related to the theme of the Conference and answered questions from the delegates. A third panel consisted of a number of the the presenters.

On the last day of the Conference the delegates had opportunity to relax by visiting the sprawling and artistic Akshardham Temple on the banks of the Jamuna River and the India Gate and surroundings. A visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra was also organised after the Conference for those who wished to go there . 

The delegates expressed great appreciation for the quality of the Conference both in terms of the presentations and the overall organisation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The 6th Provincial Chapter of the Salesian Province of New Delhi concluded on 8th February evening, charting a radical new course for members as ‘Mystics in the Spirit,’ ‘Prophets of Fraternity,’ and ‘Servants of the Young.’

The Chapter members resolved to deepen the experience of God and to witness to the primacy of God radically in the way members live, relate and minister.

They resolved to give greater emphasis on deepening and giving witness to communion in community through greater self-disclosure about personal vulnerabilities and struggles, making efforts to heal from hurts that often are at the root of dysfunctional behaviours in community and counter-witnessing in ministry.

Members  are challenged to make a radical change in mindset and practice in youth ministry by becoming ‘Servants’ of the young in addition to the traditional ‘father, teacher, and friend” identity.

The Chapter elected  Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha Centre, as the Delegate to represent the Province at the General Chapter to be held in Rome from 12 February to April 22, 2014.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity: Handbook for Religious and Priestly Formation” edited by Jose Parappully SDB, PhD, the Director of Sumedha Centre, and Jose Kuttianimattathil SDB, Rector and Professor of Theology at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, was released simultaneously in several Indian cities, on Jan 31, the feast of St. John Bosco, the Founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

The book was released in New Delhi, by Msgr Romanus of the Vatican Embassy along with Syro-Malabar Archbishop of Delhi, Most Rev. Kuriakose Brahmikulangara, in Chennai by Archbishop George Antonysamy, in Pune by Bishop Thomas Dabre, in Nashik by Bishop Lourdunada Daniel, in Kolkata by Fr. Thomas Ellicherayil, Provincial, in Bangalore by Most Rev.Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati, and Fr. Paul Puthenangady, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Religious and in Hyderabad by Rev. Suvarna Bernard, Vicar General, during large gatherings of religious and priests.

Conceived about ten years ago and intensely worked on during the past four years, the book meets the long-felt need of priests and religious to have an up to date, complete and reader friendly resource book on formation to sexual and celibate maturity. 
Containing 29 chapters and authored by 17 religious men and women with years of experience and expertise related to the topic, this book is a veritable mine of information coupled with very practical suggestions and exercises for growing in maturity.

The book, published by the Salesian Psychological Association and the South Asia Formation Commission of the Salesians of don Bosco,  has 29 chapters divided into two volumes.

The book has received critical acclaim from eminent personalities in the field of religious and priestly formation.

Most Rev. Bosco Penha, Former Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of Bombay, expressed the view that this "book should be of great help in the seminaries, presbyteries and religious houses" and that it "would certainly help to give us better integrated priests and sisters.” 

Rev. Francesco Cereda, General Councillor for Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco, considers the book to be  "a precious help to anyone interested in the area of psychosexual maturity and celibacy, especially superiors and formation guides." 

M. C. Abraham, psychologist and former Programme Director at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla ,described it as  "a precious hand book for formees, formators, psychotherapists as well as decision makers" and recommended it "whole-heartedly to anyone who is seriously interested in the ministry of formation for mission.” 

Sr. Inigo, Former Superior General of the Sisters of St. Anne, described the book as  "a 'must read' and a brilliant guide for all those who are formators, spiritual directors, bishops, superiors, priests and religious.” 

For Brother Joseph Philip Pinto, Congregation Leader of the Christian Brothers, this is a  book that is "thorough in its research and all-encompassing in scope" and which "helps us to face our sexuality, accept it and live it with courage and freedom." 

The book can be ordered from  from: Kristu Jyoti Publications. Kristu Jyoti College. Bosco Nagar. K. R. Pura, Bangalore. 560036. India.   Phone. +91- 80- 28474139 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Since Sumedha Centre is closed in winter, we are able to avail our services outside the Centre during those months.

In January Jose Parappully, the Director of the Centre was invited to facilitate two programmes in Thailand.

The first was at the “Sisters Centre” at Sampran, some two hours journey by road from Bangkok. This programme “Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey” was organised by the Conference of the Major Religious Superiors of Women of Thailand and Laos. Thirty nine women religious from seven different congregations attended.

After presenting the dynamics and transformational processes of midlife Parappully focused more on different aspects psychosexual integration and celibate maturity. The topic that was found to be most helpful was “Celibate Friendship.”

Parappully was assisted by Sr. Ruangkanjana Chinnapha who, although called to translate from English to Thai, was able to explain things in her own inimitable and exciting style, which made it so much easier for the sisters, many of whom were not very fluent in English to better grasp the ideas presented. I am very grateful to Sr Ruang for her presence and help.

The second programme was held at “Baan Phu Waan” Pastoral training Centre of the Archdiocese of Bangkok in Bangkok . The facilities and services at Baan Phu Waan are at par with that of a five star hotel!

The programme there entitled “ Healing from the Effects of Sexual Abuse” was originally meant for the formators of two women’s congregations – Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” and the Sacred Heart Sisters of Bangkok. Sisters from these Congregations had earlier attended programmes at Sumedha Centre. The programme was eventually extended to others as well.  There were all together 36 participants – 6 priests, one lay man, and 29 religious women, including some Mother Generals, representing 14 congregations and the Archdiocese of Bangkok.

Participants of both programmes found them extremely relevant and useful for their personal and professional growth and well-being. Participants of both programmes received Certificates of Participation.

Parappully had also the opportunity do some sightseeing and experience the culture of Thailand. He was also very happy to have met a few of the sisters who had participated earlier in programmes at Sumedha Centre – Sr. Subha, Pornthip, Nurjara, Panarat, Chavala, and Waraporn and visit their communities. They send their good wishes to their fellow participants in Sumedha programmes.