Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha Centre, was invited to facilitate a workshop for the Major Superiors of religious congregations – Provincials and Generals – of the North Eastern region.
The theme of the two-day workshop was “A Mature Spirituality of Today.” The workshop was held at Don Bosco Institute on the banks of the
Brahmaputra river in
Guwahati on 14-15 May. Thirty four Major Superiors participated.
The keynote address at the workshop was delivered by Most Rev. Thomas Menamparambil, Archbishop Emeritus of Guwhati. He spoke of a Missionary Spirituality of Involvement and Encounter.
Parappully took three sessions of 90 minutes each on the two days. He traced the development and shifts in paradigms, from Dualistic-Mechanistic to the Holistic-Ecological and their impact on spirituality.
The Dualistic-Mechanistic paradigm dominated during the Modern Period, roughly from 1600 to 1950. This is the period in which most currently surviving Catholic religious orders and congregations were founded. He showed how the spirituality of these orders and congregations were influenced by the Dualistic-Mechanistic paradigm prevalent during that period.
Parappully went on the describe the developments in the sciences, especially in Quantum Physics, that undermined the Dualistic-Mechanistic paradigm and which led to the emergence of a new paradigm, namely, the Holistic-Ecological, which is influencing every sphere of life today.
He described 17 characteristics of a spirituality that the changed paradigm calls for. He presented solidarity and communion as the heart of this holistic-ecological-cosmic spirituality.
Participants observed that the workshop had helped to clarify, deepen and expand their understanding of spirituality. It provided them, they said, practical tools to incorporate this new spirituality into their daily lives. They also commented on the excellent quality of the inputs as well as the tools and techniques used in the workshop which made it a very meaningful and exciting experience for them.
The workshop was organised by VM Thomas, the National President of the Conference of Religious of India with the help of the Executive members of the Regional Conference of Religious of the North East.
Parappully will be facilitating another workshop – on Revitalization of Religious Life – for the Major Superiors of the region in September this year.