Thursday, December 18, 2014



The Director of Sumedha Centre, Jose Parappully, was the lead speaker at a seminar on “Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity” at the Don Bosco Philosophate, Karunapuram, Telengana State on 8-10 December.

About 150 students of Philosophy attended the seminar.

There were two other presenters – Jose Kuttianimattathil (Co-Editor of the book on the subject of the Seminar) and John Tharakan who has contributed three chapters to the book.

Parappully introduced the topic and made presentations on Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behaviours, Sexual Harassment and Abuse.

Kuttianimattathil presented on Human Maturity and Celibate Friendship.

Tharakan presented on Boundaries and Boundary Violations.


Jose Parappully was invited to be part of the “Formation of Formators” training programme organized by the Conference of Religious of India at Ryshivana Retreat Centre in Mangalore.

There were about 50 participants in the training programme.

Parappully took seven 90 minute sessions, spread over two days on 12th and 13th December, on Mental Health and Religious Formation.


Parappully participated in the annual meeting of the Salesian Psychological Association at Ramanthapur near Hyderabd on 15-16 December.

At the meeting he made a presentation on the recently published DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 95th Edition). He highlighted the changes from DSM-IV and made detailed presentation on the DSM – 5 Alternate Model of Personality Disorders.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peter Lourdes, a Salesian priest of the Province of Kolkata, is one of the first priest psychologists in India.

Fr. Lourdes has nearly 50 years’ experience in counselling, spiritual direction, teaching and training, seminars for priests, religious and educators.

He was for several years Programme Director and Head of the Psychology Department at National Vocation Service Centre, Pune. He was the first President of the Salesian Psychological Association. Currently he has a psychotherapy practice in Kolkata.

Fr. Lourdes holds a D. Psych in Clinical Psychology from Salesian University, Rome, Masters in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and a PhD in Counselling Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago.

He is certified as a Massage therapist from the San Francisco School of Massage therapy.

Fr. Lourdes has been a member of the Visiting Faculty at Sumedha Centre from its very beginnings in 2003 until this year. Each year he has led two or more therapy grous as well as offering other programmes.

Peter made his religious profession on 6th December 1944 and was ordained a priest on 5th December 1954. The 6oth anniversary of his ordination and the 70th anniversary of his religious profession were celebrated on 5th December 2014 at Nitika Don Bosco, Kolkata where he currently resides and practices as a psychotherapist.

A number of his family members from Australia, Kolkata and Khargpur In Bengal  graced the occasion.
About 15 fellow Salesian priests joined him at the concelebrated Holy Eucharist and the felicitations and dinner that followed.

On the occasion Fr. Lourdes' latest book "Wow Jesus!" was released.

Jose Parappully, Director of Sumedha, represented the Centre at the jubilee celebrations.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


The 9-week-long Sumedha Sadhana (Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) concluded on November 30th. It had commenced on September 29th.

The 14 participants (5 men and 9 women) from four different countries in general found the programme “excellent”. It was as promised “an inner journey of healing and transformation.”

The programme consisted of seven different modules: Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey (facilitated by Jose Parappully, SDB, PhD), Personality and Spirituality (by Ajoy Fernandes SDB, PhD), Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy (by Joe Mannth SDB, PhD), Core Transformation  (by Jose Mathew Kuttianimattathil SDB, PhD), Feminist and Women’s Spirituality (by Shalini Mulackal PBVM, PhD), Group Therapy (by Jose Parappully SDB, PhD and Maria Goretti Kanakarathinam FMM, MA) and Spiritual Retreat (by Jose Parappully SDB, PhD).

The inputs by the various facilitators were enriched by experiential exercises, group interaction, selected readings, music and films, yoga, qigong,  expressive arts and movement, creative liturgy, prayer and a variety of meditative practices as well as group outings and picnic.

As common feeling expressed by participants was that they experienced Sumedha Centre a “home, not an institution” where they “felt free” to be themselves.

The beautiful natural surroundings of mountains, valleys and streams were very conducive for quiet reflection and meditation as well as for relaxation of body and mind. The healthy and tasty food provided supplemented the salubrious environment.

Some typical participant comments:

“All in all the entire programme was excellent.”
“The sessions were excellent. They were offered with much expertise and experientially.”
“All the facilitators were excellent… They did a commendable job.”

“I experienced Sumedha not as an institution but a home.”
“Felt really at home. No restrictions.”

“My purpose of coming here is fulfilled.”
“Helped a great deal to know and understand the person I am… Helped to go deep into myself”
“Learned to accept and love myself.”

“The inner journey together with all the participants helped me toward greater healing.”
 “Got rid of some deep hurts…”
 “I came with lots of stress and pain. I go back as a healed and renewed person.”
“It was truly a journey of healing and transformation.”

“The programme helped me become a more loving human being.”
 “I came exhausted and burnt out. Discovered the relational patterns that caused it. I return as a better person.”
“Enjoyed my life here very much. Enough time for everything - to read, reflect, pray, rest, relax and lots of space to move around”

 The 2015 schedule of  Sumedha Sadhana:

(SS-28). March 15-May 16
(SS-29). June 1 - August 2
(SS-30). October 2 - Deceber 3)

Sumedha Centre of Psychology and Spirituality is a venture of the Salesians of Don Bosco, New Delhi Province. It is located in the lush green Kumaon foot-hills of the Himalayas, 18 km south of the tourist town of Nainital.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


The half-way mark through the 27th Sumedha Sadhana was celebrated with an afternoon picnic to the River Bola, near Jeolikote,  on 25th October.

The river currently does not have much water. So, the participants could wade through the water, jump over the rocks  and prepare tea on the dry river bed famous for its  dark sand.

The 27th Sumedha Sadhana commenced on September 25. The first two weeks were facilitated by Jose Parappully, the Programme Director.

Parappully helped participants to look at the current realities on the psychospiritual journey, discern what God might be telling them through all that is happening and make choices as response to those invitations.

He traced the rise and fall of dominant cultural paradigms, especially the Dualistic-Mechanistic and the Holistic-Ecological and presented the impact of these paradigms on spirituality. He presented 17 characteristics of a “Mature Spirituality for Today” and helped participants to assess themselves on these characteristics and redesign their priorities.

He also helped them trace their developmental experiences through infancy to adolescence. He will be addressing Midlife dynamics later in the programme.

The films “Siddhartha,” and “Chocalat” supplemented class explorations.

The third week focused on “Personality and Spirituality.” Ajoy Fernandes, a counselling psychologist an currently Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Don Bosco Society, helped participants discover their personality types through the MBTI, and explored the implications of each personality type for spirituality. 

Fernandes presented the Jungian concepts of Persona and Shadow, Animus and Anima and their impact on personality and spirituality. He explored these concepts using structured exercises and the films “Spider Man” and “EarthSea.” The entire module was integrated through creation of Mandalas.

The theme for last week was “Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy.” This module was facilitated by Joe Mannath, currently Secretary of the Conference of Religious of India. Topics explored include Stages of Psychosexual Development, Celibate Maturity, Sexual Attraction in Ministry, integration of Sexual Feelings in Celibate Life, Helps to Happy Celibate Life, and Celibate Friendship. 

Class explorations were supplemented by films such as “Love Comes softly,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Joshua” as well as Video Meditations.

“Somatic Meditations” – consisting of Music, Songs, Yoga, Dance, Sacred Scripture, Centering Prayer and other forms of Meditations -- to begin the day are regular part of the Sumedha Sadhana. These are facilitated by Jose Parappully.

The  day concludes with creative Liturgies that integrate the day's experiences through Scripture, Songs and the Eucharist. 

Participants whose birthdays fall during the period of the Sadhana are felicitated with some level of festivities.

The 27th Sumedha Sadhana, the last for the year 2014, concludes on November 30.

Friday, October 3, 2014

27th SUMEDHA SADHANA - An Introduction

Sumedha Sadhana is a programme of inner journeying together with fellow seekers 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 juncture 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 helps us explore these current realities, as also our spirituality in the context of changing paradigms.

A major portion of the programme is devoted to the exploration of the psychological dynamics affecting our spiritual journey. We look at our early childhood developmental experiences, and more especially our 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 uses insights from various psychological theories, as well as tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis and Expressive Arts to help us explore these issues.

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

Sexuality has a profound impact on personality development as well as our spiritual journey. Often our sexuality has been wounded by wrong attitudes and negative life experiences. Joe Mannath helps us explore and understand human sexuality and affectivity and their healthy integration within our celibate lifestyle. Jose Parappully explores the prevalence and effects of Sexual Abuse and suggests healing remedies.

Jose Kuttianimattathil helps us experience Core Transformation by exploring and examining our least liked behaviours, feelings and responses to move toward the wellspring within us (Core State) which radiates peace, love and harmony.

In “Feminist& Women’s Spiritualities” Shalini Mulackal explores the meaning and scope of feminist spiritualities and looks at certain salient characteristics of spirituality from women’s perspective. She helps us look critically at some of the popular images of traditional Christian spirituality, the process of masculinisation of women’s spirituality, and religion’s subjugation of women.

We are provided opportunity for healing and transformation through group therapy. In the atmosphere of freedom, caring and trust that the group provides, we are helped 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 Maria Goretti K.  facilitate this process.

We conclude our Sumedha Sadhana with a spiritual retreat in which we are able to bring together and integrate all our experiences up to then in prayer and reflection around the Word of God. Jose Parappully facilitates this process.

Sumedha Sadhana 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 feel for 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.

There are 14 participants coming from four different countries.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The meeting of the Rectors and Leaders of Don Bosco institutions in the Province of New Delhi was held at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi on 24, 25 and 26th September.

Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, was one of the participants.

On the 26th Parappully made presentations on his experiences at the General Chapter of the Salesians of Don Bosco held at the Salesian Head Quarters in Rome in February- April this year. Parappully was the elected delegate of the New Delhi Province at the Chapter

At the New Delhi  meeting he shared his experiences of the Chapter, described the various dynamics that were part of the Chapter and presented priorities and the action plan drawn up for the next six years on a world-wide level. 

His presentations were highly appreciated.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


The Director of Sumedha Centre, Jose Parappully, animated the annual spiritual retreat of the rectors and leaders of the Don Bosco institutions in the Salesian Province of Guwahati, Assam from 13th to 19th September. 

Parappully had done the same last year as well.

The  retreat was based on the theme of the 27th General Chapter of the Salesians held in Rome from 22nd February to 12th April this year - "Radical Following of the Gospel." Parappully was a delegate at the General Chapter.

There were 36 participants.

The  following are sentiments expressed by the participants at the conclusion of the Retreat:

"We thank God for this wonderful experience, for some of us a profound experience, a felt experience of God during these days of retreat, encountering God 'as we are'. 

A wilderness and paradise experience, confronting the demons of our lives and feeling the closeness of God, a burning bush experience, vine and branches experience.

As leaders of communities we are asked to be seekers of God, passionate pilgrims of the absolute. It was a call to shed our cultivated appearances and superficial securities.

We say, a school or college or a Parish is as good as the Principal or Parish Priest. Now, after this retreat, that a retreat is as good as the preacher. The preacher (Fr. Jose)  was excellent. He put us into the right mode, he created the atmosphere, the climate and he knew exactly what the desired objectives were for this retreat.

Fr. Jose, a Salesian who is convinced of his life, and believes in what he says, who walks the talk, who has a passion for living life to the full, who does not shy away from saying what needs to be said and says it with diction, clarity and stress wherever needed. 

Here are some impressions of the participants of the retreat:

1. Januarius Sangma: The preacher combines many essential elements for a fruitful retreat very well: well prepared reflection talks, animation at Eucharist and adoration and lots of time for personal reflection and prayer. Insistence of solitude and silence was really helpful. As leaders, the retreatants showed admirable maturity and seriousness.

2. Joe Almeida - It was thought-provoking - inviting to living GC 27 and bring about a change in our way of living salesian life.

3. Joseph Teron - This is a truly deep Salesian Retreat. So rich in input and deep in reflections!

4. Charles Sangma - In the light of GC 27, the retreat was excellent and the preacher really wonderful, who understood the minds of two Rector Majors Fr. P.Chavez and Fr. Artime.

5. Marcus Lakra - good, inspiring knowledgeable about salesian way of life and living. It was really good. Fr. P.O. Jose - excellent in delivery, makes people think - what and how a salesian should be.

7. KJ Thomas - Powerful, convincing, competent, well-prepared presentation of the radicality of salesian life, mission and governance by animation.

8. Johnson Parackal - very well prepared talks with great content, insights and reflections helped me make a good retreat and very well delivered too.

9. MC George - In his typical salesian approach, powerful messages were passed on with a smiling face and gentle persuasion. 

10. Emmanuel Marangar - Retreat was a unique one for me. The preacher excellent, well-versed with the Bible. He has a profound knowledge on the GC and Church's Teachings.

11. Abraham Kanattu- The preacher was convinced and passionate about the subjects he dealt with.

12. Milon Narjary - It was touching and evoking in the heart.

13. K.O. Augustine - It was so convincing that we get convinced.

14. Albert Tyrniang - Meticulous preparations of presentations, Mass and Adoration

15. Barnabas Mardi - Presenting the most up to date knowledge about the congregation.

16. Denis Sangma - Thought-provoking, forceful, fruitful and up to the point.

17. CA John - Excellent Job - well prepared talks on relevant topics presented with passion and conviction.

18. Stephen Mavely: You strike the right chord all the time...every time!

(Collated and presented by by John Parankimalil)