Monday, December 28, 2015


May  23-28-2016

Course Description

In this module we shall explore the uniquely male personality features and their development and the midlife dynamics that affect them using various developmental theories, myths and metaphors, following especially the Hero’s Journey. 

Masculine spirituality will be explored through the lens of Mark’s Gospel.

Faculty: Gerard Alvarez MA, Jose Parappully, PhD


Sumedha Sadhana
March 15-May 16; June 1–August 2; and September 28-November 29, 2016

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 life patterns and make one’s ministry more fulfilling.

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; Core Transformation -- 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 spiritual 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: 32-62 years)

Ajoy Fernandes PhD (Personality & Spirituality). Alba Rodrigues MA (Cosmic Spirituality, Yoga). Gerard Alvarez MA (The Storied Word: Ours, Jesus’ and the Universe’s). Joe Mannath PhD (Sexuality, Celibacy & Intimacy). Jose Kuttianimattathil PhD (Core Transformation). Jose Parappully PhD (Psychological Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey, Trauma & Healing, Group Therapy, Retreat). M. Goretti Kanakarathinam MA (Group Therapy, Befriending Our Emotions). MC Abraham PhD (Group Therapy). Shalini Mulackal PhD (Feminist & Women’s Spirituality)



2016 Programmes

1.      (SS-28) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) - (9 weeks)
March 15-May 16

2.    (SS-29) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) – (9 weeks)
June 1–August 2

3.     (MMM-1) Midlife, Masculinity and Mysticism (A Programme for Men) (6 Days)
May 23-28
     4.     (NPW- 1) Neuro-Linguistic Progamming and Psychospiritual Well-Being (6Days)
September 1- 6

5.    (SDS-1) Social Discrimination Stress and Psychospiritual Well-Being (6 Days)
September 15-20

6.   (SS-33) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) - (9 weeks)

September 28-November 29

Registration is open. Please contact:

Friday, December 25, 2015


Wishing all the Sumedhans and friends of Sumedha a very joyous and grace-filled Christmas and a new year full of God's choices blessings fro you, your families, communities and friends.

The accompanying picture presents the reality of the birth of Jesus without any of the embellished  trappings - an exhausted Mary, an anxious and worried Joseph and a frail baby born at a wayside inn/stable who does not know what is happening to him - an oft repeated human situation.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The 9- week Sumedha Sadhana – A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey - concluded, as reported earlier on this page, on December 3, 2015. It had commenced on October 2, with 20 participants from several religious congregations and one diocese.

Comments from participants affirm that the programme has had a healing and transformative effect on each of them, confirming that Sumedha  Centre truly lives up to its USP: “Healing and Transformation.”

The core of the comments is that each of the participants had arrived at the Centre with a good deal of negativity and pain affecting their lives and they were going back as very different persons.
Some typical comments:
Participants' comments

“The programme was systematically organized, one module leading seamlessly into another. I am fully satisfied. My goals have been more than met. There is a very good blend of psychology and spirituality here. And a great family spirit.” S.

“From the very beginning the programme was spot on. The organization couldn’t be better. The content so very rich. Journeying together as a family was the highlight. The atmosphere created was so conducive. The programme is top-class!”  T.

“It was a “Wow! Experience all the way – from the first to the last. The entire programme, the environment, is so beautiful, so enriching. The acceptance and love from everyone was amazing!” F.

“I came with a lot of baggage, clouds of darkness, feeling I was on the road to perdition, with lots of addictions. Each class enlightened and enriched me, helped me take a good look at myself and accept myself and look to future with hope. I feel so much alive. Being together, sharing together has been most helpful.” M.

“The entire programme was well planned, organized and executed. It was very professional in every way. The retreat really helped to integrate the entire experience.” T.

“I had resigned to my supposed fate, believing my life would forever be a vale of pain and suffering. Sumedha changed all that, gave me a new lease of life. Everything is a sweet memory.” s.

“I was focused on work and success, had no time to look at myself. I came here very unhappy. Change started with the very first session. Sumedha challenged me. I wanted to go back, it was too painful to face myself. But then I stayed and decided to face it… I go back healed, energized and deeply touched by God.”  R.

“I came here so confused, my inner self in turmoil. I had lost all interest in my ministry…. Confusion is gone now. I have a clear goal. I experience real freedom.” V.

"I go back having collected lots of fruits from the this programme. I had never let others see the girl who was crying inside But here I opened the door to others to see me as I am. My life has changed so much." L.

I came with lots of worry, tension, confusion, nervousness, non-acceptance of mission given. I go back enriched, strengthened to face the future…” M.

“Sumedha has truly been a journey into the well of my life. I recognized my house was in disorder … discovered the reasons for the same and feel very liberated. I have been able to let go of many things.” F.

“Sumedha experience marks the beginning of a 2nd journey for me. I had come here very hurt and broken. I go back with lots of joy, with a determination to make my life a celebration. Sumedha is truly a wonderful programme.” T

“I received more than what I was looking for. “ R.

“I came here feeling “useless.” There was no joy in whatever I did. I felt I was frozen. Here I discovered the defense mechanisms that were stopping me from being real. Group therapy helped me to discover myself and forgive myself, evoking a new sense of self. The retreat gave me an experience of God’s unconditional love for me.” C.

“ I have gathered so many treasures from Sumedha. I was a dead person when I arrived. I came weighed down by lethargy, loss of enthusiasm, my heart hard as a stone. From the very first Eucharist the stone began to melt. I learned to accept and love myself, enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Therapy took me deeper and deeper into myself and helped heal so much woundedness.” J.

“I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the Sumedha programme. It was a real eye opener for me. I learned a lot from each class. Process spirituality has transformed my whole outlook on life. Liturgies were so meaningful. The retreat was the culmination. I thoroughly enjoyed the food, and the accommodation. I go back a different person.” J.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


The 9-week long 30th Sumedha Sadhana (Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) concluded on December 3rd.

The last module of the programme was a Spiritual Retreat based on the theme "Wilderness" and "Paradise." It was facilitated by Jose Parappully.

Following the Retreat there were two days for the participants to integrate all the experiences of the 9 weeks through Expressive Arts. This process of integration was also facilitated by Jose Parappully.

The next Sumedha Sadhana commences on March 15, 2016. Registrations are open.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Another Sumedha Sadhana and another picnic to the lakes! Tradition continues...

The picnic is usually held the day after group therapy concludes and before the spiritual retreat that concludes the Sumedha Sadhana experience.

So on Monday, 24th November, all the participants along with the Salesian staff went on a picnic.

Our first stop usually is what is known as the "Pilot Baba Temple/Ashram," about six km away from and very well visible from Sumedha Centre at a place called Gethia. There is also a school there besides meditation halls.

The place has a large number of statues of gods and godesses as well as of men and women in various yogic and meditative pose, including a rare statue of a female Budha or Budhini.

We then stop at what is known to us as the "Bell Temple, at Ghora Khal, a favourite of newly married couples. There are thousands (some pujari told us nearly a crore!) of brass bells tied there by devotees. We get a a wonderful view of Bhimtal from there.

Next stop: Naukuchiatal- "Nine-Cornered Lake" - a favourite spot for photographs. Participants love climbing the trees overhanging the water.

On our return from Naukuchiatal we stop at Bhimtal and then move on to Sattal (Seven lakes) where we have our lunch.

Following lunch there are lots of leisure time activities to engage in, such as boat ride in the lake, walk up to the Christian Ashram, pony ride and dressing up in exotic dresses to get photographed, shopping and so on.

We get back late in the evening. The following day is rest, to get ready for  the Spiritual Retreat that begins the next day.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Group therapy is an important module of Sumedha Sadhana - A Psychospritual Wholeness Journey -, Sumedha Centre's niche programme.

In the atmosphere of freedom, caring and trust that the therapy group provides, participants are helped to face their brokenness and their fears, their dysfunctional defenses and their unhelpful patterns of living and relating, and to move toward greater healing and wholeness by adopting and practising healthier attitudes and behaviours. 

In the words of Alexander Lowen, the Founder of the Bioenergetic school of psychotherapy, the purpose of therapy is to expand one's capacity to love and receive love, to expand one's heart and not just one's mind.

Participants were divided into two groups. One group was led by Dr. MC Abraham, PhD. A former Programme Director of Sadhana Institute, Lonavla and Founder- Director of Pastoral Management programme at Jnandeepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, Dr. Abraham currently is the Director of the Moreau Institute for Integral Training at Shilling.

The other group was led by Dr. Jose Parappully PhD, the Director of Sumedha Centre.

The groups found the therapy experience profoundly enriching and transformative.

The concluding module of the 30th Sumedha Sdhana concludes with a a Spiritual Retreat beginning on November 24th. It will be facilitated by Dr. Jose Parappully.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Sr. Stella Davassy, Mother General of the Society of Helpers Mary, accompanied by the members of the Generalate of the Society at Andheri, Mumbai, visited Sumedha Centre yesterday (20/11/15).

Bishop Isidore Fernandes, the former Bishop of Allahabad, spent some time with them narrating the history of Jeolikote.

The director of sumedha, Jose Parappully, took them around introducing the Centre to them. He  had done a workshop on "Psychospritual Integration During Post-Midlife Years" for the senior sisters of the Congregation September this year. He will be doing a similar programme next September as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Along with Deepavali - the Festival of Lights -  (on 11th November) Sumedhans celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Religious profession of Sr Namrata, one of the participants in the ongoing Sumedha Sadhana,

It was a day of thanksgiving for Namrata, who professed in the Congregation of St. Theresa 25 years ago as well as renewal of her commitment.

Her fellow participants made a big fuss around her. Besides a beautifully organised Holy Eucharist, there was a very joyful felicitation following a delicious dinner (cooked by the participants)

Sumedha Centre congratulates Namrata and wishes her many, many more years of joyful religious living.

Monday, October 26, 2015


The 30th Sumedha Sadhana – A Psychospritual Wholeness Journey – commenced on October 2 with 20 participants – the highest number ever. The previous highest number was 19. Of these 14 are women and 6 are men (four priests and two religious brothers, including a Salesian brother).

The foundational module, facilitated by Jose Parappully, the Director of the Centre was “Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey.” This module used insights from psychology, especially developmental theories, to help participants to examine their understanding of and way of living their spiritual journey.

Gerard Alvarez, a Christian Brother and Trainer, currently residing at St. Joseph’s College, Nainital, used stories of Jesus (especially as narrated in the Gospel of Mark) and the emerging Universe Story to help participants to look at their own stories.

This week the participants explore “Feminist and Women’s Spirituality” This module is facilitated by Presentation Sister Shalini, Professor at Vidyajyoti College of Theology, New Delhi.

Recreation common, birthday celebrations and picnics are also part of the Sumedha journey along with the serious work of self-exploration and self-transformation.

Remaining Modules: Core Spirituality by Jose Mathew Kuttianimatathil PhD; Unconscious Dynamics & Psycho-Spiritual Maturity by Johny Dominic PhD; Group Therapy by Johny Dominic PhD, Jose Parappully PhD and MC Abraham PhD; and Spiritual Retreat by Jose Parappully PhD.

This 9-week programme concludes on December 3. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Director of Sumedha Centre, Jose Parappully, was invited to do a three-day renewal programme on “Psychosexual and Celibate Integration” for the members of the Helpers of Mary Congregation in Mumbai.

The programme was held at Shradha Ashram on the campus of the Generalate of the congregation at Andheri, Mumbai on September 22-24, 2015. There were 47 participants who were in the age bracket of 60-70.

Parappully explored the topic in the context of the dynamics of midlife and the post-midlife years which these Sisters were experiencing or had experienced.

The topics covered included: Dynamics of Midlife and Later Years; Sex, Sexuality and Intimacy; Celibacy and Chastity; Man-Woman Friendships within Celibate Living and God’s Second Call to a Deeper spiritual Life.

What the participants found most useful was the clarity that was provided on the various concepts and dynamics covered. The opportunity to share in groups what they had experienced and were experiencing brought relief and comfort.

One common observation was that it would have been very beneficial if the programme had been offered when they were experiencing these dynamics and confused during their midlife years.

A second common observation was that there was no one with whom they could share their experiences at the time and seek guidance and had to cope and make sense on their own.

Since most of the participants were leaders of communities or of organisations, they felt the knowledge they gained was very useful to understand and help those they were leading, besides helping make sense of their own experiences.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The Director of Sumedha Centre, Dr. Jose Parappully, was invited to do three Workshops for the teachers in schools run by Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Mumbai.

The first Workshop, on September 10, 2015, was for the teachers of St. Antony’s Girls’ High School, close to Mumbai Central station, in a comparatively poor and socially backward area of Mumbai. There were 36 teachers participating.

The topic of the Workshop was “Educating with the Heart.”

Beginning with the inspirational movie “Making a Difference” which refers to the importance of being sensitive to the emotional situations of the students, Dr. Parappully focused on what it means to be an Emotionally Sensitive Teacher.

Sighting relevant psychological theory and research, he  emphasized the importance of creating an environment in which students’ basic emotional needs for relatedness, competence and autonomy are met. He highlighted the crucial role of empathetic understanding and communication.

The second and third workshops were held for the teachers of Villa Theresa School, located at Cumballa Hill, an economically and socially upscale area of Mumbai.

These workshops here were focused on “Enhancing Educational Excellence.”

The first of these workshops, on September 11, was for 36 teachers and non-teaching staff of the secondary section of the school. The second, on September 12, was for 34 teachers of the pre-primary and primary sections.

Using data from Organizational Psychological research, Dr. Parappully highlighted the ingredients that contribute to institutional excellence, and how these can be cultivated at Villa Theresa School.

Short films, songs, experiential exercises, and group discussions were used to explore current realities and future possibilities, and arrive at practical decisions and commitments.

Teachers found all three workshops very relevant and useful. The insights gained and the decisions they have arrived at, they observed, will certainly help them to be more emotionally sensitive and to be more effective both as teachers as well as an institution.