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.