Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Technology and Religion, both are needed and a greater complementarity is to be ensured for a better living. This was perhaps the winning argument (or proposal) of the Annual Debate held at St. John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba on December 14, 2010. The College witnessed a lively volley of arguments to and from peppered by few torggers by Fr. Anthony Puthussery,
The Moderator, on the theme 'Technology and Religion are Complementary'.

The eight speakers of the day, representing a growth group each were well prepared with their talks and set in motion the arguments during the 50 minutes floor discussion. The Presence of Fr. Anthony as the Moderator proved to be a great help in directing the flow of the debate. He rightly clarified terms, rephrased questions, tickled deeper reflection, and offered valuable insights all along. Though the focus of the discussion stayed mostly on the technological front the validity of the arguments could not be denied.

The strongest argument of the team against the motion was that God was being replaced by modern adrared technology and that technology is a greater distraction than aid in evangelization. Those for the motion strongly argued that Technology and Religion have a common origin, goal and their difference in the method of reaching the goal, only endorses the complementarity.
Fr. Rinoy Joseph, in his concluding remarks pointed out that in and through the whole procedure there were more proposals them opponents. He complimented the students for taking an active part and encouraged them to continue reading, reflecting and challenging one another in line with the theme of the debate.
Prof. Ratnasekhar and Br. Vincent Castilino were the judges - The team which argned against the motion were eventually declared winners. Fr. Wilson Jose, the Principal was the main brain, hands and legs behind the whole programme, with a little help from the Rainbow Group.
Report by M.H. Wilson

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Annual Spiritual Youth Retreat

The Mother Teresa Group Members Celebrated organized the Annual Youth Retreat on December 15, Sunday, 2010, with the help of their animator Fr. Rinoy Joseph. There were totally 75 youngster from the various places to which Brothers go for their week-end ministry.

This Retreat was animated by Fr. Yugul Kumar from Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam. He gave an inspiring and wonderful talk to the youth to renew their lives. he led the youth towards the Lord Jesus by animating the adoration in the evening and by the celebration of the Holy at noon Mass. The youth felt very happy for coming here and taking part in this retreat. Their joy and happiness was evident in their faces and in their words. They also complimented Fr. Yugul for his piety and great zeal for in his Ministry.
The One-day retreat started at 11.00 am. followed by the words of welcome given by Br. B. Balaraju, the leader of the groups At 11.30 am. Fr. Yugul Kumar started his talk and concluded it at 1.00 pm. After the talk the group moved for lunch and some free time.
Fr. Yugul conducted the adoration at 2.15 pm. and at 3.00 pm. we started the Mass. The Mass singing was looked after by Bros. Velangani and B. Sunil. Prayer of the faithful was led by B. Lourdu and Offertory was seen to by G. Mariadas. The concluding vote of thanks was given by K. Raphael. M. Rajendra and S. Sudhakar prepared the stage backdrop and water arrangements were overseen by P. Chaitanya and K. Rajendra.
Report by Br. B. Balaraju

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Annual Seminary Day

The annual community day of St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba was celebrated on November 30, 2010. Titled, 'Seminary Day' this annual feature had a special significance this year given the person of the chief guest: the Archbishop of Visakhapatnam, Most Rev. Kagithapu Mariadas. Being his golden jubilee year of ordination, the programme was focussed on felicitating him on this occasion. Being the most instrumental cause in bringing the Seminary to Kondadaba, the institute owes a great debt of gratitude to him... hence this celebration. Another surprise guest of the day was the Bishop of Adilabad, Rev. Joseph Kunnath.

The day began with the Solemn Eucharistic celebration at 11 am (delayed by an hour due to the ill-health of the archbishop). There were about 20 Priests and an equal number of religious sisters and lay people to participate in the Mass. The singing was special as all the hymns were composed and set to music by the Brothers themselves. The liturgy was animated by the third course Brothers under the guidance of Fr K.T. Jose, the Rector.

The short cultural programme and felicitation held in the hall was further shortened due to the delayed beginning. With each course performing an item (song, dance and an address) the programmes were of short duration. Fr Sagili Devadas, the Spiritual Director of the Seminary, spoke at length about the Archbishop and his long association with him, drawing out his exemplary virtues: sharp memory, sincere love for the Church and faithful, true to his call of Priesthood, exemplary friendship and sincere concern for the poor. The Bishop addressing the gathering just exhorted everyone to 'be obedient'.

The sumptuous meal that followed was arranged by the administrator, Fr Rinoy Joseph. By half past three the celebrations were over and the community spent some time putting back things in order. Later the community gathered for Rosary and a thanksgiving adoration.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Priests at Kondadaba

On November 15, 2010 two new Salesian priests of the Province of Hyderabad celebrated their first Mass in the Seminary: Fr Mattukoyya Mariadas and Fr Govindu Joseph. Though their ordination was a couple of months ago, they made it to the Seminary this time. Fr Govindu also had the privilege of being on the staff of the Seminary as the Regent in the academic year 2002-2003. Coming back to the Seminary brought back to him fond memories he said!

While both of them glorified God and thanked all the members for their prayers and support, each of them offered a very valuable insight into their life and formation. Fr Govindu emphasised the need to value and utilise time. Fr Mariadas reiterated the need to be constantly grateful to God and offered a list of virtues that a Seminarian ought to have (or avoid) in order to be Men of God. Fr Mariadas also recounted his initial difficulties, especially with regard to health and recounted God's gracious assistance in helping him overcome them all to be now His Priest.

After Mass at 6.30 am, breakfast followed, during which the Brothers congratulated the two priests and wished them well in their Priestly ministry.

Animation of the sponsored children and Parents

On Sunday November 14, 2010 as the nation celebrated Children's Day, the Seminary of St John's, Kondadaba had a extended celebration of the same feast. It was a day when all the children sponsored by the Seminary for their education were invited to the Seminary for a day of animation and input sessions, along with their parents. In order to make the most of the event, only the full time scholarship students and their parents were invited. In all there were 125 people in the campus for the day. The day of animation was planned and organised in order to bring further awareness of the need and importance of education in the lives of young people and the wonders a proper education can do in the life of not just the student but in the family as well.
The theme of the day was Education for leadership. Children as well as parents were exalted to be a model to their neighbours and excel in virtues so as to help other parents, children and young people to tangibly see the glories of a fruitful education. Fr Sagili Devadas, the Spiritual director of the Seminary, in his address emphasised this point. This sponsorship programme which was initiated and is sustained through the kind help of benefactors from Italy, especially Fr Zuffetti was first started in 1995. Thousands, since then, have benefitted from this novel and noble help.
The highlight of the event was the sharing of the participants. On being invited to share their experience of witnessing their children go through the rigours of formal education and come up in life, parents were very thrilled beyond words. The children were proud to be looked up to not just by their friends and villagers but by their own parents. It was very touching to see and hear their testimonies of how education has transformed their life and living.

The programme of the day commenced at 10.30 am and concluded with a personal chat with the Coordinator of the sponsorship, Fr KT Jose (who is also the Rector of the Seminary) sometime before 4 pm. Fr KT Jose was assisted by the two growth groups of Suvarthasunadam and Vidya Jyothi for the planning and organisation of the day.

Br Swarna Anil MSFS (B. Ph. I yr)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A life more than exemplary... Bocha Ravi Kumar

The life of this boy can certainly be called exemplary, not just for what he has today become but also for what he intends to do in the future. It is not just a story of a boy who rose from rags to riches but that of sheer determination and will power to do something challenging and noble in life. A thatched hut for a home, a sick mother for a family, a street light for a study lamp and an ailment that threatened his very sanity and almost led him to be an outcast were all that he had when he began his studies at the local school 15 years ago. Today the same lad (now a young man) has in hand job offers from 7 multi-national companies to join their team of engineers with a fat pay, besides a student enrollment letter cum grand scholarship from IIT, Kanpur with a monthly stipend of Rs 12,000. Welcome to the life of Bocha Ravi Kumar! Read on...

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The 83 brothers of St. John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba had their Annual Spiritual Retreat for the Academic Year 2010-2011 from November 1, 2010 to November 6, 2010. The team of Animators for the Charismatic Retreat had come from Ajmer, Rajasthan. It was a 5 members team headed by Sr. Vinaya and Fr. Thomas OFM Cap. It was a special occasion for prayer and inner healing. we had animated morning prayer and adoration after supper everyday.

Fr. Thomas and Sr. Gabriel were available for individual counselling all the while. The talks were mostly delivered by Fr. Thomas. They were very inspirational and beautiful with the themes centering on the problems faced in the process of formation and life in general.

All the brothers made use of this opportunity for prayer, reflection and counselling. Moreover the brothers learnt quite a few English Devotional songs as well as action songs from Sr. Pearl. The last day of the retreat was a day of fasting. Earlier one of days was set side for confessions. Indeed, it was great opportunity to enter into a new life after having special talks as well as counselling. the effort all the whole was to be the credible disciple of Christ on the service of the Church.

Special thanks to the animation team and Fr. Rector [K.T. Jose] who arranged the retreat and saw to every small detail of the week long programme.

Report by Br K. Elisha [Guntur]

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Go... and tell them" Mission Congress at Kondadaba

A two day seminar on the theme of mission was organised at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba from October 28 to 29, 2010. Fr Anikuzhkattil Jose sdb from Shillong, Meghalaya was the resource person for these two days of enriching sharing and enlightening about the concept of mission, especially from the context of the Catholic Church.

Being from the North-East of India where missionary endeavour takes a different slant, Fr A.L. Jose was able to help the Seminarians seen the different modalities of carrying out the one mission of Jesus Christ. The Brothers loved this comparative study and analysis as it helped them much to acquire new skills and also evaluate operational techniques for greater efficacy and results.

Citing relevant Church documents and texts supporting the primary mission of the Mother Church, the animator, helped the Brothers focus their attention on the theme under discussion. Using convincing narratives and examples, he quelled the myth that mission is meant only for the ordained. He time and again emphasised the point that every heart with Christ is a missionary and every heart without one is a mission field. Thus more than initiating the students to the whole concept of 'mission' the animator aptly helped them get a holistic view of the same. At the end of the seminar, the Evangelisation team put up a dance for a meaningful song depicting the joy of proclamation. The seminar was organised by the Speed and Speed group under the dynamic guidance and assistance of Fr Wilson Jose, the Principal.

On the second day morning Fr AL Jose had a surprise in store as the community specially prayed and celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Ordination (Jan. 4, 1986). It is interesting to note that Fr AL Jose is the 10th child of 15 children, of whom 6 are Priests (one of them a Bishop as well) and 4 are Nuns. Armed with the motto 'To spread God's love like sweet fragrance', Fr Jose is presently the Rector of the Salesian Training Centre in Shillong. He is also the visiting professor at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong.

(Report: Br K. Elisha)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Youth as the inspirational light: Youth Day at Kondadaba

Commemorating the Year of the Youth as declared by the United Nations, and continuing the Salesian tradition of imparting youth ministry skills to the Seminarians at St John’s Regional Seminary, Kondadaba, the annual Youth Day was held on October 24, 2010. A total of 148 young people from nearly 16 places visited by the Brothers on weekends for their ministry took active part in this one day programme. The whole programme, with the theme, Youth as the light of the world, was well planned and organized by the Youth Alive group members.

The day’s programme commenced with a well orchestrated stage presentation. The Chinese acrobats were the inspiration for this. After a prayer dance, the customary lighting of the lamp and words of welcome by one of the group members, the sessions for the day commenced. The chief resource person for the day was Br Vincent Castilino, who exhorted and challenged the young people to realize or frame their goal in life and have worthy role models who would inspire them in attaining their dreams. He communicated his insights using a mixture of games, songs and multimedia programme which kept the group awake and interested. The Youth Alive team members actively collaborated and added grace to the occasion by their dances and songs, all centred on the theme of the day.

Prior to lunch, the whole group was divided into ten groups (mostly according to their villages) and asked to prepare a short skit (of only two minutes) on any one of the issues that they would like to effect a change in. It was interesting as many of the groups pointed out significant areas where, as young people, they could take the initiative or lend a great support: blood donation, fund raising, counteracting peer pressure tactics… The idea of ‘paying forward’ in kind, the educational support they received from others was a novel ideal too. The day ended with them taking a pledge to do their bit in making this world, country, village a better place. Besides these there were several rounds of games, both indoors and outdoors – of course, the sudden heavy showers added greater thrill.

After the usual round of ‘thanks’ and distribution of prizes by Fr Wilson, the Principal, the youngsters were treated to a simple tea. As is customary with any mega event, the planning and preparation take longer time than the programme itself. This was totally and meticulously seen to by the Youth Alive team members, under the leadership of Br Satish (former leader) and Br Sagar (the present group leader). Much planning, hard work and team effort was visible from their part.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

B'days of Frs KT, Devadas and Rinoy

The postponed b'day of Fr Rinoy and the anticipated b'day celebrations of Frs Devadas (Oct. 29) and KT Jose (Nov. 2) were held on October 19, 2010. Though each of them refused to solemnize the day, the community made a humble effort at expressing its love and appreciation for their life and sincere dedication towards the formative process of the community, especially the seminarians. The day commenced with a solemn Mass presided over by Fr Devadas. In his homily he stated that each and everyone of us ought to be accountable to God for the gift of life and the abundance of graces He showers on us, through this initial gift of life. The Mass was animated by Chaitanya Deepika and Vidya Jyoti.

The felicitation and cultural programmes to honour and appreciate their efforts was held in the afternoon prior to lunch in the hall. Each of the courses put up a programme to convey their love for the staff celebrating their b'days. The first years put up a comedy skit directed by Lourdu Marreddy; while the second years danced their way in to the hearts of the community (tutored by Mariaraj) and the third years sang a b'day song in honour of the three b'day babies. The song was composed by Karunakar. The programme was organised by the Mother Teresa and Suvartha Sunadam group. Fr Rinoy, concluded the celebrations and on behalf of the three, thanked the community for their expression of love and joy. Being a working day, the classes and the rest of the schedule was as usual. The only exception was the absence of BA classes as the college was closed for the Dusshera holidays (till Oct 20).

The celebrations were anticipated since Fr Devadas was moving out for his retreat and would be absent on Oct. 29, his original birth date. Fr Rector, KT Jose's b'day falls on Nov. 2, during which the Brothers would be in the midst of the annual spiritual retreat.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Visit of the Vice-Provincial

On October 16, 2010 the Vice-Provincial of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad, Fr Thathireddy Vijayabhaskar made his maiden official visit to the Seminary at Kondadaba. He arrived the previous night from Muniguda (Orissa). He presided over the Holy Eucharistic celebration that morning and exhorted the Brothers to live a deeper life in communion with the Lord. Citing the challenges that lay ahead in life, he recommended that each one strives towards becoming men of God capable of responding to the growing challenges of the times.

The community then sang a song of welcome for him after Mass (before b'fast). Having spent half a day with us he proceeded to make a visit of the Navajeevan Centres in Vizag. He assured that he would be back soon and then spend quality time with the community.

It would be good to note that Fr Thathireddy Bhaskar spent nearly 5 years of the formative and later years here at Kondadaba and served the community in various ways: as regent, professor and librarian. Thus the community was happy to welcome back one of its own members after a long duration. Having completed his doctorate in Philosophy and communication, he was elected as the sixth Vice-Provincial of the Salesian Province in April 2010.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

B'day of Fr Rinoy (Oct. 14, 2010)

On October 14, 2010 the community celebrated the b'day of Fr Rinoy Joseph, the administrator. Though there were no grand external celebrations, the morning liturgical celebrations were solemenised under the able direction of Fr KT Jose, the Rector. Respecting the sentiments and the ernest request of the b'day baby, no community get together was organised, besides the cutting of the cake in the morning before b'fast. However, it was agreed that there would be a combined celebration of two more staff members later during the week.

All the same, we wish Fr Rinoy a very happy b'day and THANK him sincerely for the sincere and committed effort that he puts in day in and day out, to make this community a better community. Though his efforts at improving the ecological balance of the community, by beautifying the campus, cannot be overlooked, there are several other features that need to be acknowledged of one so involved in making this seminary a home. Some among those would be his attitude towards work, study and discipline of life - something tough to follow but he leads by example!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monthly Recollection (October 2010)

The monthly recollection for the month of October 2010, the first month of the Second semester was organised on October 12, 2010. Fr Mathew, the Parish Priest of Kailasapuram was the animator of the recollection. During hi stalk he shared with the community his personal experiences about the constant presence and support of the Eucharistic Lord, in spite and through his moments of doubt and difficulty. He also celebrated the Mass for the community in the evening. He was assisted for hearing the confessions by Frs Anithottam (Kondadaba), Prasad (Mangalapalem), and Jose Maliekal (Rector of Don Bosco Philosophate, Karunapuram and a guest of the community for a couple of days).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Second semester 2010-2011

On October 6, 2010 the community gathered for the evaluation of the first semester and with enthusiasm began the second semester the following day with a full round of class. The present semester would fly past with plenty of activities and academic requirements. But we're all set to go...!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vanabojanam (October 4, 2010)

As part of the Semester holidays, Monday (October 4, 2010) was a day in the 'forest' as per their respective courses... day of vanabhojanam! Some of the staff members visited the Brothers and had a taste of their well prepared meals! While some were not so lucky as the whole preparation was finished clean by the hungry Brothers and the staff was late in reaching the place!

The Brothers had scouted for their respective places the previous day and had made the necessary purchases for their frying pans, pots and masalas!

All in all, it was a memorable day for the Brothers as it gave them an opportunity to bond together as a group over a cooking pot!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cultural Day (October 2, 2010)

On October 2, 2010 the Seminary celebrated the Cultural Day... a bit differently from the previous years. Rather than just an event to showcase the skills and talents at random, the focus of this year was on the presentation of the culture of Andhra Pradesh. Nearly 63 Brothers participated in this event which lasted for the whole morning. Ranging from singing, dancing and mimicry, the Brothers came up with creative means of portraying the rich cultural heritage of Andhra Pradesh. Fr Joseph Anithottam (Parish Priest of Kondadaba), Srs Clara and Prasanna (Sisters from the nearest and latest convent) and Mr Praveen (the Music master) were the judges invited to evaluate the performances of the students.

Some of the events were organised as a group while most were left for individual participation. Each of the growth group came up with a dance and a fancy dress show presenting some scenario of our state. For the individual competition, there was the harmonium, tabala, congo, kanjira, guitar, dance and mimicry. The speech competition too was well participated with very many highlighting certain significant and lesser known facts of Andhra Pradesh.

The whole programme was well planned, coordinated and organised by the Speed and Speed group.