"The family or home is the first seminary," stressed Bp Paul Maipan (Bishop of Khammam) and the special invitee on the occasion of the Parents' day (September 4, 2010) at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba. The chief guest(s) were the Parents of the Brothers doing their third year of Philosophy. In all 111 guests (parents and relatives) spent nearly two memorable days enjoying the royal hospitality offered by the community, especially through the hard work and sacrifice of the second and first year course Brothers.
On the real day of celebration, the Bishop addressed the parents and brothers (only third course) in the morning. He beautifully spoke of the family as the cradle of faith and catechesis. While formation houses claim to be places where would-be Priests are trained, the real formation already takes place much before, in the mother`s lap and the fathers arms, he stated. The formation process merely builds upon this, he added. Later during the Holy Mass, he addressed the Brothers and exhorted them to let the formation sink in to their hearts and minds.
The felicitation programme organized by the Second and First course Brothers was a good occasion to honour and thank the Parents for their contribution to the Church and the community in the person of their sons. Besides the several songs and dances, there was also a skit enacted by the Brothers conveying the message of true Christian charity based on the model of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The programme concluded with a message by the Bishop and his blessing. Thanks to the Rector of the seminary, Fr KT Jose, each family received a token gift of some religious articles from the hands of the Bishop.
In the afternoon of the 4th of September 2010 there was time for the Brothers to gather as per their respective dioceses to interact with the parents and share news and views. The following morning the Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr Rector and animated by the third course brothers themselves. The offertory procession with the parents bringing their sons to the altar was a very moving one, especially for the third years and their parents.
The Mass on the day of arrival (September 3, 2010) was celebrated by Fr Sagili Devadas, the Spiritual director of the community. In his inaugural words he spoke of the need to be among the five sincere and committed Priests rather than the fifty 'good-for-nothing' priests in every diocese or congregation. He exhorted the parents to continue supporting their wards, especially by their prayers. The informal get-together organized after supper witnessed the Parents join in singing and playing games with the Brothers.
Besides visiting the seminary, the parents took this opportunity to have a tour of Vizag city or the beautiful Araku valley. Of course, they were accompanied by their sons. This is the third time the Parents' day is celebrated in the Seminary in as many years. The basic rationale behind this programme is to offer to parents an opportunity to interact with their wards in the concrete context of their life in the seminary. Furthermore this greatly helps in the formation process by way of increasing the motivation of the students and inspiring them to continue striving for higher and greater goals, on their journey to Priesthood and sanctity.