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]