Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Mass and Recollection

The second monthly recollection of the academic year which was scheduled today was also an occasion for the solemn thanksgiving first Mass of a newly ordained Salesian Priest, Fr Yandava Kalyan. The animator of the recollection was Fr Balaraj OCD from Pendurthy. Besides the reflections shared by Frs Balaraj and Kalyan (during the Mass), the one that touched most of the listeners was the few words spoken by the mother of Fr Kalyan after supper. She informed the community that Fr Kalyan, as a boy was very mischievous but now he, as a Priest he is very refined. She, in all her simplicity and ernestness, asked the Brothers to be mischievous but sincerely strive to be good Priests. It was also a very touching moment to remember the deceased father of Fr Kalyan, Mr Y. Prasad who was once the MRO of the Kothavalasa - a man much loved and admired by many.

Fr Balaraj, in his animation talk, spoke of the inevitability of suffering and trials in the life of a Christian. He attributed them all to God and stated that this is His way of making us stronger and grow deeper in His attachment. He listed six types of tests that every Christian has to undergo in order to deepen in one's faith: Test of wilderness, Patience, Motivation, Failure, Discouragement and Misunderstanding. Using relevant Biblical passages to prove his point and as references for further reading and reflection, Fr Balaraju kept the community attentive also through his informal sharing of amusing anecdotes and examples.

In his sermon, Fr Kalyan citing his own life as an example, stressed the need to place our trust in God, the spiritual director and the Rector. He exhorted the Brothers to become Priests 'worth their salt'. He assured that Priestly journey is not a bed of roses, but if we are faithful to God, He will lead and guide us. The Holy Mass, concelebrated by Fr KT and Fr Wilson, was animated by the Suvartha Sunadam and Vidya Jyothi groups.

Fr Kalyan, the only Salesian from the whole northeastern region of Andhra Pradesh (comprising of the districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Vizag, E. Godavari), hails from Vijayanagaram district and is presently posted in the novitiate at Manoharabad. Fr Kalyan was ordained on May 28, 2011 in Italy where he did his two years of regency and later completed his theology.

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