Thursday, November 24, 2011

Annual Seminary Day 2011: Kondadaba

The Andhra Pradesh Bishop's Conference's Regional Seminary, St John's at Kondadaba (35 kms from the port city of Visakhapatnam) celebrated its 24th annual Seminary Day on November 22, 2011. The chief guest of the day was Most Rev. A. Innaiah (Bishop of Srikakulam). The highlights of the day were the Holy Mass in the morning, the 3-act English play on the Kingdom of God in the evening, the presence of many well wishers and friends of the Seminary and the planting of the commemorative Jubilee plant on the occasion of the commencement of the Jubilee year of the Seminary.

With due and intense preparations already in place, the community was peacefully ready to celebrate its annual seminary day right since the early morning. The animated morning prayers helped the community focus on its inner strengths rather than achievements. During the Holy Mass which commenced at 10.30 am, Bp Innaiah stressed on the need to interiorize the message of the Gospel rather than merely speak about it. The liturgical celebrations were greatly enriched by the singing, and all the hymns for the Mass were written and composed exclusively by the students.

The 3-act play titled 'Live and Build the Kingdom' was the central programme of the evening show. With great support from the staff, all the 82 students of the Seminary had a role to play in the hour-long drama, either by way of acting, singing or dancing. The play was intended to depict the universality of the Kingdom, the need for a personal choice to be part of this state of life and finally a commitment to share everything with others, especially the poor. This gospel-based English play was written and rehearsed under the direction of the Seminary staff itself.

In his short message for the day, Bp Innaiah warmly exhorted the Seminarians to interiorize the formation imparted to them during their initial formation. He spoke of the need to live and do all things in the presence of God rather than any human fear or compulsion. The 90 minute programme concluded with the fraternal meal for all. Most Rev. Kagithapu Mariadas, the archbishop of Visakhapatnam, was the president of the evening programme. The gracious presence of Rev. Karnam Joji Babu, the Vicar General of the archdiocese of Visakhapatnam and Fr Pudussery Sojan (Provincial Economer of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad) too was greatly appreciated. So was the presence of more than 200 Priests, religious and collaborations associated with the Seminary.

Though this year 2011 marks the 25 years of the Seminary's independent existence (earlier it was part of the theologate at Ramanthapur, Hyderabad), the first year of the Seminary 1987-1988 was in R.V. Nagar. It was in 1988 that the Seminary was shifted to its present location and since has been instrumental in rendering invaluable service to the Church in Andhra Pradesh by way of forming Priests for the Catholic Church. The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDBs) were entrusted with the management of the Seminary in 1990 for a period of three years and the contract since then has been renewed several times. The present agreement stands valid till 2018.

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