Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Non-teaching Staff Picnic

The non-teaching staff took a day off after the Brothers left for their Christmas vacations for a trip to Vizag.  They visited Kailasgiri temple, watched a movie, had lunch outside and a relaxed stroll on the city beach in the evening. They were accompanied by the administrator, Br Castilino.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Youth Day

Youth from all the parishes and from the vicinity attended the annual youth day on November 11, 2012. There were about 150 youngsters. The theme of the youth day was: Faith in God, Friends and in Oneself. 

The brothers of Youth Alive group under the guidance of Br Anil made the day memorable and an enriching experience for the youngsters. The programme started at 10.00 a.m. with the lighting of the lamp and words of welcome delivered by Fr Rector. 

The first session was taken by Fr Balaswamy on how to believe in God and go ahead in life. The second session was taken by Brothers Jagan and Sudheer on how to buildup one’s own self. 

The third session was taken by Br Anil who stressed on the need for believing in parents, friends and all the others. The day concluded with the Holy Eucharistic celebration at 4 p.m. The youngsters left the campus affirming, “What a wonderful day it was!”

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Personality Development

A two day Seminar on personality development was conducted by Sr Lovely from October 29, 2012. She, with her knowledge, communication skills and grip over subject, gave us a clear picture of the desired characteristics of a fully human person and showed us how we can attain it by denting our personality and our relationships.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spiritual Retreat 2012

Fr Nagothu Papaiah  sdb animated the annual retreat for this academic year. He led the brothers with his vivid thoughts and practical instructions. The community triggered at eight hour prayer everyday of the retreat, which really proved to be a great benefit for us. These were really the days of spiritual renewal and awakening of the soul to the groaning of the spirit. The retreat commenced on October 15 and concluded on October 20, 2012, during the semester vacations. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

B'day of Fr Wilson

The community celebrated the birthday of Fr. Wilson with lots of joy and happiness. There was solemn and special Eucharist in his honour to celebrate the reason of Fr. Wilson. It was well animated by the Rainbow group.
 It was followed by the get-together with religious and Priests of the neighbouring communities. The day concluded with solemn meal. Fr Wilson, the man of the day thanked the whole community for their love and promised to give his best for the good of the community.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Rector at Kondadaba

Fr Jose D. Maliekal was officially installed as the Rector of the Seminary during the simple Eucharistic celebration today. Fr Raminedi Balaraju, the Provincial was the main celebrant of the Mass during which Fr Maliekal took the oath and signed the official papers to the effect of his taking the chief role of the animator of the community.  A similar function was held in St John's, Ramanthapur too a few days ago.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New scholastic year 2012-2013

The Scholastic year 2012-2013 was officially inaugurated by invoking the spirit through the Holy Eucharist today, June 15, 2012 though the Brothers returned a couple of days earlier itself. The main celebrant of the Eucharist was Fr. Maliekal Jose, the new rector of the seminary, who though new, is returning back to the campus for the third time after a gap of nine years. He emphasized on the need of the intellectual growth for a priest.

After the Eucharist Fr. Wilson coordinated the official inaugural ceremony with the reading of the annual report. He also introduced the new professors for the year: Fr Jose D. Maliekal, Professor of Philosophy and Rector, Fr Therampil Jose, professor of English, Fr Dara Balaswamy, the spiritual director, Br Mallavarapu Anil, the Regent. The key note address was delivered by Fr Rector on the theme of importance of philosophy. Fr Wilson also presented the agenda for the academic year.

On the previous day Fr Anthony Pudussery, the Parish Priest of Gn
anapuram animated the community for the first monthly recollection of the academic year.  He stressed on how knowledge serves as an auxiliary to our spirituality.  

The community of 2012-2013 consists of 23 third years, 29 second years (including 8 OCD’s as day scholars) and 24 first years (including 4 OCD’s) and six staff members, 70 in all (resident). 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

B.A. exams

The first and second years commenced their respective B.A. exams this day, March 24, 2012. While the first years conclude on the last day of March, the second years have their final exam on April 11, after Easter. All of them have St Xavier's, Pendurthi as their exam centre. They leave together for their summer vacations, the following day i.e., April 12, 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Farewell and Conclusion

The farewell for the third year students and the conclusion of the Academic year 2011-2012 was held on March 20, 2012 at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba. The first and second year students planned, organised and made special the farewell for the 28 outgoing students of the seminary with a grand felicitation programme in the evening and a solemn Mass the following morning.

The whole programme was aimed at thanking them for their generous service to the Seminary
and presenting them with a message for the life ahead. The theme of the evening was a challenge to be the light to all. Besides a song, dance and a gospel based skit, the community prepared a very different backdrop for the evening gathering with each letter of the farewell message containing a photo a joke about the third year students. Each of the final year students was gifted with a candle, crown and a personal card, as a reminder of the message of the evening.

The third years expressed their sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for everyone through the narration of a story depicting their three year stay life in the Seminary as a journey and a meaningful song to sum it all up. As a parting gift to the Seminary they presented the community with two emergency lamps for the study halls and three large printed photos of Sts John and Maria Vianney. During supper a couple of the outgoing students came forward to thank the staff members individually and the students for their invaluable role in their life. For the evening programme the lawn in front of the dining hall was well lit up and arranged. The pleasant weather added an extra zing to the gathering. The Mother Teresa and Speed n' speed groups helped out in serving the meals for all in the lawn itself.

During the Mass, a creative offertory procession with paper crucifixes, flowers and hearts was animated by the first year students. Fr Wilson, presiding over the Eucharisitic celebrations, reminded the students to be faithful to Christ wherever and whatever they would be entrusted to them.

The students left the Seminary happy and serene carrying with them the wishes and prayers of the rest soon after breakfast. Most of the students went straight for their summer holidays at the end of which they would report to their respective Bishops and be assigned with their places for regency.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Extraordinary Visitation of St John's Kondadaba

The Regional Philosophate of the Andhra Pradesh Bishop's Conference, located at Kondadaba under the patronage of St John's was blessed with the presence of Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga sdb, the Regional Councillor for South Asia for the feast of St Joseph, March 18 and 19, 2012. The occasion was the Extraordinary Visitation of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad, to which belong the formators at Kondadaba. Being a Salesian community, the delegate of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco made his official visit – a visit which is organised once in six years.
Gifted with a philosophical outlook, loving heart and a cheerful personality, it did not take long for Fr Maria Arokiam to win the hearts of the community members at Kondadaba. With the initial conference itself, during which he presented the purpose of his visit and in gist, presented the latest Salesian scenario around the world, the students were at home with him and his presence. Besides animating the Salesians, meeting the staff individually, interacting with the non-teaching staff at an informal tea party and participating in a short felicitation programme organised in his honour, Fr Maria Arokiam took time to meet the whole community twice and offer rich insights into the Word of God, during the two Eucharisitic celebrations he presided over.
In his inaugural Mass, he stressed the triple qualities of genuine love: unending, unconditional and unbinding. For his homily for the feast of St Joseph, the chaste man, he recreated the scene describing the dilemma of St Joseph and Mother Mary after the Annunciation, with a rich blend of history, imagination, and language. In his goodnight, wrapping up the felicitation programme, he highlighted three qualities necessary for a successful life: virtue (habitual good acts), wisdom (intelligent love) and courage (to stand by truth, no matter what).

To stress the need of conserving nature, he also planted a sapling soon after the festal Mass of St Joseph and community photo session. Earlier upon his arrival, from Peddaboddepalli, he was given a solemn welcome with an aarati and a lively welcome song. In his final observations he appreciated the effort of the community in maintaining a standard befitting a formation house and the role played by each one in doing his best for the growth of all. The official visit concluded with tea after which he was seen off by the community on March 19, 2012.

Hailing originally from Chennai, Fr Maria Arokiam was elected to the post of Regional Councillor in May 2008 for a term of six years. Earlier, he served in various capacities in the Salesian Province of Chennai, including being the Rector of Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee. Known also for his literary skills, Fr Maria Arokiam made a great impression on the students with his wise use of words, phrases and wit.
[Report: Br Jerome Lewis I yr
Photos: Br Kamalesh and Mr Raju]

Friday, March 9, 2012

Social outreach

As part of the social / neighbourhood outreach programme, the Seminary assisted, Simhadramma, a regular and 'popular' visitor to the Seminary with her eye operation. She was operated for her right eye cataract at Sankar Foundation, Gopalapatnam in the first week of March 2012. Here's the photo of her maiden visit to the Seminary after the operation - of course, do not miss the eye-patch... it adds to her popularity and personality symbol!

She is a resident of Gollalapalem village and lives with her son and his family. She stands as a symbol of the thousands helped out in different ways for their various needs, mostly basic and immediate needs of survival and dignity by the Seminary, over the years of its existence at Kondadaba.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BA Exams

The final year students commenced their University (BA) exams on March 5, 2012 with the subject Science and Technology. Most of them conclude on March 15 while one of them has the last one on March 20. That's the day we officially have the conclusion of the academic year and the farewell for the third year batch.

The third years concluded their Philosophy exams more than a week ago and have been since then busy preparing for their BA exams.

B'day of Br Castilino

We should not just pat our backs doing some acts of charity, rather we are called to empower people so that they can in turn bring about a change in the society. This was the core of the b'day message of the day as the community of St John's Kondadaba celebrated the birthday of Br Vincent Castilino, the Dean and Administrator, on March 4 and 5, 2012. Known for his strict discipline and uncompromising attitude when it comes to principles and values, the celebration marked his second year of Br Castilino, in the Seminary as a formator.

The celebrations started on the evening of March 4 (Sunday) with the get to
gether organised by the Speed n' speed and Mother Teresa growth groups under the direction of Br Sateesh, the Regent. Each of the three courses performed an item (a melodious song by the first years, a meaningful song composed for the occasion by the second course and a dance by the third year students). The two groups organising the evening too put up a lively dance. Fr K.T. Jose, the Rector felicitating the b'day baby, appreciated him for his simplicity and value-based life. Earlier, Fr Wilson welcomed all the participants, especially the religious and Priests of the neighbourhood for the evening celebrations.

The cultural programme was wrapped up by the
b'day baby through a message for all. He highlighted the great role played by his parents in his life, growth and formation of values. He also expressed his pride in being a Salesian of Don Bosco when he stated that if God were to give him another chance here on earth,
he would certainly choose, without hesitation to be a Castilino and a Salesian of Don Bosco. He thanked all the community members, the staff in particular, for their great support and cooperation. Keeping to the spirit of Lent, a simple meal was shared with all after the programme.
The following morning the community gathered in the Chapel for the b'day Mass presided over by Fr Rector.
Report by Br K. Tony (Adilabad Diocese)
Photos by Brs D. Rakesh and T. Kamalesh

Monday, February 27, 2012

Visit of the SDB Vice-Provincial

The month of February certainly was like the favourite month for guests. Adding to the long list of guests the Seminary was ever happy to welcome, was the presence of Fr Thathireddy Vijayabhaskar sdb, the Vice-Provincial of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad. He spent a day with the community on Sunday February 26, 2012. His main purpose was to meet the members of the community in view of the visit of the Regional Superior (which is due in March 2012).
Besides celebrating the Holy Eucharist of the First Sunday of Lent, he also addressed the students just before lunch and presented to them the new model of Youth Ministry as proposed by the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco. During his homily, he narrated how the Holy Church, through the season of Lent, recommends that every disciple of Christ learns to transcend the biological urge and fulfill the true human nature we all share with Christ the Son of God. Being a Philosopher himself he drew heavily from the thoughts of the contemporary Philosophers to support his reflections on the Gospel of the day. After lunch he spent time with the Salesian formators, presenting a couple of important documents and tabulating some data, in view of the visit of the Regional Superior, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Comprehensive Oral Defense

The comprehensive oral defense of the final year students, held on February 24 and 25, 2012 marked the conclusion of the Philosophical academic studies for the said batch. In all 28 students defended their thesis before a panel of two (the guide and the reader) and of course, backed by the supporting presence of their batchmates as well as companions from the other courses. Unlike previous years, there were no external readers invited for the defence. The resident professors shared the readers responsibility among themselves and thus there were four guides and the same number of readers.

With the change in the mode of preparation and presentation of the papers, this year was a bit different. Though the results were not the best of expectations, at least it was a start in a new and hopefully better direction, as far as the academic requirement of students forming a comprehensive view of their three year course of Philosophy is concerned. Hopefully the coming years will see a gradual development in the mood and mode of this important aspect of the Philosophical studies, as offered and envisaged at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ms Cecile Beck from Switzerland

The community was indeed extend a hearty welcome to Ms Cecile Beck and four of her companions from Switzerland on February 24, 2012. Fr Noel Maddhichetty, the former Provincial of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad accompanied and introduced the guests to the community. Ms Cecile happens to be the spiritual mother of Fr Wilson Jose and has indeed been very generous in her financial assistance towards the construction of a new Church in L.Kota, a substation of S. Kota. The six guests joined the community for lunch and were indeed happy to see so many young men preparing themselves for the future mission of the Church in Andhra Pradesh. Her presence added greater joy when she sponsored a round of ice-cream for the community. After lunch the whole group, led by Fr Wilson, made a short visit to the Shrine of Kondadaba and the ongoing construction work of the Church at L.Kota.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Visit of Bp Prasad

On the 20th of February 2012 the Seminary was graced by the presence of Bp Gallela Prasad, the Bishop of Kadapa and the Deputy Delegate of the major Seminaries on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh Bishop's Conference (APBC). This was his second visit to the Seminary in his official capacity as the deputy delegate. He arrived in the morning and after a cup of tea addressed the Staff of the Seminary. At 11.30 he presided over the Holy Eucharistic celebration for the community and celebrated the Mass of the day itself.

Citing the fast approaching season of Lent and our need to model ourselves according to our Divine Master, he exhorted the Brothers to imbibe values presented in this formation stage. Towards the end of the Mass, on behalf of the APBC, he thanked the staff members and in particular, Fr K.T. Jose, the Rector for shouldering the delicate responsibility of forming future Priests for the Church of Andhra Pradesh. He concluded the official visit soon after lunch.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Staff picnic

On February 18, the domestic staff of the Seminary were treated to a one-day picnic to Annavaram. While for some of the members it was a picnic, for the others it was also a pilgrimage. Besides the famous temple of Lord Satyanarayana at Annavaram, the picnikers also visited the street childrens' rehabilitation home in Devipuram (Sabbavaram), the temple at Devipuram and the Talupulamma Temple on the outskirts of Tuni.

All in all the seven staff members had some relaxed time out. Here are a couple of photos of the day...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Feast of Kondadaba

Come the first week of February every year and the whole of Kondadaba is abuzz with the feast day preparations of the Parish. This year was no exception to this great excitement. The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows which is celebrated on the first Sunday of February, witnessed lakhs of devotees from all over the state and even far off Rajasthan and neighbouring Orissa. The Seminary too had its key role to play in the preparation and organisation of the feast. The Brothers were chiefly involved in the preparation and distribution of food to the select few (total running into more or less a few hundreds). Besides this they also lend a helping hand in the security, decoration, arrangement of the stage and distribution of water to the pilgrims. The main choir of the feast and the eve of the great day too was from the Seminary (of course, as assistance to just the couple of Parishioners who were in the choir).

As usual the Seminary also hosted over a thousand people who flocked to the pilgrim centre on the eve and spent the night in preparation for the feast. Beating the cold wave, these fervent devotees, most of them making their annual walk of 35 to 70 kms, did show their strong faith in the powerful intercession of Mother Mary. The main celebrant for the feast day solemn Mass was retired Bp Mathew Cheriankunnel. On the whole, the feast was a real grand occasion for all to partake not just in gaining spiritual favours but also as a day of relaxation and outing. Thanks to the meticulous planning and organisation of Fr Joseph Anithottam, the Parish Priest along with the faithful band of Parishioners.

Friday, February 3, 2012

GK Quiz (Growth Groups)

The General Knowledge Quiz which had an earlier round held in the seminary, was held for another round this day on a different grouping... as per the growth groups. The quiz commenced at 9 pm and lasted nearly 90 mins. With a total of nearly 12 rounds covering as many aspects as possible, the students did put up some effort... succeeding in some and failing in other areas. At the final bell, Fr Chinnappa Thomas announced Chaitanya Deepika as the winners and Rainbow as the runners up. The whole programme, with the clear intent of helping the students become more and more aware of the world around, was well coordinated and organised by Fr Wilson Jose, the Principal with valuable support from Br Sateesh, the Regent and members of the Rainbow group.

(In the photo, left to right: Br G. Naresh, Br K. Tony, Br B. Sateesh and Fr Wilson Jose)

Feast of the Presentation

The community had a special procession prior to the Holy Mass this morning on the occasion of the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The Mass was presided over by Fr Michael Pampara sdb who happened to be present in the community as a visiting professor to conduct the course on Sexuality and Celibacy for the third year students. In his homily he stressed on the two points based on the Gospel of the day: the humility of Mother Mary (to follow the local customs in spite of her being the Mother of God) and the eagerness (and consequential grace) of Simeon and Anna to 'see' the Lord.

(Fr Micheal is presently at Nava Jeevan, Vijayawada as one of its directors. He is also a trained and qualified psychologist.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feast of Don Bosco

The feast of Don Bosco was solemnized this year on January 31, 2012 with a well-prepared Holy Eucharistic celebration and a solemn meal in the afternoon. Unlike previous years, the celebrations this year were held to make up for the absence of the Relic of Don Bosco to Vizag. The occasion was also used to congratulate and felicitate Fr V.M. George sdb, a former staff member at St John's Kondadaba who also celebrates his Silver Jubilee of Priestly ordination this year. Incidently, he also is the architect of the present Chapel of the Seminary. Furthermore, the present oval structure (the connecting links between the various blocks and the arches) was designed and executed by Fr V. M. George, an Engineer by qualification. A select few (about 25) of the neighbouring Priests and Religious, closely associated with the Seminary were invited for the Mass and lunch.

During the homily Fr George dwelt on the title of Don Bosco 'Father and Teacher of the young'. Describing it theological meaning the rationale behind this title given by the late Pope John Paul II, he highlighted the practical elements of this great Saint's spirituality.

After Mass a short felicitation programme was held in the dining hall itself wherein he was given a gift and a shawl. Fr K.T. Jose, the Rector, spoke a few words about the Jubilarian and thanked the guests for their continued support and encouragement to the Community of Kondadaba. After a solemn lunch, the Brothers enjoyed a challenging round of cricket, volleyball and basketball.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Visit of the OCD Provincial

The Provincial of the OCD Fathers and Brothers, of the Andhra Province, Fr Gorantla Johannes OCD paid the seminary a visit and joined the community for lunch. He had come on an official visit to the OCD community at Pendurthi (comprising of the Bl. John Paul II Seminary which hosts the students of Philosophy and the Parish dedicated to St Theresa of Avila). Yesterday was the Parish feast and after the celebrations, he visited the Philosophate where the 8 OCD Brothers are day scholars. He was accompanied by Fr Kishore OCD, the parish Priest of Ranasthalam (Srikakulam Diocese) and Fr Showry, the superior and Parish Priest of Pendurthi.
[In the photo (L to R): Fr Showry, Fr K.T. Jose (Rector of St John's),
Fr Kishore OCD and Fr Johannes OCD (Provincial]

Incidentally this is the decennial year of Fr Johannes' Priestly ordination. The Community congratulated him on his maiden visit to the Community as Provincial and on the occasion of his decennial year of ordination too. Prior to lunch, Fr Johannes encouraged the students to study well and make themselves worthy Priests for the Church in Andhra Pradesh. He also expressed his gratitude for the hospitality received and the formative support extended to the OCD Brothers studying their first year of Philosophy at Kondadaba.

It would be good to note that this year is the first time the OCDs have moved out of their established formative setting in Eluru, thus bifurcating their Philosophy centre from the theologate. Being the first year, things are still fluid but are smoothly getting set. They now have a 'Master' in the person of Fr Balaraju who is directly incharge of their formative curriculum. Their place of residence at Pendurthi, in the form of a monastery, is being set up steadily. Their role and mode of participation in the Seminary life and activity, besides the main purpose of study (Philosophy and BA), too is being worked out. Everyone involved looks forward to a lasting and enriching bond.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Visiting professors

The week of January 23-26, 2012 witnessed two visiting professors conducted courses for the students. Fr Biju MPH, from Machilipatnam, was busy with the third year students taking classes on the Philosophy of Religion. Fr Thumma Mariadas MSFS, the General Councillor presenting residing in Hyderabad, was sharing his insights with the first and second year students about the Bhagavad Gita. Both of them completed their respective courses today and departed for their own communities.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A lad from Becchi...

Born in Becchi was a lad,
who in stall a great future had;
would grown amidst trials and tribulations,
yet be a blessing for generations.

At a tender age answered God's call,
with twinkling eyes which dreamt for all;
Guided by a mother who taught lessons of love,
and a Mother divine leading him from above.

After years of training and toiling hard,
was he ordained a labourer in Christs' vineyard;
Branches he chose were bent but green,
pruned in a way yielding greater than ever seen.

Ruffians and vagabonds were dear to him,
useless of this world as jewels to him seem;
Rescued young all over bless his name,
homeless have a home and aimless have an aim.

Made he an army of young souls,
under patronage of Francis de Sales, his boat still floats;
Seeds of service sown with love and care,
turned into shelter for all with none to spare.

Departing us he left his words alive to ponder,
may we imitate him in selfless surrender;
Let our actions retain his pace,
intercede for us dear Bosco till the end of our days.

Lewis Jerome Immanuel (I year)

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Priests' at Kondadaba

The Seminary was graced by the presence and gracious celebration of the Holy Eucharist on two successive days by newly ordained Priests. On January 18, 2012 Fr Chintada Rajesh celebrated the Holy Eucharist for the community. He studied at the Seminary from 2001 to 2003 and later joined the Diocese of Miao in Arunachal Pradesh. During the Holy Mass and the short felicitation thereafter he profoundly expressed his gratitude for the support and encouragement he received from the Seminary, especially Fr K.T.Jose, during the years of turmoil and anxiety. He exhorted the Brothers to persevere and pray sincerely for one's own vocation.
The following day, January 19, 2012 was graced by the presence of Fr Kalinga John Paul, a newly ordained Capuchin Priest and the brother of Br Kalinga Joy Mariadas, currently doing his third year Philosophy and studying for the archdiocese of Visakhapatnam. He was ordained on Dec. 29, 2011 at his hometown of Hamsavaram. He was felicitated with a shawl on behalf of the community by Fr Chinnappa Thomas, the spiritual director. He too expressed his joy for being present with the community and requested our continued prayers and support.
(In the above photo, Fr John Paul is seen distributing communion to his own brother Br Joy)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Seminar on Social Action (Fr Santiagu Thomas sdb)

Fr Santiagu Thomas sdb was the chief animator of the seminar on Social Action for the two days of January 16 and 17, 2012.
This was the first seminar of the new calendar year, after the Brothers returned to the Seminary from their Christmas holidays on Jan. 8, 2012. Fr Santiagu is the Development Office director of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad.
The two day seminar was very active and alive with plenty of songs, actions and analysis based on practical experiments conducted by the animator.