Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Community photo 2010-2011

Here are a couple of photos of the whole community (83 students and 4 formators)...

These are the Benjamins of the Community (the first course, 25 of them)...
These are the second course students, 29 of them...
Here are the 29 third course Brothers...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Semester Exams

Today the Brothers begin their second semester exams for the year 2010-2011. The one and half week long exam schedule will conclude with the Comprehensive Oral exam of the third year students on February 23, 2011. The other two courses conclude the previous day. The final day is left free for them to attend the defence of their seniors.

The following day we have the final monthly recollection of this academic year, followed by farewell for the third course Brothers, in the evening. The concluding Mass for the year will be celebrated on February 25, 2011 morning by Fr Rector.

As for now, the exam fever is on... so are the midnight lamps and fervent prayers!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Laxmi's wedding

This evening was the marriage of Laxmi, one of our kitchen staff, at Vizag. All the other staff members, except Appa Rao were present for the occasion. From the Teaching staff, Fr Rector, Fr Devadas and Br Castilino too were present for the occasion.

The wedding began sometime in the evening after 6 and went on upto 9.30. The muhurtham was at 7.30 for which all of the staff were present. That was followed by a simple meal at the same venue, a community hall near the bridegroom's place.

Laxmi joined the kitchen staff nearly 7 years ago as a helper and was chiefly responsible for the main table and the serving of the bowls in the refectory. Of course, she also lent a helping hand in the kitchen everyday.

God bless her and her new life!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Lady of Lourdes

The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes was celebrated in the community on February 11, 2011. The main celebrant for the occasion was Fr Devadas. The Mariadalam (legion of Mary) members had prepared the animation for the day. They had also decorated the Chapel for the feast. Fr Devadas being the animator of this spontaneous group was requested to preside over the celebration in Telugu. Fr Devadas during the introduction requested special prayers for the clergy and faithful of the Kurnool and Kadapa dioceses which have special Shrines dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. He also offered special prayers for all those in the community having Our Lady of Lourdes as their patron.

In the evening the same Mariadalam members, under the leadership of Br Dileep organised the community Rosary in the chapel itself.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Priest: Fr N. Sagar sdb

This morning Fr Narisetti Sagar sdb celebrated the Community Mass. This was his first Mass as a newly ordained Priest in a Formation house since his ordination exactly two months ago at Don Bosco Technical School, Guntur. Fr Sagar, though never a member of the St John's, Kondadaba community was a student of Fr Wilson and Br Castilino at Don Bosco Philosophate, Karunapuram, a fact he gratefully acknowledged during his post communion thanksgiving. He also thanked and appreciated Fr KT Jose and Fr Devadas for their hospitality and warm welcome to the community.

In his message for the Brothers he exhorted them to continue to persevere in their vocation even when things seem rough and unsure. Quoting his own example he stated that he always trusted and surrendered himself into the Lord's hands. This enabled him to be what he is today... a Salesian Priest. He recommended everyone to do the same and one day share the altar with him, just as he is today sharing the altar with his formators.

Farewell to Lakshmi (Feb. 8, 2011)

This afternoon we had a short felicitation gathering for Lakshmi, one of our cooks, as today was her last working day. She is getting married this weekend on February 12, 2011. The Brothers had collected some money which was handed to her by the course leaders and on behalf of them all, Naveen spoke a few words. Fr Devadas too appreciated her six year long service to the community and wished her well on our behalf. Asked to speak, we thought Lakshmi wouldn't, but she did stand up. After a couple of moments of silence, she blurted, "All are looking at me!!" Everyone burst out laughing. She then spoke just two sentences, and we were all in tears.
I do not have parents. All I know is Fr (pointing at Fr KT Jose, the Rector) as my father and Annapoornamma (another senior cook) as my mother. These two friends of mine (pointing at Kasi and Yedulamma) looked after me as their own younger sister. You all (referring to the Brothers) are my brothers. I am eternally indebted to you all!

She could not continue any more. Neither did we want to embarrass her further. We concluded with a prayer. For an orphan, uneducated and typically rural girl to stand up before a group of 90 young men and speak with such meaning and depth, there has to be a driving force. It was surely her sincere commitment to her job and her confidence that this was her family.

God bless her!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feast of Kondadaba

The annual feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron of the Shrine/Parish of Kondadaba was celebrated in a grand manner on Feb. 5 and 6, 2011. Thousands of pilgrims and faithful (even non-Christians) visited, participated and prayed during the feast of Our Lady. The Seminary Brothers, as always, were present the full two days manning different responsibilities in ensuring that the pilgrims have a pleasant and devotional trip. The Brothers were directly incharge of the decoration of the Shrine, grotto and stage. They were also involved in greatly helping out the Parish Council members for the law and order (along with the police personnel), the regulation of the traffic, food arrangement and distribution, water supply and guiding the pilgrims along the hill and around. Brothers too spent quite a time in praying and blessing the people who made it a point to stop at each statue, grotto, and religious monument.

The seminary too was opened up for the pilgrims to rest and wash during the two days. Nearly 1,500 people slept for the night on February 5, 2011 (saturday). The women were accommodated in the hall while the men folk slept along the verandas. The following day groups of people came in and spent some time admiring the campus and having a family meal in the cool shade of the trees and the verandas.

Bp Paul Maipan of Khammam was the main celebrant of the Solemn Mass on the feast day. The Archbishop of Vishakapatnam could not make it due to health reasons. The English Mass of the day was presided over by Msgr Karnam Joji Babu, the Vicar of the Archdiocese of Vizag. The choir for both the high Masses of the day was by the Brothers from the Seminary, with the active collaboration of the Parish youngsters.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Presentation of the Lord

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple was solemnised in the liturgical celebration of the day, especially by the candle-lit procession from the A-block to the Chapel through the main outdoor. Fr Biju, Missionaries of Compassion, was the main celebrant for the occasion. He was here for taking classes for the third year students in Philosophy of Religion. Interestingly he belongs to the first batch of students to pass out of Kondadadaba in 1995.

The liturgy for the day was animated by Suvartha Sunadam under the guidance of Fr KT Jose, the Rector. Owing to the practical exam of the second and third year student for BA, the shopping for that day was postponed to the following day. For the rest, the Brothers had the regular schedule for the day.