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