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Seminar for Religious Animators

A seminar was held for the formators/ Religious Animators from 21st to 28th July 2017 at N.B.C.L.C. (National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre) at Bangalore. There were about 87 participants belonging to the various Religious Congregations. The eight days were animated by seven efficient priests and a lay woman. Fr. D. Alphonse, the resource person of the first day highlighted the importance of being charismatic leaders of the church.

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The second day was all about the needed profile and portrait of Indian Religious Formators by Rev. Fr. Gilbert Choondal S.D.B. He dealt with the access and defects of the Indian religious. Though one lakh thirty thousand counting only women religious in India involved in humanitarian services speaks volume of assets, yet the quality of religious life is a matter of worry due to relational aspects, lack of maturity , institutional and alienated life etc.

“Leadership for the community building in the Spirit of the Eucharist” was the topic of 3rd day by Fr. Moncy S.D.B. On the fourth day Fr. Jerry Rosario S.J. introduced the topic “Challenges for the Religious in Current Indian Mission Context”.

Finally on the fifth day Mrs. Mercy Kappen director of a NGO named UISTAR, spoke on “women empowerment and gender justice in Church and society”. The day ended with a beautiful Taize Prayer moment conducted by Rev. Fr. Gilbert SDB.

On the sixth day Fr. Gilbert animated a meditation “Waking with the Word”. The resource person of the day Rev. Fr. Rayappan an expert in Canon Law enlightened us on the topic “Ethics and moral issues in religious life- Practical guidance from the Canonical point of view. He said that every religious Institute must keep in mind their primary apostolate is “Being “than “Doing”. He also gave us the hand outs on “Tips for superiors” and a check list on “How a good superior are you?”

On the second last day Rev. Fr. Gabriel OFM was the resource person and he dealt with the topic on “Psycho-Spiritual maturity of a religious leader at mid life transition.”

On the last day the participant renewed their life according to the model of Pope Francis that we need to go to the poor and marginalized who live in peripheries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEMINAR ON LEADERSHIP

 

On 6th July 2017, the HC Auxilium organised a leadership seminar for the leaders of the school. The seminar was conducted by Father Nobert Xalxo SDB, a youth animator and a motivational speaker from Don Bosco School, Alakananda.

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The seminar commenced with a prayer song and the division of students into various groups. Through interactive activities the students understood the meaning of a true leader. They were made to perform in their respective groups instilling in them the qualities of teamwork, team spirit and dedication. The seminar included a video clips which inspired the students to look at the brighter side of the situation. It also taught the students how different outlook and approach on life can make things better. It was culminated by a vote of thanks given by the Vice Head Girl of the school.

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Seminar on Child  Protection Policy at St. Anthony’s, Jaigaon

 

On 8th July 2017, the school management of St. Anthony’s, Jaigaon organized a seminar on Child  Protection Policy for the teachers of the school.  The resource person was Sr.Stella P, the animator of Auxilium  Barasat and the Education coordinator of the province . After a few introductory words from Sr. Margaret Ferenandes, the principal, she was welcomed by the high school and higher secondary co-ordinators  with the traditional khada and a bouquet of flowers.

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The session aimed at creating awareness among the staff members regarding the policies of the Act. The session was introduced with the words from the Gospel, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly”  with a power point presentation.

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Sr.Stella gave a detail information regarding POCSO,UNCRC,RTE and Juvenile Justices Act which aims at protecting the children from physical ,mental , sexual and moral abuses upto the age of 18. She invited everone to undertake sincere initiatives  in creating congenial and holistic atmosphere in the school.

Ms Sabita Rai

Workshop on “New Evaluation system of CBSE” held at Auxilium Convent School New Chumta

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Auxilium Convent School New Chumta organized a three days workshop on “New Evaluation system of CBSE” in the auditorium of the school from 29 – 31 March 2017. The workshop brought together over 24 participants including 8 sisters. It was handled by the resource person Mr. Utkarsh Kapoor from CBSC Delhi.  There was an interactive atmosphere between the resource person and the participants.  The methodology of the seminar was followed on these points: Lecture cum discussion, demonstration using power point, role play and activity and group discussion cum debate.

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The three days sessions were very interesting and totally focused on the following topics: (1) Learning, teaching and evaluating.  (2)  Erikson’s Psychological theory on different age group’s role play.   (3) The new evaluation system of CBCE, which is known as RAS [Remodelled Assessment systems]. There were examples like anecdotal record, Rubrics, Teacher’s diary, Lesson plan etc.

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The feedback from evaluation forms was extremely positive. The presentation and the inputs given by resource person were highly valued. The participants said that “It was an enriching experience and it was a wonderful platform for them to know the new evaluation system in an opportune time.”  They appreciated for being able to clarify doubts from the expert.  The day ended with a group photo.

Reported by Ms. Namika Lama

Seminar on Spiritual Direction

 

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“There is no part of your life that is irrelevant, Your whole life is your spiritual life; God is in every part of it”  was  totally affirmed in the seminar held at Kurseong from 17-19   March 2017 on spiritual direction conducted by Rev. Fr. Johny Nedungatt SDB .

Seminar was set on trail with the topic what it is and what is not spiritual direction.  He clearly explicated the difference between Counselling, formative intervention, talk with the superior and the spiritual direction. We realized that spiritual direction is God gifts one human being with the grace to assist another with greater cooperation with God’s own transforming activity within that other.

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The further themes elucidated were practical aspects of spiritual direction, spirituality of the spiritual director, spiritual direction interview, discernment in spiritual direction, portrait of the spiritual director, Supervision, accompanying sexually wounded formees and transference and counter transference.  The sessions were very interesting, formative, enlightening and thought provoking  because of the experiential expertise  in the field by the resource person.  The practical examples given made the topic very clear and the participants were enthused and engaged all through. Every participant  is determined  and enthusiastic to utilize this marvellous tool to be  God’s instrument in assisting and guiding those entrusted to them in their journey towards God and  to make great efforts each day to grow in their  own intimacy with God as spiritual direction is rooted in the director’s own spirituality.

 

Seminar – A call to make Religious life as an experience of the joy of the Gospel

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Regional CRI Executive Team West Bengal Sikkim Region organised a seminar for CRI members of the region on Saturday 18th February 2017 at Archbishop’s House, Kolkata.  A large assembly of 103 priests, brothers and predominated by sisters participated in the meet.  The event commenced with the welcome rendered to all by the Sr. Anita M Braganza IBVM, the Provincial of Loreto Sisters, Kolkata and president of RCRI.  The Divine presence was invoked through a bhajan ‘Pavan Atmaah Javo Dil me mere” melodiously intoned by Sr. Jasmine FC and  devoutly chanted by all present.  Sr. Anita Braganza presented the Executive team of the Regional CRI headed by her as president, the vice president, Fr.V. Lawrence the delegate superior of the claretians  in the north,  treasurer Fr.Attley Gomes SFX, provincial of  Pillar fathers, members  Sr. Regina Kottackal FC, Provincial of the Daughters of the cross, Sr. Anselm Alunkal SJC, Provincial ,Cluny sisters Kolkata Province, and secretary Sr. Stella Davis FMA.

Sr. Anselm SJC then encapsulated   the National CRI meet held at St. Joseph Vaz Spirituality Centre, Old Goa from 19-22 January 2017 highlighting the  Theme ‘Call to be women  of Contemplation, Compassion and communion” expounded by  eminent speakers. Sr. Maria Anto CMC  spoke on contemplation and her talk could be synthesised as, to be worthy  of the name Religious one is supposed to be in constant dialogue of love with God and people.  The great challenge faced by  consecrated persons  is  to persevere in seeking God “with the eyes of faith in a world which ignores His presence”. Sr. Inigo Joachim SSA, elucidated the theme compassion recommending ‘We are encouraged to bring about a “mercy revolution” by undertaking spiritual and corporal works of Mercy and making it a way of Life. To conclude she left a stimulating question “What should we do so that our institutions and communities are islands of mercy as Pope Francis wants them to be?” Can we answer this question frankly and honestly?  Sr. Ananda Amritamahal RSCJ  explicated how the religious could be women of communion specifying that in a world where communion and relationships are reduced to screens machines we are called to build genuine relationships like that of the Trinity.

Rev. Fr. Lawrence CMF the resource person of the day took the stage to decode the topic of the day “Consecrated life’as experience of the joy of the Gospel and announcing it in our multi- faith Context”.  The prelude,“The whole universe is mystical and we need to keep in touch with this connectivity’, triggered enthusiasm and attention.  He said that the religious life could be summated into 4Cs, Consecration, communion, contemplation and commitment.

He further stated that the 4Cs  are very well incorporated in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The bread and wine are consecrated into the body and blood of Jesus, we receive in communion, contemplate his presence in our hearts and then we go out and live the commitment of serving God in our neighbour.  The consecration is intrinsic in the fabric of Jewish background as prophets, priests and kings were consecrated for service.  People of Israel experienced his personal presence  in the cloud during the day and in the  Fire at night. In the old Testament altar represented the presence of God and poured blood as symbol of Israel’s blood relationship with Yahweh.  This real presence was an object of contemplation and various psalms express these sentiments,” I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’ (Ps. 16.8) People of Israel were joyful for they were consecrated to God.  In the old testament writings joy was  differentiated “Samah” ordinary joy and ‘Alas” as exuberant joy.  In John 15:11 speaks of exuberant joy , the joy of Christ. This joy is the outcome of deep contemplation of the ever abiding presence of God which is a continuous 24 hours process or flow.

He then presented the present scenario of Religious life where there is a sharp decline in the numbers due to various factors. Every year there is phenomenon of  3000 or more leaving the religious life due to religious formalism, individualism and subjectivism.  We can re-instate religious life only when religious can become real contemplatives and mystics.

Fr. Lawrence  took the audience way back to the Desert Fathers of the 4th  Century early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. They lived at a transitional period a shift from  Diocletianic Persecution to the freedom and legalisation of Christian religion by   Diocletian’s successor Constantine. The Church moved away from the centrality of the cross. Those who wanted to live Christian life   radically   left for the desert and formed an alternate Christian society, at a time when it was no longer a risk to be a Christian. The solitude, austerity, and sacrifice of the desert were seen   as an alternative to martyrdom, which was formerly seen by many Christians as the highest form of sacrifice. They chose a life of extreme asceticism, renouncing all the pleasures of the senses and anything that made them comfortable to live core values of Christ. They instead focused their energies on praying, singing psalms, fasting, giving alms to the needy, and preserving love and harmony with one another while keeping their thoughts and desires for God alone.    In order to achieve contemplation and mysticism they spelt out triple goals and method used to achieve goals – Communion with God, Communion with humans and Communion with the cosmos.

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Many of the monks and nuns developed a reputation for holiness and wisdom, with the small communities following a particularly holy or wise elder, who was their spiritual father (abba) or mother (amma).  Slowly they developed a mystical tradition the practice of “interior silence and continual prayer.” ‘Prayer of the heart or Jesus’ prayer” “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner”. Continuous repeating of the prayer first verbally, then mentally and then in the heart enabled them to reach mysticism. The quote from the desert fathers is a sure indication of the communion they lived with God.

Mor Aphrem: “I have built a church in my soul, and I have offered up to the Lord the tra-vail of my body as incense and fragrance.  My spirit became the altar, my will the priest, and like a lamb without blemish I sacrificed myself.”

Abba Lucius, “I willshow you how, while doing my manual  work, I pray  without interruption. I sitdown with God, soaking my  reeds and plaiting  my ropes, and  I say “God, havemercy on me, according  to your great goodness and  according to the multitudeof your mercies,  save me from my sins.”  ‘ So he  asked them if this were notprayer and they replied it was. Then he said  to them, ‘So  when I shave spendthe whole  day working and praying, making  thirteen  pieces of money  more orless,  I put two pieces of  money outside the door and  I pay for my food withthe rest of the money. He who takes the two pieces of money prays for me when Iam eating and when I  am sleeping; so   , by the  grace of  God, I fulfil  theprecept to pray without ceasing.’ Abba Lucius in these words manifest how the monks lived this threefold communion with God, humans and nature living in natural set up.  They had intimate connection with the surroundings, they called themselves as the sand on the desert.

He concluded saying, we also should try expanding this consciousness of the communion we have with the cosmos.   If one truly love God then they will love humans and the cosmos.

What is important is not saying or reciting prayers but prayerfulness that is praying 24 hours, being  in touch with God’s presence, interiorly speaking to him and dialoguing with him.”

Reported by Sr. Stella D. FMA

Seminar on Children’s Right held at St.Mary’s Convent School- Geyzing

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On Wednesday,15th February 2017, a seminar was organized at St. Mary’s Convent School Geyzing on Children’s Right and Domestic violence. The resource person of the day was Rev. Fr. Stanly S.J., an efficient and renowned Lawyer from Darjeeling.  The students from classes VIII to X participated in it.

The fundamental Rights were explained well through the power point presentation and small video clips. He also explained the evils that ruined the family and society of today such as domestic violence, dowry, drugs and alcohol .The students were made aware of their Rights.

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There was an active participation from the part of the students. The seminar was enriching, interesting, inspiring and interactive.

Sr.Sandhya Minj