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India: Major seminary spiritual directors discuss “Formation in Digital Age”

Spiritual directors

Thirty-two spiritual directors representing major seminaries from 10 states across India convened for a three-day national workshop in Bangalore to deliberate on the challenges of spiritual formation in the digital age. 

On March 7, the Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy, and Religious Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) inaugurated the workshop, which will conclude on March 9.

Father Ambrose Pitchaimuthu, national director of Pontifical Mission Organizations and executive secretary of the CCBI Commission for Proclamation, inaugurated the event. 

He emphasized the crucial role of spiritual directors in guiding seminarians to discern their vocation to priesthood amidst the complexities of the digital era.

Father Richard Britto, president of the All India Rectors of Major Seminaries (ARMS) and rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, presided over the inaugural meeting. 

In his address, Father Britto underscored the significance of spiritual fathers in shaping the formation of future priests within contemporary seminary contexts.

Msgr. James Culas delivered the keynote address, focusing on the context and challenges of priestly formation in the digital age. 

Father Charles Leon, executive secretary of the Commission for Vocations, Seminaries, Clergy, and Religious (VSCR), extended a warm welcome to the attendees, while Father Tobias Raimond Toppo, the spiritual director of St. Alberts College in Ranchi, expressed gratitude in his vote of thanks.

Father Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary-general of CCBI, presided over the inaugural Holy Mass. 

In his homily, Father Alathara urged participants to cultivate three essential qualities: a deep-rooted faith, ongoing engagement with Church teachings, and proficiency in counseling, listening, mentoring, and empathy.

The Digital World as a Contemporary "Areopagus," Evolving Images of Priesthood and Their Implications in Formation, Understanding the Psyche of Generation Z, Spiritual Accompaniment of Social Hermits, and Modern Tools and Resources for Spiritual Direction are just some of the important topics covered during the three-day national seminar, in which Father Jackson of the Dharmapuri diocese is leading the discussions. 

Jesuit Father Joye James, director of Santhigram in Ernakulam, Kerala, will facilitate discussions on adolescent accompaniment skills, mentoring, and teamwork in the spiritual formation of seminarians.  


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