THE SYRO-MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM- 695 004, KERALA INDIA
SYNODAL COMMISSION FOR SEMINARY FORMATION
Chairman: His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Julios
Secretary: Very Rev. Dr. John Kochuthundil
St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Mar Ivanios Vidyanagar, Nalanchira, Trivandrum Dt.- 15,
1. Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Poovathumtharayil, St Aloysius Minor Seminary, Mar Ivanios Vidya Nagar, Nalanchira, Trivandrum695015; Ph9446108936
2. Very Rev. Fr. Devadhas, St Ephreams Minor Seminary, Elavuvilai PO, K.K District629171; Ph 8056698474
3. Very Rev. Fr. Silvester Thekkedathu, Mar Ivanios Minor Seminary, Kallumala PO, Mavelikkara 690110; Ph 9446273610
4. Very Rev. Fr. Skaria Vattamattom, Infant Mary’s Minor Seminary, Marygiri PB No 4, Thiruvalla; Ph 9447363951
5. Very Rev. Fr. SebastianKeeppallil, St Thomas Minor Seminary (Gurukulam), SulthanBathery P.O 673 592, WayanaduDt, Kerala; Ph 9447242816
6. Very Rev. Msgr. Issac Kochery, Gurursannidhy Minor Seminary, Diocesan Centre, Keezhillam PO, ErnakulamDt 683541; Ph9447435109
7. Very Rev. Fr. Varghese Kuthineth, St. Thomas Minor Seminary, Aattarikom, Mullanikkadu, Omalloor PO Pathanamthitta, 9447007898
8. Very Rev. Fr. Issac Parackal OIC, Bethany Asram PB No 3018, Ramwadi, Pune; Ph 09420320006
9. Very Rev. Fr. Thomas Kuzhinappurath, San Jose Minor Seminary, Parladka, Puttur PO 574201, Karnataka State; Ph 917760524371
10. Prof. George Panamthundy, TC20/2227, Belhaven Gardens, B4, Kowdiar PO, TVM 3; Ph 9846905015
11. Prof.Joju John, Mar Theophilos Training College, Mar Ivanios Vidya Nagar, Nalanchira PO, Trivandrum 15 Ph: 9447259599
12. Mr. John Mathai IAS, Malancheruvil Belhaven Gardens, Kowdiar, Trivandrum 3; Ph: 9995022777
13. Mr. Philip Ninan, Thannikkakuzhy House, Erumamunda PO Chunkathara, Nilamboor 679334; Ph 9495662115
14. Rev. Sr. Lidiya DM, Convent of the Daughters of Mary, Nirmala Provincial House, Venniyoor, Venganoor, Nellivila PO, Thiruvanathapuram 695 523; Ph 9497016827
The Report of the First Meeting of the Synodal Commission for The Seminary Formation
The first meeting of the Synodal Commission for Seminary Formation was held on 5 March 2006 at St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary, Nalanchira, Trivandrum. The meeting began at 10.00 a.m. with a prayer by His Excellency. The Participants:
1. His Excellency Thomas Mar Koorilos (Chairman)
2. Rev. Dr. George Kalayil (Secretary)
3. Rev. Dr. John Kochuthundil
4. Rev. Dr. Samuel Vazhayil
5. rev. Dr. Thomas Kanjiramukalil
6. Rev. Dr. Mariadasan
7. Rev. Fr. Shaji Makkapallil
8. Rev. Dr. Sr. Anila Christy DM
9. Dr. Mary Panachakel
10. Mrs. Rose Mary
11. Mr. C.P. Thomas
The following members could not attend the meeting due to various reasons.
Rev. Dr. James Puthuparambil OIC
Dr. Babu Philip
Mr. Alexander Jacob IPS
Mr. Benjamin Thomas
Mr. Shaji Kooliyath
His Excellency, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Chairman of the Commission presided over the meeting. He accorded a warm welcome to all the members.
The Bishop, in his opening message, explained the purpose of the constitution of the Synodal Commissions in general and that of the Synodal Commission for Seminary Formation in particular. In the present hierarchical structure of the Church, the Synodal Commission is a forum for the Christian Faithful, especially for the Priests, Religious and the Laity to co-operate and participate in the building up of the Church.
Mar Koorilos also dealt with the nature and constitution of the Synodal Commissions. There are members who are appointed for a period of five years. They contribute to the activities of the commission by way of their expertise in the field. The members appointed ex-officio give their service to the Commission as long as they hold the respective offices.
The Synodal Commission of Seminary Formation lays down the vision of priestly formation in our Church keeping in mind the expectation of the people. The well-being of the Church depends on the formation of her priests.
From the experience of the priestly formation in our Seminaries, the Commission can lay down the criteria, such as, family atmosphere, educational qualifications, etc., for promoting genuine vocations to priesthood. There is need to present a plan for the next five years. It is God who raises priestly vocations in the Church. However, the obligation of the members of the Commission to get involved through prayer and other means in promoting genuine vocations, is very important.
In the discussion and sharing that followed, the members expressed their happiness at the positive atmosphere in our Church regarding the number of vocations. However, they expressed their concern in the fall in quality of the “Called” and their priorities in life. Lack of better relations among priests and families, deterioration of pastoral application, domination of personal concerns in the life of priests, lack of initiatives and involvements, eroding of sense of service, change in the value systems, domineering tendencies in priestly ministry, stifling of the collaboration of the People of God, lack of missionary zeal and above all, lack of feeling of the presence of God in the priests’ life are some of the tendencies that affect priestly formation and ministry in the Church today.
There also emerged a few proposals to foster vocations to the priesthood. To create vocation, friendly families and groups in the parishes are the starting points. There should be more areas of co-operation among parishes and seminaries, such as, sponsorship of candidates to priesthood. The Seminary could cooperate with parishes by giving training to altar-boys, preaching on the value and promotion of priestly vocations, etc.
The Synodal decision to keep all ordinations after Holy Easter is also highlighted once in the commission meeting. The deacons will go to their respective dioceses after completion of their theological course for their diaconate ministry.
The meeting ended at 2.00 pm with lunch.
Fr. George Kalayil