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Divine Word Seminary, Pune
celebrates Golden jubilee

he Golden jubilee celebrations of the Divine Word Seminary came to an end at a meaningful eucharistic celebration presided over by Rt. Rev. Valerian D’Souza, the bishop of Pune on 13th January, 2008. Rt. Rev. Chacko Thottumarickal SVD, bishop of Jhabua and the provincial superiors of the various Indian provinces and the regional superior was present at the concluding ceremony along with nearly 100 SVD missionaries from both India and abroad. Referrring to the motto of the jubilee year – “inspired by the Word, to inspire the World”, bishop Valarian D’souza praised the great missionary dynamism of the Society of the Divine Word. However he reminded all of the present days’ challenge of ‘being highly influenced by the world’. Many priests and sisters from the JDV campus and friends and well-wishers from around the seminary attended the golden jubilee celebration along with the staff and students of this seminary.

This ceremony marks the end of a year-long celebration which began on 29th January, 2007. DWS completes 50 golden years of Missionary service in the formation of SVD seminarians on 2nd February, 2008. A Golden Jubilee souvenir and a book entitled, ‘Led by the Spirit’ was published during the concluding celebration.

“A jubilee celebration is an occasion to savor the past memories and thank the Lord for his goodness”, said Archbishop Leo Corneleo of Bhopal during the inaugural mass of the Golden jubilee celebrations on Saturday, 12th January, 2008 at Divine Word Seminary. Rt. Rev. Abraham Viruthukulangara, archbishop of Nagpur diocese was also present at this occasion.

The theme of the Golden jubilee celebrations has been “inspired by the WORD, to inspire the WORLD”. It is a proud moment for the Seminary and all who have toiled hard for the growth of this institution during the course of last fifty years as almost all of the SVD priests, numbering nearly 700, have passed through the sacred portals of this great alma mater. What began as a small seed has grown into a full blown tree, sending out nearly 200 of its missionaries to 41 countries across the globe. What the seminary has achieved during the past fifty years has been remarkable.

A Seminar and a panel discussion were held as part of the Golden jubilee celebrations. The seminar on ‘Creative Ministries: Challenging and Fulfilling” was organised to make everyone aware fof the great and pioneering work that some of the confreres are engaged in and to inspire and stimulate young seminarians to opt for challenging ministries. Seventeen missionaries from all over country and abroad, rendering their pioneering services in the field of JPIC, tribal empowerment, rural development, inter religious dialogue, proclamation of the faith through retreat centres, shared their varied and challenging experiences.

The panel discussion on Formation for Mission involved the sharing of three confreres, Frs. Ignatius Thottappally, G. Christopher, and Cyprian Pinto and Sr. Shanti Fernandes RSCJ on topics like, SVD Formation in India, Formation for Mission, Feminist Perspectives on Formation and Flashes from the Mission. This was a great eye opener to both the confreres and the seminarians about the many challenges and problems in the ministry of formation.

A ballet called ‘MUKTHI DHARA’ by Sangeet Abhinay Academy directed by Fr. Charles Vas SVD added hue and colour to the entire celebrations.

Babu Kakkaniyil SVD