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News Bangalore Province (INK)

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Kristu Jyothi College, Bangalore celebrates 50 years
By Father Bobby SDB
Bangalore, Nov. 7. ''The entire Salesian congregation is proud of Kristu Jyothi College, the prominent theological study centre of the congregation for the way it has been contributing to the global church, the Salesian congregation and the church in India'', said Father Angel Fernandez Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian congregation. He was speaking on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Kristu Jyothi College at Bangalore on Monday evening.
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''I was just 7 years when this institution began. Today we need to look back and thank God for Kristu Jyothi College and remember with gratitude the several people who gave their life to it'' said the Rector Major who incidentally is the grand chancellor of Salesian Pontifical University in Rome to which Kristu Jyothi College is affiliated.Emphasizing the importance of solid theological formation the Rector Major opined that if the work is done well in such centers it will have permeating quality enhancement in all our institutions. Taking note of the sense of social consciousness that Kristu Jyothi College has always tried to inculcate in formees he reminded everyone that institutions of this nature must focus on forming in the trainees 'a heart for the poor'. ''This house must make a reading of the gospel to serve the poor and needy for the next 50 years now'', he said.

Appreciating the contributions made by the institution in the past 50 years, the Rector Major called on the staff and students to strive for excellence. ''Give the best of yourselves and do not allow this institution to grow old'' he reminded.

Kristu Jyothi College turns Gold
The grand finale of the year long golden jubilee celebration of Kristu Jyothi College began at 4-30 pm on Monday, 6 November. The Holy Eucharist was presided over by the Rector Major Frather Angel Fernandez Artime, with Father Ivo Coelho, the counselor for formation, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional superior of South East Asia, Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, Father Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Provincial of Bangalore province, Father James Kadankavil, Rector, Kristu Jyothi College and Father Jaroslav Rochowiak, Secretary General, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome and over 400 priests mostly past pupils of the institution concelebrating.

All the eleven provincials of South East Asian Region, some of them past pupils of Kristu Jyothi College, the provincials and superiors of scores of institutions across India and a large turnout of priests, sisters, brothers, co-operators, well wishers and members of the Salesian family left the hall with a seating capacity of 1200 packed even before the Holy Eucharist began.
In his homily Fr. Rector Major focused on three points. 'Be open to the Spirit', he said.  'Formation is possible only when there is openness to the Spirit', he continued. Secondly he spoke on the need to have the heart of the Good Shepherd. ''If our hearts are full of ourselves whom will we announce?'' he asked. The final point was a call to be servants. ''The world is getting fragmented by factors such as craze for power, corruption and inequality. In such a scenario our path and style should be different. We should find meaning in service as that is what will move people'' he said.

The melodious singing by the jubilee choir under Father Cyriac Thayyil enhanced the spiritually charged atmosphere during the Holy Eucharist.
KJC lauded for its contributions

The public function began as scheduled at 6.30 pm after the Holy Eucharist and a brief refreshment break. The programme was presided over by Dr. Bernard Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore with Rev. Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major as chief guest.

The list of guests of honour included  Father Ivo Coelho, the counselor for formation, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional superior of South East Asia, Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, Father Jaroslav Rochowiak, Secretary General, Pontifical Salesian University, former Rectors of Kristu jyothi College starting from Father Anthony Mampra, the first Rector, former Principals and registrars of KJC and the 11 provincials of Salesian region of South East Asia.

The public function began on an emotionally high note with a moment of silence, paying tribute to all those who passed away, giving their sweat and blood for the growth of Krisu Jyothi College.

In his presidential address Archbishop Dr. Bernard  Moras congratulated Krisu Jyothi College and the Salesians. ''In 1967 it was Cardinal Lourde Swamy, the then Archbishop of Bangalore and Don Aloysious Ricceri, the then Rector Major who were present at the inauguration of KJC. It's a coincidence that now as KJC turns gold the present Rector Major and the present Archbishop are here,'' he observed. ''This institution true to its name and motto, has been shedding light in the Archdiocese of Bangalore, in the Church in India and the global church,'' the Archbishop said. Citing the 11 institutions in the Archdiocese of Bangalore where the Salesians work the Archbishop observed that all those institutions are for the poorest of the poor. ''It is the result of your capacity to read the signs of the times and rise up to the challenges,'' he said.  

Father Ivo Coelho, past pupil of Kristu Jyothi College and now general counselor for formation, in his felicitation speech observed that KJC is a major study centre of the Salesian congregation and so it should be owned up, supported and strengthened. Recalling his experiences at KJC he said that the Social Service Guild and street children's work that had its start from here are solid proofs of the social consciousness inherent in the theological reflections made here. ''With great numbers come great responsibilities too.'' He said taking note of the steady numbers in initial formation in this part of the congregation.  He called on KJC to move on now to promote consecrated life in general and not limit to Salesian consecrated life only.

Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome in his felicitation address called on KJC to continue to be a beacon of light, guiding the church in India. He appreciated the institutions and the persons behind for taking up seriously from its very inception aspects such as care of the marginalized, publication, youth ministry, Catechesis training and faith education.

Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Superior of South East Asia observed and lauded the atmosphere of responsible freedom that has been characteristic of the formation imparted at Kristu Jyothi College. He had a special word of praise for the intellectual luminaries shaped by KJC, whose contribution has helped much the Church in India too. On the occasion of the golden jubilee he called on the staff and students to study Jesus Christ on a daily basis without ever getting tired of learning theology.

Speaking on behalf of all the Provincials, Fr. Thomas Vattathara, the Provincial of Guwahati, a past pupil of KJC described the institution as 'bigger than anything I have seen in Salesian India'. ''KJC has made me'' said Father Thomas.

Books Released
Adding glitter to the golden jubilee celebration, six books were released by KJC publications on the occasion.  'Salesian Sources: Don Bosco and his sources of works', a translation by Father Jose Kuttianimattathil, 'Discipleship: A costly choice' by Father Dominic Kaniyantharayil, 'Philosophical Anthropology' by Father Scaria Thuruthiyil, two books by Father Joy Kaippan and  one by Father Cyriac Thayyil, the current director of KJC publications were the books released. The Rector Major released the books and handed over the first copies to the different Salesian provincials present on the occasion. Father Cyriac Thayyil informed the gathering that with the present set of releases the number of works from KJC publications has now moved up to 164 books.
Glittering cultural extravaganza

The public function of the golden jubilee was interspersed with glittering cultural programmes. Children of BOSCO (Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Cotta) Bangalore, that has its roots at the ministry began by brothers of KJC put up a dance while Don Bosco Chitradurga and seminarians of Don Bosco Tumkur presented patriotic dances arousing love for Karnataka and India. A jubilee anthem featuring 50 musicians was another attractive programme of the day. A light and sound show depicting the 50 years of growth of Kristu Jyothi College, presented as the last item was the icing on the cake. Father James Kadankavil, the Rector of KJC welcomed the gathering and Fr. Shabu Thottumkal, the principal proposed the vote of thanks. The celebration was concluded with a sumptuous dinner.    


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