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- Seminars / Short Workshops -
(One full day or 4-5 evenings or 3-5 full days)


Learning to Love, Learning to Forgive
A workshop meant to help participants to clarify the meaning of love, its requirements, qualities and forms, as well as ways of growing in love; to understand what forgiveness is and is not, the difficulties involved in forgiveness, and the healing it can bring us. We will illustrate the theory and the praxis through contemporary examples.

Ways of Meditating, Ways of Praying
Theory and guided practice of some ways of meditating and praying. Included are: Praying with the Bible, praying using others’ words, spontaneous prayers, the meaning and need of prayer, meditation with and without a mantra, nature meditation, prayers of gratitude and healing; questions people ask about prayer and meditation.

Stories to Live By
This workshops uses stories from different religions, cultures and epochs to understand and illumine the human journey. The stories are organized around the following themes: (1) Love and forgiveness; (2) life and death; (3) happiness and suffering; (4) wisdom and humor; (5) balance; (6) God and us. Students will present their favorite stories and look at their own personal story. We will also look at the underlying cultural and religious assumptions of some stories.

Psycho-sexual Development and Celibacy
Celibacy and marriage are two different and valid ways of living our identity as men and women. All of us need to become men and women, and do so meaningfully. We look at these topics: questions and areas of confusion; psycho-sexual development; psycho-sexual maturity; celibacy: joys, frustrations, meaning, dangers, helps; common problems people face: handling sexual feelings, masturbation, sexual abuse, homosexuality, sexuality and boundaries in the helping professions; the challenge of intimacy and friendship; cultural differences; gender discrimination.

Elements of a Realistic Spirituality for Today
The need for a realistic and balanced spirituality; the clashes between the votaries of spirituality and social activism; the meaning(s) of spirituality; elements: (a) Trust in God and personal integrity; (b) loving and healing relationships; (c) social justice (regarding money, race and gender), as well as ecological responsibility. The role of prayer, spiritual direction, asceticism, community, organized religion.

Saints and Sages from East and West
The meaning of “East” and “West”; the main Western/Christian spiritual traditions; the major Eastern contributions; contemporary figures from East and West. What can the West and the East learn from each other?

Spiritual Direction and Counselling
An introductory seminar, clarifying the meaning of spiritual direction and counseling, the processes involved, the commonalities and the differences between the two and vis-à-vis the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some of the common issues brought to spiritual directors and counselors in formation houses are also taken up.

Introduction to Counselling
A workshop for non-professional counselors, like teachers, clergy, etc. Contents: What counseling is and is not; the process of counseling; the different schools or approaches; the person of the counselor; the skills involved; questions to ask.

The Effective Formator
A workshop for formators of Catholic seminaries and religious formation houses. How formation takes place; the theories of human development, especially Erikson, Fowler and Kegan; the qualities of a good formator; the role of community life; issues faced by formators.

Paths of Joy, Paths of Healing
The art of living is to find meaning and joy in an imperfect world, with imperfect people (including ourselves). There are paths to joy and healing we can access. The paths we will look at include: thinking, faith, fantasy, the body, nature, ecstasy, relationships.

The Complete Teacher
A seminar for educators and teachers, clarifying the following issues: The teacher-student relationship; the teacher as counselor; new technologies and teaching; relationships among the staff; the world and needs of the teacher; role models for the teacher.

Religious Life Today: The Rhetoric and the Reality
There is much beautiful rhetoric about religious life, which does not often correspond to the reality. What is the situation of religious life today, in India and world-wide? What are the main issues facing religious today? What are the challenges? What should be the priorities?

The Things that Matter: A Look at Life’s Essentials
There are some central concerns and experiences which, if well cultivated, can make life very meaningful and, if neglected, render life barren and bitter. There core issues include: Love, Life’s Most Precious Gift; Learning to Forgive; the Secret of Happiness, the Gift of Humour; Nurturning a Happy Family; Facing our Fears; Meeting God in Meaningful Ways; Personal Ways of Praying; Finding Meaning; Living our Sexuality in healthy ways; and our Public commitments.

Contemporary Saints and Sages
Since the human journey, especially spirituality (“living lovingly, wisely, and responsibly in our setting”), is best understood and illumined by the lives of concrete men and women, the seminar will examine the life and “message” of some contemporary witnesses, in various settings: writing (Karl Rahner, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Mahasweta Devi), public life (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dag Hammarsjold, Paolo Freire, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Medha Patkar), pits of despair (Etty Hillesum, Maximilian Kolbe), persecution (under Nazi, Communist, or military regimes), the service of the weakest (Mother Teresa, Jean Vanier), youth movements (Taize’, San Egidio). Participants will be encouraged to identify the “saints and sages” in their own settings and experience.

Koinonia: Personal Growth, Community Building and Mission:
A program for Christian communities, to examine and deepen the different aspects of Community living. The sessions are based on the understanding that community is built up through a flow of gifts, the gift of ourselves to one another and to our mission. We look at (and have group sessions on) the following ten gifts that determine the quality of a Christian community: Presence, Listening, Affirmation, Faith, Service, Forgiveness, Leadership, Creativity, Confrontation and Laughter. The links between personal growth, community building and mission.

Personal, Interpersonal and Leadership Skills:
A learning through doing program.The program consists of a series of structured experiences, under the guidance of a facilitator. Most of the action takes place in small groups. The sessions cover the areas of self-knowledge, self confidence, relationships, feedback, leadership styles and other topics related to personal growth, interpersonal relationships and effective leadership. Target group: Anyone interested in improving one’s self-understanding, relationships and leadership style, especially educators, clergy and others in the helping professions.

Transactional Analysis: An Initiation
An experiential introduction to Transactional Analysis.
Simple individual and group exercises are built around the basic themes of T.A: Structural Analysis, Transactional Analysis, Games, Strokes, How We Structure Time, Life Positions, Scripts We Live, Discovering a New Self through T.A.

The Fruitful Desert:
A program meant to help participants to explore the areas of spirituality and personal growth. It includes input (e.g., explanations of central truths or inspiring examples from other people), silence, periods of common and individual prayer, group sharing (if the participants want it), the chance for personal chats with the director (counseling, spiritual direction or confession). It involves, above all, the readiness to listen “with the heart” and the willingness to be surprised by grace.

Youth Work: the Seven Dimensional Approach
A training program for youth workers. The seven dimensions on which we have been training youth workers are: Personal Growth, Relationships, Leadership (and Helping Skills, such as counseling), Socio-Political Awareness, Youth Psychology, Faith, and Fun. The training seminar should provide an atmosphere and sessions conducive to such growth in the participants. We see youth work not as a technique, but as a network of meaningful relationships, situated within a particular context.