The much expected and awaited Asha Deepa formation house was blessed and inaugurated on 15th of August, 2018. The celebration began with the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Very Rev. Fr Charles Serrao OCD, the Provincial Superior of Karnataka-Goa Province and Rev. Fr Dominic Vas OCD, preached a relevant homily for the occasion. Over 45concelebrants - mainly our Carmelite friars - joined the Eucharistic celebration. It was well attended by the religious and the lay faithful from the vicinity. The choir consisting of our theology brothers from Mangalore enhanced the fervour of the entire liturgical celebration.

As the mass concluded, Rev. Fr. Rudolf V. D'Souza OCD, President, Canadian Carmelite Charitable Society, Canada, along with his beloved mother inaugurated the new building, by symbolically cutting the colourful ribbon. Then the Provincial Superior unveiled the ‘commemorative inscription’ and blessed the new students’ wing.

Thereafter the guests gathered in the new hall for a well arranged jubilant felicitation programme where the donor Ms. HELEN CHUA TIAMPO Jubilo Trust - Vancouver – Canada, was remembered and thanked and Rev. Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza OCD, through whom we received the funds was gratefully felicitated. The community of Asha Deepa remains grateful to these generous and kind personalities. God bless them abundantly.

The felicitation programme included a welcome dance by children, welcome speech by the local Superior, Fr. Lancy Lewis, an orchestral piece by our Carmelite aspirants from Madanthyar. In his speech Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza recalled his family’s association (especially his late dad, Mr. Baptist D’Souza) with Asha Deepa from its foundation. He then shared about his friendship with Miss Helen Chua Tiampo - from Guardian Angels’ Parish, Vanouver, Canada where he was parish priest for over 8 years - who generously came forward to sponsor the new construction. Fr. Charles Serrao, the Provincial Superior, traced briefly the history of the foundation at Madanthyar and how the decision to embark on this new block was taken. He sincerely thanked all those who made it possible and specially honoured Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza. With gratitude Fr George Santhumayor mentioned all those who were involved in the construction work and the prominent among them were honoured. The curtains fell with a homemade sumptuous monastic meal.

We thank all those who made it for this great occasion and those who couldn’t make it but prayed for us. May Mother of Carmel bless us all.

Carmelite Community
Asha Deepa, Madanthyar

A Historical glimpse:

The early Fathers of our province were keen on opening new houses for the growth and functioning of this new unit of the Carmelite Order in India. And among their top priorities was formation. Our holy Parents, Sts. Teresa and John of the Cross, looked for university centres, where the young Discalced Brothers would acquire solid intellectual formation. So the founding Fathers of our Province thought of starting formation communities near suitable educational institutions corresponding to the stages of formation.

In 1984, the Provincial Chapter decided that we would begin our own Philosophy College in Mysuru, which so far was a formation house for PUC students. Hence the latter had to be shifted elsewhere. Fr. Nemesio Alzola, then Provincial deputed me (who was one of his councilors) along with …. to look out for a suitable place and after examining various proposals and options, our eyes settled on Madanthyar. One of the prime reasons we narrowed down on this village was because of the Sacred Heart College, Madanthyar. Another reason was the welcome and support offered by the then parish priest, Msgr. Fred V. Periera of happy memory. We found that this college, which was still in its infancy, was well adapted to the needs of our PUC students as regards intellectual formation.

Asha Deepa came into existence in 1986. Since then over 300 students have passed through this formation house and have excelled in their studies. It should be noted with pride, that from among them 120 are priests of our Province today, engaged in varied forms of ministry in India, abroad and the mission of Tanzania.

We recall all the friars who have toiled hard for this foundation. The beginning years were tough and resources were meagre. Late Fr. Dolphy D’Souza himself supervised and executed the building plan which was to be a temporary structure to cater to the immediate needs of the formation house. However due to paucity of funds, it was repaired several times and continued to shelter our formees till last year. The side wing consisting of refectory, rooms for the friars and study hall and a new chapel was constructed in the year 1992, when late Fr. Egidius Monteiro was Superior.

Finally in the last Provincial Chapter 2017, a decision was taken to go in for a new block as the old structure was beyond repairs and could not stand the test of time any longer. The new block consists 5 rooms (including two for the Superior and Director of Students); refectory, dormitory, study hall, sacristy and parlour. We thank the members of the present community at Madanthyar and especially Fr. George Santhumayor for supervising the building and bringing it to completion.

Copyright © 2006   KG Carmelite Province, Bangalore

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