It was very pleasant to be heading for Jalahalli early morning at 7.20 AM from Electronics city Bus stop. Having finished a late night function with students at Xavier Inst of Management, it was difficult getting up at 6.30 in the morn. Still I wanted to make to to Jalahalli as my long time friend and associate, Fr Philip Kurivilla was to conduct the qurbana at Jalahalli and also co-ordinate a one day conf of MGOCSM from city churches there. It took me almost 2 hours to reach Gangamma circle, Jalahalli to attend the early morn Qurbana at the St. Marys Orthodox Church, Jalahalli, Bangalore.
Fr Philip Kuruvilla is very closely associated with the MGOCSM movement for many years being the Secretary of All India MGOCSM for many years. My association with philiachen extends to the days when he was deciding on entering the seminary at Kottayam. It was with a group of boys and girls from the Tech auxilliary wing of MGOCSM from College of engg,.trivandrum, who spent a week at Ranni Perunad ashram, that I first met him at the ashram. he had come there to spend a year of his life to help make the decision of leaving a comfortable life in Kolkata as the only heir of a business magnate to taking up priesthood of the Orthodox Church. Since then we have met at diff places.He also stayed with me for a night at my house in goa engg college campus when he had come to Panjim church to conduct a one day retreat of MGOCSM almost 12 years back.
Today in the church the conf started with an exciting song session directed by Jikku and his team of enthu colleagues from the Jalahalli church. Fr Philip did a role play sort of game where the delegates for the conf were divided into three groups representing the Catholics, Protestant and orthodox.They were made to analyse diff topics from the perspective of the three major Christian denominations like faith, baptism, the Holy chrismation (mooron), prayers for the dead, venerating Mother Mary, the offering and acceptance of communion between diff communities and so on. It was very informative for all of us. The members enjoyed the role play game as it helped the delegates gain insight into the subtle differences and similarities between the three main faiths.
Fr Thomas Ninan, Programme co-ordinator of the Substance abuse, HIV and AIDS in Delhi delivered a good and absorbing talk for the youth on spirituality.
After lunch, the conf continued with song sessions and dumb charades, but sadly I had to leave the fun and merriment.
It was a great feeling to be involved in providing some guidance for the young MGOCSM members and to give in return something to the movement from which we elders have benefitted a lot !!