In Bengali, the word 'Arunoday' means sunrise. Arunoday, dedicated to the Rising Sun, Jesus, is the pre-novitiate of the Calcutta Province of the Society of Jesus. The house is situated at Malancha, on Taki Road, near Barasat, about 30 kms from Kolkata.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pre-novices on holidays

Classes and exams over; our fifteen pre-novices went on a little Kolkata darshan before they started a three days retreat. The visit started with Mother House on April 12. We had a mass at Mother’s Tomb. From there we proceeded to the Indian Museum. The rest of the morning hours were spent there. We had lunch at Prabhu Jisur Girja and then went to visit Birla Technological Museum. Some of the shows there were interesting. Our dinner was at St Lawrence’s and on the way there we also visited Birla temple. Before dinner, the pre-novices had some time to chat with the candidates.
The next day we visited the Science City. Though the day was very hot we enjoyed learning through games.

The three day retreat began on 14th evening at Dhyan Ashram. It was directed by Fr Cyriac. On 18th morning the pre-novices returned to Arunoday.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Farewell to Sch Roshan Tirkey

Sch Roshan Tirkey, who served Arunoday community for ten months as the Assistant Director of the Pre-Novitiate and minister, left us today to begin his new assignment as teacher at St Xavier’s Collegiate School, Kolkata. An evening farewell programme was organised by the pre-novices which began with a Eucharistic celebration and concluded with a dinner.
Pre-novice John Paul, in his introduction to the Eucharist, outlined the various ways through which Sch Roshan gave an example of Jesuit excellence. Later, speaking at the cultural programme, Fr Carvalho was all praise for Roshan’s qualities as a good organiser. Fr Sajeev spoke about Roshan’s interest in various fields and his commitment to ‘magis’. Pre-novice Varun Reddy was almost in tears as he recounted how Roshan reached out to all to help and to console.
In his turn, Sch Roshan explained how life in Arunoday was formative for himself. He said the value that he tried to live out here was generosity. He was equally appreciative of the chances he got to interact with the formees and the formators of the area.
Our new regent, Sch Narendra Singh, just back from his Philosophy studies at Pune JDV, fills the gap of Roshan. He was warmly welcomed yesterday. We wish him all the best and God’s blessings on this new venture.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Workshop on Affective Maturity

A workshop on affective maturity was conducted for our pre-novices along with the postulants of FMA and pre-postulants of RNDM from 25th to 27th of March. Apart from the resource persons, Fr John Rogers and Fr Sajeev, the formators of the respective houses also participated in the three day programme. The course content included handling emotions, body awareness, growing in celibate freedom, ‘friendship, infatuation, love and sexuality’, and the power of mind. The sessions were mostly audio-visual with a generous use of movie clippings and PowerPoint presentations. Much of the work was done in mixed groups, and the creativity group sessions were much appreciated by the participants. It was surely a new and exciting experience for our young formees.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Picnic to Machranga Dweep

What is Easter without a picnic? That too when it is the feast day of the house! Arunoday community went on a picnic on Easter Monday. The destination was Bangladesh, well, a few inches (or miles) short of it! We took a train to Hasanabad and then took a boat to Machranga Dweet (literally translated to ‘Kingfisher Island’). Just across the Ichamati River, Bangladesh was so very close. Our friends from Bangladesh (five of them in the pre-novitiate this year) could look at their motherland (and really could swim across if they wanted).
The island is very beautiful with mangroves and water bodies all around. We had a good walk around with Fr Carvalho watching his steps while he negotiated narrow bamboo bridges. After a good lunch sitting on the river side, the pre-novices started their most loved activity, a game of cricket. But soon the ball was gone through the shrubs into the rising waters.
Returning was equally enjoyable. The boat ride was really superb. Picnic over, today the pre-novices begin a three day programme on Affective Maturity along with the Postulants of FMA and RNDM.

For a better view, click on the pictures.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pilgrimage to Bandel shrine

A pilgrimage to Bandel shrine before we conclude the academic year is becoming a tradition at Arunoday. It is quite meaningful that before we seriously discern about choosing this way of life, we pray to our Lady of the Way. But it is not just a pilgrimage; it is also a picnic of sorts.
Picnic it was indeed. And we used all sorts of transport possible: Cycle vans, bus, boat and train. And the last bit was the pilgrimage part: walking from Bandel station to the shrine. MSMI sisters offered us a place to freshen up. Then a Mass at the balcony chapel. Lunch at Babas. A boat trip to the ancient mosque nearby. And it was time to return.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day of Recollection for co-workers

It was a day looked forward to by many of them. The co-workers of the religious houses in Barasat came together for a day of recollection, a first of its kind for them, at Arunoday on March 9, 2008. Fr Joseph Toppo, SJ, prefect of the Secondary section of St Lawrence’s School, Kolkata, directed them through the day-long recollection. About seventeen co-workers from eight houses participated in the programme. More were expected, but some could not turn up because of some urgent needs.
Fr Joseph guided the group through talks peppered with hymns and bhajans. A sumptuous lunch was served, prepared by Sch Roshan and the pre-novices (since our cook also was attending the recollection). In the afternoon there was a reconciliation service which was followed by the Eucharist. The recollection was concluded with tea at 4.00 P.M.
Mr Genebas Kujur, gardener of Arunoday, expressed thanks to Fr Joseph and Arunoday community for organising the recollection. Joy was written on the faces of all them. It was a great day. Let us hope that this initiative goes a long way.

Big Turnout for the Formees’ Gathering at Barasat

By Sch Roshan Tirkey, SJ
Nearly 180 formees with their formators gathered with great enthusiasm at Auxilium Convent, Barasat on February 2, 2008, for the first ever such gathering in 24 Parganas (North) deanery. The programme began at 9 o’clock with registration and the welcome tea. Fr Sajeev welcomed and invited all for a meaningful participation in the day’s proceedings. Sr Veronica, BS, and Sch Roshan, SJ, conducted a few creative games to mix up the formees coming from 12 different formation houses of Barasat and Barrackpore.
The theme of the day was “Pauline Mission”. Sr Roma Kujur, novice of Sisters of Charity, introduced the speaker of the day, Fr Andre Bruylants, SJ. He then presented before us the Missionary Zeal of St Paul and its relevance in our religious formation. Based on his reflection, the formees were given some points for their reflective sharing in small mixed groups. In the mean time the formators held a short meeting to discuss some future plans connected to the formation of both the formees and the formators.
The Mass of Religious Consecration began with a candle light procession singing ‘Deep Se Deep Jalao’. During the Eucharist, Fr Andre continued to inspire and challenge the young hearts by his thought provoking words. He said, ‘The candle burning in each one’s hand remarks the presence of missionary zeal among you young people. And let not the passion for missionary life die, but try to keep up your motivation.’ Sr Ruth Yanthan, novice of Sisters of Providence, thanked Fr Andre for sparing his valuable time for tender buds.
Lunch! Sr Treesa, FMA, and her team had put their whole heart and soul together to prepare a sumptuous lunch for all. All ate and satisfied, and at the end there was hardly anything left. Varun, a Jesuit Pre-Novice, said, ‘Lunch was the best part of the day. I enjoyed the delicious meal as well as the company of the formees of different religious congregations.’
The afternoon cultural programme was based on Pauline Spirituality. All the houses presented their programmes in such creative ways that it was highly appreciated by one and all. Br Elias Kisku of the Minor Seminary MCed the whole programme effectively.
The sharing of Fr Hermil, the Rector of the Minor Seminary, about his unique love for Pauline Spirituality also inspired the young hearts. At the end, Sr Prisca Kerketta, novice of Daughters of the Cross, proposed a vote of thanks especially to Auxilium Convent Family for providing us their place and infrastructure. Fr Sajeev thanked all for responding to this gathering positively.Kudos to Fr Devraj, the programme coordinator, Sr Mini, FMA, the event manager and to all the formators for organizing such a wonderful gathering.
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