Claretian Ashram Begins 25th Year

wardha 3Jubilate Deo! Claretian Ashram College of Philosophy officially entered into a significant phase of its history on 16th July 2013 on the auspicious occasion of the 165 foundation day of the congregation as Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, the General Prefect of Formation, officially inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of its foundation in the presence of Fr. Thomas Vattukulam cmf, the Provincial Superior of St Thomas Province, along with other dignitaries, religious, well wishers and friends.

Fr. Thomas Vattukulam, the Provincial Superior of St. Thomas Province, released the Jubilee Logo and felicitated as the Patron of the institute on the occasion of this significant milestone. Fr. Thomas Punchayil, the Parish Priest of St. Antony’s Church Wardha and Fr. Wilson Edattukaren CMI joined in acknowledging and thanking the unique presence of the Claretians for a quarter of a century. The programmes performed by the students, which included dance, a couple of group songs and an optical illusion sandwiched the program which was otherwise predominantly saturated with addresses and stimulated the audience and relaxed their minds.

The Claretian congregation that came to India in 1970 was blessed with plenty of vocations from different parts of the country. After the initial formation, the students used to do rest of the studies in Bangalore. The original visionaries of Claretian Ashram intended an exposure of north Indian culture to the students and envisioned an inculturated formation through the assimilation of the Ashram model of Indian monasticism.   After a lot of feasibility studies Wardha, the city of Ashrams in the heartland of India, was identified as the ideal place to impart an inculturated formation for the Claretian aspirants from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

wardha1The aim of Claretian Ashram College of Philosophy is to provide philosophical studies in tune with the cultural diversity of India. From the very inception, the Ashram was blessed with students from different states of India. An incessant quest for academic and cultural excellence is kept intact through the stream of the students hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jarkhand, Chathisgragh, Assam, Maharashtra, Manipur Meghalaya, Odisha, Missoram, Kerala, and Bihar by peaceful and fraternal co-existence. At present we have 57 students of whom 47 are Claretian pre-novices and 10 are religious women. In this era of globalization one can easily find varieties of people in every walk of life. But the uniqueness Claretian ashram lies in the fact that it has a long history of having catered to the cultural and linguistic diversity from its very inception. In 1999 during the apostolic visitation His Excellency Bishop Thomas Dabre rightly termed Claretian Ashram as an ‘India in miniature!’.

The institute strives to provide a mission oriented formation in union and conformity with the Claretian Charism. The emblem of the college symbolizes the ardent pursuit of Wisdom, Love and Service that constitute the foundational values of the major world religions. The motto of the Institute is Hrudyastha Seva Dhirastha Vidya which means “earnest wisdom leads to loving service.”

Over 450 students have passed through this temple of learning in its brief yet glorious history of a quarter of a century. A good number of them are now working as missionaries in different parts of the world.

 Philosophy, as etymologically understood, is ‘Love of Wisdom.’ To arouse and instil an insatiable quest for wisdom remains at heart the challenge of this institute which has got tremendous potential to conquer greater heights of academic excellence and become a distinguished temple of learning. We hope that the reflections and celebrations of the jubilee year open up new horizons in the formation of the young missionaries to meet the need of the Church today.

– Jis Pettayil cmf

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