Claretian Seminary Bangalore, October, 2012
Every year the students of Claretian seminary make a ‘rural plunge’ in October during the vacation between two semesters. They spend a week in different villages, adapting to the lifestyle of the country folk there, giving a rural touch to their formation program. This year, on 6 and 7 October the students left in different batches for their respective destinations – the first year students of theology to Karahalli, one of our rural missions outside Bangalore, the second year students to Bettada Halasuru near Kanakapura, about 90 kms from Bangalore and third year theologians to our Nallajerla mission in Andhra Pradesh.
Because our students hail from different states of India having very different social settings, for many of them these villages present a completely alien cultural and social background. Therefore this experience widens their outlook and better prepares them to be missionaries, open to all cultures. During the program the students stayed in the villages and responded to the needs of the local church and the people in those villages. They helped the people by working in their fields and in the evening, they took time to visit the families, speaking and praying with them. Wherever possible, they ate the food provided by the families. The formators visited them during the program and provided the necessary accompaniment. This exposure, to some extend, also threw light on the challenges of rural India, where most of them will be working as missionaries in a few years’ time.
Fr. Martin George