SEMINAR ON FAITH COMMUNICATED TO COMMUNICATE
At Ruhalaya Major Seminary Ujjain
The meaningful celebration of faith year prompted Ruhalaya Community to take up another seminar on faith. Beside the seminar titled faith in relation to philosophy held at the beginning of faith year and a series of lectures on challenges for the transmission of Christian faith in the context of North India, in the month of January this year and a symposium on the latest encyclical of the church Lumen Fidei in the month of august.
The two days seminar titled with the theme faith communicated to communicate began at 9:30 am on 4th November 2013. In the inauguration ceremony very. Rev. Fr. Peter Vattapara, the rector of the seminary welcomed all the dignitaries of the day. Along with that, he also gave a proper introduction to the topic of the seminar, quoting from the documents of the church like Lumen Fidei and Lumen Gentium. His Excellency Mar Joseph Kollamparambil, the bishop of Jagadalpur was kind enough to be the chief guest of the seminar. His Excellency Mar Sebasitan Vadakkel, bishop of Ujjain was the president of the programme.
The whole seminar included five scholarly paper presentations by different eminent personalities. Similarly each presentation was moderated and responded by different erudite and scholarly personnel. The first session of the seminar was based on the theme, Introduction of Christianity in North India in the first Century AD by Rev. Fr. James Kurikilamkattu, in which Fr. James was focusing on how St. Thomas the apostle came to north Indian soil and established Christian communities in several places. The second paper on the topic Early St. Thomas Christian communities in Madhya Pradesh was presented by Rev. Dr. Abraham Kunnatholy CMI. Fr. Abraham aimed in his paper to bring out the factors favoring St. Thomas’ mission in the North West India. The topic of the third sessions was Decline of Early St. Thomas Christian Communities in Central and North India. The paper was presented by Rev. Fr. James Kurikilamkattu. Rev. Fr. James presented mainly five reasons for the declension of St. Thomas Christin communities in the Northern parts of India. The main causes were Invasion, Migration, Conversion to Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, Absence of political support, Absence of local hierarchy.
Rev. Fr. Jose Palakkel presented the fourth paper of the seminar on the Evangelization and Media: Theological Perspectives. Fr. Jose began with saying now the church has entered into a new digital era where she has to engage herself in using the internet wholly namely facebook, blog, twitter, email etc. Towards the end of the paper he put forward three prolific suggestions for the better evangelization namely knowing the media, making use of the media and finally to be the media by life witnessing which is very important. The fifth and the last presentation was by Rev. Dr. Jose Vallikattu. The theme of the presentation was founding and fostering communities through new media. In his presentation he focused on the nature of church, Ecclesia and communion in detail. He said communion or koinonia is what the church is. According to him the audience of new media is new in perceptions, concepts and in characteristics. Finally he exhorted the audience not use media but rather to be in the media because new media is a space. With a general session of the seminar and followed by the anthem of Ruhalaya seminary the two days prolonged seminar came to the end.