India: Bhakta Yosepu Nilayam – A Mill Hill Missionary Formation Centre

“The family that prays together stays together.” Proverbs 22: 6.

We, the residents of BYN, Karunapuram, send our warm greetings to all. The acronym ‘BYN’ stands for “Bhaktha Yosepu Nilayam” which translates from Telugu, one of the 22 official languages of India, as “St. Joseph’s House”. St. Joseph who is patron saint of our congregation guides all those who live here in BYN like the foster father. There are 19 students hailing from different states to bring out the diversity of India as India is known for ‘Unity in Diversity’. We live here like a family trying to equip ourselves with the virtues of St. Joseph who is most faithful, prudent, obedient, just, chaste, mirror of patience and so on.  Although students are busy with their Philosophy and Basic Formation Programme, we all come together to praise God. As the birds go out in search of food and return to their nests so do we come back to our family from our respective schedules.

Prayer (spirituality) is one of the four pillars of the formation to which we all cling and that’s the reason we are all able to get on well with each other in the formation which reminds me of the scripture verse, “The family that prays together stays together.” Proverbs 22: 6. I, being the rector of the house, give them little to excel in their journey to be a missionary but on the other hand, the students teach me many lessons indirectly. If we can be open to learn from the other, there is a lot to learn and improve ourselves. We have introduced praying with nature. Being inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, we are part of this nature and nature helps us to know ourselves and God more deeply.

“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching” is the quote that I remember whenever I see my students trying to do something and failing. We are human and aren’t perfect but trying from being to becoming. There are various activities that take place at BYN like gatherings, cultural programmes, and as India celebrates more than 30 festivals, we too take part with the people around and this makes the students to learn from the people what is to be human and what kind of virtues do we need to be imbibed with.

“Faith and Reason are like two wings of on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth” Fides Et Ratio. We need to develop both and to improve the students’ intellectuality, we conduct debates, quizzes, and seminars to seek out more systematic understanding of the mysteries of the faith and reason.

Sunday is the day which really makes the students to prepare them to be alter Christus (another Christ) as they go out on pastorals to different villages. They be with the people, celebrate with the people and some times work with the people. What satisfied is that the students are enjoying their ministry and they became one with the people of the locale.

I, on behalf of the BYN community, thank all the people who are supporting us through various means and ways and do continue to pray for the students as they embark the journey to be alter Christus.

With Love & Prayers,

Baskar G.V.

The Rector of BYN, Karunapuram

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