DIVYA KARUNYA VIDYA PEETHAM
At the dawn of the third millennium, intending to lay foundation for a Eucharistic centered priestly, religious and ecclessial life, the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS) took the humble step of establishing its own theological seminary, sanathana – Divya Karunya Vidya Peetham (DKV) at Thamarassery, in Kerala, India. Though the primary purpose of this theologate is formation and education of the MCBS seminarians, Sanathana warmly welcomes candidates from the various dioceses and other religious communities. An eight semester curriculam envisioned at DKV offers various courses and training programmes aimed at forming the candidates in to mature, Holy and His people.
The long cherished dream of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament to establish a theologate of its own was first expressed in the General Synaxes convened in 1997 and 2001. In accordance with the synaxis’ decision, twenty one acres of land was purchased at Thamarassery on 15th July 1999. And on 24th May 2001 His Excellency Mar Thomas Elavanal mcbs, the bishop of Kalyan, laid the foundation stone for the Sanathana MCBS Theologate. On 7th June 2004, His Excellency Mar Paul Chittilapilly, the bishop of Thamarassery, blessed this seminary and inaugurated the first academic year 2004-2005 of the Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham, in the presence of Very Rev Fr George Karintholil, the Superior General of MCBS, Very Rev Fr Joseph Erumachadath, and Very Rev Fr George Kizhakkemury, the then provincials of Emmaus and Zion Provinces respectively. His Grace Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy, the Archbishop of Thrissur, inaugurated the second academic year 2005-2006 on 6th June 2005. His Grace Mar George Valiamattom, the Archbishop of Thalassery, inaugurated the third academic year 2006-2007 on 5th June 2006. On 3rd July 2006His Excellency Mar Paul Chittilapilly officially inaugurated Sanathana, the Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham, the theologate of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. On 5th June 2007 His grace Mar Joseph Perumthottam Arch Bishop of Changanassery,inagurated the fourth academic year of Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham.
Very Rev. fr. Geroge Kizhakkemurry, the MCBS Superior General, inaugurated the Fifth academic year 2008-2009 on 5th June 2008. His Excellency Mar paul Chittilappilly, Bishop of Thamarassery, inaugurated the sixth academic Year 2009-2010 on 4th June 2009. Sanathana Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham became affiliated to the faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome by the decree of the Congregation for Catholic Education (Decree No. 908/2009/4) on October 5, 2009. His Excellency Joseph Mar Thomas, Bishop of Bathery, inaugurated the seventh academic year 2010-2011 0n 3rd June 2010.
The name of the MCBS Theologate is Sanathana , which means eternal embodiment of the divine sacrament and sacrifice that takes one to the summit of an authentic religious/priestly life consisting in self-immolation as expressed in the Eucharistic sacrifice of Jesus. The Word became flesh as primordial sacrifice and sacrament. “I have to undergo a baptism” (Lk 12, 50) which means His death on the cross for human salvation. “The blood of bulls you did not want… but you have given me a body… hence I come to perform sacrifice,” (Ps 40, 7-9; Heb 10, 5-9).
Seen from this perspective, the Eucharist is the Eternal Embodiment ( Sanathana) of the communion and compassion of Jesus where sacrifice and sacrament blend in a very special way. Authentic priestly and religious life is a sacrificial offering of one’s self that demands constant self-transformation, self-transcendence and the concomitant socio-political consciousness.
The emblem of Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham (DKV) radiates the Eucharistic wisdom permeating the learning, lifestyle and culture. The upadesa-mudra at the centre of the emblem represents the Risen Christ. He is the Divine Guru (master) who imparts vidya through altar and cross to the sishya (disciple) symbolised by the burning flame. Through constant self-sacrifice sishya dispels all forms of ignorance, and impurity and becomes enlightened with the light of the Word and the life giving Eucharistic bread. Abiding in the Word – the two edged sword that pierces spirit and joints from the marrow – and nourishing from the life-giving Bread – the epiphany of communion – will enable one to lead a life of Trinitarian and cosmic communion and will awaken in the priestly candidate a mystico-socio-political consciousness. This is what the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament aims at imparting to all the candidates at Sanathana, the Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham.
The motto of Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham inscribed in the emblem is the prayer of the disciples of Emmaus, Stay with us Lord (Lk 24,29). Pope John Paul II took this prayer as the title of his Apostolic Letter, Mane Nobiscum Domine. This apostolic letter in connection with the Eucharistic Year 2004-2005, is the culmination of his Eucharistic teachings contained in Tertio Millennio Adveniente, Novo Millennio Ineunte , Ecclesia de Eucharistia and Redemptionis Sacramentum.Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham established in the Eucharistic Year, upholds the values and principles of the Eucharist that leads one to a life of divine compassion through its celebration, contemplation, and adoration. The Eucharistic centred priestly and religious training offered at Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham will enable the candidates not only to free themselves from the snares of existential trials and tribulations but also to recognise and serve the Eucharistic Jesus in the happy as well as tragic times, places and persons.
Anchoring on the Most Holy Eucharist, the source of eternal life and wisdom, DKV imparts a system of theological formation suited to the twenty first century and aims at enlightening the candidates to form the people of the Eucharistic Millennium. A profound theological, especially Eucharistic didactics together with an organic interface among various courses and exposures will naturally lead the candidates to the concurrent pastoral, social and missiological realities, and challenges. To bring about such an organic interrelatedness, theological subjects deliberated under various titles have been configured in overarching themes such as :
1ST YEAR: THEOLOGICAL CONTEXTUALISATION
Introducing Major Theological Themes in the Asian context and culture.
2ND YEAR: THEOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION
Focussing on Jesus Christ and His Church
3RD YEAR: THEOLOGICAL CONCRETISATION
Mission, Ministry and Meetings with Cultures, Religions and the Poor
4TH YEAR: THEOLOGICAL CONSECRATION
Becoming a True Disciple of Christ and Dedicating Oneself to God and His Kingdom.
The introductory courses in the first year emphasise the theological contextualisation. The second year focuses on the epicentre of theology, that is, Jesus Christ and His Church. The third year highlights the theological concretisation, the praxis of theology through mission, ministry and meetings with cultures, religions and the poor. In the fourth year emphasis is given for personalisation of theology by which the candidate consecrates himself/herself to Christ and dedicates himself/herself for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Participative-Interactive,Analytico-Critical and Organico-
This praxis-sensitive methodology of DKV emphasizes a participative, interactive, analytical, critical, organic and synthetic learning and teaching by students and professors respectively. The more a student participates, interacts, analyses, criticises, and subsequently enhances and synthesises theological notions, the better he/she will be able to theologically contextualise, concentrate, concretise, and consecrate himself/herself to the Eucharistic Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
The theological methodology envisioned by DKV highlights the various subjects that are taught with an existential reference to the socio-political and religious-cultural spectrum of Indian and Eastern Reality. To realize this incarnational approach, theological themes are discussed in a hermeneutics of correlation which implies a triple dialogue with Asian cultures, Asian religions and the Asian poor.
Didactic, Empirical and Transformational Focus
In consonance with its vision and methodology, the Divya Karunya Vidyapeetham has designed its syllabus in a didactic, empirical and transformational way so that the student may have ample opportunities to experience the Eucharistic Jesus, not only in liturgical celebrations but also in the liturgy of life of the suffering humanity. Hence, besides the regular theological courses, the DKV curriculum has the following salient features which would enable the student to be in solidarity with the suffering members of the Mystical Body of Christ.
i. Enhancing the mission consciousness of the students with special reference to Asia ‘s social, cultural and missionary concerns, mission exposure programmes from time to time will be conducted.
ii. A liturgical and Eucharistic centred formation will naturally inspire the candidates to serve the marginalized and victimized in the society. Hence special emphasis will be given to social and rural programmes so as to awaken the socio-political as well as rural awareness of the students. Ample opportunities will be offered to the students to visit the last, lost and least in the society.
iii. Forming good shepherds after the heart of Jesus for the people of third millennium great attention will be given to the pastoral formation. Students will be offered opportunities for pastoral ministry on Sundays.
iv. Promoting theological creativity by encouraging the students to write and publish theological articles in the major theological journals.
v. Encountering contemporary theologians and discussing theological issues will broaden the theological horizons of students. Hence DKV will provide ample opportunities for seminars and extension lectures.
Rev. Dr. Jose Pathiyamoola mcbs
Dean of Studies
Rev. Dr. Thomas Kozhimala mcbs
Rev. Fr. Sebastian Muttamthottil mcbs