Kristu Jyothi College turns Gold

6 November 2017: The grand finale of the year long golden jubilee celebration of Kristu Jyothi College began at 4- 30 pm on Monday, 6 November. The Holy Eucharist was presided over by the Rector Major Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, with Fr. Ivo Coelho, the counselor for formation, Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional superior of South East Asia, Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, Fr. Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Provincial of Bangalore province, Fr. James Kadankavil, Rector, Kristu Jyothi College and Fr. Jaroslav Rochowiak, Secretary General, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome and over 400 priests mostly past pupils of the institution concelebrating.

All the eleven provincials of South East Asian Region, some of them past pupils of Kristu Jyothi College, the provincials and superiors of scores of institutions across India and a large turnout of priests, sisters, brothers, co-operators, well wishers and members of the Salesian family left the hall with a seating capacity of 1200 packed even before the Holy Eucharist began.

KJC lauded for its contributions

The public function began as scheduled at 6.30 pm after the Holy Eucharist and a brief refreshment break. The programme was presided over by Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, the Arch bishop of Bangalore with Rev. Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major as chief guest.

The list of guests of honour included  Fr. Ivo Coelho, the counselor for formation, Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional superior of South East Asia, Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome, Fr. Jaroslav Rochowiak, Secretary General, Pontifical Salesian University, former Rectors of Kristu jyothi College starting from Fr. Anthony Mampra, the first Rector, former Principals and registrars of KJC and the 11 provincials of Salesian region of South East Asia.

The public function began on an emotionally high note with a moment of silence, paying tribute to all those who passed away, giving their sweat and blood for the growth of Krisu Jyothi College.

In his presidential address Archbishop Most Rev.Dr. Bernard  Moras congratulated Krisu Jyothi College and the Salesians. “In 1967 it was Cardinal Lourde Swamy, the then Archbishop of Bangalore and Don Aloysious Ricceri, the then Rector Major who were present at the inauguration of KJC. It’s a coincidence that now as KJC turns gold the present Rector Major and the present Archbishop are here”. He observed. “This institution true to its name and motto, has been shedding light in the Arch diocese of Bangalore, in the Church in India and the global church.” The Arch bishop said. Citing the 11 institutions in the Arch diocese of Bangalore where the Salesians work the Archbishop observed that all those institutions are for the poorest of the poor. “It is the result of your capacity to read the signs of the times and rise up to the challenges.” He said.

Fr. Ivo Coelho, past pupil of Kristu Jyothi College and now general counselor for formation,  in his felicitation speech observed that KJC is a major study centre of the Salesian congregation and so it should be owned up, supported and strengthened. Recalling his experiences at KJC he said that the Social Service Guild and street children’s work that had its start from here are solid proofs of the social consciousness inherent in the theological reflections made here. “With great numbers come great responsibilities too.” He said taking note of the steady numbers in initial formation in this part of the congregation.  He called on KJC to move on now to promote consecrated life in general and not limit to Salesian consecrated life only.

Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani, Vice Chancellor, Pontifical Salesian University, Rome in his felicitation address called on KJC to continue to be a beacon of light, guiding the church in India. He appreciated the institutions and the persons behind for taking up seriously from its very inception aspects such as care of the marginalized, publication, youth ministry, Catechesis training and faith education.

Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Superior of South East Asia observed and lauded the atmosphere of responsible freedom that has been characteristic of the formation imparted at Kristu Jyothi College. He had a special word of praise for the intellectual luminaries shaped by KJC, whose contribution has helped much the Church in India too. On the occasion of the golden jubilee he called on the staff and students to study Jesus Christ on a daily basis without ever getting tired of learning theology.

Speaking on behalf of all the Provincials, Fr. Thomas Vattathara, the Provincial of Guwahati, a past pupil of KJC described the institution as ‘bigger than anything I have seen in Salesian India’. “KJC has made me”. Recalling his life at KJC Fr. Thomas stated.

Books Released

Adding glitter to the golden jubilee celebration, six books were released by KJC publications on the occasion.  ‘Salesian Sources: Don Bosco and his sources of works’, a translation by Fr. Jose Kuttianimattathil, ‘Discipleship: A costly choice’ by Fr.Dominic Kaniyantharayil, ‘Philosophical Anthropology’ by Fr. Scaria Thuruthiyil, two books by Fr. Joy Kaippan and  one by Fr. Cyriac Thayyil, the current director of KJC publications were the books released. The Rector Major released the books and handed over the first copies to the different Salesian provincials present on the occasion. Fr. Cyriac Thayyil informed the gathering that with the present set of releases the number of works from KJC publications has now moved up to 164 books.

Glittering cultural extravaganza

The public function of the golden jubilee was interspersed with glittering cultural programmes. Children of BOSCO (Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Cotta) Bangalore, that has its roots at the ministry began by brothers of KJC put up a dance while Don Bosco Chitradurga and seminarians of Don Bosco Tumkur presented patriotic dances arousing love for Karnataka and India. A jubilee anthem featuring 50 musicians was another attractive programme of the day. A light and sound show depicting the 50 years of growth of Kristu Jyothi College, presented as the last item was the icing on the cake. Fr. James Kadankavil, the Rector of KJC welcomed the gathering and Fr. Shabu Thottumkal, the principal proposed the vote of thanks. The celebration was concluded with a sumptuous dinner.