Religion in India is characterized by a diversity of religious practices and beliefs. Throughout India’s history, religion has been important part of India’s culture. People oppose religious education in public schools on various grounds. But some feel that teaching religion in school is important to encourage children to be responsible, spiritually sound adults. Having pastoral activities in the school is not an easy task in India since it is a mix of religions. It’s a great challenge for us to practice some pastoral activities. For example, our school in Aryand, which is situated where majority, are Hindues (Those who are practicing the religion Hinduisam)

87% of students and teachers are non-Catholics in our school in Aryanad, consequently we cannot organize any of the pastoral activities in the school expect one celebration during the feast of our founder. We felt the need of Christian education in our school but we could not help ourselves until we started a school in Kanyakumari , Christian populated area. It is our 6th year of our existence but it took time to start some religious activities in the school premises. We had to wait until this year to plant the seed of Christian and Calasanzian formation in our schools.

We were happy to see that majority of our students and teachers are Catholics in our school in Kanyakumari. But we also found that they are nominal Christians.  They don’t have any basic knowledge about the religion and Calasanzcian way of life. But seeing their capacity and dedication we thought of giving them Piarist formation, a Piarist way of thinking and acting. So that teachers will be versed in Piarist way of teaching and education. Our aim is that they should feel and identify themselves with our charism.

We introduced to the teachers of St. Joseph Calasanz, Kanyakumari school “Calasanzcian Movement” a platform to know more Christ, Calasanz, his charisam, his pedagogical system, the way of thinking of our school, our unique identity etc. In short, it was a proposal to commit themselves to God and to the service of the children in Piarist style. Then the teachers started to respond to the invitation of the fathers.

Objectives: “Call to consecrate, consecrate to educate”. It was the motto of year for our Piarist vocation in India last year. This new idea of Calasanzian Movement came also under a serious reflection about the motto. And God blessed us to start this movement in this jubilee year.

The motto of last year helped us to prepare for the jubilee year and initiate more programs in the school. One of the major ministries among them is the Calasanzian movement. This has given an opportunity to make some changes in the school activities and make a bond among themselves for the growth of the school and the life of the people around it.

The primary object of the movement is to impart them Christian values. Secondly, to make them identify with our charism and pedagogical method and thirdly, to give more opportunity to explore themselves.

Responsible and organization:  it functions under the Vice provincial and his council. The vice provincial assistant  who is in charge of pastoral in the schools serves as the coordinator of the group with the support of the other members of the community. In the first batch seven dedicated catholic teachers were enrolled and second year four. So now we have the total of ten members who dedicate themselves for the service of the children.

They gather every two weeks where they have formation classes and some activities regarding our charisam and pedagogy. They also work on special theme during our founder s day and other important liturgical feast of the church.

Sharing : After each section or the class, the members of the group in the school are very attached to each other and eager to share the experience which they have during and after the section. They are willing to share each other even of their personal life. They are encouraged and enriched by the other members of the group. They come together the occasions which they get they make use of that opportunity to correct each other and make others to come up.

Methodology: our aim is to give an integral formation of each member. After each session they are given time for discussion and personalization. We feel that it is very important aspect “personalization” and we give more emphasis on this. Every week they are asked to do one assignment on ecclesial aspect in Calasanzian way.

Assessment: This movement made a great impact in the school premises. The members are giving a strong testimony in the school campus as well as their friendly circle. They started to see the things differently. It is surprised to see the members unlike before they go now to library and dedicates themselves their leisure time enriching knowledge of Christ and Calasanz. They became model for other staffs especially to non-Christians.

 

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