Athma Jyothi Ashram of Capuchin Friars Launched
“Athma Jyothi Ashram”- a Counselling and Spiritual Enlightenment house was inaugurated by Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza- Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, along with other Capuchin Friars/Fathers
Mangaluru: Once a ancestral home of the Machado Sisters residing for decades on the stretch of Souza Lane, Kadri Road-Mangaluru, has now been given a ‘Extreme Makeover” with new look and grandeur, which has been christened as the “Athma Jyothi Ashram”, where three Capuchin Friars aka Cappuchi Fathers namely Fr Dolphy Devdas Serrao, Fr Baptist Braggs and Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza will be residing there, performing counselling and spiritual healing to anyone , irrespective of caste or creed.
The Ashram was inaugurated by cutting the ribbon and lighting of the traditional lamp by Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza- Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, along Fr Joseph Dolphy D’Souza-Provincial Minister, Holy Trinity Province-Karnataka; Dora Rodrigues, MLA JR Lobo, son D’Souza- Bejai Church Parish Priest, Pushparaj- DK Congress Youth Leader, Fr Paul Melwyn D’Souza- Capuchin, Superior and Community at St Ann’s Friary, among many other guests of honor. The Bishop after a short prayer, blessed the Ashram with Holy water, and wished the Friars all success in their service to the community and the faithful. Following the inauguration of the Ashram, a Thanksgiving Mass was solemnly celebrated by the Bishop at Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, St Ann’s Friary,Jail Rd-Mangaluru along with other clergy.
In his homily the Bishop stressing on Pope’s 2016 theme as a ‘Holy Year of Mercy’, said, ” Pope’s this year’s theme is to highlight the Catholic Church’s “mission to be a witness of mercy.”, which will run until Nov. 20, 2016. The Pope emphasized a frequent theme of his: “No one can be excluded from God’s mercy.” He has instructed how the church can make more evident its mission to be a witness of mercy. The biblical theme of the year will be “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Let us not forget that God forgives and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness. The Catholic Church which has much need to receive mercy, will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time “.
L-R: Fr Dolphy Devdas Serrao, Fr Joseph Dolphy D’Souza-Provincial Minister, Holy Trinity Province-Karnataka, Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza and Fr Baptist Braggs
The Bishop further said, ”During the Year of Mercy, the works are divided into “corporal” and “spiritual,” and they include feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, sheltering the homeless, instructing the ignorant, and praying for the living and the dead. The Pope wants to underline the great forms of suffering, of marginalization and poverty, which are present in society, combined above all with a strong solidarity on the part of many people who dedicate their time and efforts to consoling [the suffering] and offering them daily support. In this regard, the Capuchin Fathers are doing good community service, like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, helping the destitute, counselling and preaching the message of God. I wish the Capuchin Friars all success in their projects and may God bless them “.
The Capuchin Friars undertaking the Counselling and Spiritual healing of the people at the “Athma Jyothi Ashram” are part of St. Anne’s Friary a house of prayer of the Franciscan Capuchin Friars, and the Spring of Spiritual Life in the Heart of the City near Jail Road, touching the lives of the people. The Friary is an attraction to all the people of different walks of life all to fulfill their soul’s desires; and now blessed with a New Chapel from traditional outlook to the Merger of the new and old, it is a place you must visit for the Spiritual enlightenment.
These Catholic Capuchin priests play a number of roles. They expect to live a life similar to that of Jesus by setting an example as a leader, a helper, and a healer. Part of their job as a helper is to provide pastoral counseling services to the catholic faithful and members of the public. Within this context, the Capuchin Friars employ their knowledge of the Bible and spirituality to help individuals overcome such problems as depression, anxiety, marriage and family conflicts, and drug and alcohol abuse. Clearly, Capuchin Father’s’ use of spirituality within therapy is a welcome treatment plan for many and can lead to a more holistic course of treatment for the counseled person.
These Capuchin Fathers are a religious community of friars inspired by St Francis of Assisi. As Franciscans, they live and work with those who are in need of help … the poor, the disenfranchised, the needy. They serve God through the work they do…in the communities they serve. Francis of Assisi created a community of equality whose mission was to proclaim that the Good News is available to all people, especially those shunned by society. Nearly 800 years later, the Capuchins still continue to build on this Franciscan tradition through prayer, contemplation, preaching, and caring for the needy. Today they preach, teach, cook, and counsel. They minister in hospitals, schools, parishes, and in the mission fields. They are pastors, artists, missionaries, farmers, mechanics, and writers. All people are meant to enjoy the gifts of God’s creation. This is the foundation of Capuchin-Friars life.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Provincial Minister-Fr Joseph Dolphy D’Souza said, ” The launching of this Ashram to have the presence of Capuchin Friars, to preach the teachings of God, to live the brotherhood, experience and share God’s love and mercy to others through counselling, spiritual healing, reconciliation ministry. This Ashram will serve the needs of the people seven days a week 24X7- the Ashram door will always be open to those who need our help”.
Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza said, “Capuchins build their life and ministry on two essential foundations: prayer and fraternity. The priority of prayer and the contemplative life is at the heart of the Capuchin charism. Personal and community prayer nourishes the brothers’ relationship with God and one another and enables them to give fully of themselves to everyone them meet. The Capuchin tradition has placed great emphasis on Eucharistic devotion and veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Along with prayer, fraternity is of great importance to the Capuchin charism. A Capuchin is first and foremost a brother among brothers. This fraternal life is founded upon the Gospel in which, after washing the disciples’ feet, the Lord exhorts his followers to do the same for others”.
ATHMA JYOTHI ASHRAM
Souza Lane, Kadri Road, Mangaluru-575003 Phone : 0824-2988005 or 9449208005 (Fr Cyprian D’souza)
About St. Anne’s Friary : Spring of Spiritual Life in the Heart of the City
St. Anne’s Friary a house of prayer of the Franciscan Capuchin Friars, touching the lives of the people. A attraction to all the people of different walks of life all to fulfill their soul’s desires. Now blessed with a New Chapel from traditional outlook to the Merger of the new and old a place you must visit for the Spiritual enlightenment.
The place, originally known as “Lawn View” and measuring 45 cents, belonged to George Lobo, a retired jailor. He gifted the place and his house to the Capuchins in May 1936, in memory of his deceased wife, Mrs. Annie Lobo. Hence the friary is named after St. Anne. Earlier the house was used as a centre for Franciscan gatherings. A hall was erected for this purpose in 1937, which served also as a chapel and eventually became the Portiuncula, dedicated to Our Lady of Angels. In 1941 the house of George Lobo was declared a hospice attached to St. Fidelis Friary, Farangipet. Some friars started staying here for the purpose of doing social work and other pastoral ministry in the town. A shrine of St. Anthony was constructed at the corner of the triangle during the same year.
Since George Lobo was still living in one of the rooms of his old house and the friars needed privacy, a temporary residence was constructed behind the shrine of St. Anthony in 1943. In 1950, after the death of George Lobo, the temporary residence was demolished and the old house of Lobo was re-modeled and the chapel was enlarged. For the purpose of promoting vocations to the Order, the Assisi House was started in 1955 in a small rented building. The compound, measuring about 2 acres, adjoining the friary and known as ‘Grasmere’, which belonged to P.C. Lobo, the brother of George Lobo, was acquired in 1960 and the Assisi House was shifted to its present premises.
The old house constructed by George Lobo at Lawn View and which had housed the friars for more than 25 years, having become inconvenient for habitation, was demolished in 1977 and on the same site the new friary was constructed and completed in 1979. The students of PUC were accommodated in the Friary from 1979 to 1983. In 1983 the PUC students were shifted to the Assisi House which itself was rebuilt in the year 1967 to accommodate the increasing number of boys studying in Assisi House. From 1987 Assisi House looked after only capuchin candidates who did their PUC studies. In August 1999, Postulancy of KGM was shifted to Assisi House. The fourth Provincial Chapter of 2007 decided to have first year of Initiation and also the Provincial Infirmary in the Assisi House. A master plan was approved for this purpose.
The friary has many initiatives to its credit. In early 1950’s, under the leadership of Fr. Cyril Andrade the S.F.O. apostolate began in Mangalore. Later, under the leadership of Fr. Vincent Lobo, the S.F.O. ministry thrived in Mangalore diocese. In 1943 the Konkani Natak Sabha started by Fr. George Albuquerque Pai S.J. was transferred to the Capuchins of St. Anne’s Friary. Fr. Cyril Andrade became its president. By 1951, under the leadership of Fr. Philip Neri, a good Hall, named Don Bosco, was built and to-date the Capuchins direct the socio-cultural activities of the K.N.S. Some years later, Fr. Vincent Lobo started the Konkani family monthly magazine, “Sevak” which saw its first issue in September 1959. He also started Assisi Press in 1970 as a landmark in the media apostolate of the Province.