Provincial Minister of Karnataka Holy Trinity province Fr.John Alwyn Dias pays Pastoral visit to Athma Jyothi Ashram, a Counseling and Spiritual Centre run by the two Priests belonging to the Congregation of Capuchin Fathers., namely Peter Cyprian D’souza and Dolphy Devdass Serrao, located at ‘Souza Lane’, Kadri Road, Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Once an ancestral home of the Machado Sisters residing for decades on the stretch of Souza Lane, Kadri Road-Mangaluru, was given an ‘Extreme Makeover” with a new look and grandeur, which was christened as the “Athma Jyothi Ashram”, now managed by Fr Dolphy Devdass Serrao and Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza, belonging to the Congregation of Capuchin Fathers, who perform counselling and spiritual healing to anyone, irrespective of caste or creed. Yes, the priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus, no doubt about it. And these two Capuchin priests at Athma Jyothi Ashram have kept a close relationship with the devotees who come to pray or for the mass or people who come for counselling, that they always remember and appreciate their dedicated religious services and their friendliness.
Even though this is a Small Ashram, there have always been Big Sambramas, either on Christmas Day, Nativity of BVM, Independence Day, Easter Day, etc. This Ashram is so active and live in their activities, under the able leadership of these two energetic Capuchin priests. And once again, like I said it earlier in my reports, I feel proud to be the neighbour of this small but active religious place, where there is so much devotion and religious activities, that I am blessed to be associated with the duo Capuchin fathers- and I get the opportunity to listen to their morning mass right from my home window, without stepping into the Ashram premises?
Seen in Photo L-R: Fr Dolphy Devdass Serrao, Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza, Fr John Alwyn Dias and Fr George D’Souza
The Ashram was inaugurated on 22 July 2016 by Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza- then Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, along with Fr Joseph Dolphy D’Souza-then Provincial Minister, Holy Trinity Province-Karnataka; MLA JR Lobo, Fr Paul Melwyn D’Souza- Capuchin, Superior at St Anne’s Friary, among many other guests of honour. Following the inauguration of the Ashram, a Thanksgiving Mass was solemnly celebrated by the Bishop at Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, St Anne’s Friary, Jail Rd-Mangaluru along with other clergy.
Provincial Minister of the Karnataka Holy Trinity province Fr John Alwyn Dais paid a Pastoral visit to Athma Jyothi Ashram, Kadri Mangalore just to encourage the friars. This is a time of grace, gratitude and blessings. He appreciated the good work done by Fr Dolphy Devdass Serrao and Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza at the Athma Jyothi Ashram and Fr George D’Souza, the Chaplin at the Fr Muller Hospital during the Pandemic. He appreciated their availability for spiritual needs and Counselling. The provincial also interacted with the devotees, and also joined in the birthday celebration of one of the devotees.
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 fulfil 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 counselling 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 counselled 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, and 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, Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza said, “Capuchins build their life and ministry on two essential foundations: prayer and fraternity. The priority of prayer and 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 full of themselves to everyone they 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”.