Fr. Dolreich Pereira (Moderator)
Between their Philosophy and Theology studies, the seminarians spend a whole year gaining pastoral experience in an institution, parish, or in a mission station. In Mumbai, the institutions are the Orphanage called ‘Our Lady’s Home’ at Parel and the Archdiocesan Youth Centre at Bandra. Seminarians may also be sent to the missions in Raigad District or to any parish in the Archdiocese.
The regents meet every alternate month with their Moderator. While the first two meetings take place in the Seminary, the other meetings are in the places where the brothers are doing their Regency.
The Regency year is more than just a break from academic studies. It gives the seminarians an opportunity to discern their vocation, apply the knowledge and interpersonal skills they have learnt in their Orientation and Philosophy years and prepare themselves for their Theology studies. Faced with the lack of a structured prayer time, which is part of any Church institution and the demands of a hectic parish life, the seminarians are challenged to be faithful to their prayer life and also deepen their spiritual commitment.
The brothers often report that they experience God in their encounters with others and learn how to handle difficult situations. These experiences also help them to have a better understanding of themselves and others. In addition, it provides them with enough matter to reflect during the eightday retreat that they make in the course of the year.
The 'livingout' project
Fr. Keith D’Souza, SJ (Coordinator)
For the past few years we on the Seminary Staff have thought it beneficial for the formation of interested students to spend a short time outside the Seminary campus in a simple chawl like atmosphere not too far from the Seminary. In the past, this project has been undertaken for a whole year, and for some students for two years, but we have now shortened the duration of this stay for only one term – and only for the second year Theologians – for a variety of reasons.
There are various formative benefits associated with this programme, some of which are the following:
1. To cultivate a spirit of simplicity in one’s lifestyle, rather than be easily ‘clericalized’ into a comfortable lifestyle.
2. To do ‘theology in context,’ i.e., to be able to relate theological insights with reallife situations and problems faced by fellow Christians and people of other faiths.
3. To take personal responsibility for one’s timetable in an unmonitored and more demanding situation. This would enable the Seminarian to be more responsible in the use of time and in designing one’s personal timetable.
4. To experience firsthand the struggles of the lower economic class in their daily lives (as many Parishioners and many citizens belong to this economic class in the city).