“Inspired by the Divine Word, we promote, assist and accompany our formees through Human, Spiritual, Intellectural formation”.
We, the members of the Vidyodaya community grow and deepen our faith in Christ. We strengthen our identity for the religious and missionary life in the Society of the Divine Word. We strive for excellence in curricular and co-curricular activities and integrate academic studies into our life and mission.
How it all started:
Vidyodaya, an inter-provincial Brother Formation House, is situated in St. Arnold’s Seva Sadan Campus, Lalaramnagar, Indore. This is the stage during which special importance is laid on the Brother-identity, especially on the SVD Brother Vocation, its value and importance. At the beginning of this stage, the candidates are helped to choose their branch of studies and professional fields according to their aptitudes, talents and the needs of the Society and care is taken to facilitate and to intensify their interests towards professional and technical studies. Regular college life is certainly a challenge in the formation. Hence it becomes an important time for the candidates as they learn to integrate the college experiences into their religious life and professional fields. Another important aspect of this stage is that this is also the time to prepare them for the Novitiate. Along with graduation, a basic course in philosophy is also taught which is fully residential.
A rose and a lotus, both are flowers, beautiful and unique. Both need nourishment and a different situational setting to grow and to bloom. So it is with the brothers and priests, altogether different flowers yet offered to the same Lord at the same altar at the service of the one Holy Triune God. Both need to be nurtured in the garden of the Lord. It is the realization by the SVDs at that led to the establishment of Vidyodaya, a formation house for SVD brothers in India. It was begun in 1983 at Palda, Indore and was christened Vidyodaya when it moved to the olive green building in the St. Arnold’s Seva Sadan campus, Indore in 1989.
Vidyodaya is in-fact the third centre of learning at the third stage of SVD formation philosophy cum graduation with mission orientation. The other two institutions Vidya Niketan, Mysore and Divine Word Centre, Chennai cater to the clerical students. All three centers have three years programme. Thus Vidyodaya as the name indicates, it is the place where our young SVD Brother candidates rise up in wisdom and knowledge in preparation for his missionary service. Starting of Vidyodaya had the specific reason of providing a period of time for the brother candidates to grow in the identity as SVD brothers as well as to strengthen the bond among brothers themselves. Most of the other stages of formation they are with clerical students. Hence we felt that Vidyodaya should be the place of brother candidates to be together for certain period of time. Knowing the SVD Constitution that change over to priesthood is possible at the Novitiate, the idea of common formation programme for all till novitiate has come after 23 years of its existence, and the province members have realized that there can be changes in the formation programme. The separation had taken for few reasons: 1.
to give more emphasize on the future ministry that they will undertake after the final profession. 2. Focused on goal orientation. 3. Not to be lost in the crowd, 4. Centre of the city, approachable distance and timely help to the sick confreres.
We have 15 students for the current academic year. We find this stage of formation the most suited to help the student to discover his true capabilities and to motivate him to choose professional lines for future ministry as a brother. Therefore greater attention is paid to the development of professional and technical skills so that he can join the ranks of over thousand Divine Word Missionary Brothers who work for Christ and his poor in 70 countries. You can find them serving in a great variety of ways as accountants, builders, doctors, dentists, farmers, mechanics, printers, and teachers, carpenters, like Jesus and as journalists like St. Paul. Today, new ministries are added to this list. With this in view, a student is given an option to do an equivalent technical training. For this, the students go to colleges in Indore. And in the evening Philosophy classes are held in the house daily.
In the post Vatican II era, as more and more lay people are encouraged to involve themselves in pastoral ministries, our Brothers are more than willing to serve the people of God in the field of Catechists, faith formation, counseling Spiritual direction etc. the students, therefore are encouraged to involve actively in Sunday catechism classes, Liturgical singing, YCM, CYM, Croos Veer etc. our students also work as contact persons in organizing the foreign Catholic student studying in Indore and facilitate their faith formation.
Special attention is given for the spiritual growth of our students. Monthly recollections, regular spiritual directions, creative and active liturgy of the hours, daily Eucharistic celebration, and conferences enable the students to grow as mature spiritual persons. One of the high lights of our programmes here is the Live in Experience or exposure and immersion programme as it is known these days. It is done in the mission within the context if the life situation of the people for a period of three weeks. The students are prepared for this through inputs on Anthropology, Missiology and talks by missionaries from home and abroad.
In our present times we see that corruption, injustice, violence communal strifes and other social evils multiply alarmingly. Our human society stands in need of a total liberation. In such a situation, Brothers are in a better position to proclaim the Kingdom values of Justice, peace, love, and equality to bring about fellowship and brotherhood among the people. Brothers by their religious commitment are radical followers of Christ and at the same time free from priestly responsibilities. This advantage enables the brothers to identify more with the common people and to like yeast that is buried in a measure of lour, in the process of transformation of the Society.
The local chapter by AJP (St. Arnold’s Seva Sadan, St. Joseph’s Home and St. Patrick Dental Clinic) held at St. Joseph’s Home, Indore, on December 1, 2011, at 5.30 pm. brought the following statement and recommendation to the Provincial Chapter 2012.
Statement: How about sending our candidates for brotherhood to DWC, Chennai and Vidya Niketan, Mysore for pursuing college studies? These are reputed educational centres. Let our brother candidates also benefit from them. Besides, our brother candidates are keen on doing their degree course in those Centres. Vidyodaya can be open to admit candidates for priesthood as well. Recommendation: We highly recommend that Vidyodaya could be the common formation house both for priesthood and brotherhood candidates for change over is possible at Novitiate, no competitive spirit is found among the Vidyodaya Students and better screening is done when there are mixed group of formators.
1979 First National Convention of SVD Brothers in India held at Palda
1983 Vidyodaya Formation House was started at Palda
1989 Shifted from St. Freinademetz House, Plada to St. Arnold’s Seva Sadan campus. The purpose of the Formation House, being exclusive, staffed by brothers is to give a clear and deeper orientation as well as understanding of the religious missionary vocation along with graduation to those who opt to become SVD brothers. This programme except for some minor changes here and there, has been in practice
2009 Plus Students were kept as formees under the guidance of Br. Kalaimani SVD
2012 INC Provincial Chapter decides to change over to common formation programme. Vidyodaya could be the common formation house both for priesthood and brotherhood candidates for change over is possible at Novitiate, no competitive spirit is found among the Vidyodaya Students and better screening is done when there are mixed group of formators.
2013 Common Formation begins on June 1, 2013. Fr. Johny D’Souza SVD becomes the first Praeses of the Common Formation House.
Name of the Confreres
Post / Assignment
Fr. Prasad Kuzhivelil
Br. Francis Sammanasu
Fr. William Tirkey
Br. Andrew Kiro
Fr. Cajatan D’Mello
Br. Pradeep Kishore Minz
Fr. P.A. Augustine
Br. Pradeep Kishore Minz
Br. Bara Rajesh Ephrem
Staff Member and Infirmarian
Fr. Deoswarup Kujur
Prefect and Procurator
Br. Joseph Kullu
Br. Benjamin Kerketta
Procurator and Prefect
Br. Joseph Kullu
Staff Member, Admonitor (2011)
Br. Kishore Tigga
Fr. Damien Ekka
Br. Emmanuel Bilung
Br. Kishore Tigga
Br. Kalaimani Paulraj
In-Charge of Students (Plus 2)
Fr. Joseph Chetany
Fr. Lazarus Serrao
Prefect, Vice Superior
Fr. Johny D’Souza
Fr. Alfred Fernandes
Fr. Amit Tete