Awakening the young religious to psycho sexual integration and meaningful celibate life



January 20, 2014

seminarFORMATION – A seminar on Psycho Sexual Integration was organised on Regional CRI level at Shanti Bhavan, Jharsuguda Odisha. Fr. Joe Mannath, National CRI of Secretary, was the resource person. He helped the participants to come out of the cocoon of psycho sexual issues. There were 200 participants, from 13 Congregations, both men and women.

In her opening address, Sr. Teresa Dungdung, the Mother General of Handmaids of Mary, appreciated the organizing committee for organizing the seminar based on an apt topic which is very much relevant for life. She also stated that some of the incidents she had come across were clarifying the doubts of the younger ones about sexuality and celibacy. She emphasised that the young Religious have lot of love and warmth embedded in them and that needs to flow into the people of Odisha, and that is the purpose of this seminar.

The sessions dealt elaborately on various practical topics, such as, human formation, the meaning of human sexuality, psycho- sexual maturity, healthy integration of sexual feelings, masturbation, sexual abuse, meaningful celibate life, celibate friendships, etc.
Sexuality is the whole reality of being a man or woman; men and women are different in many aspects. Our feelings are strong. Strong spirituality does not mean that we are freed of sexual feelings. Men and women differ in their sexual attractions at different stages. It is normal to experience sexual feelings and for a celibate it is necessary to talk it out and get help if our feelings are diverting our attention from being a committed religious.
The many examples and the cases given during the session made the topic more understandable and related to life. Our celibate life should help us to achieve psycho-sexual maturity, which means to become free, loving, faithful, responsible, joyful, life giving and God-centred persons. Being mature is a process and no one is fully matured; we are growing in maturity.

Some of the participants expressed their experiences of attending the seminar as very enriching and informative. Speaking of their experience of the seminar, the participants found it very useful. Here are some responses: “It was a free choice for me to attend, and I chose to make the best of the chance.
And over the process I realized that I do face problems, most of which I am not aware of.” “The vast knowledge and the experience of the resource person made the subject matter more relevant.” “It was bringing home the real meaning of celibacy and sexuality, which otherwise was not freely spoken about.” “To be celibate we need to be more human; and the clarity of idea about the sexuality and the psycho-sexual maturity will help me in my ministry too”.

Speaking about the idea of organizing a seminar based on this topic, Sr. Mary Kutty HM, the Regional CRI president, said that, “It is a felt need of the present day, irrespective of age and gender. Organizing such seminars with a mixed group will give a chance for many priests and sisters to learn to interact with each other. The topic and the resource person were chosen precisely to work hand-in-“hand with the National CRI.
With the fresh awakening and renewed enthusiasm, the participants (most of whom were younger religious) look forward to see the life in a newer perspective.

Sr. Tessy SSpS

Source: Conference of Religious India Bulletin January 15, 2014

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