by Richard Burkhao, SDB
PUNE-MAHARASHTRA, DECEMBER 6, 2013: The Salesian students of theology organized a study circle on 'Mary in the Life of the Church and her Faithful' from 6.30 to 8.30 pm on 26 November 2013 at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park. The aim of the study circle, organized as part of the Marian month, was to help the confreres grow in our knowledge and devotion to Our Lady.
The organizing team invited five speakers to share their knowledge and reflections on Mary.
Sr Jayamma, a Missionary Sister of Queen of the Apostles, presented the development of Marian dogma and devotion in the Catholic Church. Professor K. M. Thomas, a lay member of the Syrian Orthodox Church, gave an over-view of Marian devotion in the Orthodox Church and its implications today for the faithful.
After these presentations, three people shared their Marian experiences. Fr Denis Joseph, Principal of St Joseph High School, Ghorpadi, spoke about devotion to Our Lady in the life of a priest and the need for seminarians to have a tender love and devotion to Mary. Verenne Viegas, a member of the Teresian Association (a Lay Secular Institute founded by St Pedro Poveda in Covadonga in 1911), explained the role of Mary and Marian devotion in the life of the Association and in her life. Violette Kadam, a Catholic collegian, testified to Mary's role in her life.
A panel discussion concluded the study circle.
The study circle proved to be a wonderful opportunity to enhance knowledge and devotion to Our Lady. It gave the participants an outlook on Marian doctrine and devotion in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Above all, it was a call to go beyond mere scruples of ritualism and superstitious beliefs to true devotion to Mary the Mother of God and to imitate her in 'doing whatever He tells you'.