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A Joyful Walking With the Lord: Seminar on Psychosexual Integration and Celibacy

By BIS Correspondent
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Chennai, Dec. 8. A four-day seminar on psycho-sexual integration and celibacy was conducted for the leaders of communities of the Salesian province of Chennai by Fr. Joe Mannath SDB, the National Secretary of CRI, at the Salesian Provincial House here from 2-5 December. A small number of participants from the provinces of Tiruchy, Bangalore, Panjim and New Delhi also took part in the seminar.
The purpose of the seminar was to help the participants understand and accept their sexuality as well as their life of celibate commitment in freedom and fidelity and to live with joy and enthusiasm. In the course of the four days, Fr. Joe dealt with a wide range of issues pertaining to psychosexual integration and celibacy, a brief summary of which is given below:

1. The meaning of psycho-sexual integration: How to become loving, happy and God-centred persons without the support and challenge of marriage and parenthood. The need to integrate - and not deny or repress our sexuality, the life-giving energies we have as women and men.

2. A look at our individual journey of growth as men and women, from our childhood until death: what helped us and what didn't; who helped us, and how; where we find ourselves relatively mature, and in which areas we feel immature or confused. Here, Fr. Joseph Jeyaraj SDB gave a brief presentation on the stages of psychosexual development.

3. The meaning and elements of psycho-sexual maturity: What does it mean to be a mature man or woman? What are the signs of such maturity? What are the helps for reaching this goal?

4. A look at some commonly faced problems, such as, masturbation, pornography, homosexual tendencies, sexual abuse, and tips to formators and superiors on how to help persons struggling in these areas.

5. Healthy and unhealthy ways of handling our sexual feelings, and tips for a healthy integration of sexuality.

6. The meaning of celibacy, and various motives both deficient and adequate for which a person may remain unmarried. The signs of a genuine celibate life.

7. Failures in celibacy, especially the love of luxury and comfort, and the lust for power.

8. Ten best helps for a happy celibate life.

9. Healthy man-woman friendships in celibate life. Conditions for cultivating healthy heterosexual relationships.

10. Counselling, Spiritual Direction and Confession; tips on formation to celibacy.

Two sessions 'Sexual Offences and Canonical Procedures', and 'Indian Law on Protection of Minors' - were ably dealt with by Fr. Pudumai Doss SDB, a member of the Roman Rota or the Supreme Court of the Catholic Church. Fr. Rosario Krishnaraj gave a brief explanation on the ''Methodology of Sex Education.''

The participants felt the topic was handled with great clarity and competence and the discussions helped everyone to get in touch with themselves and understand the need and the importance of psychosexual integration in making our life of celibacy and our ministry a joyful experience of walking with Lord.


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