Written by Jessie T. de Guzman


Faithful to its vision of providing programs that reflect dialogue with Asian cultures and spiritualities, ICLA recently offered a public seminar on Asian Christian Spirituality entitled Cultivating a Spirituality of Harmony. The seminar was conducted by a visiting professor from India, Fr. Sebastian Painadath, SJ. last August 30 – 31, held in the Moraleda Hall. Joining ICLA students were around 50 religious women / men and some lay persons from Metro Manila schools and communities.


Fr. Sebastian is a well-known Indian theologian and founder - director of the Sameeksha Ashram in Kalady. He has authored three books that best summarize his ministry – The Power of Silence, We are Co-Pilgrims, and The Spiritual Journey: Towards an Indian Christian Spirituality. He comes to the Philippines yearly to give modules on Interreligious Dialogue and contemplative retreats.


In the seminar, Fr. Sebastian emphasized everyone’s need to grow in respecting the diversity of religions in the world and to recognize their deep interrelatedness, especially in the area of spirituality. He gave an enlightening explanation about the meaning of Jesus’ inner journey as a prophet and a mystic, as cited in the Scriptures. He posted a challenge – to cultivate in ourselves a rootedness in this Christic experience, where both streams are united in our consciousness and the witness of our lives.