Flaws in Seminary Training Exposed

Book cover: A Bumpy Ride

Book cover: A Bumpy Ride

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – The Author of ‘A Bumpy Ride’, a college lecturer, who also has over 15 years’ experience of training candidates to religious and priestly life in seminaries in India, looks realistically at the trials and experiences Seminarians go through during their ‘bumpy ride’ along the lengthy road of training. Darwin might well have called the entire process the ‘survival of the fittest’ in a complex socio-religious environment. The lecturer-turned author however uses humour and anecdotal evidence to suggest there are alternative methods that could be set in place to produce more balanced ‘human products’ for today’s world.

“The flaws in the systems used for trainees in (active) religious Orders, that are seldom brought to the attention of ordinary people, continue even today. Seminarians, like the protagonist in the Book, who keep being misunderstood or misrepresented, have compelled me to write the book,” says author of the book ‘A Bumpy Ride’ published in February 2012.

The Author, Trophy D’Souza, who has travelled widely and who has worked in different countries [including India, the UK, the USA, East Africa and the Gulf], and who now has three books to his credit,  says, “someone has to tell their stories so that at least some constructive measures can be taken …. even behind convent walls.”

Author : Trophy D'Souza

Author : Trophy D’Souza

The 220-page book published by Author House USA, which is also an e-book, is an effort to send a strong message to religious Managers, and Superiors, to look at their systems and their ‘Manager Training’ programmes so that people in their charge should not have to undergo agonizing humiliation and unnecessary suffering.”

The book tells a true story of the fulfilment of a dream a little boy had. Set in the 1960s and 1970s, the book speaks of his determination to reach his goal in spite of subtle discrimination, apparent injustice and calculated opposition under insensitive and incompetent religious Managers, or Superiors. It also reveals how his faith and his determination help him to persevere and to reach his goal.

The book is partly set in the Southern Indian state of Kerala and to a large extent moves up northeast to Calcutta on the banks of the HooghlyRiver and Darjeeling on the foothills of the Himalayas.

The main character of the book is a boy, Ralph: who tells his story as a grown-up once he has achieved his dream. It is the story of his resilience, his faith and his resolve to succeed.

There are also four of his tutors who influenced him in his efforts to train himself up: mainly Tristan, Sonny, Father Thomas and Father Job. Zack (his brother) was quite an influence, and also his support all along. There were also two seniors who influenced him in his crucial decision: Rev Barnabas and Father Sean.

The author says, “It will appeal to readers because it is inspirational and motivational, and does not seek to condemn, but rather to pick up the pieces and to move on.”

Ralph’s fan avidly reads the book

Ralph’s fan avidly reads the book

All along, the book strives to keep hope going, and so will appeal to those who struggle through life, the oppressed and the targeted, and those who are constantly looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Even religious Managers are human and so can be affected adversely by human pressures. The Author also thinks that the book could act as a sort of manual for fledgling Managers who may often have responsibility thrown at them unexpectedly, and who could perhaps find answers and solutions.

“It is as relevant for religious Managers as it is to management circles in the wider world,” the author says, “because the usual culprits: corruption, arrogance, intransigence and mismanagement easily creep in, even at the highest levels, in all sorts of organizations.  Basically people are human and so are prone to deviate from ethical values and to be led on by personal interests.”

The author insists that “the narrative seeks to inspire and not to condemn.” The book “should also be eagerly read by trainees, junior employees and young people, who should find strength and inspiration from the many anecdotes and situations presented,” he says.

“The story takes place in religious and Christian settings which were thought of as ‘holy of holies’ [or traditional bastions of goodness, correctness and justice], where no wrong doing was possible… Ralph wanted me to tell it all.”

The author explains, “in a very realistic and witty way, all this is exposed, and yet without aspersions being thrown around. It is different also because the ‘subject’ of the book instead of being vindictive shows compassion and forbearance, and shows unusual persistence to ‘chase his dream… He was eager that I tell his story, so that others could be inspired.’”

The final bit of advice from the Author is, “Seminarians too (and trainees) need to face reality, to know that they will never find ideal people – always good, kind and supportive, but that they need to learn to cope with adversity in a positive yet challenging way.”

Pls chk the link for more details: http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000513086/A-Bumpy-Ride.aspx

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3 Comments

Filed under Bandel seminary, Bumpy Ride, Don Bosco Bandel, Salesian College Sonada, Seminary formation, Trophy D'souza

3 responses to “Flaws in Seminary Training Exposed

  1. Thomas Mathew

    ‘A Bumpy Ride’ is a typical case-study of ignorance, inexperience and incompetence. Transparency and accountability are sadly still lacking in this somewhat slipshod management style that still seems to persist in spite of some high level Managers insisting that the situation is totally different today.

  2. when I say I am hungry, no one can refute my feeling.It is my feeling. It is real for the person who is hungry but anyone who has had his fill may laugh it away.
    Ths book is on a real life experience of a person.. There is no book to compare it with. I am extremly glad Trophy has the courage to tell it all. he was my teacher too and left lasting impression on me.
    Congrats.
    Joe Ngamkhuchung

  3. D’Souza’s writing is as compelling in ‘A Bumpy Ride’ as it is in his two other books, ‘The Singh Saga’ [about a dysfunctional family, also published by Authorhouse in July 2012] and in ‘Anastasia Redeemed’ [published by newgeneration-publishing in March 2013] – again a book about ‘dysfunctional religious management’. Subtle comparisons can be drawn between ‘A Bumpy Ride’ and ‘Anastasia Redeemed’ when all the ‘fallout’ [‘unpleasant aspects’] of improper religious management are not properly reined in. While Ralph in some ways achieved his ‘dream’, Anastasia wasn’t so fortunate. However both protagonists show a faith that is really more heroic and sincere than that of their ‘pharisaic’ religious managers.

    http://www.authorhouse.com for A Bumpy Ride and The Singh Saga [both also e-books ] http://www.newgeneration-publishing.com for Anastasia Redeemed.
    NB: All 3 books of Trophy D’Souza are available also from Amazon.
    [ trukay@gmail.com : TD ]

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