On May 26, the Peyton Institute for Families in Bangalore, India, held its first graduation for students of its postgraduate-level training program in family therapy. The group of nine students, which consisted of three priests, two sisters, and four laywomen, began its studies in the residential program back in August 2022.
“The program is rigorous, residential, and focuses a lot on the person of the counselor. It explores the dynamics of complexities of individual, group, and family counseling,” explained Fr. Shiju Joseph, C.S.C., Director of the Peyton Institute. “Living together and experiencing the diversity itself has a learning curve and is foundational to practicing the knowledge and skills in helping the families to ‘stay together.’”
The graduation day began with the Eucharist presided by Fr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, who has been a pillar of support for the new program. Fr. Arul Raj, C.S.C., founding Director of the Institute and current Executive Secretary of CCBI Family Commission, preached the homily. Fr. Shiju concelebrated.
In the graduation ceremony that followed, Dr. Vincent Darlong, former Vice-Chancellor of Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong, was the chief guest. Fr. Pinto Paul, C.S.C., International Director of Holy Cross Family Ministries, sent an inspiring message to the graduating students. Fr. Roque D’Costa, C.S.C., Provincial of the South India Province and Chairman of the Governing Body of the Institute, presented the certificates to the new graduates.
Several visiting faculty, Holy Cross religious, well-wishers, and family friends of participants attended the ceremony which concluded with a sumptuous meal. “It was a day of rejoicing,” concluded Fr. Shiju, “in which everyone experienced what it means to say, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and He who is mighty has done great things for me.’”