Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bhoomi Pooja by Shri Raju Patil-Mayor of Vasai -Virar and Fr. Joe of kripa Pharma, Vasai

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Kripa achieves yet another landmark: Kripa Vasai Convention Centre

The date, November 25, 2012, will remain a major landmark in Kripa Foundation’s 31 year history: On this Sunday, the blessing of the foundation’s latest project’s of Kripa Vasai Convention Centre (KVCC), was held at a multi-religious ceremony held at the construction site.

The Mayor of Vasai-Virar Municipality, Shri. Raju Patil, the first person to hold this post, participated in the traditional Hindu ritual of breaking a coconut and invoking prayers for a successful execution of the 1st Phase of Construction called “Kripa Pharma” of the KVCC project. Fr. Joseph H Pereira, Founder Trustee, Kripa, blessed the construction site by sprinkling Holy Water amongst chanting of Prayers.

Attendees, who included prominent personalities and medical professionals from the Vasai-Virar region, thanked Fr. Joe and Kripa for establishing VRACS, which they extolled as a unique endeavor aimed at spreading awareness, support and care  to prevent HIV/ AIDS contagion in the area. Fr. Joe noted that HIV/AIDS and substance addiction were a scourge of the modern society, especially in major metropolitan areas and concerted action between citizens and Kripa and this convention centre could play a vital role in educating people against these menaces.

The Mayor along with Fr. Joe attended a advisory board meeting of  Vasai Region AIDS Control Society (VRACS), along with Dr. Hemant Patil, Mr. Kumar Dhuri, Mr. Akhil. Amrohi, Mrs. Evette Coutinho,  and the staff of  Kripa Vasai & VRACS.

Fr. Joe and the Mayor who is also a member of Elected Leaders Forum against AIDS (ELFA), discussed various means of mutual cooperation for this great work that Fr. Joe is doing and assured Fr. Joe and the Board of all required assistance and cooperation from the Mayoral office and the various municipal departments in the region of Vasai Taluka.

Ashwin Honawar


Thank You Fr. Joe and Kripa Family says:- Deirdre Lobo, Soprano Concert Artist Voice Teacher/ Consultant San Francisco

Dear Fr. Joe, Brett, Jude and all the Kripa Staff,
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to you and all you have done to make this workshop a success. You put in so many long hours of your time, and I cannot find the words to express my gratitude for all of that. You never once complained. There was always a YES in your voices. You are truly fabulous human beings, and I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Brett - A BIG BIG Thank You to you for taking everything in your stride and doing such a SUPERB job! Brett - Please save a copy of the Times Supplement article that was written on the workshop. Can you please scan and send me a copy. Also if there were any photographs that Kripa took at the workshop, could you please forward those to me?
Jude - and the other boy (cannot remember his name) - You know who I am talking about - The two of you did a TREMENDOUS job with sound, and AV and Set Up and Clean Up
Fr. Joe - What can I say? The day I walked into your office that morning in July 2012, I knew I was on the right path. You have really been my support in this work and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. Will let you know my concert date in Goa in Feb as soon as it is confirmed to me. Hope to see you there.
The most successful part of the workshop was that it fed my soul. When I was able to work with those poor kids - I felt I had done my service to my community. I hope I will be able to continue this work. I have actually talked to an industrialist in Pune who is willing to provide laptops with a Tata Photon USB for these kids to pursue Skype lessons with me in a group. I did ask the kids at the workshop along with their music teacher, and they are eager. Have to send in a proposal to the Industrialist. But I am certain they will help. Will keep you updated.
I hope I am able to work side by side with the Kripa Foundation on future workshops. Also, I would like to mention here, that if when I am in India and Kripa is doing a fundraiser, you can count on me to perform on that fundraiser. Just let me know in advance. I too will let you know my dates in advance.
A BIG THANK YOU to you all, and God Bless,
Warmest regards and best wishes,
Deirdre Lobo, Soprano
Concert Artist
Voice Teacher / Consultant

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Memorable visit by Fr. Gaston Roberge SJ to Fr. Joe

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One of the top film scholars and critics in India, Father Gaston Roberge SJ, visited  Fr. Joe, Founder Trustee, Kripa Foundation in Bandra, Mumbai, on November 21, 2012 morning.  Fr. Joe briefed Fr. Gaston about the works and achievements of Kripa since its humble beginnings over 31 years ago, about rehabilitation of substance abuse addicts , HIV care , Yoga and World Christian Community for Meditators (WCCM). Fr. Gaston is renowned for founding the Chitrabani media institute in 1970 with support from the late Satyajit Ray, one of the pioneering Indian film-makers who was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the ‘Bharat Ratna’. He is a Jesuit priest and was a lecturer in film studies at the University of Kolkata before retiring in 2006. Fr.Joe and Fr. Gaston, during their meeting at the Kripa offices in Bandra (West), Mumbai, discussed pleasantries, and means of mutual cooperation, especially for Kripa’s operations in West Bengal. Fr. Gaston was accompanied by Mr. Danny Pereira, District Chairman Lions Club International for Meditation & Yoga. Mr. Danny Pereira is also a Friend of Kripa.

Submitted by

Ashwin Honawar
Kripa Bandra


Awareness programmes by Kripa Kolkata

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Exposure visit to Kripa Kolkata by college students from Tamil Nadu.


  50 students of Bishop Heber College (Autonomous) from Thiruchirapally, visited Kripa Kolkata on an exposure visit, accompanied by two faculty members from the college.The three-hour awareness programme conducted by the  Kripa team, spoke about the changing scenarios of addiction, such as low cost designer drugs that are available easily outside educational facilities, subterfuge methods used by drug peddlers to trap unsuspecting students into deadly addiction, peer pressure from friends and class mates who are addicts and how to counter them, evil effects of drug and alcohol addiction on a the person, their families and the general society. They also discussed how modern day advertising and movies glamorize alcohol consumption and companies increasingly target the youth for their profits, regardless of the hazards they may face by consuming intoxicating beverages. Students and the Kripa team also held an interactive session to answer questions about addiction. The event concluded with the college presenting a memento to Dr. Sandeep Mitra, staff of Kripa Kolkata.


Nipping addiction in the bud: An initiative by Kripa Kolkata.


A group of 120 faculty members, including teachers, from the Garden High School, Kolkata, participated in a symposium held on the theme: ‘Addiction in schools, its menace and consequences’, conducted by Kripa Foundation Kolkata unit. The Kripa team enlightened those present about how to detect early signs of alcohol and drug addiction among students, and immediate measures that are required to ensure that such vices are nipped in the bud. The Kripa team said, it was vital for parents to ensure they have a healthy interaction with their children, especially during the pre-teen and teens days, since they are highly prone to fall prey to addictions at this tender age. The team pointed out that common medicines such as cough syrups, anti-histamines (anti-allergy pills and syrups), potent pain killers in tablet and injection forms and medications used against psychiatric illnesses and insomnia can be abused and misused by students, after procuring them illegally. They outlined some of the common symptoms by which teachers, faculty members and parents can learn if their child is hooked to drugs. In addition, the Kripa Team pointed out the menace posed by alcohol addiction, while lamenting that drinking had nowadays become an acceptable as a form of socializing and most parents were lenient while allowing their teenage children to consume such beverages and cocktails. The event also included a question-answer session between the faculty members and the Kripa Team.

Submitted by
Sandeep Mitra
Kripa Kolkata

Reported by
Ashwin Honawar




Monday, November 19, 2012

Diwali with a difference at Kripa Assam

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Kripa Assam celebrated Diwali along with Big Bazar  in Guwahati at the centre on  12th November 2012. To mark the occassion  sports competitions of volleyball  and carrom tournaments were held among in-house clients, ex-clients and staff. The day long program was followed by prize distribution to the winners.
The highlight of the festival was celebrating  Diwali with the children of Kasturi Children Care Home (Assam Network of Positive People), Guwahati. Big Bazar sponsored gifts to these children  
Submitted by
Jagrata & Deepak S.
Kripa Assam


Fr. Joe inaugurates Voice Workshop in Mumbai.

Mumbai Voice Workshop, a five-day training event for budding vocalists was inaugurated by Reverend Father Joseph Hillary Pereira, Founder Trustee, Kripa Foundation on November 19, 2012 morning. The workshop, being held up to November 23, 2012, and conducted by acclaimed concert artiste, vocal coach and consultant, Deirdre Lobo- D’Cunha.

Fr. Joe declared the workshop open, and invoked divine blessings for its success and introduced Deirdre, the California-based world renowned soprano artiste, to the attendees. Also present at the inaugural were Deirdre’s mother and reputed singer, Celia Lobo. The workshop is sponsored by Kripa Foundation andbeing held at  St. Joseph Primary School, Bandra (West), Mumbai, which has also provided the venue. It is supported by Furtado’s, popular since decades for dealing in high quality music instruments and Shield, wholesalers of crockery and cutlery.

Over 70 aspiring vocalists and music aficionados from Mumbai, ranging from students to professionals and clergy persons are participating in this workshop, which features one-on-one and group sessions. They had signed up for the workshop well in advance due to limited availability of seats. Deirdre had offered scholarships (free training) to several deserving students, upon recommendations from their music teachers and principals. The event was widely publicized through announcements at various parishes in Mumbai.
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar
Brett Rodricks


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A unique Diwali celebration by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) for Kripa

Diwali, the grand Indian festival of lights, was ushered in by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), at a unique celebration held at its offices in Mumbai. Kripa Foundation was invited to participate in these festivities, held in a ‘mela’ ( village fair) like ambience, to create a general awareness about the NGO’s pioneering activities in the field of helping drug and alcohol addicts recover from their vices and assisting HIV/AIDS victims, along with other marginalized sections of the society.

The corporate Diwali celebration, held at IL & FS headquarters at the Bandra-Kurla Complex featured, among other attractions, a Henna (mehndi) art stall, ‘Rangoli’ ( art of making designs using colored marble dust on floors) and a ‘Kathputli (Indian traditional puppets) show. Invitees and guests were treated to a sumptuous Diwali feast.

A five-member team from Kripa Bandra, led by Brett Rodricks and four recovering addicts participated in these celebrations, with a stall at the venue. Kripa volunteers educated IL&FS employees, their families and guests about the hazards of drug and alcohol abuse and how to avoid falling prey to these deadly vices. They also detailed the Kripa Model, which focuses on a three-dimensional- physical, mental and spiritual-recovery of addicts, through a PowerPoint presentation. Volunteers helped dispel various myths about HIV and AIDS, especially over methods of HIV contagion. The team spoke of their personal experiences in combating addiction.

 In line with assisting marginalized sections of the society, Brett and his team offered for sale, earthen Diwali lamps, hand crafted and skillfully decorated by residents of Kripa’s Dharavi Street Children Project and gift envelopes made by patients at Kripa’s rehabilitation center in Bandra (West), as well as other merchandise aimed at spreading awareness against substance abuse. “IL & FS is pleased that Kripa Foundation educated our staff and visitors, most of whom are young and parents, against the evils of substance abuse and common myths about HIV and AIDS. Kripa’s presence helped us give an educational angle to these celebrations. We are confident that awareness and knowledge shared by the Kripa team will help our  beloved ones stay off substance abuse,” said Kajal Sadhnani, spokeswoman, IL &FS.

“We were overwhelmed by the response from visitors to the Kripa stall and are happy we were able to create awareness against substance abuse, HIV/ AIDS and their preventions.” said Brett, adding Kripa Foundation is grateful to IL & FS for inviting the organization to participate in the day-long event.
Submitted by
Ashwin Honawar
Brett Rodriqgues

Diwali in Kripa Goa

A Patients Get-to-Gether  washeld at the Centre on tuesday 13th November 2012. It was Sparkling, Exciting & Enjoyable, besides a Novel & maiden experience to celebrate without any Substance. There were games, sing-songs, housie followed by the traditional & mouth-wathering Shuwrak Food normally served on such festive occasion in Goa.

Submitted by
Paul Noronha
Kripa Goa

Collage by


Awareness in schools by Kripa Shillong

An wareness outreach  programme was organised by Kripa Shillong on 08.11.12 at Hill Crest school and St.Albert School.The placement student from North Eastern Hill University, CMJ university , Martin Luther Christian University and BDPS students took part in the outreach and skit plays. Mr.Keshab Lamsal of Kripa spoke on substance abuse and primary prevention.The target audience were the student and teachers of classes seventh and above.
Submitted by
Kripa shillong

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fr. Joe's Diwali Greetings- " May the light of Gods Grace dispel the darkness of addiction...Tamosa ma Jyotir gamaya" in the latest Kripa Newsletter

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fr. Joe' Meditatio Worshop Across UK - "A humble beginning just begun..."- A report by Nirvana Crowley -UK


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Fr. Joe at the Meditatio Workshop
Father Joe inspired the hearts and souls of many across the UK in a series of workshops and lectures between 25th – 30th October. These were arranged in conjunction with the World Community For Christian Meditation ( 'WCCM') and involved sharing teachings on how Yoga and Christian Meditation can help in recovery. Workshops were also conducted on Kripafoundation Iyengar Yoga® as a tool for shaping the body as a temple of God's Spirit.
The program began in the auspicious surroundings of the shrine of Julian of Norwich. Julian of Norwich was a fourteenth-century anchorite and mystic who experienced a series of divine revelations. An anchoress was a person called to a solitary life, but one that was not cut-off from the world, but one anchored in it. Her life was one of prayer, contemplation and counselling, her home was a small room, or cell, attached to the Church of S. Julian, Bishop of Le Mans, just off one of the main streets of Norwich. Father Joe conducted a mass and meditation in the cell for members of WCCM and friends of Kripa bringing the meditation to a close with Julian’s prayer that “all shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.
On Thursday evening Father Joe delivered a talk on Kripa and how meditation and Yoga can help in recovery. The audience was a mix of meditators, individuals in recovery and professionals who experienced a unique blend of teachings which spanned Christianity, Eastern Spirituality and Western Science. Individuals gained an understanding of the energy centres in the body, the importance of a breath culture and dispossession. Yoga was taught as a pathway to move from the periphery to the centre of our being to a place where as Father Joe says “The Father and I are one”.
Saturday’s workshop was entitled Christian Meditation & Yoga for Overcoming Addictive Behaviour and was provided primarily for adults from across the North East Regional Service User Forum network, who were all at some stage on their own Recovery journeys. Feedback was very positive all round with attendees appreciating the distinct benefits of Yoga and Meditation for a sustained recovery and the comprehensive approach adopted by Kripa, one attendee commented that “ it makes the recovery efforts around here look amateurish” The workshop was the seed for encouraging a blossoming of Christian meditation across the North East. Many attendees have since expressed a desire to learn more and start a Christian Meditation session for their own Recovery support groups. The event was funded by the National Treatment Agency (NTA) based in Government Office Newcastle and the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership which made it possible for the workshop to be put on free of charge to the 70 service users.

 Sunday's workshop was entitled Christian Meditation and Yoga for the Joy of Living and was delivered for seasoned practioners of either yoga or Christian Meditation and was very well received. One of the organisers and a yoga teacher of some 30 plus years, said that Father Joe re -affirmed all that is good about yoga and loved his depth of knowledge about Patanjali and the Vedas. Another Yoga teacher from Middlesbrough and a Catholic school teacher loved how Father Joe married the spirituality of yoga with the teachings of Jesus to the degree that she felt inspired to commence her own sessions for her school pupils.
Terry Doyle (event Co-ordinator and Meditatio outreach development worker) commented “In short, Fr Joe was willing to travel to the North East in God's service. He delivered two master classes, each different in their own way yet both profoundly moving and inspirational. He also delivered a very moving homily at mass at St Andrew's RC Church in Teesville which was very well received by all lucky enough to be touched by Fr Joe's presence and healing words.”

Echoing the teachings contained in the DVD ‘Yoga for the practice of Christian Meditation’ Father Joe conducted a yoga class for 30 members of the WCCM at the Meditatio house in Ealing on Monday evening. Many traveled from far distances across Europe to attend the class where Father Joe demonstrated various Asanas and Pranayama to assist young meditators with their practice and to develop the body as a temple of God’s spirit.
The culmination of the week was a conference held in London for close to 100 people entitled ‘Meditation and Addiction: The way through’. Addiction is often considered as the response of a self that is deeply wounded. Speakers explored whether there was a role for the practice of meditation in responding to such patterns of behaviour. Meditation was introduced as a practical way to lead us to a holistic understanding of ourselves to help us find a way through addictions.

Father Joe was one of the keynote speakers alongside Laurence Freeman (Benedictine monk and WCCM Director), Dr Vanessa Crawford (Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist) and Mike Sarson (Founder of East West Detox). In the morning session Father Joe delivered a presentation outlining the Kripa model of recovery combining the elements of the twelve step program and the gifts given to the recovery movement by BKS Iyengar (through the Asanas and intensive care units of the props) Mother Teresa through the wounded healer model (giving from ones poverty as opposed to ones abundance) and John Main with the teachings of Christian meditation and contemplative prayer.

The afternoon sessions incorporated Father Joe’s workshop entitled ‘Breath – The way of Transcendence’ – Meditation and Yoga was presented as a way to wholeness in the recovery from addiction. The workshop focused on how the breath is an important element in the preparation of body and mind in the process of meditation. Attendees practiced various Asanas and Pranayama and were bathed in the ‘Silence of the Spirit’.
The day closed with a panel discussion on the different forms of meditation, the importance of forgiveness in the recovery process and how to integrate meditation into ones daily life. Feedback from the event was very positive with many viewing Father Joe’s lecture and workshop as the highlight of the event. One attendee commented “I gained so much from it, I can not put into words how much it meant to me to be in an environment where I did not have to wear a mask over my alcoholism or a mask over my faith in order to learn. I could be free to simply be fully the person I am in the eyes of God and learn all he wanted me to bring home in my heart”.

The conference was recorded by the WCCM and will be made available for download on the WCCM website over the next couple of weeks. Following the event Father Joe was also interviewed alongside Laurence Freeman for Catholic radio.

They came in groups, they came as one, the humble journey just begun.
Arising from their depths of pain,
Searching for the answer, their lives in vain.
They bared their souls with the coming of time,
Desperately hoping one day they would be fine.
Endlessly craving the answer, searching for the truth,
Wishing one day they would be of use.
Then a flame was brought to the depths of their being
Bringing a glimmer of hope, a new way of seeing.
Lighting a pathway that was never seen before,
Bringing the Holy Spirit to soothe the sore.
That beacon was lit and in the fullness of time,
The light will be nurtured, love will align.
An enduring flame that will begin to burn,
The impurities, providing healing,
a compassionate heart they will learn.
From the one who is filled with grace and love,
Who shines the light from above.
A beautiful gift for all to see,
How privileged are we.
In Gratitude for the photographs, report and poem.
Nirvana Crowley

                        View a brief video of Fr. Joe at the Meditatio Seminar  2012 -UK
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