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Fr Varghese Pallipuram (INK) obtains ``Licence to Encounter`` at UPS, Rome
By Chris Valentino
Abroad, Jun. 8. Fr Varghese Pallipuram of the Salesian Province of Bangalore (INK) successfully defended his thesis for Licentiate ``Spiritual Encounter of Hindu-Christian Youth in the Context of Salesian India: Problems and Prospects,`` at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) Rome on June 08, 2012.
The man with the licence - Fr Varghese Pallipuram (middle)- flanked by the INK confreres in Rome. L-R: Seby Kidangan, Cyriac Thayil, Varghese Kapplikunnel, Sivy Koroth, Dominic Sequeira, Previnth Joe Tony, Lijo Vadakkan.
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Fr Pallipuram was unanimously appreciated and applauded for his stellar effort to incorporate basic values and expression found in Hinduism and Christianity, while proposing an effective spiritual accompaniment of youngsters.  

Fr Jose Chunkapura, sdb of the Institute of Spirituality - Faculty of Theology, UPS was the thesis guide and director.

Fr Pallipuram says ``my own experience in working with youth in a pluri-religious context and the need to focus on their spiritual growth motivated me to study this theme. This is my effort to apply the preventive system of Don Bosco in the process of inter-religious dialogue and prayer in such a diverse religious environment as India.``

Employing the historico-theological method, the thesis studies the elements, common values, expressions, aspect of liberation/salvation in both Hinduism and Christianity. It seeks to apply the preventive system of Don Bosco and his motto ``da mihi animas cetera tolle`` within the pluri-religious Indian context.

The thesis consists three basic chapters with further sub-divisions. Chapter 1 deals with `basic understanding of spirituality and the concept of Indian spirituality. Chapter 2 discusses `common spiritual values and expressions found in Hinduism and Christianity, while Chapter 3 suggests `proposals for a spiritual encounter between Hindu-Christian youth.

Fr. Pallipuram`s socio-pastoral experience with the `youth-at-risk` and his lived spirituality has proved a decisive formative background to this engaging study.

Fr. Pallipuram  however sighs: ``this thesis has a limitation... it studies only the spiritual encounter of youth belonging to Hinduism and Christianity. It is my fervent wish that common values/expressions in Islam also be studied.``

BIS South Asia congratulates Fr Varghese Pallipuram on his obtaining the ``licence to encounter``and wishes him  success with every youth he encounters.

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