Shanthi Sadhana: FISI: An Overview
Shanthi Sadhana, Franciscan Institute of Spirituality, India (FISI), Bangalore, is a unique centre of study and research with live-in experience of integrated, holistic spirituality – a blend of prayer and interiorisation, with close harmony of fraternal bonds with each other and with a bountiful panorama of Nature. This Franciscan Capuchin International Institute with about 80 self-contained individual rooms in a typical Indian ashram cum religious convent setting amidst lush ecological flower and fruit gardens creates an ideal ambience for community living as well as for personal study and reflection, even with a cave experience. FISI offers a number of facilities to individuals and groups, organizations and NGOs, whether religious or socio-religious aiming at personal, religious, social and community building. To be an “Instrument of Peace”, or “Shanthi Sadhana”, after the famous prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, our Patron is our motto.
1. Historical Background
Paying due attention to the great number of the Franciscan and Clarian Families in India, the idea of founding a Franciscan Institute of Spirituality in India was conceived during the 4th Plenary Council of the Capuchin Order at Garibaldi in the year 1986. This idea was very dear to Very Rev. Br. Flavio Roberto Carraro OFM Cap, the then Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
As a result, an important decision for the founding of the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality in India was taken on 7th December 1987 at St. Antony’s Friary, Quilon, by the members of Capuchin Conference of Major Superiors in India, in presence of the Minister General. During the very same sitting the Minister General, with a prophetic vision, said: “If this project becomes a reality, the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality should be affiliated to one of the Universities”. The movement began with a mobile team of Franciscan scholars, from different Franciscan families, offering courses in different parts of the country, making use of the existing structures. In fact, the first ten days animation/course, on Franciscan and Clarian Spirituality, was offered at Seva Sadhan, in the Archdiocese of Bhopal, in the month of May 1988.
Then, in the light of the courses offered and the enthusiastic response received from the members of different Congregations, the General Definitory decided to found the Institute in Bangalore and Br. Falvio Roberto Carraro OFM Cap, the Minister General himself, laid the foundation stone of Shanthi Sadhana: FISI on 25th Jan. 1991. It was inaugurated by the same Minister General, and was blessed by his Grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Alphonsus Mathias, the then Archbishop of Bangalore, on 7th Dec. 1993.
It has a well-furnished library for any research student on Spirituality. Even a doctoral student can find ample material on Franciscan Sources which one may not be able to find in any library in India.
This Franciscan Capuchin International Institute, affiliated to Antonianum University in Rome, with about 80 self-contained individual rooms in a typical Indian ashram cum religious convent setting, amidst lush ecological flower and fruit gardens, creates an ideal ambience for community living as well as for personal study and reflection, with a “guha-experience”. While offering courses on Biblical Spirituality, Franciscan and Clarian Spirituality, and Formative Spirituality it facilitates the participants to be enlightened, enriched, and empowered acc. to their calling and to become, in the words of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation: Vita Consecrata, “a spiritual therapy” to the entire humanity, bearing authentic witness in their day-to-day life (cf. VC 87). It has a well-furnished library for any research student on Spirituality. Even a doctoral student can find ample material on Franciscan Sources which one may not be able to find in any library in India.