A Brief History
The Sanskrit Epithet ‘BODHI’ means Perfect Knowledge. ‘BODHI’ also is the Tree of Enlightenment where Budha was enlightened. Being true to its name, Bodhi Institute aims at imparting Perfect Knowledge or Spiritual Wisdom to all.
‘BODHI’ Institute which functions in St. Antony’s Friary, Kollam, is a “Free-Standing Seminary” of the Capuchins of St. Francis of Assisi Province, India for the Theological Formation. However it also is open to others. This year we have 30 Capuchin brothers,2 brothers from Franciscan Missionaries of service 2 brothers from the Institute of Voluntas Dei, Trivandrum and 2 brothers from Messengers of Peace and Harmony and one from Sons of Merciful Love.
St. Antony’s Friary, Quilon marks the genesis of the First Philosophate and Theologate of the Capuchins in India. The Friary is the cradle of the Philosophical and Theological Formation of the Indian Capuchins. The Major Study houses of the Capuchins in India symbolically originated in Antony’s Friary, Quilon in 1933. It was in that year that St.Antony’s Friary was upgraded to the status of the First Major Study House of the undivided Indian Capuchin Province.
The Philosophical Formation of the Capuchins in India began in St. Antony’s Friary in 1933. After a year the Capuchins commenced the Theological Formation here. Later on there was a shift of Theologate from here to Trichy in 1944. The Philosophate alone flourished in St. Antony’s Friary until it was transferred to Calvary Ashram, Trichur in 1965. Surprisingly during the following year the Brothers of the First year Theology had their theological studies in St. Antony’s Friary, Quilon. Subsequently St. Antony’s Friary became a Centre of Pastoral Course (i.e.,the 5th year Theology).The Friary afforded a Superb environment also for the Minor Seminary until 1997.
After the dissolution of the Common Study Houses of the Indian Capuchins in 1981 each Province started its own Study House of Philosophy and Theology. The Students of St. Francis of Assissi Province had their excellent Philosophical and Theological Formation in St. Joseph Province, Kerala.
Ever since the dissolution of the Common Study Houses of the Indian Capuchins, St. Francis of Assisi Province greatly felt the need to start its own Study House of Philosophy and Theology. And the embryonic plan was gradually maturing through the Provincial Chapters until it was finally decided in the Extra-Ordinary Provincial Chapter of 1997 to start the Study House of Philosophy and Theology in St. Antony’s Friary, Quilon. Thus BODHI INSTITUTE came into being and it was formally inaugurated on 13 June 1998.
During the academic year 1998-1999 BODHI INSTITUTE simultaneously offered Courses of Theology and Philosophy in St. Antony’s Friary, Kollam. Owing to the increase in the number of students there was a shift of the Philosophate from here to Marygiri Ashram Kudappanakkunnu, Trivandrum in 1999.
Since the inception of BODHI INSTITUTE, thirteen batches of Priests have come out gloriously. Offering great hope of further development and expansion of the academic system, BODHI continues to function successfully as the INSTITUTE OF THEOLOGICAL FORMATION. The institute has been making rapid growth in every way especially with regard to the increase of the teaching staff. All the subjects are taught by the Professors who are qualified and specialised.