By the intuition of the mighty power, Idhaya Ashram was born and it is being run by the Franciscan sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation which had been founded in the year 1844 at Pondicherry, one of the union territories of India and a beautiful state known for its rich spirituality. The founder of the Congregation is a Missionary Rev.Fr.Louis Savenien Dupuis who was a MEP priest from France.
In the 23rd General Chapter held in 1993, the participants had an insight, to elevate the sisters’ spiritual life through an Ashram Spirituality. Rev. Mo. Regina Mary, the then Superior General had executed the decision of the General chapter and by her timely guidance, vision, clear perception of realities and perseverance, the spiritual movement had been accomplished.
The foundation stone was laid down by His Eminence Cardinal Simon D. Lourdusamy, assisted by Rev. Fr. Louis the Director of Anjali Ashram on 15.08.1993. On 20th January 1995 during the celebration of the sesqui centenary of the congregation, the Ashram was consecrated and blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Simon D. Lourdusamy from Rome, together with Bishop Arulappa, the Kadappa Diocese, Rev. Bishop Edward Francis, the Bishop of Sivagangai, and Rev. Fr. Louis from Anjali Ashram. With this serene atmosphere, the ashram initiated its functioning.
The pioneer of the ashram guide was Sr. Elma Mary Margaret. The successor of her is Sr. Barnabas Ubagara Mary. In the year 1999, the total construction work was completed and the meditation hall was blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Simon D. Lourdusamy
- For the spiritual growth of the Church
- For the spiritual renewal of all the God seekers.
- For the spiritual renewal of the sisters of our congregation.
- For the spiritual renewal of the Religious.
- For strengthening Indian spirituality among the seekers.
- For promoting Inter-Religious harmony with the fragrance & flavour of pluralism. .
- Conducting Meditation and related courses.
- Promoting Indian Christian Spirituality.
- For quenching the thirst of individual seekers.
- For seeking spiritual enlightenment.
- For developing the habit of accepting everyone without discriminating anyone on the basis of caste, religion and culture with the spirit of motherhood.
TThe seekers enjoy the atmosphere, having the Arulalayam, Idhayalayam, Amudhalayam and
Gnanalaya. The Architect has been very much admired by the Residents of India as well as the Foreigners.
Arulalayam: A small chapel in the west side is called Arulalayam which could accommodate 25 seekers at a time. The Tabernacle has been placed beautifully and decorated with hanging lights, lamps and bells, gives a graceful look and blessings to the spiritual seekers.
Idhayalayam: The inspirational Lotus shaped hall called Dhyana Mandapam (Mandhir) renders its vibrations of peace and serenity to all the seekers of different religions.
Resident Kudil: 50 seekers can be accommodated at a time in the different self-sufficient rooms. Solitude and silence can be obtained easily. The circular pavement adds beauty to the kudils.
Gnanalaya: It has been newly constructed with new technologies for the couple of purposes according to the science of time. It is well equipped with audio visual aids. Storage of thousands of books of various religions in the library shows enormous ways to get the God experience. Spiritual discourses are also relayed on Holy Cross TV, Pondicherry by the Ashramites.
People of any religion are privileged to participate and become fully liberated human beings. Kids and teenagers around the ashram are motivated and trained for yoga and meditation.Daily Routine
04.30 am Morning Meditation
05.30 am Anjali to Satguru
06.15 am Holy Eucharist
07.00 am Yoga
07.30 am Breakfast
08.00 am Seva
09.30 am Inner Journey in Solitude & Silence
11.15 am Yoga Nithra
12.00 pm Midday Samdhya (Prayer)
12.30 pm Lunch
01.00 pm Rest and Personal work
03.00 pm Meditation
04.00 pm Tea
04.30 pm Seva
06.15 pm Meditation
07.15 pm Bhajan and Arathi
07.30 pm Supper
08.00 pm Chanting Nama Jaba in procession and satsangh
09.00 pm Nithra
Idhaya Ashram is situated 7 km from the Pondicherry bus stand and 8km from the railway station. It is capable of accommodating 50 seekers at a time.Sr. Barnabas Ubagara Mary,
Idhaya Ashram, Gallen Thottam,
Ariyankuppam, Pondicherry- 605 007.
Phone: 0413-2600479, Mobile: +919500940967, +916379267577
Retreat is the most opportune time to turn back one’s own life and it is the time to listen to the voice of God. Salutation and thanks to the Supreme God and Father for giving us this precious days to feel Him more closely and nearer through our personal encounter in these days of retreat in an atmosphere of perfect silence.
As our call is not an accident, retreat is a perfect plan of God. He took initiative and called us to be more close to Him by giving us the wonderful opportunity to admire and feel his precious love in the nature, in the chirping of the birds in the solitude with silence in the inner heart by our stay in this Idhaya Ashram.
As we stepped in the Ashram, each moment was an inspiration to us. We admire the selfless service of each sister in the Ashram. The kind and gentle Smile attracted us that we felt so much secured in our stay. We nourished abundantly to renew our spiritual life as well as fed deliciously with Ashram diet. Hearts of thank to each sister of this Ashram and all their co-workers.
These few words are our humble expression of our sincere thanks to all those who helped us directly or indirectly to renew our spirit in religious life to draw closer to our divine master. We assure our heart full prayers for each sister of this Ashram for their love and service to God and the nature. May the good Lord bless them abundantly may lead each one of you to attract many souls by your simple life. Thus from now on let every word we utter, every deed we do, every action we engage in, every thought we entertain and all our activities be a worship of God.Thanks a lot sisters.
With love and prayers,
Sr. Julia Bethl Sr. Precilla Bethl
Sr. Elizabth Bethl Sr. Jecintha Bethl
Sr. Roslin Bethl
As God says “The more you honour me, the more I will bless you” yes really The Bethelemite sisters did 6 days of retreat saying its God’s gift to be here to experience Him in silence and to be closer to Him. These days helped us to go deeper into our call and reflect about the promise that we made to our Lord.
Sr. Barnabas guided us beautifully to enter into the mood of prayer. The silence atmosphere helped us to be in the presence of God. Though the community sisters are elderly they seem to be young in spirit, enthusiasm and are also active. Really they are wonderful inspiration for us, the younger generations. Their service and good care at dinning was more appreciable.Thanking you.
Sr. Noel Birthlemit sisters,
Eight days spiritual experience
My spiritual experience in this Ashram was more effective during these 8 days. When I think of spiritual experience, it is experiencing something which is beyond the comprehension of the five senses mind and intellect. This Ashram being an apt place for silence and reflective meditation, fitted me very well to remain in silence and prayer.
I pass over my gratitude to God for bringing me here and also for all the inmates of this Ashram for guiding me during my presence here. May God bless you all!Thank you so much.
Fr. Vincent Arockia Raj.MMI
(Missionary of Mary Immaculate)
Be still and know that I am God.
I would like to thank each one of you those who are in the Ashram. My special thanks to Sr. Elma Mary who guided me in a spiritual way for the past three days. I have got wonderful experience in my heart. I had an inner journey with my Jesus in a silent mood. I was very happy. Different ways of meditation helped to experience. God experience in a deeper way. Yoga gave freshness to my body. Classes helped me to take decision about my future. I enjoyed with nature.Sr. Nirmala Mary.FIHM
Although we had not come for recollection we could not stop God’s presence in Ashram. Indeed we were inspired by the simplicity life style of Ashram, such as food, infrastructure, gardens and above all the Ashram community. Undoubtedly we felt as if we brought down the heaven to the earth by simple life we led here. Because at times we are tempted to live high five lives as regional team, and also as secular missionaries. But this Ashram experience has brought us to the sense of living simply. Undoubtedly God is dwelling in this place. Above all we have had wonderful times. Our regional team would like to thank every sister in the Ashram for all the efforts they made every one of us to be comfortable and experience God’s presence in this Ashram.Thank you all and God bless your Ashram. Fr. Sudhakar Mika
Mill Hill Missionaries,
Greeting from Fr. John Kennedy. This Ashram is a place of silence and stillness. In this atmosphere last 3 days have been an intensive period of silence for me. My spiritual journey here helped me to renew the relationship with God and deep within me I could experience the presence of God and feel one with Him. In my spiritual quest, meditation leads to self-awareness as a result realised the God consciousness. I found this as a right place for calming the mind through concentration and contemplation. I sincerely thank all the sisters here who have facilitated my spiritual journey through their possible service. I hope this experience must flow into the rest my life as a steam of living water. Also I wish and pray and this ashram may lead all seekers to realisation of the truth. Thank you!Fr. M. John Kennedy
Praise the Lord.
We came from Bangalore searching for peaceful atmosphere where we get peace and worship .We came to this Ashram, where we found good things more than our expectation such as more attentiveness, vigilance, classes of Yoga with health points and exercises were taught with good hygienic and healthy timely hygienic food. We enjoyed the atmosphere, the way of worship, timely care on us. Though we seven of us were sickly and elderly ladies attended us and we were fully satisfied by their hospitality.
we pray for this Ashram and sister for the long healthy life. Our beautiful and prayerful greetings to them.God bless! Mrs. Prema Devi
Silence makes us to be wise and happiest person. We felt the presence of God here. Past six days were very useful for us to refresh our minds and hearts to strengthen our spiritual life. The beauty of the surrounding helped us to connect with the Lord of divine mercy. As we stepped in the Ashram each moment was an inspiration to us, it helped us to travel with our Lord Jesus which made us to realise Jesus’ presence in our hearts. We admired the selfless service of each sister in the Ashram for their kind, gentle, smile that attracted us so much and we felt so secured and safe in our stay here. We were nourished abundantly to renew our spiritual life through all the meaningful thoughts of Fr. Arul Sekar as well as fed deliciously with ashram diet. There was a freedom and the spirit of the Ashram mentioned here. I would like to thank on behalf of our Superior General, Chennai province and all those who had stayed with us felt the efforts taken by every sisters for the comfortable and experience God’s presence in the Ashram. Hearts of thanks to each sister in the Ashram and the Co-workers.St. Annes, Provincilate,
Silence is the best way to search God within us. Yes, God is present in me where He lives. These five days experiences were very useful for me. Through these experiences I have come to know about me and my spiritual growth. I Thank the Lord for His Grace. I have filled with the love of God. I have found Lord my God and I have spent my whole day in meditation, yoga and prayer. I understood the real meaning of prayer. That is “Feeling the presence of God in each second”.Thank you. Sr. Esther Mary FIHM
It was nice and pleasant to be alone. For 24 days I felt happy about myself. I reflected about myself with thinking and reflecting about the past life. I got some good vibrations. I have taken some regulations to follow the experiences I attained here. I thank the sisters for their concern and love.Fr. A. Aruldoss
How can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me through my three days stay in Idhaya Ashram. It helped me to strengthen the spiritual search and Journey. I experienced peace, joy and the hospitality of sisters that touched me to feel at home. It was an inner journey where I experienced the touch of God I was affirmed and encouraged to continue my search. So I thank and praise God for His grace and the opportunity. He has blessed me and protected me throughout my journey. I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Sr. Barnabas who helped me to have a deeper discernment in my search in this spiritual journey.May God bless you all!
Sahila, FMM( SriLanka)