New Year’s Message

The Director of CMC, Suranjan Battacharji sends his New Year wishes to the Australian friends of Vellore.

My dear friends,

As we look ahead to the unfolding of a new year, I would like to convey to each one of you my deepest gratitude for all that has been and my joyous acceptance of all that is to be.

Throughout the past year we, as a community, have experienced the presence of the Divine in our midst, not only in our daily life and work but also in the fulfilment of long cherished dreams such as the sanctioning of the new medical, nursing and allied health courses and increase in seats; the opportunity to influence national medical education policy; the NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals) final assessment, the growth in our research – in particular the Department of Biotechnology support of the Centre for Stem Cell Research and our work in Vellore and Chittoor. And so our journey and our struggle to be faithful to the calling of our Master and the vision of our founder, Dr. Ida Scudder, and the many leaders after her, continues.

C. S. Lewis, in his book “A Grief Observed” writes: “Images, I must suppose, have their use or they would not have been popular. (It makes little difference whether they are pictures and statues outside the mind or imaginative constructions within it). To me, however, their danger is more obvious. Images of the Holy easily become holy images – sacrosanct. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is a mark of His presence? The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not.” Let us stay sensitive to the shattering of our idea of God and the other marks of His presence in our midst.

One hundred years ago, in the summer of 1912, at the Kodaikanal Missionary Medical Conference, the committee responded to Dr. Ida’s request and resolved to approve the founding of a Union Medical College for Women in South India. After overcoming innumerable hurdles, the Medical School for Women was started, six years later, in August 1918. August 2018 will mark the centenary of our medical education – how shall we celebrate this milestone? What new risks are we willing to take in order to serve Him as we continue into the next hundred years of medical education? How shall we deal with the constant danger of forgetting to acknowledge God as the supreme authority in our lives and not our possessions, our position, our profession and not even our preferences for how and where we spend our time and with whom? How shall we remain faithful to our calling to love others by serving them – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, treating the sick and visiting those in prison – how shall we continue to keep integrity, sensitivity, humility and courage at the heart of our life together? May we experience God’s grace to see our community as God sees it and in the New Year may this be our prayer: ‘Be Thou my vision oh Lord of my Heart’.

Yours in Christ,

Suranjan Bhattacharji


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