For the Patna Province, Dec. 28, 2022, was the culmination of the yearlong celebration of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s 75 years in India.
The Sisters trickled in and gradually swelled to full capacity in the convent chapel of Mokama. They came from far and nearby mission stations/institutions including Botswana! There were very few artificial decorations, because Nature carpeted the ground with gorgeous flowers and greenery all along the walk leading to the chapel!
The participants at the Eucharist were welcomed with the traditional vermillion and those above 75 years of age were honored with special badges. The high points of the Eucharistic celebration were:
- Archbishop Sebastian Kallupura and the priests were brought to the altar by the six pioneers (from heaven) in their traditional habit, the president of the congregation Sister Sangeeta Ayithamattam, provincial Sister Latika, and representatives from each Unit (Local Houses).
- It was very touching to see the presence of veteran missionaries (in spite of their ailments) Abe Puthumana and Augustine Mundoly! There were many priests, Sisters from other congregations, lay people present for the celebrations.
- The Eucharist was solemn, simple and devotional with traditional songs which all could sing.
- In his homily, the main celebrant, Archbishop Kallupura thanked the SCNs for their risk-taking, as well as for their creativity and pioneering spirit. He challenged the Sisters to always look for alternatives for the sake of the Kingdom. He reminded us that the growth of the Province was due to the collaborative efforts of the Sisters.
- The six pioneers one by one from ‘heaven’ blessed the provinces and reminded all of us to overlook the rubbing of shoulders for the sake of mission. Hold on to the tools of love of God, love for the congregation, and zeal for mission. They encouraged the Sisters to be creative and look for alternatives to enhance mission.
The beautifully decorated primary school ground was the venue for the celebration. The choral drama so well scripted and attractively performed by the young and not-so-young Sisters, interspersed with gorgeous dances, and welcome drumming by SCNAs stole the hearts and minds of all present! Singing of ‘My old Kentucky home’ was soul-lifting and reaching to the ‘Roots.’ The choral drama was a display of history, Indian hospitality simple and hilarious, pioneering spirit, compassionate service and challenging to take risks. It was the center of attraction and excitement of the day.
Going beyond the Indian boarders – to Nepal, Botswana and Kenya was recalled through beautiful heartwarming welcome dances and garlanding the pioneers.
The much-awaited names of the winners of the quiz competition was disclosed and honored. Also, Sangsey mission was honored for the best prayer/videography on its history.
There was unanimous agreement that the Jubilee committee did an excellent though difficult job! Watch the program below: