Celebrating 100 years of the Presence of Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in India
The grand Finale of the centenary celebration of the FMA presence in India began in INK province with the theme and slogan ‘Give thanks with a grateful heart”. The solemn Eucharistic celebration began lighting the Indian lamp by the archbishop, Vicar General, Mother General, General Councillors, Provincial and the representatives of the Salesian Family. In the entrance procession placards were carried to the altar recalling the ship which carried 98 Missionaries to India, the plane that carried 43 missionaries to different countries, candles representing 18 departed Sisters and 222 Sisters in INK Province in 4 States. The floral decoration of the altar and around created a heavenly atmosphere for the celebration of the Eucharist. Together with the main celebrant the Archbishop Rev. Dr. Peter Machado 18 others adorned the altar in concelebrating. He began his homily reminding that today’s celebration is another chance to thank God through Mary, who keeps working miracles in our daily life. He recalled the audacity of the pioneer Sisters who braved the era when women were not coming out of their homes. 100 years ago when there were no roads, they might have travelled by bullock-carts. Neither war nor peace, neither rain nor did sunshine deter them. They were selective in choosing the remotest areas, poverty stricken people, and neglected caste. He urged us to bless and thank God for this great day! Taking the cue from the reading of Deuteronomy he said there is a veiled threat if we are not thankful to God, if we are proud, God will punish us. Forgetting what the Lord has done is ingratitude, give what we receive is like pagans; instead, giving in full measure is being grateful. He warned us that if we abandon the poor God will abandon us. He congratulated the Sisters on this centenary celebration and expressed his gratitude for the mission we are doing in his archdiocese, particularly for looking after the Young at Risk. After the final blessing he made a request to Mother General to open a centenary memorial House in His archdiocese especially for the street children. Before he could leave the place he felicitated Mother General and the provincial. Mother thanked the archbishop and the Vicar General adorning them with a shawl and a bouquet.
The guests were welcomed and felicitated on the dais after which Mother General gave her message focusing on the significance of the feast of today. 100 years in eternity is too short but in human terms too long. Be it in Mornese, be it in India the first Sisters had nothing but their luggage. They placed their trust in the Lord, in Mary as did Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello did. GC XXIV beckons us to focus on generating life, hence summons us to take care of the youth. She sees plenty of life, vitality, creativity in India and so appeals us to continue to preserve the charism with courage and trust. She recalled the words of Don Bosco at Nizza: ‘Mary walks in this house’. She is the true superior of the House and encouraged us saying that she will never forget her children.
The cultural bonanza served by different Houses of the Province was a real feast. The prayer Dance was as if heavenly bodies came down to sing and dance. The history of the pioneers and the apostolate of the province depicted in dance –drama form was superb! Kudos to the Artists who performed them in a meaningful way! During this programme the present and former provincials, the Directresses of CDEW were also duly honored. Sr. Nancy’ social work in Bangalore was highlighted. With a sumptuous Lunch the crowd dispersed, marking the FINALE of the Centenary celebration.
Long Live FMA India…….