The third continental seminar of ACSSA South Asia was held from 22-24 June 2018 at the Provincial House of the Hyderabad Province with 16 participants comprising of 7 Salesians and 9 Salesian Sisters, representing four Salesian and the seven FMA provinces respectively. The formal inaugural session on 22nd at 9.30 a.m. set the tone to the seminar proceedings. Fr Thathireddy Vijay Bhaskar, Provincial of Hyderabad, presided over the session and inaugurated the seminar. In his presidential address he highlighted the importance of a faithful recording of history. Fr Thomas Anchukandam, Director of Istituto Storico Salesiano, Rome and member of Presidenza ACSSA gave the keynote address, stressing the exigency of continuity in the documented history of religious institutes, which calls for conviction, commitment and competence on the part of the one called to this mission.
The messages from the Rector Major Rev. Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, from the Mother General Rev. Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, from the Regional Councillor for South Asia Rev. Fr. Maria Arockiam Kanaga and from the President of ACSSA Rev. Fr. Francesco Motto were listened to fondly by the participants. These messages evoked a feeling of proximity of the Superiors at this seminar. Their words of appreciation at coming together to study the topic of “Incisive and Innovative Salesian Personalities of India” were of encouragement to the participants to continue as promoters of Salesian history in the region. The messages have motivated them to dedicate themselves even more enthusiastically to transmit the incisive and innovative contributions of our predecessors to the coming generations in order to ensure the future of the Salesian congregation as willed by Don Bosco in India.
Three Salesians and four Salesian Sisters presented their historical and documented Papers on the above topic: Mother Catherine Mania FMA- A Charismatic Missionary presented by Sr. Molly, Kaniampady portrayed Mother Catherine as an epitome of Salesian missionary life who devoted her long life for the poor. Sr. Lily Perumpettikunnel presented Sr. Terezija Medvešek FMA, “An Embodiment of Love and Service” as the only FMA missionary who came to India from Slovenia and had embodied in a significant manner the “Salesian spirit”, and lived her Salesian vocation understood as mission. Fr. Thomas Anchukandam highlighted the significance of Fr. Joseph Carreño SDB for Salesian India as he was a true sign and bearer of God’s love to all and all loved him in return. Fr. Joseph Pandicherry gave an account of Fr. John Lens SDB and his personality. Sr. Teresa Phawa presented Sr. Josephine Goad FMA as an ardent and enterprising missionary in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. Sr. Sangeetha Sahayarani presented Sr. Nancy Pereira FMA throwing light on her incisive and innovative works. Finally Fr. Mathew Kapplikunnel the Secretary of the ACSSA South Asia presented Fr. Philip Thayil SDB as a visionary and innovator. Every presentation was followed by clarifications, suggestions etc.
The seminar was concluded with the evaluation of the programme and the vote of thanks by Sr. Philomena D’Souza the president of ACSSA South Asia and Fr. Mathew Kapplikunnel the secretary.
NEW ANIMATOR INSTALLED
After three years of FMA presence in Kurtumgarh, the community was canonically erected on 24 June 2018 with Sr. Annie Theyattil as its first Animator. Sr. Rose Ezarath the Provincial installed Sr. Annie during the Eucharistic celebration held in the parish church on 30 June 2018 at 7am. The celebrants Fr. Jugal Kishore Digal the parish priest and Fr. Vikram the assistant parish priest warmly welcomed the Provincial and the two Srs Annie Thevarkunnel the provincial economer and Lily P. and wished God’s blessings on the new community members Srs Annie, Prisca Bara and Anand Tirkey. During the homily Fr. Jugal expressed his deep gratitude to Sr. Provincial for the presence of the Sisters in his parish. He also underscored the active presence of Sr. Annie since 2016 and wished her a happy continuation of fervent, vibrant and fruitful ministry in the community. Sr. Rose entrusting the community to Sr. Annie and handing over to her a lighted candle and said, “…put on the armour of light and let your community be filled with the same light of Christ…let the burning lamps fill your community with the brightness of peace and joy… let your community be characterized by the spirit of Mornese making it a House of the Love of God. May Mary the real superior of the house be your constant companion in leading your community in the way God wants you to lead”. She then welcomed Sr. Annie with a garland. The celebrants too welcomed her in the same manner.
ENGLISH MEDIUM SCHOOL INAUGURATED
On 28 June 2018 after the Holy Mass at 8.30am the inaugural ceremony of the new English medium school at Kurtumgarh took place in the presence of the Nursery children and their parents assembled in front of the parish presbytery. Fr. Jugal introduced the Sisters to the parents and welcomed all the Sisters with garlands of flowers. He called this day a historical day as a new Auxilium School was going to be inaugurated on this day by Sr. Rose Ezarath FMA the provincial of Kolkata. Accompanied by the Fathers, Sisters and the people, 25 little girls and boys of class nursery then proceeded with lighted candles towards the adjacent shed with two rooms – belonging to the parish – and placed them in front of the decorated statue of Mary Help of Christians as a sign of their entrustment to Mary.
Fr. Jugal Kishore Digal the parish priest addressed the new parents of the nursery children saying that education is the key to open the development of the family, society and the nation. He expressed his joy in having the Salesian Sisters in Khandamal dt. and for establishing an English medium school to impart quality education to the children of the locality. He invited the parents to cooperate with the Sisters so that they can brighten up the future of their children. He assured the people that this Auxilium school would be the best in the whole of Khandamal. It was followed by the cutting of the ribbon by Sr. Provincial and the blessing of the class room by Fr. Jugal. The Sisters then distributed sweets and cakes to the children and people as a sign of their joy and gratitude to the Lord for the blessing of a new evangelizing educational mission centre.
The historical day in the annals of Auxilium Kurtumgarh was crowned with an outing together with the parish community to Ludu water fall and a hymn of praise to God for His bountiful love and goodness and to our Blessed Mother for Her continuous assistance and guidance. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Fr. Jugal for his constant help and support from the very inception of the FMA presence in Kandhamal. May God’s Kingdom of peace and hope spread far and wide through this promising mission centre!
On 13th May 2018, Mazzarello convent, Sahera, witnessed a dual celebration of Silver Jubilee of the School and the feast of our Foundress St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello. 600 invitees participated in the celebration. The Theme of the celebration was “Recall, Rejoice, and Renew”. The celebration was commenced with the Holy Eucharist at 10.00 am in the auditorium presided over by Rev. Fr. Joseph Marianus Kujur S.J, the provincial of Ranchi Province. During his homily he stressed on the theme of the celebration. He said that we are gathered here to Recall the past with gratitude to God, then to Rejoice for His faithfulness in our fruitful mission of 25 years and to Renew ourselves for the betterment of our Mission. Speaking on the life of Mother Mazzarello he stressed on her Love and Thirst for the Eucharistic Lord and the Wisdom filled life that she lived though she was illiterate. We all can acquire knowledge but without wisdom we cannot know the will of the Lord neither we can known Him. Lastly, he summarized his homely, saying,
“If you cannot fly- Run,
If you cannot run – walk,
If you cannot walk- crawl.
Do not be stagnant but be on the move.”
After the Holy Eucharist the cultural program followed. The Chief Guest of the program was Rev. Sr. Rose Ezarath the provincial of Kolkata province, the guest of honors were Rev. Fr. Joseph Marianus Kujur S.J, the provincial of Ranchi Province and Mr. Regi Dungdung, Additional Director of police, J.A.P.
The life of Mary Mazzarello was presented through a short skit named “Love Conquers All”. Sisters too were seen on the stage with their melodious Italian Song “To be reborn with our Foundress”. The Jubilee Song “A time of great Jubilee” was sung by the borders of Mazzarello convent. The mementos were given to the dignitaries as a sign of remembrance of the auspicious day. Provincial Sr. Rose in her talk thanked all the sisters who toiled in this place. She also recalled the past moments and thanked the Lord for the wonderful deeds He has worked through our mission.
Finally Sr. Lily D’Souza proposed the vote of thanks in which she thanked all those were responsible for the growth of the mission at Sahera starting from His Eminence Telesphore P. Cardinal Toppo, the Salesians of Hatia and Kokar and the Jesuit Communities from Namkum and all those present which made the day a memorable one with their joyous presence. The festal meal was followed after the program. The Lord seemed to bless each one of us as we received the showers of Blessings in the form of good showers of rain.
Sr. Neera Tigga & Sr. Siljera Marak
Keeping up to the spirit of Earth day, on 20 April 2018, the Eco Club of Vasant Vihar organised competitions on ‘Poster Making’ for the students of Class 6; ‘Planter decoration’ for Class 7 and ‘Model Making’ for class 8 to give support for environmental protection for which every student is responsible.
Continuing with the celebrations of Earth Day, on 24 April the Eco club conducted a morning assembly. The assembly comprised of an effectual and energetic Street Play drawing the attention of everyone to make amends towards a better future.
This was followed by speeches and a pledge to protect our Mother Earth.
Educational Biodiversity Walk
On 23 April 2018, the class XII B students of Vasant Vihar made an educational biodiversity walk in Sanjay Van- a sprawling city forest spread over an area of 783 acres.
The students observed the nests of camponotus ants, indigenous to forests and a larg variety of butterflies and caughtsights of migratory birds like Purple sunbird, Indian paradise flycatcher etc. There were lots of other great bird sightings, from peacocks and wood shrikes amongst the trees to spot-bill ducks and cattle egrets on Sanjay Van Lake, a secluded water conservation spot. Peacocks, partridges, squirrels, sparrows and monarch butterflies crossed serenely as they walked past the tiny paths that lead off into the undisturbed forest. The students were amazed at how completely the forest muffles all sounds of traffic.
As a contribution towards conserving biodiversity, the students also planted many saplings. The students were also motivated to conserve the biodiversity and protect the delicate balance that keeps the environment clean.
Adieu to Mrs.Lalitha Ma’am
On 27 April, the staff and students of HCA gathered to bid adieu to Mrs.Lalitha Menon. The programme commenced with a welcome speech by the School Head Girl expressing affection and gratitude towards the teacher for all the hardwork and efforts she had put in over the 30 years of her committed service in HCA. It was followed by the lighting of the lamp and felicitation. Menon Ma’am was moved to see students from classes X, XI and XII performing prayer dance, skits and songs to express their gratitude and love to her. The PowerPoint presentation gave an insight into the life of Lalitha Menon Ma’am. The recitation of a poem by Mrs. Niraj Ma’am highlighted the dedicated life of Lalita Ma’am in the formation of her students during the last 30 long years. Principal Sr.Celine then addressed the gathering and wished her all the happiness and good health in life. The programme culminated with inspiring words by Ma’am. The day came to a conclusion with a party hosted by the Sisters in honour of Lalita Ma’am for the teaching and non-teaching staff.