Magnificat of Gratitude for the Golden and Silver Steadfast Years
“For all that has been thanks and to all that shall be Yes" was the rhythm being hummed up in the heart and soul of all the 17 Jubilarians on 28th February -2021 at St. Joseph's Provincialate, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
"We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours." Yes, the Lord has put 50 and 25 years ago, in the hearts of our dear Jubilarians, the profound desire to serve Him and it was with this ardent yearning, they sailed from different parts of the country to set a frame for their destiny, and I am sure this is the milieu of today's celebration. The Personal fulfillment that has taken them from the comforts of their homes, sharing in the common journey to be a missionary so as to be God's loving aroma through the works of love, mercy and justice and through the eloquence of their lives. With St. Paul, let us rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks to God at every moment, 1 Thes. 5:16.
A Jubilee is a looking back with gratitude and looking forward in hope. According to the spirit of Jubilee seen in the book of Leviticus (25: 8-28) it is an occasion of remembrance of the past events, of return to the spirit of the Founder and to the family, of rejoicing for the graces received, of recognition of God's mercy towards His people and of re-dedication of looking forward for making the kingdom of God at hand (Mk: 1 :16).With this back drop, adding to the blissful notes of Jubilation and elation, we the Sisters of Bhubaneswar Province, under the commendable leadership of Sr. Leena and the team have celebrated the jubilee of 17 sisters from both the Provinces, Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar as well in a splendid and grandeur spirit.
The Golden Jubilarians were - Sisters Pauline, Mary Pushpa, Velangani, Mary Joseph and Jane Mary. And the Silver Jubilarians were - Sisters Mabel, Cicily, Vijaya Mary, Maria Rani, Shobha, Vincy Paul, Ancy Mathew, Divya, Shiny Joseph, Suchita, Imelda and Helen. It was the first ever milestone event in the history of the Indian Province after the bifurcation for the combined celebration of the Silver and Golden Jubilee from both the Provinces. The highlights of the day were Solemn Eucharistic Celebration followed by mesmerizing felicitation programme.
The solemn Eucharistic celebration preceded by His Grace Most. Rev. John Barwa, SVD the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese, concelebrated with other Fathers of the Diocese. Religious, Priests, friends, well- wishers and laity from different corners, East and West, North and South have witnessed the august gathering. The ambience caught the glimpse of all the gatherers magnificently. The elegant entrance dance by our candidates was eye captivating followed by all the Jubilarians marching towards the altar with a lamp, subsequently the galaxy of priests headed by His Grace Most Rev. Archbishop. John Barwa, SVD. The most ancient Kumba Aarati, which is the highest form of Aarthi, was performed to mark this great event. Bishop in his sermon, congratulated and appreciated the unswerving love for God and undaunted commitment to the mission illustrated by the Jubilarians for the past 50 and 25 glorious years of religious life. The life of a missionary is challenging in the new normal Covid Pandemic and here they remain as shining examples to live the legacy.
The Religious cross which was modified now into the symbol of the Trinity after a long year of reflections and discussion was given during this great ceremony to all the Jubilarians. After the mass, all the Jubilarians along with the main celebrant His Grace Most. Rev. Archbishop John Barwa, SVD, resumed to the entrance. They then proceeded once again towards the altar but now for the second highlight of the day was the felicitation programme. As a sign of the custom and adapting to the laws of the Covid, symbolically washing and wiping hands were included prior to the felicitation programme. Eventually, all were given a grandiose welcome to the stage. Beginning with Sr. Pauline, the Golden Jubilarian and ending with Sr. Helen, the Silver Jubilarian, all were felicitated for their faithful service to God and the works of the Congregation through shawl and bouquet of flowers by Rev. Sr. Leena the Provincial Superior and her Team members. On the other hand, a beautiful PowerPoint presentation on the life of the jubilarians was depicted in a nutshell. It was indeed a glorious moment to behold and relive those fascinating memories. Thanks to one and all for making it a lovely and treasured memory. At the end, sumptuous festive meal was served for all.