Vijayawada Convent and School Blessing
September 22nd, 2021 witnessed yet another milestone in the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, Visakhapatnam Province on the occasion of the Blessing of the Convent and School at Mustabadha, situated in Vijayawada district of the Vijayawada Diocese. The day was solemnised by the presence of His Grace, Most Rev. Joseph Raja Rao, Bishop of Vijayawada diocese, the Parish priest Rev. Fr. Anthony Bala Joseph, accompanied by many priests, religious sisters of other Congregations and our own sisters from the neighboring communities who came in large numbers.
Mustabadha is a serene area surrounded by mountains and rural villages. The area in which our land is situated is renamed as St. Joseph Nagar. Our land was initially a mango grove so we have variety of mango trees in our present campus. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and the Vision of our Founder Fr. Medaille, we readily accepted the invitation of Rev. Joseph Raja Rao of Vijayawada diocese to offer our humble services in catering to the pastoral and educational needs of the people of the area. Above all, we wished to make the unconditional and sacrificial love of Christ tangible to everyone, irrespective of caste, status and religion.
Although COVID 19 hindered and delayed the progress of the construction works for one and a half years, the engineer, Mr. Varma along with his team, the Provincial Superior, Sr. Rose, and the Bursar, Sr. Annie Paul worked tirelessly towards the realisation of the long-cherished dream of establishing our concrete presence in the diocese of Vijayawada. The generous and selfless contribution of the pioneer sisters - Sr. Ruby, Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Texy, Sr. Teena, Sr. Anusha Rani and Sr. Julie Nisha - during the past years is truly commendable. They helped to bring about the extension of the branch of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, Visakhapatnam in the diocese of Vijayawada.
Eventually on September 22nd 2021 - a Wednesday, a day dedicated to St. Joseph, our patron saint - at 11:00 am Bishop Joseph Raja Rao prayed for God’s blessings upon the new convent, school and on everyone who serves and is served at this new centre so that all those who come there will leave restored in mind, body and spirit. Sr. Rose, the Provincial Superior, then carried out the ‘Ribbon Cutting’ ceremony, marking the official opening of the convent and the school at Mustabadha.
After the blessing and opening rituals, the gathering took part of the Eucharistic Celebration presided by His Grace and concelebrated by six other priests in thanksgiving and invocation of heavenly blessings. The melodious choir led by Sr. Parimala and team added to the grandeur of the occasion. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, a Vote of Thanks was proposed expressing our sincere gratitude to each and every one who made that day possible for us. Bishop Raja Rao and Mr. Varma, the engineer, were presented with gifts in front of the gathering.
The Mass was followed by ‘Milk Boiling’ ceremony, symbolising the abundance of prosperity and good health to all the community, which culminated with a most cordial Agape Feast.
Thus, September 22nd 2021 marks the beginning of a new page for the community in Vijayawada and a breakthrough in the mission life of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, Visakhapatnam.