The first of March… GOLDEN JUBILEE of the pontifical approbation of our beloved Congregation was a red letter day, for all of us Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of the Region of India
We prepared for it with a Tridium, three day prayer, specially written by Sr Antoinette, so all of us prayed together from our different communities and it culminated with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the First!A GREAT AND JOYOUSDAY INDEED!!!
As it is the jubilee year,we plan to have celebrations right through the year in our different mission stations
The first celebration , was of course in SURAT and that too in the PARVATIBAILEPROSYHOSPITAL , the first mission….,it was here that our sisters first arrivedon the 11th feb,1951….
Sr Dev Kripa, welcomed the people and then followed a short prayer service, with a deeply meaningful prayer from the Rigveda, and prayers for the Church, our missions, the people of Surat and for vocations ….
There was a beautiful prayer dance by the little inmates of the Parvatibai Leprosy Hospital, these little ones are the children of leprosy sufferers, who are not very welcome in the local schools, so we have a recognized primary school in the Leprosy Hospital itself, and the children stay with us ,as boarders, most of them are intelligent and are doing very well, thanks to their teachers, who are girls from our VyaraMission .
All the Sisters in Surat worked really hard .They prepared an exhibition of our missions, our communities, and our works with photos and articles of the art and culture of the villages, also a power point showing the first days when the sisters went by bullock cart as there were no buses or other means of transport and of course our missions today!…
We were fortunate to have Sisters Eunice Mascarenhas of Bandra, who is here on a family visit…..She has been for the last thirty years or more in Colombia and Sr Shobha of Vasai who is in Haiti,, the two of them showed us power points of Colombia and Haiti and shared with us their experience in these missions…Sr Jacinta of Surat, who has been in the jungles of Peru for fifteen years, also regaled us with her experiences and a power point presentation.
She is now in the new mission of Maharashtra…Mahad!!
The families of our two Surti sisters…Jacinta and Angelina ,and also all the old residents of Surat, who were children then and are now well placed in life, thanks to the educationgiven by us in our school, were present
They lovingly felicitated us, and sang” Congratulations to you !” and said how grateful they were ,as they recalled all that we had done for them and that they remembered the many deeds of love received ,even the glass of milk and biscuits .They gifted each one of us with alovely mug,and a nice, very practical sling bag !
The piece de resistence, of the day, however was the honouring of our one and only spaniard left in India, none other than SrAsunta Sanz……She has been sixty years in India, twenty five of which were spent, loving andcaring for theinmates of the Leprosy Hospital . She has also worked in the villages of Vyara, staying alone for months on end…
Now at the age of eighty-eight she stays at Snehanjali, the Regional house, spending her time praying for the Church, the Missions and her sisters of the Missionary Society.
On this day we took the opportunity of showing our gratitude, also that of the leprosy sufferers, for whose spiritual and physical needs she worked so hard .We garlanded her and thanked her for her fidelity to the Lord and the Congregation
Then as some simple snacks were served we chattedand joked with the people, recalling old times and took them to the Exhibition Hall, Later we sisters spent an enjoyable time, dining and just being together…..Thus ended a really Happy Feast Day !!!
We are a group of sisters who live together and work with those who lack the opportunities of a fair and just means of development.
We belong to the Missionary Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have completed 60 years of a long and loving relationship with the people of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It began in the leprosy Hospital, later in the Lourdes Convent School in Surat and then in the missions of Vyara, Chhota and Wada. Some of our group have reached Cambodia in the border town of Poipet.
You will find here, our experiences of this relationship which has deepened over the years. We will share our stories of successes and failures, struggles and hopes which have not only brought us together, but has brought us closer to the people with whom we journey towards wholeness.