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 JOYOUS   DAY 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 PARVATIBAI  LEPROSY HOSPITAL , the first mission….,it was here that our sisters first arrived  on 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 Vyara Mission .

         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 MaharashtraMahad!!                 
                 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 education  given 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 a  lovely 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 Sr  Asunta Sanz……She has been sixty years in India, twenty five of which were spent, loving and  caring for the  inmates 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  chatted  and 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 !!!
A D     MULTOS ANNOS   !!!                                             

Sr. Antoinette. Fonseca mscj