The beauty of this bouquet lies in some rare species of the roses with alluring hues and unusual forms are brought under one cluster. Jubilees and Chapters are surely rare occasions that need to be recorded in special pages.
With its past of three and a quarter century and more our beloved congregation has plenty of events to be reminisced and celebrated. Acknowledging the fact that remembering them bring invitations to live the present with enthusiasm and proceed into the future with vigor and well focused vision, the Jubilees are celebrated pompously.
Enthusiastic efforts were taken to make joyful proclamation and memorable celebrations of some such auspicious occasions of God’s intervention in the history of our Congregation. And these jubilee celebrations in turn have turned out to be exuberant events of enormous blessings.
Platinum Jubilee of the Foundation of Missions in India.
The occasion of the completion of the seventy five years of the Sisters of St. Charles’ mission in India was a fitting moment for every member to take some time and look at what had taken place all along those years. One that invariably snatched everyone’s sight was the still view of the four valiant Belgian missionaries, Mother Marie Gerard, Mother Margaret Marie, Mother Maria and Mother Viginy who arrived at Ranipet on December 30, 1929. The stories that followed the event of events and the 75 years’ hard Labour in Faith which paved way towards marvellous Progress of Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in India was celebrated on November 24, 2004 in Ranipet.
This Platinum Jubilee was attended by more than 150 Sisters from the three Provinces of India. The occasion was also graced by our Superior General Mother Benedicta Lobo from Belgium. The Thanksgiving Sacrifice was concelebrated by two Bishops – Rt. Rev. Dr. A.M.Chinnappa of Vellore Diocese and Rt. Rev. Singarayar of Salem Diocese. ‘A Mission of Compassion’, a documented digital visual presentation was released on this auspicious day and a part of it was played that evening which gave an insight about the arrival of the pioneers, their zeal for the mission and their total dedication to their apostolic work for the poor and the marginalized.
The celebration turned out to be a revelation of the valuable services rendered by our four zealous missionaries to this soil, the abundant fruits their toil bore for the benefit of the world and the journey in faith pursued by our Sisters of today. Etching the names of the exemplary missionaries on untarnishable metal ‘Platinum’ is absolutely an agreeable one.
1.Silver jubilee of the establishment of the eastern province
The occasion was great.The Eastern Province of the Sisters of St.Charles Borromeo had completed 25 years after its erection and installation in Jan.1983.
A declaration was made that the year Jan. 2007 to Jan.2008 is a jubilee year. The Sisters of the Province planned and prepared for it in all facets to make it an auspicious year through prayer, charity and memorials.The spiritual blessings were invoked through special hours of adoration, chain rosary, and recitation of special jubilee prayer in common etc.
The centre for HIV/ AIDS patients to be realized that year would be the milestone marked with this occasion.
The Silver bells chimed aloud the song of jubilation on January 14, 2008 as the year longSilver jubilee celebration culminated with the Holy Eucharist presided by Rt.Rev.Dr.Lawrence Pius DD, auxiliary bishop of Madras- Mylapore. That evening’s function held at Adrien Villa also included a cultural programme that followed the solemn Mass. It was prepared by the formators and formees of Arpana and, the staff and students of St.Charles School- Tirupattur.
A consolidated report of the apostolic works and felicitations to the Sisters of the Eastern Province were presented by selected lay representatives from different places where our communities are. Participation of the sisters from the three provinces of India, members of our staff, old students of our institutions, helpers, families of our convent girls, friends, benefactors and Sisters’ relatives and above all the gracious presence of dear Mother Andrea the former Superior General and Rev.Mother Benedicta Lobo, the Superior General made the occasion an exuberant one. All were served with a sumptuous dinner to close that day’s proceeding in agape.
The honour of releasing the jubilee Souvenir was offered to the auxiliary bishop. Rev.Fr.Xavier Alphonse SJ., and Rev.Fr.Stanislaus Swamikannu SDB, the then Provincial of the Salesian fathers of Madras Province were that evening’s guests of honour.
Thus the whole year’s preparation ended with a gloriously organized Jubilee celebration but in truth was glorification of our God of marvels.
2. 325th year of the foundation of the congregation
The announcement of the year 2009-2010 as 325th Jubilee year of our Congregation founded in 1929 triggered the mind of every head of the institution with plans for celebrating it in a fitting manner. This occasion filled each one with gratitude and feelings of immense trust in the Lord and our Blessed Mother who had been exclusively faithful in protecting and nurturing the Congregation in miraculous ways.
The feelings of gratitude were summed up in the Eucharistic offering at the ‘Grand Finale’ held at our Mother House in Wez –Belgium on November 6, 2010. This was participated by representatives from all the Provinces and Regions along with Rev. Mother General, Mother Benedicta Lobo. The eastern province was represented by Sr. Mary Queen, the Vice Provincial.
Every community executed plans that were feasible to make explicit the joy and gratitude in tangible ways by organizing celebrations marked by deeds of kindness and charity. A common jubilee prayer was recited by all the communities throughout the year (November 2009 to November 2010).
The first house in India – Ranipet, organized on April 11, 2010, a commemorative function for the public, inviting the widows, widowers and the poor people from the locality. Sr.Jaya, the Provincial Superior and Sisters from Ammoor, Yelagiri, Tirupattur and Jolarpet gathered at this function and solemnized the occasion. That day 325 persons were honoured with a special gift which was preceded by a prayer service, grand lunch and cultural programme.
Every other community in the province had made a unique plan for the celebration but all of them were executed in a spirit of charity. This strongly brought among us a feeling of common spiritual bond that holds us together.
By tradition the province convenes a Chapter by elected capitulars to ensure evaluation and to inflame the spirit of enthusiasm to love and live the religious life. This chapter convention is held by the Province every six years since its time of installation in 1982.
PROVINCIAL CHAPTERS OF THE EASTERN PROVINCE
|1982||Yelagiri||Sr. Renee||Theme was not specified||Srs.Imelda, Francisca, Sagayam & Ignatius.|
|1987 1st May to 7th May||Yelagiri||Sr. Renee||Theme was not specified||Srs. Ignatius, Saroj, Francisca & Jay|
|1993 25th June to 5th July||Yelagiri||Sr. Ignatius||Authentic Witnesses to a Gospel-based Life||Srs. Saroj, Assuntha, Rina & Jaya|
|1999 19th to 30th July||Yercaud||Sr.Ignatius||Bread Broken for a New World||Srs. Jaya, Gertrude, Sunita & Lilly. K|
|2005 23rd June to 2nd July||Yercaud||Sr.Saroj||Start Afresh from Christ||Srs. Jaya,Josita, Mary Queen & Punitha A.|
GENERAL CHAPTERS HOSTED BY THE EASTERN PROVINCE
|Date||Place||Superior General||Theme||Elected Superior General & Councillors|
|1982||Yelagiri||Mother Marie Henriette||Renewal of Constitutions||Mother Marie Henriette and Srs.Renee, Jacintha,Sr.St.Paul & Marie Odile|
|1987||Yelagiri||Mother Marie Henriette||Theme was not specified||Mother Andrea and Srs.Benedicta, Virginy, Eliane & Marie Christine|
|1993||Yelagiri||Mother Andrea||Authentic Witnesses to a Gospel-based Life||M.Andrea and Srs. Victoria, Alex, Bertin and Marie Christine|
|2000||Yelagiri||M.Andrea||Bread broken for a New World||M.Benedicta and Srs.Ignatius, Alex, Eliane & Amali|
|2006||Yelagiri||M.Benedicta||Launch into the Deep||M.Benedicta & Srs.Saroj, Bernardine, Sheila corda & Emily|