Silver Jubilee Celebration of Simdega Diocese
On the auspicious and grace filled occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Catholic Diocese of Simdega, we are privileged to be the part of this great event. The Diocese was erected on 22nd May 1993. Emeritus Most Rev. Joseph Minj D.D was the first Bishop of Simdega. He was retired from his office on 11th February 2008 and then Most Rev. Vincent Barwa was appointed as the Bishop of Simdega.
The Jubilee is a time for looking back in gratitude and looking forward in hope for the mission. 25 years have gone by under the bridge of life. The mission started as the gain of a mustard seed and which has now grown into a huge tree spreading its branches into 37 parishes and 6 substations. It has grown extensively in the Socio-Economic, Religious, Cultural and Political areas of life. It is one of the most Catholic populated dioceses of Jharkhand. The Diocese has contributed to the Universal Church with a good number of Priestly and Religious vocations. They are working all over the world as Missionaries.
22nd May 2018 was a memorable day that will go down in the history of Simdega Diocese. The Silver Jubilee celebration took place with the solemn Eucharistic celebration followed by a cultural programme by different units of the Diocese. The historical events of the Diocese were brought out very creatively in different forms. The Diocese recognized and felicitated the selected people from various fields like catechists, priests, sisters and laity for their yeomen service in the Diocese.We are proud of Sr. Vimla who was felicitated for her work in the medical field.
This Silver Jubilee celebration is not the end in itself. It is a message by God to realize that our task is an ongoing one and this calls for all the faithful to renew their commitment all the more to the mission, so as to pass on the light of faith to the next generation.
Sr. Elsy and Community
Commencement of the Boarding at Pakertoli - Simdege Diocese
8th June was indeed a memorable day when we celebrated a triple feast. The feast of our dear Mother Foundress Anne de Xainctonge, the feast of the Sacred Heart which is dedicated to our community in Pakertoli and the starting of the boarding. It was really a joyful moment for us. We had a meaningful Eucharistic celebration along with the 15 boarders, their parents and close by parishioners. A festive meal was had together and the parents left their children in the boarding confident of being educated and taken care of by us. God has blessed us with more children and new we have 37 boarders all together. Our gratitude goes to God for enabling us to open the boarding, all our benefactors and to all our sisters for your prayerful support.
Commencement of Postulancy
8th of June 2018 was indeed a memorable day for us when 6 of our candidates Marium, Kalista, Asnalynne, Olive, Poonam and Amruta joined the novitiate community as postulants. A meaningful prayer service was conducted by the novices . Sr. Rita accepted them to Postulancy. It was indeed a moment of grace for them and for all of us. May God who has called them grant them the strength to remain faithful to Him till to the end and allow themselves to be moulded and shaped by the Divine Potter through the daily events of their lives.
Silver Jubilee of St. Ursula School, Varawade (1992 - 2017)
On 15th Dec. 2017 the curtains of the Jubilee Celebration that began in Dec. 2016 came down with colourful and excellent items of dances, a skit and songs with the theme ‘With Gratitude towards the Zenith of Excellence’. Bishop Alwyn Barreto was the chief guest and Sr. Rekha was the guest of honour.
An inspirational skit on the life of Mother Anne was staged in Hindi. The skit depicted Anne’s life at home and the struggle she went through in her call and decision to go to Dole to begin her mission there. The children acted the skit so well and it was very much appreciated by the audience.
The Silver Jubilee Souvenir 2017 was released at the hands of Bishop Alwyn Barreto. In his speech he expressed his joy and gratitude to the Ursuline family for choosing Phanaswadi in Kankavli , Sindhudurg Dt. to open a school. He especially thanked Sr. Augusta and Sr. Rekha for the vision they had to educate the poor of Phanaswadi and the neighbouring villages. Pope Francis has said, “We need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed and cherished. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemning them to a life on the streets”. This has now become a reality as we look back at the 25 years of selfless service at St. Ursula, Varawade.
Laying the Foundation Stone...
On 8th December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we had the joy to lay the foundation stone for the girls boarding at Garja, Jharkhand. This year we begin building the boarding. The School and the Convent building will be done later.
We intend to begin with 50 tribal students for KG/Std I in the coming academic year who will reside in the boarding. May God give us the wisdom as we plan further on this noble work of education for the tribal children.
Fr. Ignatius, the Vicar General of Simdega Diocese laid the foundation stone. Our sisters from Pakertoli and Jharsuguda joined our sisters Mercy, Malani and Jyotsna to support this new venture. Mr. Selvaraj has taken up the construction work. May Mary, Queen and our Patroness bless us and intercede for us. Jai Yesu!
Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession
”Gratitude is the memory of the Heart” was the theme chosen by our dear Srs. Theresa, Magdalene and Josephine as they celebrated the Golden Jubilee on 21st October 2017. It was indeed a day to praise the Lord for the manifold blessings that our sisters have received in these past 50 years of their Religious life.
Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre, Fr. Malcolm, the Vicar General along with other priests concelebrated the Eucharist which brought solemnity to this auspicious occasion.
A good number of our sisters participated in the celebration as they had come for the triduum. So, it was truly a meaningful gathering of the priests, sisters, family members and well wishers. The participative Eucharistic celebration, enriching felicitation programme and the delicious fellowship meal added joy and cheer among us. This celebration encouraged us to walk the road less travelled with love. Congratulations Sr. Theresa, Sr. Magdalene and Sr. Josephine!
Embarking on a New Mission
Simdega is a district in the State of Jharkhand. Around 7 kms from Simdega to an interior and simple village is Garja Darntoli. The Diocese of Simdega owns 13 acre land in Garja, which is the farm house with a lot of cultivation and farm animals.
The Diocese has invited the Society of St. Ursula to start an English Medium School in Garja. The Diocese has placed a 5 acre land permanently in the name of the Society of St. Ursula. This piece of land will be used for the construction of the school, a girls’ boarding and sisters’ residence.
Sr. Mercy, Sr. Malini and Sr. Jyotsna are appointed to begin the mission. Our sisters reached Garja on the 15th July. On the 19th July, we had a simple and meaningful blessing of the house and the new mission by the Bishop of Simdega, Rev. Vincent Barwa. At the Eucharistic celebration, the bishop reminded the sisters that just as Moses was called to liberate the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, so also the sisters have come to liberate the tribals through the noble mission of education.
Our sisters from Pakertoli, Jharsuguda and priests along with the bishop made the celebration more welcoming for our sisters. We had a fellowship meal after the Eucharistic celebration to strengthen our bond of unity in the tribal mission. May this new venture of educating tribal children bring joy and fulfillment in God’s mission. Jai Yesu!
Coming together for a Cause
25 Sisters gathered together for the Superiors' Course at Shanti Ashram from 15th to 18th June 2017. It was a time to strengthen our bonding and get spiritually inter-connected with one another.
Fr. Michael SDB enlightened us with his talks and reflections. He said: Care of Persons and Care of Mission are the primary responsibilities of an Animator. This reminded us of our co-responsibility in the community and mission. Importance of valuing relationships among the members in the community is to be given top-most priority. My sisters become my greatest treasure. Once we accompany one another in an amicable relationship then we can grow a step further and challenge ourselves to commit oneself selflessly in God's Mission. Team spirit, setting priorities in life, God-oriented self and timely corrections help us to build a Joyful and Authentic Witnessing Community.
Tara Sofosh Dhadphale celebrated its 9th Birthday amidst fun and laughter, colourful decorations and lively music on 14th May 2017. Tara is a home for children with special needs. It is owned by Sofosh (Society of Friends of Sasoon Hospital Trust) and managed on a daily basis by the Sisters of the Society of St. Ursula and dedicated staff.
The ex-teaching staff of Kamalnayan Bajaj High School - most of whom served the renowned institution since the years 1987 onwards – had a merry and fun-filled reunion recently.
The popular modern day communication WhatsApp was a major catalyst in making the reunion possible. Once the group was created, the sharing of memories began which eventually led to a strong desire for a reunion to further strengthen the bonds while reaping the benefits of retired life.
The planning of a reunion quickly gained momentum. The date was set and everyone unanimously agreed that the best venue for the reunion was the KB school premises. As the day drew nearer, the pulse rate tipped higher with anticipations of how one would react to seeing everyone together after nearly 25 years.
On 10th May, twenty one teacher's along with their then school Principal Sr. Theresa walked down memory lane by visiting school premises. Nostalgia filled them as they strode down the corridors, into old class rooms and finally their Staff Room where they spent so many years of their lives in oneness. It was a great feeling as they reminisced fond memories about the students and the good old days.
The reunion party then moved to the famous “Mayur Hotel” where the teachers enjoyed a lovely lunch sponsored by an ex-student - Conrad Pippin. The banter and fun continued over some games and gifts distributed as a keepsake.
The beautiful evening slowly wound to an end as they said their farewells. The teachers left smiling as they mused over their day spent together filled with laughter, affection- making new memories.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it". For this is the day when our Sisters Nilu Lugun, Sushila Jojo, Sarita Kolge and Maryanne Anthony Swamy courageously came forward to pledge their lives forever to the Lord, and our two novices now Sr. Chaitralee Kadam and Sr. Stephy William made their First Commitment.
1st May 2017 has indeed been a memorable day for all of us especially for our sisters who made their Vows and for their parents. As the Eucharist began six of our candidates led the sisters and their parents along with our Bishop Vincent Barwa and eleven priests to the altar in procession. Sr. Nilu and Sr. Sushila hail from Simdega Diocese.
Bishop Vincent Barwa is from this diocese and in his homily he expressed joy and happiness for our sisters having said a ‘Yes’ to God. He encouraged them and all of us to always remain faithful to the Lord in all the ‘ups and downs’ of life. ‘Prayer, the Word of God and the Eucharist’ he said are means to come closer to God. The melodious singing of the choir added to the solemnity of the Eucharist. The chapel beautifully decorated was packed to capacity with relatives and friends. After Mass we had the felicitation programme. Bishop Vincent Barwa of welcome and thanksgiving especially to the parents of the sisters. He also appreciated our sisters working in his diocese.
‘I thank my God, each time I think of you and when I pray for you, I pray with joy’. With this song we concluded the felicitation programme and served snacks for all.
On the evening of 1st May 2017 eight of our pre-novices - Rashmita Lugun, Francina Francis, Suman Xeso, Junita Xess, Sekhasini Lakra, Nilima Xalxo, Monica Dung dung and Sosan Beck were accepted into the Novitiate by Sr. Rita, our Provincial at a simple ceremony during evening prayer. Each one was handed a lighted lamp reminding them that they are called to be lights to all around. We praise and thank the Lord for these our novices and assure them of our love and support of prayer.
The Society of St. Ursula – India, at it’s Provincial Chapter on 02.02.2017 re-appointed Sr. Rita D’Silva as the Provincial for the next three years. We wish her God’s Blessings and assure her of our love and support of prayer.
Delegates at the Provincial Chapter Feb. 2017
The Delegates elected Sr. Marina Thomas as the Assistant to the Provincial
The New Provincial Team has been elected for a period of 3 years. They will start functioning from the 1st March 2017. We wish them God’s Blessings.