The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Our Lady celebrated the Golden Jubilee of eleven Sisters on January 27, 2018 at Holy Family Convent, Andheri. It was a perfect football team – a rare sight to behold! In an age when vocations are dwindling and those who join sometimes do not complete their journey of religious life, we witnessed eleven Sisters reaching the milestone of 50. Indeed, a marvellous achievement!
Amidst family and friends, relatives and dear ones and the Sisters of various communities from across the country, the jubilarians basked in the glow of their faithfulness to God. In the presence of all, representing the Church, Srs. Aley Thomas, Anna Kuriakose, Anna Kurien, Agnes D’Silva, Catherine Dias, Irene Coelho, Mary Sebastian, Philomena D’Souza, Rose Kuriakose, Teresa Pinto and Thecla Pereira renewed their vows in an impressive and awe-inspiring ceremony during the Eucharistic celebration. The Eucharist was solemnly presided over by Fr Errol Fernandes, sj and concelebrated by ten priests; one of them – a Redemptorist – being Sr Mary’s ex-student from St Thomas Academy. Another celebrant was an uncle of Sr Anna Kuriakose. The other five were St Pius X Seminary professors who showed up in large number on account of Sr Thecla, who offers her joyful services in the sacristy. The Archbishop of Bombay was represented by the Financial Administrator of the diocese. One priest was from Snehasadan and another from Vinayalaya. Eleven Sisters, eleven priests! What a coincidence!
Fr Errol, in his homily, spelt out the 3 Ps – Perseverance, Promise and Prayer – which helped the jubilarians live out their lives in fidelity to God, culminating in the Golden Jubilee. After the thanksgiving Eucharist, the jubilarians took a snapshot, along with the priests.
The delicious cake was a sight to behold, and all eleven Jubilarians, along with their families, cut the cake at one go, assisted by Sr Lawrencia – the DJ for the day. The toast was raised by Sr Dolly Rose D’Souza, Principal of St Joseph School, Kandivli, and Animator of her community; in her own amiable style, spiced with wit and humour, she outlined the tasks of the players on the field, namely, the captain, the fielders, the goalkeeper, etc. by naming each sister and her profession. Religious life so well played, perfecting a score of 50.
Sr Anna Kuriakose replied to the toast, narrating the early years from their joining the PSOLs till date, and how God has walked with them amidst trials and failures, joys and successes. Two of our Sisters – Florence and Stella Dabre – who would have been in the golden team were recalled home to receive their reward.
The Divine Child School students put up a prayer dance, while the Divine Child Junior college students danced the bhangra with vigorous energy, making the audience tap their feet to the pulsating music. The Superior General, Sr Matilda D’Mello, in her speech, highlighted the vow of obedience as the hallmark of the jubilarians. She said that she never had any problems with their transfers, even in necessity, when communicated to them over the phone. Congratulations, dear Sisters, and thank you for setting an example for the young to follow.
The compere for the day was Mr Xavier Sanchez, our lay collaborator, companion of the PSOL, who timed everything so beautifully. The backdrop was eye-catching. All the guests were treated to a sumptuous meal. Kudos to Sr Fiona and her community for a well planned and perfectly executed event! It was a day which will be remembered until the Sisters reach their diamond jubilee.