Fatima sisters rejoice at silver year in Northeast
Grateful to God in the spread and growth of their missionary activities.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima expressed their gratitude to God on completing Twenty Five years in the Northeast on 29th February 2012 through a meaningful theme “In Symphony of Gratitude, We Recommit Our Faith Journey”
The Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima popularly known as ‘Fatima Sisters’ with their headquarters in Pune, Maharashtra, made their first entry into the Northeast twenty five years ago, at the invitation of Rt. Rev. Robert Kerketta, the then Bishop of Tezpur. The first house was opened at Barama among the people mainly of Bodo tribe and then the second at Baganpara the village consisting of mostly the Adivasi people.
29th February 2012, Rt. Rev. Robert Kerketa the emeritus Bishop of Tezpur together with Rt. Rev. Thomas Pulloppillil, the Bishop of Bongaigaon and few other priests concelebrated the meaningful Eucharist in the presence of the sisters and welwishers.
Sr. Ventura Fernandes the Regional Superior while extending a word of welcome to all, exclaimed, “we are here this morning to say, ‘Thank You God’ for the past 25 years. Today, we Fatimites in the NE Region are asking ourselves, ‘What is our mission, what is the specific role we have to play, what is the special thing our presence and labours will provide the Church and Mission in the NE today?”
Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil thanked the Sisters and invited them to continue to be true witnesses of Jesus presenting Him to all the people through their life and missionary work.
Sr. Santan Nago the Superior General expressed her gratitude towards the Sisters in Baganpara as well as the Bishops and priests for their continued support.
Sr. Archnagela Cheeran the former Superior General during whose tenure of office the Sisters made the entry into the Northeast recalled the past and praised the Sisters for the pioneering hardships and admired their courage.
Rev Fr. Varghese Kizhakevely the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Guwahati, who was instrumental for initial entry of Fatima Sisters into the Northeast, broke the Worof God inspiring all present.
After the Service the Bishops, priests and parishioners accompanied the Sisters to the Convent in candle-light procession for the felicitation programme put up by the hostel boys and girls.
The next day the celebration continued at Kroot Niwas, Fatima Regional House at Rangia with the blessing of the renovated Fatima Dispensary by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil.
At 10.00 am the same day during the felicitation programme all the dignitaries were warmly welcomed with jubilee shawls and mementos.
Sr. Ventura Fernandes, the Regional Superior while narrating the historical account of the Faith journey of Fatima Sisters expressed that the Sisters owe much to the Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil and will ever remain grateful to him in the spread and growth of their missionary activities in the Northeast Region.
Sr. Archangela the former Superior General while sharing the initial entry-experience to the Northeast Region, expressed her happiness and joy over the growth that has taken place over the years.
The students of Fatima Convent School staged a beautiful program depicting the culture of the place with their folk dances.
During this ‘Year of Renewal’ the Sisters in the Northeast have taken up many programmes to renew themselves spiritually so as to be more effective in their mission as they sing the symphony of gratitude for the past 25 years .
The Fatima Sisters had their humble beginning in Bellary in 1893 and rose to its new life in Pune from 1951. Presently 430 in number they carry out the mission of Christ through the 2 provinces of Mumbai and Bangalore and one Region in Northeast. They have 80 houses in 13 states in 34 dioceses of India and abroad.
Source: CRI, Sr. Luzan Pereira,