At 9.00 a.m. the sisters, staff and young people of Auxilium welcomed Mother Yvonne, the eagerly awaited charismatic leader with hearts filled with ecstatic joy reverberating their cheer as the resplendent sun pervaded the atmosphere with its radiance.Sr. Lourdunathan Jacintha, the animator of Auxilium community, pinned a brooch and garlanded Mother. Prof. Eugene. Prof. Elizabeth, and Prof. Fancy came forward to pay homage with arathi. Prof. Nisha offered kumkum and sandal paste. The salesian priests from Don Bosco community and Mr.Appu, District Secretary of the ruling party greeted Mother after which she was led in procession under the shelter of a decorative umbrella that is appropriate for a dignitary. The faculty members went ahead with fruits, flowers, coconuts, nine varieties of grains, and sweets as per the custom of Tamil Nadu and the B.Ed students walked along with young saplings, a sign of new life in small pots, a symbol of prosperity and richness. The Nadsaswaram troupe led the procession with their classic musical accompaniment.
The young people on either side cheerfully waved out colourful balloons and strewed flowers to welcome Mother as their excitement and glee resounded in the air.At the entrance to the chapel Mother was offered a warm welcome by fifty students with ‘kumbam arathi’. Mother General lit the lamp in the chapel, as the sisters and young people solemnly sang the hymn,“O, give thanks to the Lord” for the presence of Mother Yvonne. Sr. Lourdunathan Jacintha expressed in prayer the joy of the community and the sisters of Vellore zone and thanked God for the divine gift of love, the presence of la Madre in the midst of sisters, staff and the young people. Sr. Eugene welcomed Mother and the sisters sang a beautiful welcome melody in the refectory.
The radiant ‘welcome’ banners, plaintain trees and the colourful ‘rangoli’ contributed to the festivity of the moment.The day marked the memorable encounters of Mother with the sisters of Vellore zone and the young sisters of the Province.
Meeting with the Sisters of Vellore zone
At 10.30 a.m Mother met the sisters of the Vellore zone. Sr. Alexander Amali in her welcome speech said that the INM FMA were waiting with eager longing for the much awaited encounter with Mother.
Excerpts from Mother’s address:
I am very happy about the opportunity to meet you. The mother is always happy to meet her daughters. We meet one another in simplicity and family spirit. I thank Sr. Magnificat Soosai for giving me an opportunity to meet you. We have this encounter where we have the 90 years of our presence in India and the celebration of the world feast of Gratitude. We have numerous reasons for being grateful to God. We are above all grateful to God for the first six sisters who are the reason for the apostolic fecundity today. The institute began as a tiny seed and it has grown into a gigantic tree. The efforts of six sisters ninety years ago have brought six provinces today. During the course of these years, the province has sent missionaries to Africa, Sri Lanka and some parts of Asia. We can thank God for the vitality we find in our province and for the present and future vocations. Let us thank God for our history which is the memory of our past, enlightenment for the present and hope for the future. The past has prepared the present and the present the future. Therefore we are called to live the present with quality.
Meeting with young sisters of the Province of Chennai INM
At 4.00 a.m Mother met the young sisters of the Province. Sr. Joseph Prakash Reena and Sr. John Bosco Edal Queen gave the welcome speech in English and Italian respectively. The young sisters sang the beautiful melody “Sailing for the sun, and the race is just began, now we are reaching for the star and the goal is never far.” with a boat with the inscription “Journey of faith”.
Excerpts from Mother’s address:
First of all I want to thank the lord for your vocation and for your response and for you fidelity in responding to the lord continuously. Your vocation is a sign that Jesus truly lives. As juniors you are journeying through an important phase in your life. You are learning to put into practice what you learnt in the novitiate. You are integrating your identity as daughters of Mary Help of Christians and assuming it in your personality. Sometimes it is not easy because you confront many things. Sometimes the place where you are placed may be difficult to unify your prayer, community life and mission and to find that unity is a continual journey. In our life these three dimensions go together always. Our consecration makes us belong entirely to the lord. Therefore the prayer dimension is a very important dimension in our life. I invite you to discover Jesus more, to live in personal relationship with him to feel loved by him and make of your life a loving gift to him.
Sr. Soosai Leema Rose, Sr.Robinson Jenny Grace , Sr.Maria Arul Paulia Mary, Sr.Josephraj Josephin Diana shared the formative journey of the Young sisters of the province. Sr.Rajendran Selvarani proposed the vote of thanks.