It was a heart touching moment when five young sisters from the states of Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram said a determined “Yes” to Jesus to love and serve Him with all their heart,at Guwahati on 27 April, 2024. The opening chorus of the Bethany Anthem set a tone to the entire celebration invoking the presence of Jesus in Bethany. Sr Kedukhole Christina Kiso, Sr Ashiphro Esther, Sr Mesta Mary Thongni, Sr Dominica Siamliani and Sr Veinai Therese were led to the altar of God in solemn procession with the school band accompanied by Most Rev John Moolachira, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Guwahati, Rev Sr Rose Celine, the Superior General of Bethany Congregation, Sr Benedicta Aranha, the Provincial Superior of Guwahati Province, Sr Lucious, the Provincial Superior of Silchar Province, the Councillors of both the Provinces, the parents of the sisters and a good number of priests from the locality.

The school hall, the venue for the celebration of the perpetual profession was well arranged for the Eucharistic celebration and for the felicitation. Most Rev John Moolachira, the Archbishop in his homily inspired the sisters with his powerful words, “Make Jesus the center of your life. He calls you for self-denial and sacrifice of your life in His service. Take Jesus to the ends of the world and be His witnesses as your call demands.” The rite of Perpetual Profession was meaningfully held invoking the assistance of the Saints through the Litany of the Saints and the other rites. It was a soul lifting moment for the parents and the gathering to witness the complete surrender of their daughters as they prostrated for the Litany of the Saints, covered with traditional shawls by their parents. The pronouncing of the vows by the sisters with faith and commitment gave a foretaste of the heavenly experience.
The felicitation programme was held soon after the Holy Mass. The Perpetually Professed sisters were lead to the hall after singing the Magnificat at the Grotto by the Superior General and the Provincial Superiors. The introduction and felicitations to the Perpetually Professed sisters, the carving of the cake, the felicitation song, speech by the parent, vote of thanks in words and through a meaningful song by the Perpetually Professed sisters and the message by the Superior General were some of the highlights of the felicitation programme. Sr Rose Celine in her message congratulated the sisters and said, “The Founder had desired that Bethany should move out to the frontiers and true to his dream today we have the sisters from the northeastern region. She beckoned them to be ready to move out to the extreme end even to the Sahara Desert with a message of Christ’s Love. The Founder must be smiling today as he looks down on these 5 brides of Christ.” She exhorted them to continue to say,‘Ecce Ancilla Domini’ at all times.
Thus the programme offered a spiritual experience to all gathered from far and near to witness the ceremony. The Bethany family rejoiced over God’s immense love and blessings upon this region. The confluence of Guwahati and Silchar Provinces manifested a strong bond of love and unity through this celebration. A special note of thanks to Sr Rose Celine, the Superior General for her presence and blessings. May Bethany grow, flower and bear much fruit!

News by: Sr Janet Mendonca BS, Provincial Councillor, Guwahati Province

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