10/24/2016, 09.35
INDIA
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Vijayawada: Missionary mandate and vows for Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate

by Benigna Menezes*

In October five received their Missionary assignment: two will go to Papua New Guinea; the other three respectively to Guinea Bissau, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. Two other religious have perpetual vows. The crucifix, the symbol of the mission; the Bible, to spread the Good News.

 

Vijayawada (AsiaNews) - A significant ceremony of the apostolic sending to distant mission countries and perpetual profession of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (Nirmala Sisters) took place during the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. Msgr. Joseph Raja Rao Thelagathoti SMM, Bishop of the diocese, presided at the liturgy and imparted religious God's blessing, praying that they "may be faithful to their vocation and mission."

The bishop stressed that the final profession of vows and the missionary mandate of the Sisters "is a source of great joy for the local Church". During his homily he invited the missionaries to "emulate the examples of heroic life of St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Ignatius of Loyola." Then recalled the figure of Saint Paul, the great missionary: "Be he your inspiration when you face the challenges of missionary life in distant countries for the sake of Christ."

The missionary mandate was given to five sisters: Sister Francisca Seelam and Sister Vinitha Veedhi, who will go to Papua New Guinea; Sister Jhansee Tagaram to Guinea Bissau; Sister Josephine Vimala Soosai Raj to Bangladesh and Sister Pavani Mathangi in Hong Kong.

He gifted a crucifix to all of them, "inseparable companion of their apostolic work, protection against dangers and difficulties, comfort in faith and in death,". The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate have dedicated their lives to God and committed themselves to proclaim the joy and salvation of the Good News through their lives, to translate it into the language of the people with whom they come in contact.

During Mass two other sisters, Sister Jyothi Sali and Sister John Kanikkai Reena Raj, made their perpetual vows, confirming the desire to follow Christ and to proclaim the Gospel in the world. They received a ring, a visible sign of the covenant that binds them forever to Christ, and the Bible, a symbol of the charism of the Missionaries and spreading the Good News. At that point Sr. Amala Rani Swamikkannu, provincial superior of Vijayawada, welcomed them officially as permanent members of the congregation.

At the end of the function the sisters celebrated with a lunch together with priests, relatives and friends at the Nirmala Convent campus.

* Missionary Sister of the Immaculate, feminine congregation associated with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME)

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