At the closing ceremony last Saturday, the apostolic vicar stressed the need to boost evangelisation across the country. Two nuns, a catechist and a priest receive the first award named after Bishop Anthony Sharma, Nepal’s first bishop.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Catholic community celebrated the end of the Year of Consecrated Life with a pledge to boost the mission of evangelisation across the country.
The Year’s closing ceremony took place last Saturday (2 April) at Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral, in the presence of the apostolic vicar, Mgr Paul Simick, as well as scores of men and women religious from around the country.
The event also saw the presentation of the first awards honouring the late Mgr Anthony Sharma, Nepal's first bishop, who passed away last December.
The Universal Church celebrated the end of the Year of Consecrated life on 2 February, which also was the day of the Jubilee of Consecrated Life. The Nepali Church postponed the event because of the difficulties caused by last year’s earthquake, which killed more than 9,000 people.
"The lives of priests and nuns are never singular; they involve sacrificing everything for society,” Mgr Simick said in his address, after greeting those present. “I see the great contribution you give to the Church, to our mission and to our country. I thank you. I am proud of your work."
The vicar noted that Nepal "needs even more service from you. We must reach out to every place and provide real help to people who need it. Our tools are Jesus’ way of life, and our guidelines are God’s words. When societies become more complex and are driven by superstition, God’s presence becomes even more urgent."
During the ceremony, the first awards honouring the late Bishop Anthony Sharma were presented to four men and women of faith who spent their lives working for Nepal’s Catholic community.
The award recipients are US-born Fr Cap Miller, who has worked for Jesuit Works for 57 years, and Bhimsen Rai, a catechist and editor of Church publications, who said, "When I started, there were very few people. Today, the community has grown and spread across the country. This is a positive sign, but we have to work harder to be anywhere."
Two nuns were also honoured. Sister Yokihata, from Japan, and Sister Monique Niraula, from India.
“My award goes to Nepal’s people and society,” Sister Yokihata said, “because we serve their needs. I am very happy to work in Nepal and follow God’s path. This award encourages me to live further and to work harder."
"I thank God, as well as Nepal’s people and society,” said Sister Monique, who has recently started teaching catechism, and dedicated her award to her students. “This reward goes to my students who are truly under God’s grace.”