Vijayawada (AsiaNews) - "Be faithful to the Lord Jesus in life and prayer, [be] a sign of God's love with all people you meet in your ministry," said full of hope Mgr Govindu Joji, apostolic administrator of the diocese of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), as he spoke to the six new consecrated members of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (MSI), a female congregation linked to the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME). Two of them, Sisters Lourdes Braganza and Sister Anne Ajitha, have already been assigned to the mission respectively in Papua-New Guinea and Brazil.
The consecration ceremony took place on Saturday at St Paul's Cathedral in Vijayawada, in homage to the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
"We have to thank God for the courageous witness of these young women, who have decided to dedicate their lives to the mission," the bishop told the families of the women religious and the hundreds of Catholics attending the service.
At the end of the ceremony, Sister Marina, provincial superior of the Missionaries of the Immaculate, received their vows, declaring them permanent members of the family of the congregation.
Sister Lourdes Braganza, originally from Goa, and Sister Anne Ajitha, from Tamil Nadu, received their crucifix from Mgr Goji.
He reminded them about "their vulnerability in the process of insertion and adaptation in a foreign mission assignment," urging the faithful to support them constantly through their prayers.
Finally, the apostolic administrator called on the young men and women present in the cathedral to "emulate these young and courageous sisters, who will go wherever the congregation decides to send them to carry out the missionary work in conjunction with local churches."