Shillong (India). On 6 August 2022, at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians in Shillong, Immaculate Heart of Mary Province (INS) celebrated the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. On the occasion of this event, sixteen FMA made Perpetual Profession, offering their lives to the Lord forever for the salvation of young people in the FMA Institute.
The solemn Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh of Shillong and concelebrated by more than thirty priests, including the Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco of St. John Paul II Province (INS), Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot.
About 2,000 people were present, including parents and relatives of the FMA Perpetuals, some representatives of the Civil Institutions, men and women religious of the Congregations close to the FMA, young people, Salesian Cooperators, and Past Pupils.
In the Entrance Procession, the Provincial, Sr. Elizabeth George, accompanied by Sr. Rosina Susngi, and Sr. Isabella Suja who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their profession, brought the flag of the Institute and a copy of the Constitutions to the altar, with the candle imprinted with the logo of the 150th anniversary, as a commitment of joyful and creative fidelity to the Charism.
With courage and passion, we live the mandate, “I entrust them to you” was the motto that guided the preparation of the candidates for their “yes forever.” The sixteen FMA come from 13 parishes and 6 dioceses in north-eastern India. At the Entrance Procession, with a lighted lamp in their hand, they approached the altar accompanied by their parents. After having pronounced the formula of Profession and having been received in perpetuity into the Institute by the Provincial, delegated by the Mother General, a crown of roses was placed on their head, while the choir sang the hymn “Veni Sponsa Christi”.
The FMA, in turn, joyfully sang a hymn of gratitude, joining the Magnificat of Mary. After communion, a representative of the Newly Professed Perpetuals read a prayer, followed by a hymn of thanksgiving to the Lord.
Another significant moment of the celebration at the end of the Rite of Perpetual Profession, was the renewal of vows by all the FMA present, followed by the hymn of the FMA Institute “Oh Qual Sorte”. The day ended with a time of celebration and conviviality for the New-Perpetual FMA and their families.