Shillong (India). On 3 December 2022, at the FMA Outreach in Shillong Bellefonte, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province celebrated Gratitude Day. In the wake of insights and memories related to the Centenary of the presence of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in India, the theme was: “We are custodians of a heritage, of memory, and of hope.”
The Day brought together the Provincial Councilors and the Community Animators who spent the first two days coordinated by the Provincial, Sr. Elizabeth George; various FMA representing the neighboring communities, the young people in formation, and the young people of the province realities. Various communities of the Province contributed to the liturgical animation, making the celebration meaningful and memorable.
At the Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by Fr. John Zosiama, Salesian of Don Bosco, Vicar of St. John Paul II Province (INS), three symbols were carried in procession: the lighted candle, the Bible, and the FMA Constitutions, as an invitation to allow ourselves be illuminated by the light of Christ, to listen to and live the Word of God, and to be authentic in living the Rule.
In his homily, Fr. John thanked the sisters for their fidelity to this provincial gathering, a sign of belonging to a family and a visible sign of unity and solidarity. He then exhorted them to support each other in the mission entrusted to them, especially by sharing the gifts and talents that God has given them.
After the Celebration, the various representatives of the Province performed with choreographies, songs, discourses, and above all, with the presentation of the theme by the Temporary Professed FMA who are carrying out the intensive Juniorate at the Provincial House Auxilium, in Nongthymmai, to express gratitude to Sr. Elizabeth George, bond of communion of the Province.
In her discourse, Sr. Elizabeth thanked for the beautiful display of affection and harmony and reflected on the fact that “a tree that bears fruit is exposed to many risks”, encouraging the assembly to bear fruit that lasts over time.
The Celebration of the Provincial Day of Gratitude was preceded by a month of preparation in which each Community undertook the spiritual initiatives proposed by the Vicar, Sr. Carmelina Sun. Before the Feast, each Community celebrated a day of reconciliation, preparing themselves through an in-depth study of the history of their own community and its development from the beginning. The study also revealed the impact of the FMA presence on the local community and on society in general. In addition, every day throughout the month of preparation, a day of prayer was dedicated to the various members of the Educating Community.