Mangaluru: The Apostolic Carmel celebrated “The Keepers of the Flame" on November 19, at St Ann’s Convent, the cradle of the Apostolic Carmel.
It was November 19, 1870, when the flame of “Carmel for the Missions" was passed on by founder Venerable Mother Veronica of the Passion to burn brightly on the Indian soil.
To commemorate this historical event, on November 18, the founding mothers and the members of the congregation who are enjoying their eternal joy were fondly remembered with a requiem Mass celebrated by Rev Fr Archibald Gonsalves OCD. Thereafter, a Prayer Service was conducted in the cemetery during which Sister Nirmalini, the Superior General, Sister Agatha Mary the former Superior General, Sister Maria Karuna and Sister Shamita the Provincial Superiors of Southern and Karnataka Province laid wreaths on the graves of Superiors General.
The 19th of November dawned with an intonation of Te Deum sung in every community for the morning prayer. A Thanksgiving Mass at the Cathedral offered by our dear Bishop most Rev. Peter Paul Saldana along with 60 other priests added joy and festivity to the event.
The cultural extravaganza began with an opening chorus followed by a traditional welcome dance. The Provincial Superior Sr Shamita welcomed the dignitaries and the gathering. A befitting felicitation was accorded to Rev. Fr Pius James D’souza OCD, Fr Melwyn Pinto SJ, Rector of St Aloysius College, Fr Alfred Pinto, Rector Rosario Cathedral for their unstinted support for the Congregation. Sr Maria Nirmalini, Superior General; Sr Agatha Mary, former Superior General and Sr Jacintha OCD too were honoured on this occasion. Bishop Most Rev. Peter Paul Saldhana was also felicitated for his pastoral care.
The Superior General of the Apostolic Carmel Sr Nirmalini in her message urged the sisters to go down the memory lane of 150 years in gratitude to the Almighty and to leap into the future with a commitment to the least and the lost. Bishop most Rev. Peter Paul Saldana in his message applauded the noble work of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, with a special mention of how their mission of educating girls in India has worthily contributed towards the upliftment of the society.
The cultural programme had in it, ‘an Echo of the Yester Years’ which was enacted powerfully and sentimentally through a musical drama. The dances portrayed the culture and traditions of the places touched by the pioneering sisters who spread the Carmel Mission. The angelic voices of the choir kept the audience still and spellbound. The narrators were at their best, synchronizing the role, the music and the acting of the play.
Sr Linet D'Souza proposed the vote of thanks. The jubilee anthem composed by Sr Clarice AC and sung by the choir at the end was another beginning to the next milestone of Carmel Mission leading towards new hope, new light and new direction. Sr Dorothy DSouza AC compered the programme.
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