By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
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Mangalore: The centenary of the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent Convent Kankanady was celebrated in the Fr Muller Institutions Institution campus here on April 19.
Bishop Dr Aloysius P D'Souza along with Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras of Bangalore celebrated the thanksgiving Eucharistic Mass in the Fr Muller Chapel.
A felicitation programme was held, which began with a prayer dance by the students of Fr Muller institutions. A centenary documentary was presented on the occasion.
Director FMCI Fr Patrick Rodrigues welcomed the gathering. Provincial superior Sr Matilda Monterio felicitated the superiors, nursing superintendents and principals with shawl, memento and garland .
Addressing the gathering Sr Monterio said that St Vincent convent has been an integral part of Fr Muller Hospital and it has played an important role in the ministry of healing and comforting the sick and the suffering as well as in sharing professional knowledge and skills to the nursing students of Fr Muller hospital.
Further she said, "The selfless service of our sisters both past and present is gratefully remembered for they went about their duties with smiling faces among the patients or students, diffusing good cheer and sunshine everywhere. The sisters have been like ministering angels at Fr Muller not only in caring for the patients but more so in cases of death, when the sisters stood by the side of the bereaved families, consoling, comforting and helping them in times of pain and anguish."
While concluding she prayed that the Lord fortify them to carry forward with unstinted zeal and generosity, the mission of healing and comforting the sick and suffering in the spirit of the compassionate healer and continue to work, she said.
Papal blessing was read out by Sr Irene Jane D'Souza and was handed over to Sr Fernandes. All the sisters who had served for over 10 years in the institution were felicitated with shawl and memento.
Archbishop Bernard Moras, who had served as director at Fr Muller many years ago, addressing the gathering said that the sisters of charity served the institution with dedication. It is not a mere service but it is a mission for all. Further he said, "Jesus went on curing the sick and comforting them. Serving the sick and the untouchables is not a glamorous job but the sisters came to serve them when no one was allowed to touch the leprosy patients. In olden times leprosy patients were kept separately and no one was allowed to see them. During that time the sisters came to serve them without discrimination of caste, creed and colour. The patients were waiting for the sisters to visit them with their healing touch."
He added, "Sisters of charity are concerned about others and the institution and they are available 24 X7 to serve the needy. Sometimes work for them is their prayer and sometimes prayer is work."
While concluding he said, "Formation of young hearts and minds is very important because they are the future of the society and the institution."
Bishop Aloysius, Archbishop Bernard and another former director Fr Peter Noronha were felicitated with shawl, memento and garland by Sr Matilda Monteiro.
Former priests who had served the institutions were also felicitated with shawl and memento.
Bishop Aloysius released a souvenir on the occasion. In his presidential address he said that the Sisters of Charity had a mission to serve the patients with their healing touch. "They leave their homes and serve the society at large forgetting their pain. They find happiness in serving the sick and comforting them," he said in praise of them.
The students of Fr Muller Institution performed a ballet 'Seva Sankalpa' on the occasion. The programme concluded with the institution anthem.
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