By Sr Grace Maria BS
On the feast day of Martha of Bethany, Northern Province opened one more Convent in the Archdiocese of Ranchi at Ulhatu, in Jharkhand. 27 July 2012, dawned with much hope and joy for the parishioners of Ulhatu who gathered in large number at 7 am, to attend the Holy Eucharist presided over by Telesphore P Cardinal Toppo, concelebrated by the Parish Priest Fr Maximus Toppo and 8 other Priests. The Cardinal warmly welcomed the Bethany Sisters to the Parish. Sharing his reflections on the dayís readings, he elaborated how Jesus was concerned about His people and therefore we need to trust Him always and selflessly help others in need as Phillip, a little boy in the Gospel shared his bread and fish which was multiplied by Jesus satisfying every oneís hunger.
He added that we need to contribute our share whenever and wherever possible, and be other oriented. The Archbishop blessed and installed the Tabernacle showing the presence of Jesus among us.
The welcome extended to the Sisters by the Parish Priest, the parishioners and the Sisters of St Annís, Ranchi who are already serving in this parish was heart warming. In a friendly and cordial atmosphere songs were sung and the guests were garlanded.
Sr Maria Leena, the Provincial Superior, thanked profusely his Eminence Cardinal P Toppo for his great share and generosity in helping the Bethany Sisters in every aspect. She appreciated, thanked and congratulated the Parish Priest Fr Maximus Toppo, the parishioners, Sisters, children, youth for making the day memorable and successful.
Then Provincial Superior introduced the pioneer Sisters of Bethany Convent, Ulhatu Sr Rose Rita, Sr Anujyoti and Sr Beena John to all present there, and a brief profile of each one of them was given. The Cardinal in his speech, very humorously encouraged the Bethany Sisters to open a fifth House in the Archdiocese as an even number is not a good sign for Adivasis. At present Bethany has four Houses in this Archdiocese. Thereafter, Sr Rose Rita expressed Bethanyís gratitude to all present.
The large gathering of almost thousand people had the breakfast and then some of them moved to the Convent premises. There, Sr Maria Leena, the Provincial Superior cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Convent.
The Cardinal blessed the Convent and laid the Foundation Stone for the new school building. He unveiled the plaque. The installation of the Tabernacle in the Convent visibly brought forth the presence of Jesus in this place. After lunch, the guests dispersed . In the cool of the evening, Sr Maria Leena along with her Councillors, Sr Erasma, Sr Grace Maria and Province Procurator Sr Jacintha Herold, erected the new Bethany Community on behalf of Sr Wilberta Bs, the Superior General, and greeted Sr Rose Rita, the Superior; Sr Anujyoti and Sr Beena John, the members. Sr Nora, during whose tenure as Provincial the land was purchased at Ulhatu was a leaven present among the group.
The service rendered by Sr Miriam, former Provincial and Councillor, and Sr Jacintha Herold, the Province Procurator was recalled. This followed the unveiling of the Plaque by his Eminence Telephore Cardinal P Toppo.
Ulahatu is a village that lies 18 kilometers away from Ranchi. Though it is only 18 kilometers away from the city, the modern developments have not reached this place. The opening of an English Medium School by Bethany Sisters here is sure to facilitate the further development of this area. Bethany, Ulhatu , Jharkhand is the 31st community of Bethany in the Northern Province.