BANGALORE, India - Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east, from the west, from the north and the south. On the 3rd of January 2023, the Maria Bhavan (the house of Mary), the mother house of the Montfort Missionaries in India, witnessed a double grand celebration. The first was the opening of the Golden Jubilee year and the second was the perpetual profession of our three brothers, namely Peter ANTHONY, Prakash HORO and Martin SELVANAYGAM. The theme for the opening celebration of the Golden Jubilee was the Gratitude to God Alone.
The Eucharistic celebration was solemnized by His Excellency Sir Cardinal John RIBART, MSC, the Archbishop of Port Moresby, in the gracious presence of Mgr. Rozario MENEZES, the Bishop of Lae, Papua New Guinea and the Montfortian Family. The Cardinal preached the Homily on the double celebration. He said that it was a joyous moment for the Montfortians in India and Papua New Guinea because the Montfort Missionaries are present in the Papua mission and have contributed a lot for the mission through their service. He also said that it’s an apt time to thank God for the three young men who made their final commitment to the Company of Mary. This moment has to be celebrated and need to thank God for all the graces and blessings. During the Holy Eucharist, three of our brothers made their final commitment and Father Provincial accepted the vows on behalf of the Superior General.
The joyful event was witnessed by many family members of the three Brothers. During the welcome address, the provincial thanked Cardinal John RIBART, MSC and Bishop Rozario MENEZES for their availability and love for the province. Bishop Rozario said that we need to be grateful to God for the support and presence. He stated further that even though we are small in number, we have given the priests to serve God in different places, all over the world. He also thanked the family of the three brothers for all the sacrifices they made.
During the stage programme, the Archbishop of Bangalore, Karnataka, Dr. Peter MACHADO addressed the gathering and said that the Montfort Missionaries have contributed a lot to the diocese and the church at large. He thanked the Montfort Missionaries for working in the rural parishes of the country.
The Scholastics beautiful choir added color to the celebration and the hospitality of the brothers was enriching. During the occasion, the Logo of the Golden Jubilee was unveiled and the prayer for the Jubilee was prayed by all. Later, the Golden Jubilee was released and handed over to the dignitaries who were part of the Montfortian Family. The Brothers of Saint Gabriel and the Daughters of Wisdom were present during the celebration.
After the programme, all were given a sumptuous meal to share the joy of the celebration. We, the Vice-Province, thank God for the presence and accompaniment for the past fifty years. 1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 says; Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. We begin to recall the contribution of all who have helped us in our journey for 50 years. The next day, the brothers were ordained as deacons by the Cardinal.
Fr. Prem KUMAR, SMM