Gratitude is an attitude that is always appreciated and upheld but a very few actually possess. On the 11th of February, 2023, the Province of MM Mumbai gathered together at Laura Vicuna Nivas Ahmednagar, to celebrate the Provincial Gratitude Day on the theme “Mornese in Outreach”.
The celebration began with a grand parade from the entrance gate of the convent of Sisters and little ones decked in colourful attire and holding lamps. The parade which ended at the basketball court was enthralled by a breathtaking entry of the teachers on Royal Enfields carrying the students with their school and house flags. From the grounds, the Sisters gathered in the quadrangle for a short but colourful and meaningful program to set off the celebrations on the right note. A meaningfully animated vigil service by Sr. Priya Tauro and Sr. Teresa Joseph led to a spiritual entry in to the celebrations, during which Mother Mazzarello herself asked for the Sisters to reach out to the poor and abandoned whom she sees around her more and more these days. This was followed by a creative recreation moment conducted by the community of Maria Vihar. After a rejuvenating and active recreation, all headed to the Sr. Nicolina Hall for supper. Here too, the Sisters were left mesmerized by the Sisters of the community who were decked in traditional sarees and served the gathering.
After a sumptuous meal, the local coordinators were felicitated for all that they accomplish in the mission entrusted to them. They were urged to carry forward the mandate courageously. Sr. Antonette Rebello, the chosen missionary to be sent for preparation in the coming year, was introduced to all. During this celebration, the Social Development sector released its new book of 40 success stories at the hands of the Provincial, Sr. Meenakshi D’Silva, and also briefed everyone of the contents and aim of this book release.
The next morning, everyone gathered together for the morning prayer, animated by Sr. Socorrina Vaz expressing our heartfelt thanks to God for all that has been, all that is and all that will be.
During the Grand Eucharistic Celebration, Fr. Richard, the Parish Priest of Savedi, began with a quote: “ I asked God to give me happiness and he said NO. he said he gives blessings and happiness is up to me.”
Everything we do is towards the ultimate goal of being happy. At times we look for happiness in the wrong places. The key to one’s happiness is gratitude. Being grateful can truly make you happy. If only we have eyes to see what God is doing in our lives, we will truly be happy. He invited the Sisters gathered to look back at their vocation story and see how wonderfully God has worked in their lives. In the midst of sorrows and joys, God keeps blessing us and leads us on. Our attitudes and behaviours may add salt to the pain of others the community. Hence we need to ask for the grace to be able to see the good in each other, thank God for each other, for our life, for our Salesian vocation and for our Province.
The Provincial, Sr. Meenakshi D’Silva, in her message to the Sisters thanked the host community, the 10 communities of the Madhya Maharashtra region and to Late Rev. Sr. Nicolina.
She also thanked the social development sector, beginning with Sr. Aruna Castellino, who began the sector, Sr. Margaret Misquita, who was the second Superior of the Community of Ahmednagar and also began the SHGs and many others who began various works at this centre for the upliftment of the poor and marginalized. She invited everyone to thank God for all that He has done and continues to do.
Being Mornese in outreach, we the Sisters of the MM Mumbai Province wish to carry forward the mandate of our Foundress: “ I entrust them to you”, with the passion of the “Da mihi animas, cetera tolle”. This gratitude day may have come to an end but the challenge it poses of being communities ready to forgive and accept the other is something that we will continue to strive towards achieving.