TRICHY PROVINCE OF OUR LADY OF SNOW
The birth of every new province in the Congregation is indication that the Charism of the founder is alive and active. Six FMA Pioneers came to India in the year 1922, sixteen years after the Salesian charism was brought to our beloved motherland India. The FMA augmented in number, the mission grew and the province too increased to six when the Province of Guwahati, Mater Ecclesia was established in the year 2000. The birth of our new Province of Trichy, Our Lady of Snow, is a significant coincidence as the Congregation is celebrating the 140th anniversary of the first missionary expedition. The momentous event of the birth of the New Province of Our Lady of Snow on June 10, 2017, was celebrated with great joy. The most cherished part of this celebration was the presence of Rev. Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General, in Tamil Nadu from June 8 to 14, 2017.
The glorious INM Province was delighted to receive “La Madre” and accord her a warm welcome in the Provincial House at Kodambakkam. The Sisters, Salesians, members of the Salesian Family, the young People, the educators and the members of the educating community warmly welcomed her at Trichy airport on June 9, 2017 and escorted her to Manikandam, the novitiate and the Provincial house of the Province of Our Lady of Snow. Joy filled the air! Music, singing, colours, cheers and rhythmic steps of the nimble footed dancers including the novices were all over in the campus express in the spirited sentiments of everyone on the occasion the thrice blessed celebration; presence of Mother General, birth of the New Province, installation of the first Provincial of INT.
Fruitful encounters between Mother General and the sisters, Salesians, Novices, young people, lay collaborators, members of the Salesian Family and Educating Community, friends, and well wishers, prayers, liturgical moments, celebrations and table fellowship filled the day and the night. An apt preparation to participate in the historical event of the birth of a new life with a pure heart was the invitation of Mother General to one and all to forgive one another from the heart, to build up relationships based on unconditional love.
At the dawn of the long awaited day, June 10, 2017, the Sisters and Provincials of the FMA India participated in the Morning prayer on the theme: We are a part of god’s Dream. The erction of the Province was depicted symbolically by the planting of a sapling and it’s being nourished by the manure of God’s Word, watered by the family Spirit and embedded on the soil – our motherland India – where the FMAs were invited to march towards the periphery of the society to reach out to the poorest young women.
The introduction for the Holy Mass presented through choreography the fascinating story of the birth of each of the seven Indian Provinces. Rt Rev. Antony Devotta, Bishop of Trichy, Fr. John Bosco and Fr. Aghilan, the Vice Provincials of SDB INM and INt along with thirty Priests concelebrated. The Bishop applauded the Provincials and the Salesian Sisters for their creative and generous ministry among the young girls in the periphery. Reminding the acronym www.com chosen by the Provincial Sr. Soosai Magnificat, he asked the Sisters to recommit themselves to work wonders in communion. He brought to light the significance of the name chosen for the new Province. The Provincial Councillors and Animators of INT symbolically carried a brick to the altar, and built the living Monument of Gratitude to Mary Help of Christians. Mother General placed the Statue of Our Lady of Snow on it and the first FMA INT Provincial, Sr. Amalanathan Mary Margaret placed a lamp. After the invocation to the Holy Spirit Mother General read the Decree of the Erection of the New Province and the Nomination of the New Provincial following which she handed over a statue of the Good Shepherd to the New Provincial.
Sr. Magnificat Soosai the outgoing Provincial handed over the keys to Sr. Margaret as a humble gesture of handing over the responsibilities for the Provincial. During the Eucharistic Banquet, the Bishop invited Mother General and the New Provincial to distribute the body and the Blood of Christ to the Sisters of INT. Mother silently whispered a prayer of blessing for each of them as they received Jesus. At the conclusion of the Mass, Mother General released balloons and a dove, symbolically bidding the Sisters to venture into New Horizons in the growth of the INT Province.
The Provincials of FMA India, the SDB Vice Provincials of Chennai and Trichy and the Generals of other Congregations were felicitated following which the foundation stone was unveiled by Mother General and blessed by Bishop. An array of dances and songs by the students of neighbouring Schools and Novices added joy, colour, and cheer to the event – “Kadhai Kelu Kanne’ a collection of Moral stories by Sr. Soosaimarian Pushpam and “Finding God in illness and Care Giving” by Sr. Devadoss Margaret were released by Mother General. The writers were honoured by Sr. Magnificat and Sr. Margaret.
Addressing the Sisters, the new Provincial Sr. Margaret, urged them to fix their gaze on the people in the periphery where the divine dwells. Sr. Magnificat thanked Mother General, Provincial Councillors, Superiors and Sisters for their collaboration in the work of the Province. Mother General expressed her immense joy and hope. Let this event spur us to walk together as a Salesian family rich in courage, audacity, hope and love in order to give synergy of service to the demands of education and evangelization, in the spirit of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
– Sr. Ambrose Little Flower