On the evening of 3 April 2017, filing themselves at the entrance of the house, the Sisters, Young people, novices, pre-aspirants, hostellers and the Salesian co-operators aw aited the arrival of Mother General to the mother-house of the province. The cloudy day coupled with thunder, rain and storm did not dampen the spirit of these loving daughters who eagerly waited for the appointed time. Everything turned into dry and pleasant sunset scene when Mother arrived and all were in amazement at the wonders the Lord has worked for them.
The arrival of Mother Yvonne resounded the whole campus with the rhythm of dance and songs to the traditional sounds and music. Mother General was accorded with a traditional shawl, called the “Marina” by Sr. Isabella Suja, Provincial, A Khasi garland (paila) by Sr. Eugenia Bareh, a new missionary from the Province and a bouquet of fresh flowers by Sr. Marvella Shangpliang, Vice Provincial. These gestures and symbolic representations added beauty and warmth to the lively and colourful traditional welcome ceremony. Mother Yvonne exclaimed with utmost joy, “I am at home” to which the gathering responded with a loud cheer of happiness and exuberance.
After a brief encounter with the audience, she was taken to the Chapel to thank God for His blessings and grace. In the Chapel a hymn, “Here we are…” by Don Meon set the tone of thanksgiving for such a unique moment of great joy. Mother General highlighted the theme of the visit “Missionaries of Hope and Joy” through the offering of a symbol of a ship at the altar. Entrusting the visit to Mary, Our Mother, Help and Guide, the assembly prayed in unison the “Hail Mary”.
The beautiful day ended with an inspiring message by Mother. She spoke of her joy on seeing her daughters by face not just knowing them by name through the Elenco. Underlining the uniqueness of each sister, she said that each one is a beautiful flower, unique in colour and form and that each one is important in the Institute. She gladdens everyone with the good news that she is happy to celebrate the paschal mystery with us for she expressed that the fervor of the community would surely be contagious. She concluded her message saying that she has come to live these days with the Sisters in a spirit of simplicity and openness.
The young people in formation consisting of Aspirants and Postulants were the privilege ones being the first to welcome Mother Yvonne at the doorway to Shillong Province. The festive look of the campus and the loving hearts throbbing with cheer gave a fitting welcome to their dear Mother. On this joyful occasion of the visit, a red letter day 3 April 2017 the community was happy to witness the inauguration of the extension building whose foundation was laid on 12 August 2015.
The unveiling of the plaque by Mother General was preceded with words of welcome and gratitude by Sr. Marcellina Sangma, Provincial Economer, who profusely expressed the gratitude of the province to Mother General, Sr. Vilma Tallone, the General Bursar and the Chapter members 23, for the financial help extended. In her message our dear Mother expressed her joy and happiness to be able to encounter the sisters and young people of Shillong province in this, 140th Anniversary of Missionary Expedition of our Institute. She appreciated the Aspirants and postulants for the warm welcome through songs and dance on the theme “Unity in diversity” She said, “The Institute is a big family permeated by the spirit of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.” She encouraged the sisters and young people to follow the Lord with joy, and said, ‘The world needs missionaries of joy and only when we are joyful, we can bring Jesus to the young people’. Furthermore, she made a gentle reminder to the candidates that they are the hope of the Institute and exhorted them to be generous to go to the different parts of the world and for that, she said, ‘You need to prepare yourselves well in order to guide young people with competence and quality. Above all to strive always to be holy because our vocation is holiness.’
On the God given day 3 April 2017 a group of seventeen Sisters from both Shillong and Guwahati Provinces awaited with much joy and excitement to behold their Mother at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati. She is on her visit scheduled from 3-9 April 2017 to Shillong Province and 9 – 16 April 2017 to Guwahati Province.
The clock struck 12.00 noon when Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General arrived with a big smile and was surprised to witness her Sisters waiting with open arms welcoming her to the land of Seven Sisters, Northeast, India. It was a joyful moment of encounter where each one expressed their filial love to Mother. This was then turned into a little official gesture with the traditional welcoming gesture of vesting her with an Assamese special attire called “Gamosa”, a Tripuri small shawl called “Risha” and a bouquet of flowers. Even at the airport Mother spent some time with the Sisters in a typical spirit of the Salesian Family. She said, “I encounter my Sisters”. Everyone was feeling very much at home in the midst of their Mother. After spending some time together, the two groups departed for their respective destinations. Mother General was taken into the car that brought her to Shillong with Sr. Isabella Suja, Provincial and the 13 Sisters with an array of three vehicles.
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Beloved Mother General Sr. Yvonne Reungoat is visiting the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of Shillong from 3 – 9 April 2017.
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On 13 March 2017 a session on “Writing Techniques” was organized for the boarders of Sacred Heart Convent at its Hall. The participants were the Classes VIII – XII numbering 83 in all. The resource person for the training programme was Sr. Euginia Laloo, Coordinator for Social Communication of the Salesian Sisters, Shillong Province.
At the outset Sr. Mildred Kharsyiemlieh, the Boarding Head Assistant introduced the resource person to the participants. Soon after, Sr. Euginia took up the session. She began the session with a scene enacted by the few boarders as representatives. This was to draw the attention of the girls to the topic that she was dealing with namely writing news reports.
With the help of PowerPoint presentation Sr. Euginia brought home to the girls the ways of writing a news report. She dealt at length on the use of the 5Ws and 1H which constitute the basic information that a news report carry. Drawing examples from the day to day activities she helped the students distinguish between what is news and what is not. Further, she helped the girls to plan the news structure by giving them certain points which they need to consider while writing news. The resource person also gave a tag line to the participants on how a news report should be presented namely it should be precise, accurate, simple and attractive.
Time was given for all the participants to write a news report as part of the practical session. The students felt that they have learnt the ways to write a news report and they resolved to keep writing from time to time in order to be an efficient reporter.
A one day Media Orientation Programme was conducted for the Local Media Coordinators (LMC) of the Province of Shillong on 11 February 2017 at Auxilium Convent, Nongthymmai – Shillong. Sixteen of them were present for the programme and were also joined by the ten Sisters of the Intensive Juniorate. Shri Thomas Lim, Editor of Meghalaya Times, an English daily of hte state was the resource person for the day.
An inaugural function opened the one day orientation program. The theme that led the gathering was “Being Today Responsible Communicators”. On this day the General Coordinator of the Province, Sr. Agatha Shadap gave a message to the participants. She highlighted on the message of the Holy Father Pope Francis on the 51st World Communications Day which calls everyone to be communicators of trust and hope. During the morning sessions, Shri Thomas Lim dealt on the topic, “Role of Media Persons in the Society, Church and Family” Through powerpoint presentation and video clippings the resource person discussed with the participants on how to be effective communicators; being instruments of change in the Society, Church and Family.
The afternoon session was chaired by the Coordinator of Social Communication Sr. Euginia Laloo. During the session the sisters had ample time for discussion, sharing and clarification on the way media activities could be conducted in the respective communities. The group also came up with some concrete programmes for the beneficiaries of their mission and the preparation of the animation kit for the World Communications Day.
Concluding the day, the participants had a short prayer moment in which they surrendered to God all the plan and activities to be carried out during the course of the year.
Thirty Sisters from the different communities of the Province took part in a one day seminar on 6 January 2017 at Auxilium Convent, Nongthymmmai – Shillong. The main objective of the programme was to create awareness of the importance of Salesian Historical memory and records of the life experience of the FMA communities with their achievements, limitations, difficulties and successes. Sr. Wismary Kharbihkhiew Provincial Secretary animated the said programme.
At the outset Sr. Isabella Suja, Provincial communicated the message of Sr. Piera Cavaglia to the participants. She also exhorted them to take the responsibility to the best of their ability. The input sessions and practical instructions highlighting on the indispensable and significance of the same was taken care the whole day by Sr. Wismary. She very clearly explained in detail on the importance of documentation and the great love and deep sense of belonging to fulfill this task from the part of each one.
We are grateful to Sr. Wismary for the great love and deep sense of belonging to the province and Institute in organizing such a programme for the sisters, to make the Salesian Charism alive. The seminar would have surely increased the desire of the sisters to pass on the history to the next generations by leaving behind a concrete legacy of documentation. The participants were happy and felt fortunate to have this opportunity to attend the same and promised to do their best in this important and delicate task.