After the pan India celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the TA presence in India, at Honnavar in November, it was the turn for celebrations in Gujarat and Pune, places where the TA is rooted, adding now the joy and gratitude for 100 years of pontifical approval of the Teresian Association by Pope Pius XI.
On 7th January 2024 both the golden jubilee of the TA in India as well as the centenary of the TA pontifical approval were commemorated in a solemn Eucharistic celebration in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Anand, Gujarat. The Eucharist was presided by the Bishop of Ahmedabad, Rethna Swamy, along with four concelebrants.
In his homily underscoring the historic moment of the centenary, Bishop Rethna Swamy lauded the Teresian Association’s efforts in transforming society by promoting education and culture, by living the Gospel’s concept of “salt of the earth”. He encouraged the members to continue following Jesus’ example of bringing goodness to the world. The Bishop noted that the TA members in Gujarat work marvellously, quietly and without show, embodying the founder’s vision to be the salt.
The church was full to capacity, with members, friends, collaborators, parishioners and well–wishers. The TA members were felicitated by the local parish community beginning with Nancy Fernandes, who along with Mary Careaga, was the first member to make the TA present in Gujarat, followed by Elisa Macwan, a Gujarati vocation, Jennifer Fernandes, the coordinator of India, Satish Parmar, the ACIT India (West) President, Roopa Dsouza and Sylvia Fernandes, TA members who were also present.
The parish gifted a beautiful icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with a felicitation engraved on it. The celebration culminated with a fellowship meal. Many people who attended the event expressed interest in getting to know the ACIT vocation.
On 18th January the St Xavier’s Church, Camp, Pune was abuzz with activity as the TA organized a solemn Eucharistic celebration, presided by the Bishop of Poona (Pune), John Rodrigues, and 22 concelebrants.
In his homily Bishop John Rodrigues invited the TA members and all present, to celebrate the fruits of the 50 years of the TA presence in India and the centenary of the pontifical approval. Further the bishop explained that Pedro Poveda, inspired by the mystery of the incarnation: God becoming one with us, so that he can lead us to the divine, found in it the true humanism that makes us divine. So, in keeping with the vision of the founder, the bishop encouraged the members to continue to respond to the needs of society by enriching it with the message of the gospel like “the salt of the earth”, by being “living crucifixes” and like the early Christians “in the world but not of the world”, in order to be God’s instruments of love, renewal and transformation.
After the Eucharist, the guests were invited to a program that gave a glimpse of the charism, mission and spirituality of the TA. A welcome dance by the residents of the ‘Teresian Nivas Hostel’, a video presentation depicting the highlights of the 50 years of the TA in the country, and another on the centenary. This was followed by a sharing by Maria Goretti Gonsalves, on how the charism is a program for holiness in daily life, and is relevant to the context of India, as it capacitates the laity and empowers women, while offering a formative program that aspires to bring about social transformation. Juliet Fernandes, ACIT India West board member, shared on how her belonging to the TA has helped her fulfil her mission in the family, at work and in her commitment to the church and society.
The special guests were felicitated by presenting each of them with a bouquet of flowers and the book of the History of the TA in India. The presence of Berta Balaguer Vega, of the TA Governing Council, added to the joy of the celebration. The invitees present expressed their delight in deepening in their knowledge of the TA through this cultural program. The evening concluded with snacks for all present and a fellowship meal.
Truly this has been a celebration of God’s faithful love shared with all those who have been part of our institutional journey in some way or the other.
Verenne Viegas, India.
Published in News