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Province Celebrates the Feast of its Patron – St. Francis Xavier

The Delhi Province of the Society began the special season of grace and of celebration by invoking the intercession of the patron of missionaries St. Francis Xavier on 5 December, at Hisar. The members working in the province along with their co-workers (sisters, catechists and residential teachers) praised God together in the Eucharist celebration at 10:30 am. Minor seminarians, sisters, catechists and other faithful were animated in a meaningful and symbolic liturgy organized by the Sirsa unit under the leadership of Fr. Remy and Fr. Savio as the commentator at St. Xavier’s Catholic Church. The graceful voices from the choir led by Regent Venito of the Bathinda unit helped the faithful to raise their hearts in praising God. The Main celebrant Fr. Alaric Carvalho, General Councilor and Society’s in charge for mission, while sighting some examples, presented St. Xavier as a flexible preacher of God’s Word and exhorted the missionaries to defreeze the Message of Jesus Christ from the Greek concept and present it in a dynamic way to the Indian context which is basically of the marginalized and of deprived people. The exchange of wishes and hugs confirmed that all the members of the province are indeed one in spirit.
After a short break for snacks, a cultural programme organized in a glorious pandol under the leadership of Fr. Jerry kept everyone engaged in clapping and laughing. The solemn singing of O Holy Night by Regent Venito gave a graceful start for the cultural programme followed by unique knee ballet by the Rania Unit. Western dace by the Satkoa Unit and the Kharvi Dance by the Rampuraphul Unit kept everyone glued to their chairs. A tableau and a mando, both based on the life of St. Francis Xavier, by the Dholpur Unit and the Dabwali unit respectively, compelled everyone to ponder on St. Xavier’s life. Fr. Alaric Carvalho, the chief guest for the function, reminded that missionaries are Diaspora in this far away northern part of our mother land none- the -less they are not called to create mini-colonies by speaking their mother tongue, be it Konkani, but to imbibe the good qualities from the local culture and local people. The release of a Punjabi devotional audio CD in the hands of the Chief Guest was the much awaited part of the programme. The CD, titled “Yesu Meinu Chuu” (meaning ‘Jesus, touch me’) is conceptualized by Br. David and is produced by the Society of Pilar-Delhi Provice (Social Communication and Media Cell). Fr. Cidloy, provincial councilor proposed the vote of thanks. The energetic performance of Bangda by the minor seminarians of the province was the climax of the cultural programme.
After the agape, everyone bid adieus as they hop into their vehicles hoping to see one another for the Christmas celebration.

Where Love is, God is!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,

who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,"Your God reigns!"-Isaiah 52:7

17th November 2017was truly a blessed day for His Lordship Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas, Fr. John Fernandes, sfx (Provincial of the Delhi Province), Fr. Alfred Rodrigues sfx, Fr. Basil D’Mello, and me, who set off at the invitation of Fr. Christopher Michael from Shimla to the new ‘Kinnaur Mission’ in the far flung areas of Kinnaur District in the pristine valleys of Himachal Pradesh. After driving for about 7 and half hours along the meandering serpentine roads, we reached Reckong Peo at 5.15 pm. Fr. Christopher and his little band of jubilant‘parishioners’were there to welcome us. We were comfortably lodged in a hotel where great pains were taken to see that all our needs were met.

18th November 2017was both a unique and a historical day for the Diocese of Simla Chandigarh as well as for the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier and the infant Christian community at Reckong Peo. We were welcomed with the Angura (Himachali cap) and Himachali garlands intricately woven dry fruits and nuts. The rain and the chill did not dampen the spirit of the community as the freshly clad snow capped Himalayas embraced us in its beauty. The day began with the inauguration and blessing of Kristjyoti Handloom Centre and the blessing of Kristjyoti Tailoring Centre. Each one of us was welcomed with a stole woven by the women at the Center. The inauguration was followed by the Eucharist in the Restaurant of Jeevan Jyoti Hotel, which was beautifully decorated by the people. For this small community, it was a novel occasion as it was their first ‘encounter’ with a ‘Bishop’! A good number of local faithful and well wishers who were dressed in their traditional attire made the ambience more colourful. The Mass was attended by around 90 people both newly baptised Catholic and non-christian Kinnauri Himachalis. During the Mass, 15 Catechumens received the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at the hands of Rt. Rev. Ignatius Mascarenhas. Of these, 11 were from Kinnaur and 4 from Jharkhand. These were baptised by Fr. Hillary Fernandes sfx during his visit to Kinnaur. The Bishop was happily surprised at how well the Confirmandis were prepared for the Sacrament, although being new to the faith. The Congregation was very vibrant in their singing and responses, like our Bishop, the Lord must have been moved by the fervour and simplicity of His new found flock, untouched by greed, pretence and malice. The Mass was followed by theÁgapeprepared by the people themselves displaying their generosity and hospitality to the best of their ability. It was a day beyond their imagination to have His Lordship and others amidst them which made them leave no stone unturned and make the occasion a prayerful and memorable one.

After the lovely meal and exchange of pleasantries with the people, five of us embarked on the second phase of our journey, the destination being Dubling, 60 kms from Peo, closer to the Tibetan border. It was an arduous 3 hours drive through treacherous terrains, making our hearts skip a beat each time we came across sign boards warning us of ‘shooting rocks’ and ‘landslides’. The thought of our priests celebrating the Eucharist and bringing Christ to these neglected folks every once or twice a month, gave us the needed confidence to proceed. We halted for the night at a place called Pooh, a military base of the Indian army.

19th November 2017The night was very cold, but the morning had a serene surprise waiting! A white mantle covered the whole area. It was so ethereal, to see the purity and serenity silently drawing you closer to the Creator. It was an exciting moment for our Lordship to see the snowflakes falling, gently and silently blessing the land! The child in man happily surfaces when genuine joy is experienced. After breakfast, we left for Dubling, which is about 9 kms from Pooh. Here the adivasis from Jharkhand dressed in their most colourful attire, extended a traditional welcome to the Bishop and the guests. Dancing and singing to the typical Chota-nagpuri beat of the drum they escorted His Lordship to the tin shed, beautifully and colourfully decorated with theirsareesand buntings, a place where they usually gather for Mass. The Mass was attended by about 140 people from Dubling including 50 faithful who accompanied Fr. Anthonysamy from Peo travelling the 90 kms stretch in the wee hours of the morning. During the Mass, two couples received the Sacrament of Confirmation and Matrimony that doubled our joy. After Mass the guests were felicitated with garlands, bouquets and a beautifully hand knitted warm winter caps followed by the traditional folk dances of Chota Nagpur. A sumptuous lunch followed soon after which, the Bishop left for Solan. The celebration continued until we ate and danced and was time to say adieu my friends!

To be living in the far flung areas of the country bordering Tibet and China is not easy, especially when the resources at hand are minimal and meagre. My deep appreciation to Frs. Christopher and Anthonysamy for all that they have been to the people of Kinnaur. It only comes from the love for Christ one has experienced and a dedication and commitment to His calling. What a spiritual experience it was for us in both these places, it will remain etched in my mind for a long, long time. May God continue to bless and expand His Kingdom in these troubled times when spreading the Gospel is not an option but, a must. What comes to my mind right now are these lines from the poemAs Kingfishers catch Fireby Gerard Manly Hopkins.

.....The just man justices; Keeps grace: that keeps all his going graces;

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is -

Christ – for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s faces

Sr. Stephanie ibvm.

Loreto Convent, Shimla.

Annual Function One Life , One Body, One Chance 2017 Organised in JCD by St. Xaviers Sr. Sec School

One Life, One Body, One Chance 2017:

Annual Sports Meet - St. Xavier's Sr. Sec School Sirsa

The Annual Sports Function of St. Xavier’s Sr. Sec. School Sirsa was held on 17th November 2017. It was marked as the Red Letter Day in the history of Xavier’s as well as Sirsa City. This gala event was hosted under the flagship and supervision of the man of letter Rev. Fr. Remy Cardozo, the Principal of St. Xavier's Sr. Sec. School Sirsa along with his most efficient and dexterous Core Committee members which included, Rev. Fr. Savio, the Vice- Principal, Rev. Sister Arolina, the chief Co-ordinator, Sir Naresh Pareek, Mam Kimanshi Sharma, Mam Geet Sachdeva and Sir Ajab Singh Poonia. The function was conducted in the most renowned cricket field of Jannayak Chaudhary Devilal Vidhyapeeth (JCDV). Mr Dushyant Chautala, the Member of Parliament was invited as the Chief Guest and Rev. Fr. Maria Michael, the Director of Education of the Delhi Province and Rev. Fr. Menino Gomes, the Local Superior of Sirsa were invited as the Guest of Honours to grace the auspicious occasion. All the Guests were ushered in the Vintage car by the Principal of the school, Rev. Fr. Remy Cardozo. After the lamp lighting, the chief guest declared the meet open. It was followed by the school band and the retrospection. The torch was also lighted. The function than began with the grand opening Cultural event. The melodious theme Song was the spark of the evening. Various track events were also organized and the winners were acknowledged and honoured by the Guest of Honours. The spectators relaxed and meditated their nerves through Yoga which was very well performed. It was followed by marvelous and wonderful cenotaph. Slimnastics took away the hearts of the audience where they saw young students giving way to fitness and health through aerobics and drills. The Chief attraction which was highly applauded even by the Chief- Guest was the Malkhamb. Everyone has their Jaws – dropped at the heart – throbbing performance of the young children. Calisthenics, i.e Gymnastics also showed the hidden potentials of the students and the trainers. The academic Accolades & Honours were conducted by the Chief- Guest Mr. Dushyant Chautala. Everything was commendable. The theme of the programme One life One body One chance was well portrayed. The Chief Guest and the Guests of Honor were felicitated with a token of love. The Principal Rev. Fr. Remy Cardozo declared the meet close. The Chief Guest thanked and congratulated the principal and the school at the grand success of the function. All the participants and the teachers were highly praised for their sincere and zealous efforts. The JCD ground was beautifully decorated by the decoration Committee who burnt the midnight oil. The programme ended with the Crowning glory and turning over the flag followed by the National Anthem.



Annual Sports Meet - St. Xavier's High School, Rampuraphul, Punjab

Sporting events are not only a release of perspiration buy also a reflection of inspiration. Aiming at motivating, guiding and loving one another, the annual sports day was unfolded on 14th & 15th November 2017, with great enthusiasm demonstrating the theme Synergy- Together Towards Tomorrow. The juncture was radiated with the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Rajpal Singh, DSP Giddarbaha, Guest of Honor Rev. Fr. Cidloy Furtado along with other luminaries.

The events were unleashed with the projection of Annual Album by the school principal Rev. Fr. Selvaraj Peter followed by various sports such as Races, Aerobics, Gymnastics, Karate etc. in order to inculcate true sportsmanship and instill team spirit among the students. National and State Level Fencing players were also acknowledged for their constant endeavors to bring laurels to the school.

The evening was made more colorful and memorable with the cultural transmission reviving the diversities of our Nation. Words of gratitude were expressed for the indelible support of the parents and students.

The entire school participated wholeheartedly towards the success of the grand event. The triumph was made possible by the relentless efforts of the Xaverian family.

Annual Function “Vibrant Hues of Life, 2017” Organized in St. Joseph’s High School, Mandi Dabwali

Annual Function

“Vibrant Hues of Life, 2017”:

Organized in St. Joseph’s High School, Mandi Dabwali

St. Joseph’s High School, Mandi Dabwali, celebrated Annual Function “Vibrant Hues of Life” on 11th November 2017(Saturday) in the school premises with great fervour. Dr. Munish Nagpal, H.C.S-Additional Deputy Commissioner), Sirsa was the Chief Guest. Mr. Baljinder Singh Bhangu, B.E.O- Mandi Dabwali, was the Guest of Honour. Fr. Amaro Martins, Treasurer- Society of Pilar- Punjab- Haryana was hailed as the Special Guest .Well wishers and dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence. The parents enjoyed the function. The budding Josephites from Std. L.K.G- V staged fabulous, mesmerizing and superb items. The various items touched different aspects of the journey of human life. The students also gave the message of ‘Saving our Planet’. They displayed the rich, cultural and religious heritage of our country. The function ended with the National Anthem dedicated to millions of specially abled humans in our world.

The school report regarding the progress in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities was presented by Rev. Fr. Jerry Lobo the Principal. The achievers, who had won laurels for the school in academics (I.C.S.E toppers of the last Two academic years- 2015-16 and 2016-17) were felicitated by the Chief Guest. The budding sportspersons who had participated at the state level in Shooting, Badminton, Martial-Arts and Football were honoured by our Guest of Honour. Fr. Amaro Martins gave away the prizes for students excelling in Extra- Curricular activities. The students enthusiastically participated in the function. More than 90% students from Std. L.K.G-V took part in various items. The theme ‘Vibrant Hues of Life’ was revealed through the different items like dances and skits. The audience applauded the performers and appreciated their efforts. The Head Boy of the school presented the Vote of Thanks. All the guests and dignitaries were formally thanked for their gracious presence. The event provided the teachers and the students an opportunity to display their talents and acumen. Apart from imparting quality education the school aims at fostering the qualities of team spirit and co-operation. The function was a success as every member of the Josephite family played a vital role in this event whole heartedly.

Annual Function- “ Fly High and Own the Sky -2017” Organised in St. Francis School, Talwandi Rana, H

“Fly High and Own the Sky -2017”

Sports Meet: - St. Francis School, Hisar, Haryana

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER SCHOOL, TALWANDI RANA, HISAR celebrated ‘Fly High and Own the Sky’ – Mini Sports Day in the school premises. The Mini Sports Day was celebrated on 8th November 2017 amidst great mirth and verve.

Sh. Siddharth Dhanda, HPS, (Deputy Superintendent of Police) was the Chief Guest. Ms.Satwinder Gill, DSO and Rev. Fr. Maria Michael were the Guests of Honour,

The beginning of the auspicious occasion was marked by invocation to God and intersession of the Patron Saint-St. Francis Xavier. The school band welcomed the Guest through the instrumentals at the tune ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ‘Another day in Paradise’ and ‘Sky full of Stars’. The school choir sang to the tune of ‘We will Fly’ by VBS Group and ‘Heal the World’ by Michael Jackson.

This was entailed by the unfurling of the theme flag and declaration of the Meet Open by the Chief Guest, followed by the lighting of the flame by the School’s Sports Instructors and releasing of balloons to mark the expression of joy and rejoicement.

The most intriguing aspect, embellishing the event, was the splendid field displays, involving mass student participation. The programme was the amalgamation of various Track Events, Mass P.T., Aerobics and synchronized dance movements to the foot tapping music enthralled the audience.

Rev. Fr. Ivo Dias, the Principal, in his address highlighted the purpose of ‘Fly High and Own the Sky’. He said that sports teach us about being part of a team and the importance of working together to accomplish a common goal. It teaches how to remain focussed on a task for a period of time required achieving it and not only learn about the joy of triumph, but also to be resilient when we lose, and to lose with grace.

He thanked all the parents, students, teaching and non-teaching staff members and supporting staff for their hard work to put up this programme.

The Chief Guest, in his address lauded the Sports Day event and stated that it was perfect and that he could gauge the pains and efforts taken by teachers and students for such flawless presentation. He congratulated the Principal and the entire team for the event.

The school’s achievers at the State Level and the National Level and winners of the track events were felicitated with mementos, medals and certificates by the Guest of Honour-Ms. Satwinder Gill and the other distinguished Guests present for the event.

In the closing ceremony, the meet was declared closed by the Guest of Honour- Rev. Fr. Maria Michael.

The zealous parents gathered in large number applauded and appreciated the school management for such a wonderful event.

The meet culminated with the National Anthem and the programme ended on a happy note.



Annual Function 2017 - St. Xavier's High School, Bathinda, Punjab

Annual function titled ‘ L’OEUVRE 2017 was organized in St. Xavier’s School, Bhatinda on 29th October 2017. The Chief Guest of the programme was Sh. Diprana Lakra (IAS) Deputy Commissioner Bhatinda. The Guest of honour was Ms. Auneet Kaur Sidhu DPS ( Punjab Police). Various other prominent dignities were present to grace the occasion . The programme began with a welcome address and a floral tribute to the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour. The guests lighted the candle and set the program -.L’OEUVRE proceed with an inspiriting invocation of dance, prayer and music namedSaadhya. - an awakening of the soul highlighting the importance of Yoga. The essence of Goa was shown through Goan dance. “On the wings of fie” women empowerment was highlighted. Through “Gypsy Kings” the western extravaganza was shown through a creative dance form. Gujarati culture and tradition was highlighted through a dance titled as “Festive Fervour”. An excellent dance raised on the theme “ Heal the World” was staged. Felicitation ceremony was organized to honour the students who have brought laurels to the school. Chief Guest Sh. Diprava Lakra addresses the audience and acknowledged the institutions contribution towards qualtiy education. Fr. Eulalio Fernandes (Principal) presented a momento as a token of love to the Chief Guest..The Guest of Honour, Mrs. Avneet Kaur, who is an Arjuna awardee for shooting, appreciated the holistic emphasis of St. Xavier's School and gave an inspiring message to motivate women to advance in sports and varied areas of life and development of society. She was felicitated by Fr. Adrian Fernandes (Manager). “Rangla Punjab” presenting the Bhangra frenzy of Xavierities was spectacular. Vote of Thanks was given by Supriya Aggarwal, the Head Girl of St. Xavier’s. The programme ended with the National Anthem. Parents were very happy after seeing such a spectacular annual function. The function was conceptualized, designed and directed by Mr. Uma Shankar and his team.


Annual Function titled ‘ L’OEUVRA’ 2017 was organized in St. Xaviers School Bhatinda on 28th October 2017. The Chief Guest of the programme was Sh. Manpreet Singh Badal Hon’ble Minister for Finance and planning Punjab. The Guest of Honour was Fr. Cidloy Furtado, the Second counselor of the Delhi Province and also Director of Social Work in Delhi Province. The programme began with a welcome address Bouquet was presented to the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour Fr. Selvam, Local Superior Bhatinda, Fr. Adrian Fernandes Manager and Fr. Pio Parish Priest were the other dignitaries to grace the occasion. The chief Guest lighted the candle. L’oeuvre commenced with Saadhya. An Awakening of the Soul highlighting the importance of Yoga. The essence of Goa was Shown through Goan dance “ On the wings of fire.” Women empowerment was highlighted. Through “ Gypsy Kings” the western extravaganza was shown through a creative dance form . Gujarati culture and tradition was highlighted through a dance title as “Festive fervor” . An excellent dance based on the theme. “ Heal the world” was staged. Felicitation ceremony was organized to honour the students who have brought laurels to the school . Shri. Manpreet Singh Badal addressed the audience followed by the Guest of Honour’s Speech. Fr. Eulalio Fernandes (Principal) presented a momento as a token of love to the Chief Guest. Fr. Adrian Fernandes (Manager) presented a memento to the Guest of Honour, who also conveyed sentiments of gratitude on behalf of the Provincial Superior of the Delhi Province (Rev. Fr. John M. Fernandes). “ Rangla Punjab” presenting the Bhangra Frenzy of Xavierities was spectacular. Vote of thanks was given by Supriya Aggarwal, the Head Girl of St. Xaviers. The programme ended with the National Anthem. Parents were very happy after seeing such a spectacular annual function. The function was conceptualized, designed and directed by Mr. Uma Shanker and his team.

*Software Program for Holy Rosary Church, Bathinda, Punjab*

Holy Rosary Parish Bathinda, Punjab celebrated the inauguration of the special software program designed to organize and update data of varied details related to the parish. Mr. Vikramjeet Singh Siddhu (Computer Science and Mathematics teacher of St. Xavier’s High School, Bathinda, Punjab) lent his resource and engineered the project in record time. Significant dates of the parishioners (birthdates, anniversary dates, etc.), details of the sacraments administered, milestones of the parish, etc. would be a matter of just a click on the computer.

Monsignor John Burke, the first Bishop of the then recently erected (1959) diocese of Simla-Chandigarh entrusted the mission of Bathinda to the Society of Pilar in 1963. Fr. Anselm D’Sa and Fr. Antonio D’Sa pioneering the mission (basing themselves in a rented room), very effectively shouldered the task of setting strong foundations then. The missionaries down the years visited interior villages as far as Ganga in the West (Dabwali), Gidda in the North, Sangrur in the East and Moll-Mandi in the South. As the Christian community grew, the need was felt for a church, and in 1986 a beautiful Church was built on the plot of the Power House Road very close to the Bathinda Cantonment. It was blest and inaugurated on 2nd October, 1986 by Bishop Gilbert Rego when Fr. Anacleto Fernandes was the Parish Priest. Today the parish is spread across the city in 6 different communities and 27 villages; the farthest being Selbrah which is 39 kilometres. The Holy Rosary Church celebrated its silver jubilee in 2011 and the parish as always has been exemplary for its apostolic vitality.

Software developer Mr. Vikramjeet named the software program as ‘Church Net’. The program attempts to efficiently put together diverse data of the parish and also get linked with other software initiatives which contribute in enhancing pastoral-mission ministries. The program was inaugurated on the first day of the novenas of the parish feast. The program was displayed/projected in the Church and briefly explained by Fr. Adrian Fernandes (Director of Social Communications and Media Cell of the Province and Assistant Parish Priest). He also acknowledged Fr. Eulalio Fernandes (Principal of St. Xavier’s High School, Bathinda, Punjab) who lent resources from the school for the benefit of the pastoral apostolate. Earlier Fr. Pio Rego (Parish Priest) invited Mrs. Shito Khokhar (an exemplary parishioner from one of the villages) and Brigadier Sumer D’Cunha (a Goan origin army official who daily participates in the Holy Eucharist in the Church) to inaugurate the program. Regent Venito Colaco acknowledged the efforts of Mr. Vikramjeet and expressed the sentiments of gratitude on behalf of the parish community for his contribution towards enhancing the growth of the parish. Regent Venito painstakingly collated the data of the parish and assisted Mr. Vikramjeet in the making of the program. Fr. Sonny Furtado (Dean of Bathinda Deanery) who is quiet tech savvy and who has ushered a new dynamism in implementing the pastoral plan of the Diocese of Simla Chandigarh in the deanery was invited for the occasion. However due to his prior engagements, he could not be present for the occasion. He had communicated his appreciation for the initiative and encouraged the members to continue enhancing the mission apostolate.

The program was inaugurated last month, on the first day of the novenas in preparation of the parish feast, which was celebrated on 8th October, 2017. The rather lengthy and meticulous process of updating the available data ended today. May Mother Mary guide and help us to contribute towards the growth of God’s people in our missions!

Sacerdotal Anniversary Celebrations and Welcome to new Priest-Members of the Province

The members of the Delhi Province celebrated the sacerdotal anniversary of Fr. Marden Pereira (60th, Diamond Jubilee), Fr. Albert Fernandes and Fr. Eusebio Gomes (Silver Jubilee) at St. Xavier’s High School, Rampuraphul, Punjab on 20th October2017. Bishop Ignatius Loyola Mascarenhas (Diocese of Simla Chandigarh) presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration which was also participated by a few parishioners from some of our far away mission stations where the jubilarians had served. The liturgy of the Eucharist, with the theme, ‘Take my hands and make them as your own’ was well organized under the leadership of Fr. Ivo Dias.

During the homily, Fr. Eusebio Gomes highlighted the theme for the dayand spoke about the duty of the priests to bless God’s people with their anointed hands. He also shared about his ordination theme: ‘I am called to establish the Kingdom of God, by drinking the cup of sufferings of the poor and the oppressed and by breaking their chains’. He appreciated Pope Francis’ persuasive exhortation of “smelling the sheep” and exalted the need of priests to be with the people and to love those entrusted to their care. Fr. Dominick Falcao was once again at his best as he led the melodious choir which included the staff of St. Joseph’s High School, Dabwali, Haryana, and the very able accompaniment of Regent Venito Colaco.

A short felicitation program, after the Eucharist, began with the jubilarians cutting the cake along with Fr. Alex Fernandes and Fr. Antonysamy. Fr. Alex and Fr. Antonysamy ordained on 30thApril (Fr. Alex) and 14thMay (Fr. Antonysamy) this year, were accorded a formal welcome as priest-members of the Province. Fr. John M. Fernandes (Provincial Superior) on behalf of the Province expressed his sentiments of gratitude for the commitment and contribution of the jubilarians in furthering God’s mission through the varied responsibilities they shouldered down the years. He also welcomed Frs. Alex and Antonysamy and wished them the very best to selflessly contribute to the missions of the North.

Fr. Albert Fernandes in his speech acknowledged the joyful experience of the jubilarians, for having had the opportunity to faithfully persevere in responding to their call down the years and serve God and his people wherever they were appointed. He seemed contented as he expressed, “jubilees are milestones in the life of a priest, to look back with joy and gratitude and look ahead with still deeper faith and hope”. He especially thanked the parishioners from the mission stations who traveled long distances to participate in the celebration.

Bishop Ignatius felicitating each of the jubilarian affirmed that “the love for the poor will keep us young”. He added saying that the jubilarians loved the poor and that is testified by their evident youthful spirit and infectious zest for life. The prelate also highlighted the common quality of simplicity which he personally witnessed in the life of the jubilarians. Quoting the Johannine text, where our Lord Jesus said to his disciples that “you did not choose me, but I chose you” (cf. Jn 15:16), he highlighted the fact that God in his goodness, choose us, despite our weaknesses. He also urged the priests to imbibe a savoir-faire for their priestly life in the words ofthe Prophet Micah, “to act justly, to walk humbly and to love tenderly” (cf. Micah 6:8). The Provincial Superior laterthanked the Bishop for his time and affection for the Society and also felicitated him with a token of appreciation and love.

Our veteran missionary Fr. Jose Vaz added to the excitement of the program as he led the school staff of St. Xavier’s Rampuraphul, in performing the traditional Mando in honor of the jubilarians. The local tradition was also staged by way of the most popular folk dance form of the Bhangra. The lively dance was staged by the Bal Niketan boys from Talwandi Sabo, Punjab, where Fr. Albert served some two years earlier. Fr. Cidloy Furtado proposed the vote of thanks and appreciated the help which came from all corners to make the day special for the jubilarians and the new priest members of the Province. The overall convener, Fr. Selvaraj Peter (Selvam) was specially acknowledged for ensuring that every detail was in place and for hosting a very memorable day for the jubilarians and for all those who participated in the celebrations.

Fr. Marden Pereira prayed the grace before meals. The gathering had pleasant moments of togetherness as they relished the delicious lunch before they dispersed back home after a memorable day’s celebration.

Pre-Budget Meeting of the Delhi Province

The ‘Pre-Budget Meeting’ of the Delhi Province took place on 20th October 2017 at St. Xavier’s High School, Rampuraphul, Punjab. Fr. John M. Fernandes (Provincial Superior) chaired the meeting which deliberated about the financial policies of the Province and the Society. Besides briefly presenting guidelines for the preparations for the budgets, the discussion about related queries helped those gathered to be better equipped for this important duty of the members. The Local Superiors, Local Treasurers and Local Delegate Superiors actively participated in the meeting. Fr. Henry Raj (Principal of St. Xavier’s High School, Mansa, Punjab) was also present.