13th November 2017 marked a grateful dawn, as is ushered in spiritual vibrancy to set the background ready for the Eucharistic Celebration. It was an outcome of dedicated preparation days by the Sisters, staff and students. Invitations to join in The Eucharistic Celebration were sent to Ex-teachers, parents and guests. The response was overwhelming and there was a feeling of oneness in expressing gratitude to God for bringing us together to celebrate the journey of 200 years with Claudine – A journey with vision, conviction and belief that God will provide. The school hall bore resemblance to a beautiful bride ready to welcome the groom.
The Entrance hymn, Ishwar kitna nek hai (How good God is!) Rang through our hearts and the hall as a beautiful procession led by classical dancers who danced to the rhythm in absolute grace. They were followed by the first communicants in their immaculate white dresses bearing angelic resemblance and carrying flower baskets which were offered in thanksgiving before the altar.
The Procession was followed by a ceremonious lighting of the lamp by the three celebrants, Mr. Livor and the Head girl Tanaya Patil. As each wick of the lamp was lit on the following words of St. Claudine: How good God is, Cherish charity like the apple of your eye, God will provide, Everything to please God, form women who will be blessing in their homes. The lamp which was lit was symbolic of the life of St. Claudine which got consumed in the love of God while giving out radiance that lights up our lives.
There was a brief introduction about St. Claudine and the day the sisters landed at Agra. The theme of the bicentenary celebrations: Journey with Claudine -A women of faith, pardon and communion.
The rapturous singing by the choir led by Sr.Catherine to the hymns with divine melody: The greatest thing in all my life was knowing you, come to the banquet and Hymn to St.Claudine, that were apt.
The homily preached by Rev. Fr. Roque Green was so graphical that one could visualize the life of St. Claudine Thevenet turn alive. In a nutshell, Fr.Green spoke about the historical period during which St.Claudine lived and how life came to turn when forgiveness became her way of life. She answered to this divine call and on the night of 5 th October 1818 she left home for the first time. Her preference was always for the poor and the young. She herself gave the example of intense spiritual life. She had sown missionary zeal among her Sisters and on 13 th November 1842 they landed in India at Agra. Today the Sisters of the Religious of Jesus and Mary are spread across five continents.
During the offertory procession the following offerings were made:
Globe: symbolizing the poor around the globe and bringing them to providential care.
Chain: Symbolizing links of love and support.
The Crest of the Congregation: Symbolizing the dedicated service of the sisters.
Constitution: Symbolizing the life in the religious of Jesus and Mary.
Bread and Wine: Praying for Our Pope Francis, bishops, priests and religious
The mass ended with a word of gratitude, acknowledgment and blessing by the principal Mr. Floory.
The entire student body, staff, ex-teachers, parents and guests were treated to a piece of cake. They were also given a book mark and a calendar to mark the day.
After the Eucharistic Celebration, spontaneous remarks of some of our parents were as follows –
- Dear Sister,
Congratulations on the bicentenary celebrations. This esteemed institution is absolutely a blessing for generations and we are happy to be associated and to benefit. Wonderful celebrations, enjoying being part of it. Thank you.
- The Eucharistic Service and the entire program was very serene and spiritual! Very well done. Thank you for all your efforts in making our day too! The calendar and the bookmarks will surely be mementos for keeps! Very thoughtful indeed!