Sr. Benigna Menezes
CRIB | 14 Oct, 2014
Maris Stella College auditorium was packed with religious on Sunday as they gathered for the celebration of the “Rejoice Festival” organized in preparation of the upcoming Year of the Consecrated life on October 12, Sunday at Vijayawada.
Hundred and sixty four religious men and women belonging to over seventy congregations participated in the seminar on “Rejoice” document issued by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in view of the celebration of the Year 2015 dedicated to the Consecrated Life.
The assembly started its programme with the thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration presided by Vincentian priest, Fr. Jose, VC, the associate director of the Mangalagiri retreat centre who exhorted the assembly to constantly thank God, pray fervently, rejoice in the blessings of the Universal Church and be faithful as Mary was in her life of consecration.
Salesian Father Joji Reddy spoke on the content of the “Rejoice” document explaining its message with the help of video clippings and power point presentation.
He said that the Church is inviting the religious to renew their life of consecration in view of the global situations of need of evangelization and stressed the requirement of vocations to the religious life and how the religious can inspire young Catholics to consider religious vocation for their future.
Another motivation to celebrate the Year of the Consecrated life is to thank God for the religious who serve the people in various fields, the priest said.
The LCRI President welcomed the gathering and spoke on the 13th paragraph of the Rejoice document which is dedicated to Mary the Mother of Joy.
Defining authentic joy as the feeling aroused by the expectation or possession of some good whose source is God, she invited the audience to reflect on Mother Mary who is the greatest woman that ever lived on earth and is now celebrated as the “ cause of our Joy” by the Church for her role in bringing Jesus down to earth as the humanities savior who makes us joyful because of his influence on our destiny.
Images, icons and pictorial depictions of the joyful mysteries in Mary’s life were projected on the screen which created a suitable atmosphere for the meditation on the Marian joyful mysteries.
The local CRI also invited religious communities to participate in a contest to present creatively the themes expressed in the Rejoice document and win prizes.
Eight different communities joined the contest and presented the message of the ‘Rejoice Document” through songs, skits, mime and dances.
Subhodaya formation house of the Sisters of St. Ann won the first prize for their creative presentation of mime which depicted harmony with nature and the duty of the human beings to protect the environment in order to rejoice whole heartedly at the gifts of nature given by God.
The other entrants too were awarded prizes for their cheerful participation through dances, skit and songs.
The assembly opened up with the hymn” Rejoice in the Lord always and ended with the same him concluding the Rejoice Festival which really enabled the assembly of religious men and women to deeply enjoy the divine initiatives of the Year of the Consecrated Life.
Everyone enjoyed the fraternal meal, served at the end of the festival. Cluny Sister Josephine anchored the programme, and Sr. Jessylin, SAS proposed the vote of thanks.
Courtesy: Conference of Religious India Bulletin, October 15, 2014