Salesian Sisters (FMA) Province of Mary Help of Christians Kolkata, India opened their first house in Kandhamal and in Odisha, in the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar on August 16, 2015.
Archbishop John Barwa SVD of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Odisha, inaugurated the Auxilium Convent at St. Sebastian’s Parish, Kurtumgarh, some 317 kms west of Bhubaneswar, State Capital Bhubaneswar “Selesian Sisters have joined in our missionary journey and started their first community at Kurtumgarh parish. On behalf of the Archdiocese, I welcome the Sisters whole heatedly and wish them a fruitful ministry for the development of our people and building up of God’s Kingdom,” said Archbishop Barwa.
About 1500 people from far and wide, including FMA Sisters, local government officials/politicians, priests, nuns and people from Hindu community and Christian denominations attended the event and shared the fellowship meal, said Father Jugal Kishore Digal, parish priest.
“God has given us a very special gift during this year of the Bicentennial celebration (1815-2015) of our Father and Founder Don Bosco. A long cherished dream being fulfilled. Most Rev. John Barwa SVD, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar invited us to open a house in Kurtumgarh, in the district of Kandhamal, Odisha,” said Sr. Rose Ezarath FMA, Provincial, who was present, among other FMA Sisters, at the event.
“We will venture our mission on 16 August, the birth day of Don Bosco. The pioneering Sisters are Sr. Teresa Xalxo, Sr. Shanti Tirkey and Sr. Sabita Nayak. Let us pray for the expansion of our charism in this region,” she added.
The vision of the province is “FMA, rooted in Faith and Community Communion become evangelizing educators like Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello for the young people of today to be Missionaries of Gospel Joy.” Its mission is to “be a sign of the foreseeing love of God and motherly care of Mary Help of Christians to the young people of the working classes, especially of the poorest through educative and promotional activities, both in Christian countries and in those not yet evangelized.”
The Salesian Sisters, also known as Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA- Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice) work in solidarity with the young and the poor in 92 nations within the five continents. Founders are: St. John Bosco and St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello.
Originated on 5 August 1872 at Mornese in Italy, it began its charismatic presence to be with the young people of India, since 1922. The FMA Presence in India has its head quarters in Chennai, Shillong, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Guwahati.
The Institute is the fruit of a love that was born of the great heart of Don Bosco and of the simple and creative fidelity of Mary Mazzarello. The Salesian Sisters continue to keep alive the flame of this love lit in every continent. They share Christ’s mission in the Church especially through Christian education in the style of the Preventive system – a system of loving kindness, drawn from the heart of Christ Himself—“We are a family united in Christ, To witness, to serve, Reaching out to the young, In every part of the world.”
The Kolkata FMA province was constituted in 1987. As of today they are working in 24 centres spread out across seven states of Chhattishgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Uttarpradesh, West Bengal and the neighbouring country of Nepal. Odisha is the latest state with its new presence.
Courtesy: Santosh Digal; Vatican Radio