Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Mission Sisters of Ajmer turn 100
From humble beginnings the congregation now reaches out across 11 Indian statesMission Sisters of Ajmer with the present General at front left and the former at front right (photo: Mariola Sequeira)
- Mariola Sequeira, Ajmer
- April 28, 2011
Concelebrants included Archbishop of Agra Albert DāSouza, as well as scores of bishops and priests.
āYou are about 365 sisters, one for each day of the year. What began with one Henri Caumont has one sister for each day of the year so to speak,ā the cardinal said.
After the Mass, the cardinal blessed the foundation stone for the Residence and Adoration Chapel of Karunalaya, the prayer center, about 10 kilometers away from the congregationās headquarters.
He also released a DVD of biblical songs prepared by the sisters and students of Sophia College.
The Mission Sisters, headquartered in Ajmer, have 49 houses and two residencies across 11 Indian states. They also run hospitals, dispensaries, schools and colleges both in urban and rural areas.
Known for their value-based education, their Sophia schools in northern India have carved a niche for themselves and become a brand name.
It was the founderās desire to liberate women through education. In 1913, he opened an orphanage for girls and six years later the Sophia school for girls, says Sister Joselyn Jacob, a former Superior General.
āHe wanted to do away with the āconventā tag, so he named the schools Sophia which means wisdom in Spanish,ā she added.
In the medical field, the sisters are engaged in preventive and community health and alternate systems of medicine with an emphasis on holistic health, says Superior General Sister Savina Pinto.
All this was begun by the founder of the congregation, French missionary Bishop Fortunatus Henri Caumont.
He had Sister Mary Swaries trained as a doctor in 1921 to cater to the medical needs of tribal people, especially women.
She was the first nun doctor in the world, Sister Pinto said.
Asked about challenges facing the congregation, Sister Pinto said, at the end of 100 years, we need more vocations.
āConsumerism is also impacting our lifestyle. The challenge therefore, is to enable our sisters to be the message and the messenger.ā
Nuns to the aid of British youths