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The Immaculate Heart of Mary Shillong Province celebrated its Provincial Community Day on 3 December 2022 at FMA Outreach Shillong. In line with the numerous thoughts, reflections and remembrance of the centenary year of the presence of the FMA charism in India, the theme that guided the celebration was: We are Guardians of a Legacy, of Memory and of Hope.
The day brought together the provincial councillors, animators of the communities, representatives of Sisters from the nearby communities, candidates in formation and young people. Various communities of the province shared the liturgy animation, which made the celebration meaningful and memorable. At the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. John Zosiama, Salesian vice provincial of Shillong, three symbols were brought forward at the entrance procession namely the lighted candle, Bible and FMA constitutions. The presentation of these symbolic gestures invited the members of the province to be illumined by the light of Christ, to listen and live the Word of God and be authentic in living the holy rule. In his homily Fr. John applauded the Sisters for being faithful to such a practice of coming together as a province, a sign of adherence to a family. It also manifests a sign of unity and solidarity he added. He exhorted the Sisters to support one another in the mission entrusted to them particularly by sharing their God given gifts and talents.
After the celebration of the holy Eucharist, few items were staged by the different representatives of the province as a sign of an external expression of gratitude and appreciation towards Sr. Elizabeth George, the provincial, bond of communion in the province. The programme included an address, felicitation, choreography, songs and above all the theme presentation by the Temporary Professed Sisters who are undergoing their Intensive Juniorate at Auxilium Provincial House, Nongthymmai. In her message to the Sisters, Sr. Elizabeth reflected on “a tree that bears fruit is exposed to many risks”. She encouraged the gathering to bear fruit that will last and thanked them for the wonderful expression of love and unity.
The celebration of the provincial community day was preceded by a one month long preparation in which every community took upon themselves the spiritual practices suggested by the Vice Provincial, Sr. Carmelina Sun. Each community celebrated a day of reconciliation in the community prior to the feast; they studied on the history of their respective communities and the growth and development since the beginning of the community. The study also reveals the impact of the FMA presence in the community and the society at large. Apart from this, a chain of prayer for each community and the various members of the educating community was allotted each day during the whole month of preparation.
Prior to the feast of gratitude at the provincial level, the animators had a two full day animation programme coordinated by Sr. Elizabeth George, Provincial and the sessions were shared by her and the members of the provincial council.