As the Father has sent me,
even so I am sending you. (Jh. 20:21)
29th December 2018, indeed is a memorable day for Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (Nirmala Sisters), as a momentous event took place in the life of Srs. Natta Jyothi, Antony Mary Jenifer Abraham, Jenita Arockia Mary Innaci, Maria Assuntha Soosai Raj, and Amala Catherine Amal Raj, who said their final yes to the Lord, offering their lives to God forever for His mission. And it’s a day of delight for the Church of Vijayawada as Srs. Bincy Simon, and Sujatha Kathula who received the missionary mandate to the Church of Bangladesh and Sr. Swarupa Rani Bathula to the Church of North Brazil, took place during the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Vijayawada. Most Rev. Dr. Thelagathoti Joseph Raja Rao SMM, Bishop of Vijayawada along with 35 priests solemnized the Holy Eucharist, imploring God’s blessings upon the sisters and praying for the grace to be faithful to the vocation and mission.
Bishop Raja Rao, in his homily, reiterated the significance of religious life. He said, “if you are not a person of love, you are not fit to be a missionary.” He also elucidated the three vows vividly in the light of the life of Jesus. He explained the rich meaning of the vows. Poverty means to live a simple life, chastity is to include everyone and obedience is the willingness to do anything that is demanded of a person. He emphasized on the need to cultivate the virtues of renunciation and detachment in the life of a religious while speaking on the apostolic sending to the mission. He also presented the life of St. Paul, the great missionary as a model and source of inspiration for the departing missionaries to face the challenges of life for love of Christ.
Bishop congratulated the sisters for their courage to say a total yes to the Lord and the enthusiasm to go to the far-off mission to proclaim the gospel to the peoples. He promised the sisters that the local church will accompany them through their prayerful support to be faithful witnesses through their life and mission in the Church.