For me to witness this day, is sincerely a blessing. I am blessed to be alive to see the journey of my 25 years as the MSI Lay Associates,” said Mrs. Boddu Theresamma while Mrs. Dura Estheramma added “What we began with just 22 members 25 years back, today is grown in leaps and bounds and we are 190 members, this is truly the work of God.” Both of them along with the Province are celebrating the silver jubilee of being MSI Lay associates.

A quadranscentennial anniversary of  the MSI Lay Associates of  Vijayawada was celebrated with all pomp and gaiety on 21 September 2022, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Vijayawada. It was a spiritual moment to celebrate with gratitude the past 25 years journey and to re dedicate with renewed hope the future. Of the total 190 Lay Associates, 140 members from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and different districts of Andhra Pradesh gathered for the meaningful celebration.

Rev. Msgr. Muvvala Prasad, the main celebrant of the Eucharistic banquet, in his introduction appreciated their selfless service rendered to the church. While, Rev. Fr. Vijay Kumar in his homily highlighted the importance of being a Lay missionary, which helps to keep burning the flame received through our baptism. He recalled with great sentiments the work of Evangelization done by Nirmala Sisters within the diocese of Vijayawada and the world at large. He urged all the Lay associates to be praying families as family is the first church to be evangelized from where, the Holy vocations to priesthood and the religious emerge.

The homily was followed by the renewal of the Vows by the Lay Associates of MSI in Telugu, Tamil & Konkani. A circular addressed to the Lay associates, from the Congregation Leader, Rev. Sr. Antonella Tovaglieri & Rev. Sr. Mary Bridgit Suvakeen, the General Coordinator of Lay associates was read by the Province Leader Rev. Sr. Blanche D’Mello in English and by Sr. Suvartha Kothuri in Telugu.

It is praise worthy to see a tiny plant taking its roots and spreading its branches far and wide. What began in 1996 with 22 people today has reached to 190 members.  They animate the moments of prayer, missionary rosary and Eucharistic adoration, with a special missionary characteristic. They take active part in the parish life and commit themselves to animate the World Mission Day. Besides, they accompany us for family visits, visits to prison inmates, the homes for the elderly and help the poor, especially the sick. They also help children and youth in special needs and support them in their education.

While wishing them congratulations, we pray that they may continue to proclaim the joy of the Gospel with passionate love for God and His people.

Sr. Sunitha Jujjavarapu, Vijayawada

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