Apostolic Carmel Karnataka Province Celebrates Half a Century of Grace and Blessings – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

Apostolic Carmel Karnataka Province Celebrates Half a Century of Grace and Blessings

April 29, 2024

Mangaluru: In 1870, the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel started their mission in St Ann’s Mangalore. In 1974, the congregation was partitioned into different Provinces, each with its own essence and spirit.

The Sisters of the Karnataka Province gathered in large numbers on April 26th in St Ann’s chapel for the Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration officiated by Rev. Fr Maxim Noronha, Vicar General of the Diocese of Mangalore, to thank God for the blessings of love, grace, and providence experienced in the consecrated and missionary lives of the sisters, with total trust in Divine Providence. In his homily, he cited that the Golden Jubilee is a milestone to review, renew, and rededicate with introspection. The choir at Mass, with the blended voices of sisters of St Ann’s and Ashaniketan, added radiance to the golden celebration.

The cultural programme that followed in the school auditorium brought in the spirit of unity, inspiration, opportunities, and passion for collective growth in the communities and their mission. The centenary hymn summarized the essence of Carmelite Spirituality expressing our reverence and gratitude to the Almighty by the sisters of St Ann’s community. The innovative expression of welcome by the Ladyhill Sisters, depicting the culture of the places the sisters serve, echoed love and hospitality, which kept everyone joyful and lively.

The cutting of the Jubilee cake by the four past Provincials and the present, representing five decades of the Province was a moment to savour with joy and togetherness. As the tradition goes, a flower crook was offered by the Sisters of Carmel Modankap to the Provincial Superior, Sr Maria Shamita AC, symbolising the torch of leadership for renewal and progress.

The sparkling presence of the Jubilarians 25, 40, 50, and 60 on the stage with expressions of gratitude for their self-sacrificing dedication in their journey of faith was a unique felicitation by St Cecily’s and Marjil communities. The glittering gifts were a fitting tribute to their countless hours of prayer offered in solitude for the Carmel Mission.

How the humble beginning to the transformation up to now, retaining the initial flame and the charism, was presented to the audience through the dance drama ‘Down the Memory Lane’, to relive the cherished memories and to embrace the essence of our journey ahead by sisters of St Agnes and neighbouring communities.

The past provincials, Srs Agatha Mary, Linette, Olivia, and Carmel Rita, along with the present provincial superior Sr Maria Shamita, were honoured for leading the province ahead and for keeping the flame burning bright to this day.

The Provincial Superior, Sr Shamita, in her message to the province, appreciated the sisters for their life of faith and commitment and ended with a quote from the first reading of the Mass, ‘Walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit’, in the years ahead.

The junior, middle aged and elderly were interviewed. The experiences they shared stressed the inner space for silence, transforming situations, faith in the Eucharistic Lord in struggles, and obedience to God’s will, which was very inspiring. Prizes were distributed to the winners of the quiz conducted community-wise in the book of numbers and ‘First Forty Years’.

To commemorate this golden milestone of the province, a group photo of the sisters present was taken with a take-home message: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a”trail”—Ralph Emerson, making truly the Apostolic Carmel, Karnataka Province ‘A Carmel for the Missions’.

While Srs Lily Pushpa and Gracy emceed the programme creatively, Sr Vinitha Pinto acknowledged the hearts, minds, and hands that made the golden jubilee possible. The joyous celebration culminated with a fellowship meal.