by Sister Gidding Marceline Simsang, CSC, and Sister Urmita Cecilia Rozario, CSC
Holy Cross Sisters Chandrima Taju, Eva Elizabeth Costa and Linda Teresa Rozario professed their perpetual profession of vows as Sisters of the Holy Cross on May 6, 2022, in Holy Rosary Church, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Sisters Chandrima, Eva, and Linda arranged a meaningful holy hour for the evening before the profession ceremony. The next day, Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, CSC, presided over the liturgy. Sister Pushpa Teresa Gomes, CSC, first councilor of the Congregation received their vows. Cardinal D’Rozario mentioned in the homily that when we express gratitude to God for the way we are and what we have, our life will be beautiful and graceful. The presence of priests, brothers and sisters from various congregations, and the families of Sisters Chandrima, Eva and Linda made the day blissful. Sister Pushpa and Father Subrato Boniface Gomes, parish priest of Holy Rosary Church, gave a speech at the end of the eucharistic liturgy. Sister Violet Rodrigues, CSC, coordinator of the Area of Asia delivered a thanksgiving speech to all the committee members, family, guests, and those who helped to make the day meaningful.
Sisters Chandrima, Eva and Linda were received with song and dance on the Holy Cross Convent premises. There was a festive meal for family and guests at the Holy Cross Girls’ High School compound. An evening cultural program was arranged in thanksgiving for the life of Sisters Chandrima, Eva and Linda. A special attraction of the program was stage play based on “Path Nirdesh,” a short story by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. It was directed and performed by Sister Shilpi Rozario, CSC, and her team. The Sisters were very happy and grateful for their lives and perpetual commitment to God in the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Sisters Chandrima, Eva and Linda shared the following reflections on the day of their perpetual professions.
I Give You Praise, I Sing of Your Glory
By Sister Chandrima Taju, CSC
Through the darkness in my life, through all my pain and confusion you showed me the path of salvation, Jesus. When I was surrounded by helplessness and hopelessness, you reached out your hand and delivered me to the true love of my Lord. So, here I stand before your gate today. Accept me as your own. You are the way, the truth, and the life eternal.
I thank and praise the Lord God for his wonderful deeds in my life. I experienced God’s loving-kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness in different situations in my life.
Here is a brief overview of my time in Holy Cross. I remember several priests, brothers and sisters visiting our village when I was a child. To me, they were incredibly pleasant, caring and loving people. They appeared to me to be grace-filled, holy, and joyful people. My vocation has been planted in my heart since that time. I had a strong desire to be like them. As I grew older, I cultivated my longing within my heart. Even though I nurtured my goal, finding the path to my profession was difficult due to a variety of factors and circumstances. But God’s mercy and love helped me find the way to my vocation.
I offer my grateful praise to God for calling me to Holy Cross. I also say “Thank you” to all the sisters of our Congregation for your prayerful support, guidance, love and care.
I extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to all the sisters, especially the General Administration, the Area of Asia Coordinator, and her team members. I thank my discerner, candidate and novice directors for walking with me and guiding me in Holy Cross.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to my family members, friends,and well-wishers, who have assisted me in making my perpetual profession successful. Thank you for being part of my journey in this world. For me, May 6, 2022, was a wonderful and unforgettable day. May God continue to bless and guide us on our path through life. Many thanks!
My Song Will be for You Forever
By Sister Eva Elizabeth Costa, CSC
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has looked upon His servant and holy is His name” (Luke 1:46-49). It is a day to rejoice in the Lord for his greatness, mercy, love and care in my life. It is a day to be thankful to him because he has looked on this lowly servant and blessed me with the gift of call to religious life. My heart is filled with deep joy and gratitude today! I am filled with joy and gratitude because of all that God and others have done for me.
Like a little seed, God planted me in my mother’s womb. As a visible sign of my parent’s love, I came into this world as a tiny sprout. God has blessed me with so many people around me—those who have cultivated the ground around me, fertilized me, watered me from time to time, and helped me to be the plant that I am today. I am ever grateful to all those people for helping me to grow.
I thank and praise God for my beautiful life, my vocation in Holy Cross, and for all the graces and blessings God has been pouring out in my life from the very beginning. I thank God for the life of my beloved parents who brought me into this world and nurtured me with their unconditional love, care and guidance. I am grateful to my brother, my family members and relatives for their constant love, care and support, which inspires me to continue my journey with hope and joy. I thank God for the life of my teachers, friends, spiritual directors and benefactors, whose guidance, love and support always help me to grow in my relationship with God and people.
After joining the Congregation, I received a great opportunity to grow under the guidance of different sisters in different steps of my formation. With a grateful heart, I remember them all and my bandmates for their accompaniment, love, care and prayerful support, which have helped me to understand myself, experience God and to be committed.
I express my deepest thanks and gratitude to our Area Leadership Team and General Administration for their continual support, prayer and encouragement, and for allowing me to say “yes” to the Lord. I also thank each sister and all members of the Congregation for your prayerful support, love and care. Your support and encouragement always inspire me to go forward.
God is the source of my strength. As I look back, I feel how God’s unconditional love has sustained me and brought me this far. I found God in every difficult situation of my life. As I have pronounced my final commitment, I feel that I have said “yes” to the Lord by offering myself fully into his hands. The “yes” did not end, it has begun in a new way. I have to say “yes” to the Lord every day no matter whatever comes in my life. I need enough strength, courage, patience and perseverance to be faithful to the daily yes of my life. As our founder Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau said, “Supported by the grace of the God who has brought me thus far and sustained me in my weakness, I like to think that I shall learn not to rely on myself if I stumble.” Let this be my daily prayer. I believe that God and all of you will be with me as I continue my journey.
In the end, I offer myself and all of us into God’s hand. May the Lord direct us, accompany us and be with us on our journey in Holy Cross so that together we can continue to work for the glory of God.
Giving gratitude for meaning and beauty
By Sister Linda Teresa Rozario, CSC
With a grateful heart, I give thanks to God for my beautiful life. I also thank God for my vocation to this particular Congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Cross. I feel very happy in my religious life, though it’s a challenging life. I thank God for my ministry and community, and for all the blessings which I received throughout the years. I thank God for my spiritual and prayer life, which makes my way meaningful and beautiful.
Wherever I have ministered, I have been happy. I have been working with different cultures and have learned about their different traditions, foods, dress, languages, etc. I also have learned how they live simply in their daily lives. I tried my best to share my gifts and talents in my community and ministry places. Sharing my gifts and talents is a great joy for me.
In my daily life, I am practicing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. I am learning how to live life joyfully. I see growth in myself. Looking back on all the experiences I found myself in, this is my real call and real vocation in religious life.
Today is a great opportunity for me to say thanks to God and to all the people who have been guiding me and caring for me—especially the Congregation, my Holy Cross sisters, my family, friends, parents, teachers, professors, and many well-wishers.
I give special thanks for those sisters who helped me to discern my vocation, particularly to the director of temporary professed sisters. Also, I give thanks and gratitude to all the mentors of the local houses and to my spiritual directors, who helped me to know God and Jesus more deeply and to walk in the right direction.
Also, I thank Sister Pushpa Teresa Gomes, CSC, first councilor and former Area of Asia coordinator, who allowed me to minister in Agartala to experience different cultures and to pursue my M.A. studies. I would like to give thanks to all the people with whom I was involved in the village ministries.Lastly, I thank the leadership team, Coordinator Sister Violet Rodrigues, CSC, and her councilors, and all the sisters who came into my life as a blessing. God is always with me; I am not alone in this journey. Thank you all!