by Sisters Royne Josephine Costa, CSC, and Lina Mrong, CSC
Sisters of the Holy Cross gathered to celebrate the perpetual professions of Sisters Semaria Tongpiar, Likha Ruram and Gidding Simsang, and the jubilee anniversaries of Sisters M. Bruno (Beiro), who marked 70 years of consecrated life, and 25-year celebrants Mrinalini Goretti Rema, Mary Renu Samaddar and Shilpi Rozario on May 31 at Holy Rosary Church, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
An atmosphere of elation and celebration filled the Holy Cross Convent campus for these two special events. The theme of the celebration was, “The Cross, Our Only Hope.” The seven sisters prepared a holy hour where each shared about her life’s journey in Holy Cross and expressed thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness and loving graces. At the close of the hour, the assembly extended their hands in a prayer of blessing over the celebrants. They were then greeted with bouquets of flowers as gifts from the Congregation’s General Leadership Team.
The church was filled with religious, celebrants’ family members and the people of Tejgaon parish. Bishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze, OMI, of the Sylhet Diocese, presided over the Holy Eucharist, assisted by Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, CSC, of the Diocese of Mymensingh. Some 45 priests concelebrated with the bishops. Sister Angela Golapi Palma, CSC, of the General Leadership Team, received the perpetual vows of Sisters Semaria, Likha and Gidding, in the name of the Church and the Congregation. Jubilarian Sisters M. Bruno, Mrinalini, Mary Renu and Shilpi lit the candles at the beginning of the eucharistic celebration and later renewed their commitments in the presence of the assembly.
Holy Cross sisters from the Areas of Africa, Asia, South America and North America pronounced their continued commitment to share their lives with Sisters Semaria, Likha and Gidding. Those present from the Area of Africa were Sisters Theresia W. Mbugua and Lillian Nyakaisiki; and from the Area of South America, Sisters Mary Elizabeth Bednarek, Vanessa Cruz Ferreira, Maria de Lourdes de Deus Pimentel and Conceição Nogueira dos Santos—all of whom had been in India for the General Chapter—and from North America, Laura Guadalupe Tiburcio Santos, who attended for her cross-cultural experience. The presence of Sister Ridahun Basaiawmoit, bandmate of the perpetually professed sisters, was also appreciated.
A festive meal was served after the Mass. Family members of Sisters Semaria, Likha, Gidding, Mrinalini, Mary Renu and Shilpi joined in the event, sharing in and adding to the festivity and the joy of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It was a great pleasure to have sisters from different areas of the world and from several local communities present to take part in and witness the marvelous celebration.
During an evening cultural program, local communities presented exciting performances and expressed good wishes for the celebrants. The jubilarians and perpetually professed sisters shared their feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to God for his love and blessings for their lives and vocations. The celebration closed with a song to Mother Mary, “Salve Regina.”