by Holy Cross Sisters Gidding Marceline Simsang and Urmita Cicilia Rozario
We rejoice in and with Sister Rani Gumej, CSC, who professed her perpetual vows on October 15, 2021, at Holy Rosary Church, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. On the same day, we celebrated with joy and gratitude our jubilarians, Holy Cross Sisters Mitali Mree, Mala Kubi, Cecilia Karuna Corraya, Joya Rozario, Joyce Rozario and Jamuna Magdeline Gomes, who have each served 25 years of consecrated life with the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Sister Mitali was unable to come from India, but she was fondly remembered in the ceremony. Archbishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze, OMI, of the Archdiocese of Dhaka, presided over the sacred liturgy. Sister Violet Rodrigues, Area of Asia coordinator, received Sister Rani’s vows.
The celebration began on October 14 with an hour of benediction arranged by Sister Rani and the jubilarians. The sisters shared their thankfulness and love for God with various symbols: the wine and the branches, incense, a fruit basket, embroidery work and a lantern. In the homily, Archbishop D’Cruze focused on the life of St. Joseph, in observance of the year dedicated to him. The Archbishop described St. Joseph as a model of consecrated life, glorifying his silent life lived in poverty, chastity and obedience to God.
The presence of Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, CSC, of Mymensingh Diocese, priests, sisters and the family members of Sister Rani and the jubilarians made the day blissful. Sister Violet gave a speech at the end of the eucharistic liturgy, and the celebrated sisters were received with song and dance and escorted from the church to Holy Cross Convent. There, guests enjoyed a festive meal and delicious cake, followed by a wonderful cultural program performed by sisters from different local communities.
Expressing their thankfulness and gratefulness to God for their vocation in Holy Cross and for all the blessings that they have received, Sister Rani and the jubilarian sisters performed a dance and jarigaan, or folk song. Sister Violet then expressed thanks and gratitude to God, all the committee members, and the employees for making the day beautiful. We closed the celebration with the singing of our Mother Mary’s song.
Sister Rani Gumej, CSC, Professes Perpetual Vows
by Sister Rani Gumej, CSC
“I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart … I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to you for your steadfast love and faithfulness …” (Psalm 138:1-2)
First and foremost, I thank God Almighty for all his graciousness. My heart wells up with gratitude and joy to God for sanctifying and dignifying this day of my perpetual profession with his many blessings.
To be loved is the foundation of consecrated life—and this has become true for me. My heart is overwhelmed by this blessing as I commit myself to the Lord forever, joyfully and gratefully. I praise Jesus for the wonderful work done in me from the time I was in my mother’s womb until now.
As I walk each day with joy, sorrows and challenges, God is with me as a gentle friend, showing me kindness, compassion and unconditional love. I am grateful to God for calling me to this religious life and for helping me experience the gift of my vocation with a joyful heart—living in community, sharing life with the people of God and giving myself to the Lord.
I also give thanks to the people who have been walking with me these many years. I thank my parents, who brought me into this world to see the beauty of God’s creation, for their unconditional love, support and unceasing inspiration. I also remember my siblings, friends, relatives, teachers and religious sisters who helped me to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. All of them have played a significant role in my life.
I feel deeply blessed to join the Family of Holy Cross; it is the best thing I have ever experienced. There were ups and downs along the way, but I consistently felt the joy we share together, the respect we have for one another’s cultures, and our love for everyone, especially for the people of God.
Today, the day of my perpetual profession, is a blessing and joyful celebration of my vocation as a Holy Cross sister. I commend myself to God’s love and grace and pray that I may offer myself fully into God’s hands. I say “yes” forever to him, as he chose me to serve his loved ones through the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.