By Malini Manjoly, SCN | More photos
SCNs live the message of Jesus at Lauki, Ineruwa, Dharan, Nepal. Navjyoti Centre, Lauki was blessed by Most Rev. Paul Simick and inaugurated by Sangeeta Ayithamattam, SCN, Vice President on April 30, 2016. The Bishop presided over the Eucharistic celebration with four other priests. It was the first Mass offered at Lauki. Some of the protestants from nearby villages attended the Nepali Mass.
“We visited you when you were sick, we shared your joys, kindness and sorrows. In our initial days here, you were fearful that we would make you Christians. Our motive of being here is not make you Christians but we would like to improve the education of your children and the empowerment of women and continue to live the message of Jesus’ love”, said Cornelia Ekka, SCN to the over two hundred people who gathered for the blessing and inauguration of the place of ministry cum residence.
In order to dispel the fears of the people and to let them know who we are Basanti Lakra, SCN, Provincial said, “We are Christian women religious in the Church to serve God and God’s people. We Catholics live two way of life, married and religious.” She further said that we are here for the education of children especially girls.
In the name of the Congregation, Sangeeta Ayithamattam, SCN, Vice President thanked the people of Lauki for their cooperation and accepting the Sisters amidst them. She also expressed her gratitude to Salesian priests who were very supportive in establishing this mission.
Most Rev. Paul Simick, Bishop of Nepal Vicariate told the people that Navjyoti has brought new light to Lauki. During the Eucharistic celebration, the prelate also said that Navjyoti Sisters are a sign of unity among the people.
Aisha Kavalakkattu, SCN, Coordinator of Himalayan region, welcomed the guests with khadha. Sixteen SCNs from Dharan, Kathmandu, Surkhet, Patna, Ranchi and Mokama, a Sister from the Loreto’s Dharan, many religious men from the area and over 200 people from the village were present for the occasion.
The children of the non-formal classes gave a welcome program prepared by Rita Barla, SCN during the felicitation. Some of the women sang a Nepali song.
The Salesian priests own the adjacent land. Seeing the program of the children and women, one of them, Father Davis who helped with the construction and who has been coming to the place regularly from the beginning noticed the change among the people. He commented that already empowerment is being taking place within a short time.
Three benefactors, Mete Thybo, Juliane and Rene Joenke from Denmark were present for the inauguration. They brought many play and educational items for the children. They promised to fund for a library and to build up a play ground for the children.
The local Nepali government school principal told the people that the Sisters are here for the benefit of us. I have always supported them and considered them as my Sisters.
The invited guests had lunch after the program. Over 500 children, women and men from Lauki Wards 1, 2, 7 and 9 kept coming until evening for the traditional bhoj, beaten and puffed rice, chicken curry and cooked gram.
SCNs Cornelia Ekka and Aruna Ekka (Sr) were the pioneers of Lauki. Formally the mission began in October 2014.
In thanking the people, Sister Cornelia told the people that with respect you call me ‘Mother’. I feel you are my sons and daughters. Let us continue to live as brothers and Sisters living and sharing the message of love, kindness and peace.