Amidst the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, Sister Hema Santhosha and Sister Mandapati Prashanti daringly professed their perpetual, “Yes!” to the Lord in the form of their perpetual vows in the presence of SCNs and candidates in Chandapura on May 16, 2021. Unlike other times, this time the chapel wasn’t full of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, religious Sisters, priests, and the loved ones of our Sisters, but though the physical presence was missed, the spiritual oneness was felt throughout the occasion. OSFS Priests, Vincent Kumar, regional superior, and Sudhir Raja celebrated the Holy Eucharist.
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth accompanied our tertians towards the altar substituting their parents as they couldn’t be present for the occasion. The theme for their liturgy was “Called to Serve and Love”, illustrated through a beautiful logo. Sister Amrita Manjaly, provincial of Bangalore, received the vows of these Sisters as the delegate of the president of the Congregation and congratulated them as they have now become fully-fledged Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
Sisters Hema and Prashanti gave the vote of thanks which was a very emotional moment for everyone present. The whole community in Chandapura contributed extraordinarily to make the occasion nothing less than the best day for the new perpetually vowed Sisters.
The celebrations had begun a day earlier with the “Haldi Rasam” a ritual in India for a woman who gets married. A beautiful prayer service was conducted by the young Sisters and a candle was offered to each tertian symbolizing to be a light for the world. The Haldi Rasam was organized where the Sisters, novices, and candidates applied turmeric, poured coconut milk, and blessed the tertian with rice, as is the custom. A lot of dance and singing added to the tone of celebration.
As the readings of the day reflected aptly, God has chosen, dedicated, and sent to care for the people. Let us continue to keep them in our prayers.