Members of Leadership are in Africa right now, where they attended two celebrations this weekend, the 15th anniversary of SCNs beginning ministry in Botswana, and the Golden Jubilee of Olive Pinto, SCN.
Both SCN President, Susan Gatz, and Ann Muthukattil, SCN in ministry in Botswana, were invited to speak.
Sister Susan shared the following reflection.
“Bishop Valentine, Bishop Emeritus Boniface, Father Liju, Sister Olive, our honoree, all our Brother Priests, Sisters and all our friends gathered here.
“I bring you greetings from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth around the world. Our Sisters and Associates in Belize, Central America, India, Nepal and the United States are joining us in spirit as we celebrate Sister Olive’s Golden Jubilee and the 15th anniversary of the SCNs in this beautiful country of Botswana.
“As Ann said earlier, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the life of Sister Olive and the ways she has lived out the motto of the SCNs – the Love of Christ Impels us.
“And we are so grateful for all the gifts and blessings we have received ever since you, Bishop Boniface, invited us to come to Botswana and supported us in our early years here. In the following years we have met so many of you – parishioners, co-workers, our SCN Associates, students – and have felt your love and support, especially, you Bishop Valentine, who are a faithful guide and collaborator for the sake of the Reign of God. In the name of the SCN community, I also thank all the parish priests who over the years have directly worked with our Sisters. Pope Francis has invited us to become experts in communion. the collaboration of the Priests, Sisters and co-workers has made our ministry easier and a joy.
“I join others in thanking all those who helped make today’s liturgy such a wonderful celebration…and (have enjoyed) the songs. I wish I could have all the SCNs around the world with us. The delightful aromas make us know that the meal will be delicious!”
— Sisters of Charity (@scnfamily) August 31, 2015
During the weekend celebration, Sister Ann, who has been in ministry with Sister Olive these last few years, spoke fondly of Sister Olive, her commitment to religious life, and her love of the people of Botswana.
“Your Lordship, Right Reverend Bishop Valentine Seane, Bishop Emeritus Boniface Tstlalekgosi, Parish Priest Father Liju, president of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sister Susan Gatz, and SCN vice presidents Sangeeta Ayithamattam and Brenda Gonzales, Priests, Sisters, guests, and all present, I greet you all on behalf of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
“Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the life and ministry of Olive Pinto, SCN. Many of us who are here today, perhaps, may not know much about Sister Olive. Sister is loving and caring, enthusiastic, prayerful, and a highly gifted person, who lives a simple and hidden life. She goes about doing great things with much love, in an unassuming manner.
“Sister Olive is the fifth of nine children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Christine Pinto. All of the members in this family are great musicians. In good and difficult times, the family centered their lives on God and the Blessed Mother. Nurtured in such an environment of deep faith, the family gifted the church with two vocations, the late Father Eric Pinto and Sister Olive.
“Sister Olive was born and brought up in the busy commercial capital of Mumbai, India. The glamour and the glory of city life did not hinder her from following her desire in becoming a Religious, and to go far away from her home to serve the poorest of the poor in rural India.
“Sister Olive entered the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in June 1962 as a young girl, and made her first commitment in 1965. The Motto of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, “The Love of Christ impels us (2 Cor. 5:14),” captured her heart and has been the driving force of her life.
“Her ability to adjust to persons, places, and situations is such that she was willing to be sent any where, at any time, to do any type of work, often on short notice. This led her late brother, Father Eric to call her “spare parts.”
“God has lavished Sister Olive with so many talents. She has made maximum use of all, to specify a few – she is an educator, socio-pastoral expert, artist, musician and composer. She has composed many devotional songs in both English and in Indian language. She is also an anthropologist and is always eager to learn more various types of people, cultures, languages, customs, and practices. She is a keen observer and lover of nature. She has walked miles in the rain and the scorching sun, to meet people, even in the remotest villages, where no one dare to go.
“Sister Olive has been a formator for many years. Three who entered into Formation under her guidance are here in Botswana, Sisters Sunila, Sethunya, and Mary.
“In 2009, Sister Olive’s long cherished dream became a reality, when she was chosen to come to Botswana. She considers it as a blessing and a privilege to share her deep faith and love with the people.
“As Sister Olive celebrates her golden years as a Religious, the SCN Congregation in Botswana celebrates our 15 years of mission and ministry to the people of this great nation, especially in the Diocese of Gaborone. As we look back over the 15 years of our committed service here, we are deeply grateful to God for the countless blessings that we received through our people. We are deeply thankful to you, Bishop Boniface Setlalekgosi, for inviting us to work in the Diocese of Gaborone, and to you, Bishop Valentine, for your fatherly care and support. So it is fitting that we join Sister Olive in thanking God for all the SCN Missions in this sacred land.
“On this special occasion, we are grateful for the presence of our Leadership Team. Through you, the entire Congregation is present here.
“So with deep gratitude to God, we say, for all that has been, “thanks,” and for all that will be,“yes.” Let us celebrate this Eucharist with hearts full of love, joy, and gratitude.
“A o bakwe Morena Jesu keresete.”