Decked with colorful balloons, flowers, and plants, Nazareth Pre-School hall and the surrounding looked festive for the Diamond Jubilee Mass and lunch. The jubilarian Sisters Ann George Mukalel and her companion, Anne Marie Thayilchirayil were accompanied by their coordinators to the altar. The beginning of the first Diamond Jubilee celebration of 2020 began with a graceful entrance dance by Sonali Sonamoti Soren, SCN, which made it a prayerful holy atmosphere for the celebration. 

The introduction of Anila Monippallikalayil, SCN, highlighted the beautiful and grace-filled life journey of Sisters Anne Marie and Ann George, in particular. Sister Anila said, “God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds using time and pressure. And with changes, come in human lives silver, golden and diamond years... Gratitude fills our hearts as we gather today to recall God’s numerous blessings on our Sisters Ann George and Ann Marie who celebrate their diamond Jubilee today. Together we shall praise and thank God during the Eucharist for the 60 extraordinary years of their faithful and committed religious life in the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 

Sisters, you have been a pillar of hope and strength for the SCNs. You are the best teachers and principals, our walking dictionaries, our source of wit and wisdom that we ever had! … As an educator, you have been an excellent facilitator, inspiring, encouraging, and helping students and teachers to unfold their dormant potentials. You facilitate spiritual growth in them … Sister Ann George has nurtured Nazareth Academy, Mokama, and continues to do so with her wisdom, rich experiences, insight, presence, and blessings. She has played a vital role in setting it up and to give it a strong base as a pioneer in this institution… Imagine you are walking along and you trip over something and you turn around and find that it is a huge diamond. You would pick it up and do everything in your power to take care of that diamond because it might take care of you for the rest of your life. And that is exactly what Sisters Ann George and Ann Marie did in the past 60 years. It is rightly said that, “The life of a true Christian should be a perpetual jubilee, a prelude to the festivals of eternity.”

Our earthly life is a pilgrimage: a march together with Christ. Dear Sisters, as you continue in your pilgrimage, may you make Christ evermore the center of your entire life… “All my being proclaims the greatness of God!” that is indeed the summing up of our Blessed Mother Mary’s whole life, a life totally responsive, totally open to God. We pray that may the song of Mary resound in you, Sisters Ann George and Ann Marie. Everything in you proclaims God’s greatness in you all the years of your life!”

Sisters Ann George and Anne Marie did the reading of the Mass. Father Alex, parish priest of Mokama said in his homily the importance and meaning of the word ‘prepare’ as he prayed for these two Sisters. At the close of the liturgy, in gratitude Sister Ann George shared her song of praise. Soon after the Eucharist, Sisters in their 80s to 20s were in their essence showcasing their talents in dancing, singing, and acting. The priests and the lay Sisters also gave a spontaneous item. All participants were asked to write something on full-blown balloons and present them to the Jubilarians. The two were covered in balloons. Then the participants were led to a dance guided by Sister Sonali. It was fun to watch them happily dancing away and the jubilarians having fun and laughter. A delicious jubilee meal was served for all the thirty-eight present – a few of the older Sisters who have lived with Sister Ann George from the Convent, the formation personnel, and Ashirvad North and South communities. 

We wish you the very best Sisters Ann George and Anne Marie as you journey forward in faith and grace-filled life of service, prayer, and mentoring. 

SCNs Anila Monippallikalayil and Malini Manjoly