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Nazareth Academy, Gaya concluded the Platinum Jubilee year with a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Archbishop of Patna, Most Rev. William D’Souza, SJ November 29, 2014. Father Andrews Thampi, Gaya Parish Priest, Father James George, Principal of Crane Memorial School, Gaya, and other priests from neighboring parishes joined the Holy Mass.

The presence of Sister Vimala, CJ, Provincial and Sister Saumyia,CJ from Patna and IBVM Loreto Sisters, Ursula Darcy and Shakuntala Kujur from Kolkata added to the true spirit of the Platinum Jubilee. The CJ Sisters founded the School in 1939. It was known as St. Michael’sSchool. The Loreto Sisters took over the School from them in 1943. The SCNs had the ownership of the School from 1951 and changed its name to Nazareth Academy.

The teachers and all otherstaff, Christian students, some parishioners, forty-seven SCNsand two SCN Candidates were present for the Mass. The presence of Sister Sangeeta Ayithamattam, SCN Vice President and Sister Mary Elizabeth Miller from Western Province gave a global SCN presence. Sisters Basanti Lakra, SCN Provincial and Philomena Kottoor, SCN Vice Provincial, Patna Province and Sister Ann Palatty, SCN Provincial, Bangalore Province and former Principal, and all the other former Principals of the School present multiplied the joy of the celebrations.

The Archbishop briefed the audience with the sacred history of Nazareth Academy from 1939 onwards and praised our God for all the wonders God has done through this premier institution for the thousands of its students, their parents, the people of Gaya and the nation through the last seventy-five years. The gem of his message was how we, SCN Sisters have spread God’s good news of love, compassion and service to all human kind regardless of their caste, creed or their economic status. Today we are proud of all our former students living around the globe being carriers of the same message of God’s love, compassion and peace through great contributions in their respective professions and all other walks of life.

The beautifully decorated school campus looked festive and welcoming of the great occasion. On a very creative and attractive stage in the open air, a dance drama depicted the origin and growth of the school.

The audiences were led through the history of the School through a variety of dances and drama scenes. The students powerfully enacted the present reality of the society- destruction of the environment, oppression of the marginalized, violence against women to inspire and motivatethe audience to take responsibility in building a just and humane society.

The Chief Guest, Mrs. RashmiTripati, Regional Officer of Central Board of Secondary Education, Patna congratulated the school management, teachers and students for the spectacular performance of the evening. She called upon the teachers and parents to be mentors and friends in understanding the child and bringing out the best in him/her.

The function concluded with an agape for all the invited guests. The success of the day was the culmination of a yearlong planning, hard work, collaboration andmeticulous execution from the management, teachers, staff, students andSCN leadership.

Late Sister Cecily Velleringatt, SCN was fondly remembered for her hard work and great contributions in the preparations for this event. All the former Principals, Sisters Charles Miriam (Mary Holt) and James Leo and Sister Prema Muthukattil were remembered. Our dear late Sister Shalini D’Souza who served as vice principal at the Academy has been included in the list of those who have achieved their eternal happiness. They were depicted in the billboard display on ‘Their Shoulders we Stand’ just outside the auditorium.

Congratulations to Sister Sophia Joseph, Principal, Seema Monippallikalayil, Vice Principaland Sister Anne Marie Thayilchirayil, former Principal and Local Coordinator for the unique and spectacular opening into the future possibilities of this outstanding institution.

November 30 was dedicated to all our ex-students who had arrived from far and wide for their NOSA meet at Nazareth Academy. They had been invited for the evening cultural program followed by their dinner organized and financed by themselves.

Written by Anne Marie Thayilchirayil, SCN and Sisters

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