Welcome to the Family of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel:
On 25th April 2016, 14 novices made their First Profession here at St. Joseph’s Church, Sitagarha. Rt. Rev. Bp. Anand Jojo, the Bishop of Hazaribag, was the Main Celebrant. He was assisted by Fr. Abraham, our Parish Priest, Fr. Sangeetraj, Sj, the uncle of novice John Joseph Leo, Fr. George Chittady, the VG of Hazaribag diocese, Fr. Patras Tirkey, the Rector of SSC, and a few more priests from Sitagaraha and Hazaribag.
The presence of Rev. Bro. Paul Raj, the Asstt General, Bro. Clement Kandulna, the Provincial of Ranchi, Bro. James Ekka, the Provincial of Delhi, Bro. Pratap Reddy, the Provincial of Hyderabad, Bro. Franky Noronha, the National Chairman and Provincial of Pune and a number of Brothers from MTC, Hazaribag, Dhawaiya, Ranchi, Hathiagonda, Kanke, Konbir-Noatoli, Patna, Banea and Ambikapur encouraged the novices who were going to be professed and the Staff of the novitiate. The presence of our candidates from Hathiagonda and Ranchi were a great help in arranging the chairs, serving the food, etc. We also had 15 parents and relatives of the novices from TN. They were accompanied by Bros. Stephen Xavier and Bro. Lawrence from Montfort Aruludayam, Otterpalayam, Erode. Bro. Roshan Kerketta from Dhawaiya had received them at the railway station in Ranchi and brought them to Sitagarha. Then we had five parents and relatives from Telangana, five from Chattisgarh and 15 from Jharkhand. The Provincial of Yercaud could not be present.
Before the Mass at 4.15 pm we had 30 minutes of prayer service in our chapel, as an immediate preparation for the Religious Consecration. It was animated by the Novice Master and attended by Rev. Bro. Paul Raj, the Asstt General, and all the five Provincials. Then we had a short prayer in front of the statue of our Founder and then proceeded to the church in line. At sharp 5.00pm the Eucharistic celebration began with entrance dance by the postulants of Ursuline Sisters. The choir consisted of the Ursuline Tertian Sisters. Both the groups did an excellent job.
The theme of the day was ‘Embrace the Future with Hope’. The readings and the hymns were selected based on the theme. 25th April was also the feast day of St. Mark, the Evangelist. Hence referring to him the Bishop said that according to Markan gospel the primary duty of a disciple is to be with the Master (Cf. Mk3:14). Therefore he emphasized on the importance of daily communion with the Lord for a disciple. He also shared that the institutionalized religious life prevents one from going to the ordinary people and sharing their difficulties.
At the time of pronouncement of the vows each provincial was invited to receive the vows of their novice. After the communion Bros. Chandradeep Toppo and Bro. Malar Priyan proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the group in a creative way. Fr. Abraham, the PP, also thanked the novices and the staff for their contribution towards the liturgical celebrations of the parish in different ways.
After the Mass all were requested to move to St. Gabriel’s House. There we had a short felicitation programme. Rev. Bro. Paul Raj in his address highlighted the significance of the year 2016 as it is the 300th Anniversary of the death of St. Louis de Montfort, our Founder and the year 2015 was the 300th year of our foundation. He also threw light on the uniqueness of the vocation of a religious Brother. He thanked the parents for giving their sons to our Congregation for the service of the Church. He also thanked and appreciated the dedicated service of the Staff of the novitiate particularly that of Bro. T.T. Mathew, for the last six years.
Bro. Franky, the National Chairman, also addressed the gathering. In his address he tried to distinguish the ambition of a youth in the world and of a young religious. He said that it is not the power, wealth and position that give us lasting happiness but a life of honesty and integrity where one is able to forget himself/herself and be of service to others. He also thanked and appreciated the Staff for their contribution. Then Bro. T.T. Mathew made use of the opportunity to thank everybody for their cooperation and collaboration during the past six years and said that he is going away from Sitagarha with a lot of happy memories. Then the newly professed were welcomed to their provinces by the respective Provincials with a garland. Finally the Ursuline tertian Sisters congratulated them with a song. Meanwhile they cut the cake and shared it with one another. It was followed by a festive dinner. Thus the whole ceremony was well organized. Bro. Abraham Toppo, the Socious, was the M.C. of the whole programme and Bro. Ajit Camil Toppo, the Administrator, looked into the arrangement of food.
I gratefully acknowledge the whole–hearted cooperation of our Brothers from MTC, Dhawaiya and of the Sisters and Fathers from the neighbouring communities towards the successful completion of this ceremony. May God bless us!
Bro. T.T. Mathew