Fr Michael Raj, the Provincial Superior, delivered the welcome address. As he thanked His Excellency Rt Rev Agnelo Gracias, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay, for his kind acceptance of the request to be the main celebrant of the Jubilee Mass he also invited him to join in the joy of the jubilarians and pray for them. “Yes, indeed I have come to join in the joy of the jubilarians and thank God and pray for them on this happy occasion of their jubilee,” said His Lordship in his introduction.
“Today everything is happening fast. New things are coming out in quick succession. People keep changing things. People do not prefer lasting commitments to things and even persons,” His Lordship thus began his thought provoking and inspiring homily. “However, religious or priestly life is different. It bears witness to genuine and lasting commitments. It’s a commitment that lasts through one’s entire lifetime. We are celebrating such a commitment that lasted for the last 50 and 25 years in the case of Br Basil the golden jubilarian and Fr Joe and Fr Johny the silver jubilarians. I congratulate them on this achievement and at the same time I wish and pray that this commitment grows stronger and remains so till the end of their life.”
The liturgy perfectly organized especially the choir singing in cherubic unison, the congregation had very meaningful, prayerful and joyful celebrations of the solemn jubilee Mass.
Fr Joe Eruppakkatt, the silver jubilarian, had an added reason to celebrate his jubilee. His latest book entitled 100 Musings from Daily Life was released by His Lordship Agnelo Gracias soon after the final blessings. We convey our hearty congratulations to Fr Joe on his achievement.
A jubilee felicitation programme was held after the Mass. Fr Michael Raj read out the felicitation message of Rev Fr Silvio Sassi the Superior General of the Society of St Paul to the jubilarians. PowerPoint presentations about each of the jubilarians were shown. At the end of the presentations the jubilarians were felicitated with a gift each.
Fr George Kaitholil gave a felicitation speech packaged with a great sense of humour that elicited peals of laughter among the audience. A fusion dance by a Junior added colour to the felicitation. ‘Sur Sangam’ a Hindi devotional CD the latest from St Paul Audio-Visuals was released on the occasion. The CD was aptly released by Br Basil Chennamkulam the golden jubilarian.
“Thanks and praise to the Holy Triune God for His marvellous and unconditional love!” said Fr Joe Eruppakkatt speaking on behalf of Br Basil and Fr Johny and on his own behalf. “A big thank you for all that you are to us. Please continue to pray for us and support us in our religious and priestly journey. We assure you of our prayers and support,” concluded Fr Joe Eruppakkatt.
Fr Agusutine Kanachikuzhiyil the assistant superior of the community proposed a vote of thanks. He thanked all the members who collaborated, planned and worked together especially the heads of various committees to make the jubilee celebrations a great success.
The jubilee celebrations culminated in grand dinner hosted by us in our renovated refectory and in the lounge.
Congratulations dear Br Basil Chennamkulam the golden jubilarian and Fr Johny Panamthanam and Fr Joe Eruppakkatt the silver jubilarians. May God continue to accompany you in your religious and priestly journeys.
Fr William James ssp