Lonavla welcomes Mother Yvonne

A grand, red carpet welcome awaited Mother Yvonne Reungoat this morning at

Lonavala. The sisters, students, the teaching and non-teaching staff were feeling blest with this visit of the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians after a span of 20 years. As soon as Mother Yvonne reached the gates of Auxilium at 8:10 am, the animator of Auxilium, Sr. Josephine Fernandes greeted Mother with a bouquet of flowers. The trumpet or tutari was sounded to give a traditional Maharashtrian welcome. Mother sported a traditional turban ‘feta’ which was draped over her head. The staff members led by the Headmistress of Auxilium High School, Sr. Sheela Furtado, also wore brightly coloured ‘fetas’. Mother was accorded a traditional Maharashtrian welcome with students playing the dhol, tasha, jhang, cymbals and performing lezim. Students with placards lined the road and waved to welcome Mother.

Mother Yvonne was escorted to a beautifully decorated ‘rath’ (chariot)

After having alighted from the ‘rath’, Mother was welcomed to the Aspirantate by Sr. Cecilia Crasta, the animator of St. Joseph’s Training Centre.

In the chapel, a prayer of welcome was raised to God for Mother Yvonne.  After a quick breakfast, Mother met the third batch of sisters and in her talk to them, she stressed on the importance of accompaniment, patient and listening attitude, zeal for vocations, being always available especially to youngsters, and  like Mary, to strive to do God’s will.

An entertainment programme was presented by the school. Sisters from different communities, teaching and non-teaching staff members, Past Pupils, Parents’ representatives and a


few well wishers were present for the function. Mother was welcomed

Mother then addressed the gathering and reminded everyone that we all belong to one large family. She encouraged the children to be always joyful since that is what Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello want and that is the only way to sanctity. She moved around the audience greeting students, teachers and parents, assuring them of her prayers and carrying them in her heart.

Immediately after the cultural programme in the quadrangle, all

proceeded towards the Aspirantate Chapel for the Holy Eucharist which was presided over by Fr. Valerian Pereira SDB and concelebrated by seven priests. In his homily, Fr. Valerian beautifully expressed his reflections on the Gospel saying that when we live by the commandments we are transformed by the grace of God. Men and women who were weak but had passion for Jesus became saints. This is seen in the life of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello and various other Salesian saints. He went on to say that it is easy to be saints walking with the young especially the poor, abandoned and those in danger. May Mary our mother always be with us and accompany us on our journey of holiness.

Mother Yvonne met the Novices, Aspirants and Postulants in the

afternoon.  Her message to them was: “You are the special choice of Jesus. He chose each one of you because He loves you. He called you to go to the young people. Consecrated life belongs totally to God. Each one of you is a unique flower with its own unique colour and a particular mission and Jesus

chose you His flowers for this Institute. Your uniqueness will give an

identity to the Institute. Each one has to grow in her talents and potentials. Each flower has to bloom before it withers away. Be the light of Jesus which always radiates Jesus in all relationships. Live each stage of formation faithfully and live your life to the full. Be open to your superiors especially when you have to face difficulties. Jesus accompanies us with his grace when he entrusts us with his mission”.

At 6.30 pm Mother Yvonne, accompanied by our Provincial Sr. Ritha

Dora, the Animators of Auxilium Convent Sr. Josephine Fernandes and St. Joseph Training Centre Sr. Cecilia Crasta, the Secretary Sr. Supriya Noronha and the Province Bursar Sr. Rita D’Souza travelled towards Ashish Bhavan Social Centre, Kune. The boarders, villagers and Sisters eagerly awaited Mother’s arrival at the entrance. The girls stood along the pathway to welcome Mother.  Mother was greeted with the traditional aarati .

Sr. Teresa Dharmaraj the animator of the House felicitated Mother with a shawl, whereas Sr. Carol Nunes and Sr. Vanita Khristi garlanded and offered a coconut to Mother as part of the Indian tradition of welcome.

The children presented a beautiful prayer dance and a Hindi re mix dance after which Mother addressed the village people and children.

She said she was extremely happy to be with them, to see their unity

and advised them to remain united always; to give importance to family values and be happy always. She wished them well and assured them of her prayers, asking them to remember her in their prayers.

Next, she was presented with the embroidery work of the village women which she appreciated much and then gifted them with sarees for their artistic hard work. She happily posed for photographs with the women, children and sisters and appreciated the sisters for the good work that they are doing in the Kune Mission.

Mother then bid them adieu to travel back to Provincial House, Bandra. For her, this was a wonderful and memorable day.