Mangalore (Agenzia Fides) - The congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany (the so-called "Sisters of Bethany"), on the occasion of the centenary of the foundation of the Institute, has started a housing project for one hundred poor families throughout the country and training a thousand young people for Christian leadership.
The centenary of the foundation of the congregation (1921-2021) began on 11 July with a solemn mass, in which the nuns renewed their commitment and thanked the Lord for the history of Providence of the Institute. On the other hand, the religious have launched a new apostolic service to combat human trafficking and unsafe migration. The goal is to reach the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic who are vulnerable to these phenomena.
The inauguration of the centenary was held today at the Mother House of the Bethany Sisters in Mangalore, in the presence of Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, at the head of the diocese of Mangalore. Sister Rose Celine, Superior General of the Order, solemnly declared the Centenary Year open, bringing "the Jubilee candle" which symbolizes 100 years of life and mission that lit a hundred lamps placed on the altar. Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha publicly thanked and recognized the precious contribution of the Sisters of Bethany to the Indian Church and to society, where the religious carry out "a fruitful apostolic service, especially in favor of women, universally appreciated by Catholics and non-Catholics".
In India, the congregation is blessed with numerous vocations and currently has 1,381 sisters who carry out apostolic service in 61 Indian dioceses. Present in 187 communities scattered in nine countries around the world, the religious today are engaged in activities of significant pastoral and social character: in particular in the education of girls, the emancipation of women, the commitment to combat human trafficking.
The congregation was founded on July 16, 1921 (feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) by the servant of God Mgr. Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas (1875-1960), to respond to the social needs of that time, above all with the aim of educating the poor of rural areas and contributing to the human promotion of women. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 22/7/2020)