October 5 was the beginning of the two-day celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Dehonian presence in India. The main celebrant of the evening Eucharist was Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Cordorniú, SCJ, superior general. The homily was a shared reflection by several Dehonians. After the homily, the district’s first Lay Dehonian made a year-long commitment to Dehonian spirituality; Fr. Carlos Luis received her commitment.
Held on the roof of Christu Dehon Nivas, as soon as Mass was done, the altar area was converted back into a stage and representatives from various communities in India performed a variety of music and dance numbers.
Hundreds came together at Christu Dehon Nivas in Eluru to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Dehonian presence in India. Bishop Rao Polimera, DD, bishop of Eluru, was the main presider at the Silver Jubilee Mass. Alongside him were many of the missionaries who had helped to build the district in its early years, as well as Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Cordorniú, superior general, and Fr. McQueen Mascarenhas, district superior. Stretched out in front of the altar were rows upon rows of concelebrants, both SCJs and many friends of the community. And behind them, many, many others, including local religious communities and families.
“Your founder called you to be witnesses of God’s transforming love in souls and societies,” said the bishop during his homily. “Spread God’s love with an open heart and mind throughout the world. The Dehonian spirit of love and oblation is an authentic service of the Church.” In his closing words to the bishop, Fr. Carlos Luis told him that the Dehonians had fallen in love 25 years ago, fallen in love with the people of India. “And our most beautiful blessing is our SCJ brothers who thrive here now.”
Following the Mass was a video about the district, as well as presentations of several items that were prepared for release at the jubilee, including a CD of music that featured songs written and performed by Dehonians, a book on the history of the community in India by Fr. Emmanuel Nanduri, and a book of homilies by Fr. Dharma. The evening ended with a reception in the courtyard