One of the blessings of the New Year 2022 came my way as I was present with our Sisters and the people we serve in Musunuru, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The experience left me so enriched that I wish to share it with all.
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” 1 Corinthians 3:6
The seeds that were planted by the pioneers, watered by many SCNs who served in the mission, supported by SCN family, our collaborators, the staff, and the people we serve in the Musunuru mission have grown to be a big tree and continue to grow in its fruitfulness. Musunuru is located about 69 kilometers [43 miles approximately] from the nearest major railway station, Vijayawada and it takes two hours for the journey. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have become an integral part of the village by their total presence in everything that impacts not just the village but the administrative division [taluk] as well. Empowerment of women through the ministry of our Sisters in Preranalaya skill development center, (community college), and St. Vincent’s girl’s hostel is slowly leading the small village and the neighboring villages to a systemic change. Our collaboration with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St. Eugene English medium school, in the field of education, is a life-giving experience for all concerned. The presence of our Sisters in the parish and pastoral ministry is well appreciated by the parishioners. Truly, the collaborative spirit is the hallmark of Mission in Musunuru in every way.
Even though COVID had hindered their work among the people, the zeal and the energy is palpable as I witnessed the ministry and its impact on the people, especially on the women and children. Though my presence was for a short period of time, one can experience the compassion and the passion with which the service is rendered and received.
The simple and faith-filled people touch your heart in small and big ways. I was even invited to be a Godmother for “Glory” who was baptized during the Sunday liturgy. What a privilege and sense of belonging! The people came to the church with their produce as offerings, bags of paddy (rice), and sharing all that they had including their presence.
Along with the Musunuru community members, I was privileged to visit the families of a few of our Sisters. The pandemic has indeed left a scar in all of them but they are joyful in the sacrifice they made for the sake of the Church through the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
My time in Nazareth Preranalaya, the SCN community in Musunuru, India, with Sisters Lucy Puthukatt, Silbiya M, Sudha Rani, Alma Xaxa, and Swarnalatha Vasimala along with two candidates, Shanthi and Sushmitha was a time of gratitude and intense communion with God. As I depart from this mission, I draw inspiration from the joyful commitment of these Sisters who hold the pioneer spirit of Mother Catherine aloft in this remote village of India. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth is truly alive here.
With deep gratitude,
Jackulin Jesu, SCN