CRI Unit Gulbarga had the joy of celebrating a programme on Consecrated Life, on 19th March 2022 at Mother of Divine Grace Cathedral, Gulbarga. There were 99 participants present for this gathering from Bidar, Gulbarga and Bijapur zone. The programme began with a prayer led by Bijapur Zone. Sr. Reena, secretary of the CRI unit in Gulbarga, welcomed the chief guest Most Rev. Bishop Robert Michael Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga Diocese, Fr. SFr. Stany Lobo, the Vicar General, Santhosh, Rector of the Cathedral, Fr. Santhosh Fernandes the resource person of the day, CRI Unit President, Zonal presidents graced the occasion. Fr. Lawrence D’ Almeida, the President, during his opening address quoted Pope Francis saying, “Wherever consecrated people are, there is always joy!” He said that today we need a smiling religious person, who can spread the fragrance of joy and happiness around even in the midst of storms and failures. Later, the lamp was lit by all the dignitaries of the day. It was a true blessing to have the presence of Rev. Robert Michael Miranda in which he exhorted to continue helping the poor and to extend beyond our bounds while doing so. Fr. Santhosh Fernandes SJ the resource person of the day inspired and enriched the gathering through his talk on the consecrated life and prophetic community for the kingdom. He discussed four essential elements of religious life. They are: Religious life is a sign, religious life is a sign of the kingdom, religious life is a prophetic sign and religious life is a sign in India.
During the programme 6 religious from different congregations were felicitated by the CRI as they celebrated their diamond, golden and silver jubilees. Fr. Melwyn Mendonca and Sr. Aveline felicitated the jubilarians by presenting a small gift along with a short video on their lives. It was very inspiring to learn about the missionary spirit and daring of these men and women who have led dedicated lives as religious. Sr. Stella Marie, one of the jubilarians shared her experience of religious life in this diocese by saying she worked in a RSS school though it was a Hindu based area. Through her perseverance, patience and strong faith in God enabled her to convince the people about the values of Christ in the school. The programme came to a successful end with the vote of thanks by Sr. Neeta, the president of Bijapur zone, followed by meaningful Eucharistic celebration. The entire celebration came to an end with the sharing of the fraternal meal.