Inauguration of the new chapel and the opening of Residents Block at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Mumbai presided by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias!
The blessing and the consecration of the Chapel of our Home in Mumbai took place on November 26th, 2023, on the feast of Christ the King.
A Little Sister from each community of the Province was invited for the occasion.
During the last few days the workers were doing the finishing touch of the chapel and the Community Sisters were doing the cleaning continuously. On the morning of the blessing, the Little Sisters guests were invited to help out for the cleaning and the last minute preparations of the chapel before the ceremony.
Entrance of the Home
Views of the chapel
Consecration & Inauguration of the new Chapel
The Eucharistic celebration took place at 3 pm, presided by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias and concelebrated by 12 priests. The chapel is so beautiful and spacious. At 3 pm the chapel was filled with invitees. The Little Sisters joined the entrance procession with Cardinal and Priests. As he began the Eucharist the Cardinal expressed his joy at the completion of Residents Block and the Chapel. Sister Rosemary of Jesus welcomed the assembly in English and Marathi. Then the Eucharist began. The first reading was done by Sister Ann Pepitha and it was an associate Jeanne Jugan, Mr. Arthur D’Silva who did the second reading. During the homily, the Cardinal highlighted that the Gospel reading of the day - St. Mathew 25, in which Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. etc.” applies to the Little Sisters of the poor who take care of the elderly people with so much love and dedication.
After the Homily, the credo was recited by all; and then the consecration of the Altar took place with chrism oil. While the oil was smeared on the altar by Cardinal, Fr. Albin, the secretary to the Cardinal went around to make the sign of the cross with chrism on the pillars of the chapel. Once the consecration was completed, Cardinal incensed the altar. Then the Little Sisters came around to prepare the altar for the Eucharistic celebration. Then followed the Offertory procession and the mass continued as usual. After final blessing as the Cardinal came down through the main aisle of the chapel he blessed the people as he proceeded.
Soon after all over assembled at the entrance of the Home for the opening ceremony. Cardinal after praying opened the curtain of the plaque which says: “Foundation stone laid by Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop John Rodrigues, Bishop of Pune on the 18th of October 2017. Inaugurated by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias on 26th November 2023.” Cardinal was visibly happy at that moment.
While he was having some refreshments the people were requested to move to a place where the shaminas were erected with a stage well decorated with the wordings of Saint Jeanne Jugan – We must always say: “Blessed be God, Thank you my God and Glory be to God”. Each guest was given a box of snacks and a key chain as souvenir of the event
The weather began to threaten us by drops of rain but we continued to pray to Saint Joseph for a favorable weather.
To begin the program, three dancers from Gyna Ashram performed a beautiful prayer dance which was followed by the lighting of the Indian lamp by the dignitaries – Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Mother Provincial, Mother Hilda Marie Antoinette, Mr. Mahindra Mehta, Mr. Samir D’Monte, Mr. Chaitanya Mehta and one of our Residents, Mrs. Blanch.
Lighting the Lamp
Felicitation of Dignitaries
Mother Provincial took the parole and expressed her gratitude to Mother Hilda and all those who collaborated with her for the completion of the building. Then she read out the message sent by Mother General Maria del Monte Auxiliadora, from France. Then a word of appreciation was addressed by the Architect and contractor, who highlighted the wonderful client they had in Mother Hilda, who was so cooperative and understanding.
Distribution of Plants
To express our appreciation to all those who collaborated for the construction of building were gifted with a plant. Then Cardinal said a few words expressing his joy and happiness for the reconstruction of Residents block. He wished that many elderly people benefit of the service rendered by the Little Sisters.
The program came to an end with a Thanksgiving song to God. With our Mother Saint Jeanne Jugan we say, “Blessed be God, thank you my God and Glory be to God.”