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Thursday, May 19, 2011

FSIC celebrates 75th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY 1936 – JUNE - 2011

The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrating its 75th Founding Anniversary on 13th August 2011, 10.00 am at Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu. However, the FSIC based in the Diocese of Sandakan, which covers St Mary's Cathedral Parish Sandakan, St Dominic's Parish Lahad Datu, Holy Trinity Parish Tawau and St Martin's Parish Telupid will celebrate the auspicious occasion during the Sunset Eucharistic Celebration on Saturday 25th June 2011 at St Mary's Cathedral Sandakan, followed by a dinner reception at the Parish Hall. All religious sisters of the congregation serving in the Diocese of Sandakan and some others, attached to the other Arch / dioceses are expected to attend this momentous event here in Sandakan.

OBJECTIVES :

1. To express our gratitude to God for our 75 years of existence as a Local Congregation

2. To celebrate with enthusiasm God’s abundant blessings

3. To inspire the Sisters with new zeal to go forth in continuing the mission of “Christ Known to All”

RATIONALE :

We rejoice and thank God for all that has been given, for the many fruitful services and relationships. We are grateful, too, for the times of failure, hurt and disappointment as we journey in this way of life. This is a grace-filled time for renewal and to return joyfully to the vigour of our earlier response to God. It is a time for all of us to “return” to what God has so freely and abundantly given over the many years, to recognize that what has been accomplished is God’s work, not ours, and to resolve to be ever more open to the Holy Spirit as it continues to work within and among us. Yes, we realize that we are always beginners in the ways of God. This 75th Founding Anniversary reminds us that it is a time to begin, to make a new start, to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us with ever-greater freedom.

SCHEME :

a) To Savour It

We want to savour the 75th Founding Anniversary celebration with savouring the real presence of the Good Lord in the Eucharistic Celebration which is the centre of each FSIC Sister (ref. Cons. Chapter 1, art. 3). All prayers and spiritual activities in connection with the anniversary lead us to the Father. The first words uttered by Jesus as He began His public life were “Repent and believe in the good news” (Mrk 1:15). That is, turn around, turn back to the source of your life, the source of your good, the source of your blessings.  

b) To Heighten It

We want to heighten and intensify the meaning of this 75th Founding Anniversary Celebration. And so, we will retreat to the earlier journey of our Founder Msgr. August Wacther, Co-founderess Mother Rose Charnley, the 4 pillars of the Congregation namely Mother Immaculata Ho, Mother Aloysius Malaim, Mother Francis Thien and Sr. Consolata Thien as well as those of the earlier Sisters. We want to heighten and revitalize the missionary call. May each FSIC and formandee be reminded and be grounded to that God-experience and claim it as her own.

c) To Share It

We want to share our joys, struggles and blessings. Thus, we will continue the effort of collaboration with the clergy, other religious Congregation and the laity. We wish that the 75th Founding Anniversary be a grace-filled period for reconciliation with those whom we may have hurt along our journey. It is a special time to reach out to the poor as a sign that we are responding to the current social issues.

THEME : In Gratitude, We Go Forth!

The 3rd Chapter of our Constitutions says, “Our life of prayer is a total response to the Father. We pray to the Lord as a loving Father whose voice we heard saying: “Do not be afraid, I will save you” (Jer. 1:8) “I have called you by your name – you are Mine.” (Is. 43:1). We strive to live a life of prayer as we walk each day in the presence of the Lord”.

Therefore, let us in gratitude thank our All-powerful, most holy and supreme God, all good, supreme good, totally good, who alone is good, and let us give HIM all praise and all glory, all thanks, all honour, all blessings and all good things (PrH 11) and for all the spiritual guidance we received from Him for the past 75 years of our existence.

It is also an appropriate moment for all of us as individuals, communities as well as a Congregation to look deep into our personal relationship with God, the source of our Religious Vocation, so that our Consecrated life may become the reflection of God’s love, peace and hope to all. This can be possible only through PRAYERS AND CONTEMPLATION.

Therefore, spiritual activities in forms of retreats, recollections, outreach programmes, study-days, pilgrimages to Sapong, Tenom have been and will be organized as part of our spiritual preparation for this significant event of our congregation.

By Sr. Appollonia Gumpu, fsic

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