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Medical Sisters of St. Francis Open First Indian Province

‘The Lord has done great things for us, O how happy we are’, exclaimed Sr. Sherrey Murphy, our General Superior at the concluding ritual of the installation of the provincial leadership in India on February 2, 2013.

The canonical erection of the Indian Province took place with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, with our candidates leading the congregation in a dance procession to the Altar. Archbishop Joseph Augustine of Raipur solemnized the celebration with some forty five priests in the presence of several distinguished guests and dignitaries. The Sisters of the General Leadership, the Provincial Superiors from Germany, the United States of America, Japan and sister representatives from all the provinces and several sisters of the Indian province were present to participate and witness this historical day with us.

The erection of the first Indian province occurs forty years after its pioneering missionaries landed in the country. ‘The Medical Sisters have witnessed great strides of growth and development ever since its inception in Raipur in 1973’, the Archbishop said in his homily. There was an expression of great joy and applause from all those present. As Sr. Sherrey Murphy had announced in a Circular Letter dated September 1, 2012, of the approval of the General Council in raising the Indian Region into the status of a Province. The Indian province extends over seven dioceses covering the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala. In addition, Sisters minister in five other locations within the dioceses of Agra, Bareilly, and Erankulam.

On behalf of the provincial council and the members of the province Sr. M. Lima expressed her gratitude to Sr. Sherrey and the General Council, the Congregational Leaderships from 1970, the missionaries and for the self-sacrificing gestures of numerous Medical Sisters from other provinces, various benefactors and well-wishers across the world.

The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a short felicitation. A dance by the formees of the Medical Sisters, ‘the Sower and the Seed’ was a fitting finale to the day’s event, a symbolic representation of the hard beginnings, the slow but steady growth of the community on the Indian soil.

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