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Centenary Year Closing Ceremony

St.Francis’ Convent Inter College, Jhansi completes 100 years On 20th April, 2013, St.Francis Convent Inter College, Jhansi (of the Congregation of Jesus)completed 100 years of its existence in Jhansi. It was indeed a day of thanksgiving, inspiration, entertainment and get together. Most Rev.Peter Parapullil, Bishop of Jhansi Diocese, Most Rev.Frederick D’Souza, Bishop Emeritus of Jhansi and many priests of the Jhansi Diocese concelebrated with MostRev.Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra as the main Celebrant. The Celebrants were led to the Altar by 27 children dancing to a devotional tune which evoked an ambience of serenity and peace. The Archbishop in his homily lauded thedaring spirit, undaunted courage and deep faith of the pioneers who set foot in Jhansi in the year 1913 and established St.Francis School for the education of local children. He also recalled the Charismatic leader, Venerable Mary Ward who founded the Congregation of Jesus in 1609 with the Vision of restoring human dignity to womanhood and transforming the society. He commended on the school motto ‘Justitia et Caritas’- Justice which lifts us up to God who is all just; charity which enables us to reach out to the needy humanity after the example of Jesus. In his message, the Archbishop stated, “The goal set ‘Justitia et Caritas’ a century ago has a vibrant relevance today when this Institution of highest repute in Jhansi rededicates itself to promote further the universal and eternal values that nurture humanity, contributing towards the unity and integrity of our pluralistic society.” The Choir under the able guidance of Fr. Kantha Raj kept the mood of the congregation vibrant and devotional.

The evening turned out to be cool and pleasant for an exuberant, glittering show. Our Chief Guest, Maj Gen PS Mehta GOC 31 Armoured Division, Headquarters, Jhansi President of the Function ShriPradeep Jain ‘Aditya’, Hon’ble Minister of State for Rural Development; Our Guests of Honour, Most Rev.Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra Most Rev.Peter Parapullil, Bishop of Jhansi; Most Rev.Frederick D’Souza Bishop Emeritus of Jhansi, Brig.M.S.Sharma Station Commander, Jhansi Cantt. Col Devendra Singh, Adm. Commandant, Jhansi Cantt. Col Reuben Peters, Commanding Officer, 56UP Bn NCC; Mr. Satyajeet Thakur, Commissioner, Jhansi; Mr.Naveen Chopra, DRM, NCR Jhansi and other dignitaries were led to the venue by the school band attired in colourful uniform. After lighting the centenary lamp, a white pigeon was released with the message of peace; the sky was spotted with a hundred blue and white balloons which were set free along with applause and cheers to mark the inauguration of the programme. Most Rev.Peter Parapullil in his inaugural prayer recalled the great contribution of the missionaries who came from Germany with the vision of social transformation and evangelization through the education of girl children. The Bishop invoked God’s blessing on all children, teachers and all those who nourish and cherish this Institution of learning and prayed that the spirit of its pioneers may continue to inspire young minds and hearts to imbibe the right values and stand for what is right and just and promote unity and harmony. About 1600 young artists in elegant costumes put up a three hour show mesmerizing the audience with their slow steps, captivating formations, rhythmic movements, a well-disciplined March past, sprightly ballet, display of band, rope mallakhamb ( a breath taking performance on the ropes) and to crown it all a powerful Gospel Message through the life of St.Francis of Assisi, culminating in the peace Song “make me an instrument of your peace”, a prayer which touched every heart with an abiding peace, compassionate love and sincere forgiveness. Most Rev.Albert DSouza officially closed the Centenary yearand ‘hot air balloon’ was released to the sky carrying the eternal message of love and gratitude to God Almighty.

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