It was a great occasion last December 8, 2014 to witness the launching of the 1400th death anniversary of St. Columban in this part of the world. The celebration took place at the Tuition Centre of the Good Shepherd, Hyderabad. The place was founded and administered by the Columban Sisters in 2009, five years ago, to provide tuition and give a solid foundation to our minority Christian children, in a society that is growing more and more intolerant towards them and thus enabling them take a rightful place with dignity, within an Islamic society that does not give them their rightful place in the world.
Preparations and planning of the program were done by the Sisters together with the staff and the students of the centre. The family of the students and some Columban sisters were present.
The program started with an procession of the Shepherd’s staff( symbol of the Good Shepherd Centre where they try to have the spirit of the Good Shepherd for the children), St. Columban picture ( we are pilgrims for Christ and to commemorate the celebration of the 1400th death anniversary of St. Columban), the globe ( we are all missionaries for Christ wherever we are), Christmas tree( preparing for the coming of Christ), candle and Hars (flowers to offer our Lady on her feast day)
It was followed with hymn on Psalm 23, and a reflection on our Lady. Bible sharing from the different texts were shared among the teachers, parents and the students themselves. I was amazed how easily the process flowed and the participation of both parents and students was very impressive.
Then it was followed by a talk given by an invited guest speaker, Sir Saleem Anjum, who had visited Ireland and thus presented the PowerPoint very well in showing the different pictures and places of Ireland and Europe where St. Columban travelled through. I think this was the highlight of the celebration-that our Patron Saint from Leinster continues to make his name known even in this part of the world which is an Islamic country.
Another interesting activity was the sharing on the qualities of Christian families which were posted by the students and that was followed by a song “We are a family”, in Urdu. Then the teachers met with the parents sharing with them the mark sheets of the children’s exams and discussed the progress of the child with the parents and their difficulties. This certainly helps to focus on the involvement of the family and cooperation between the teachers and the parents to better improve the quality of learning of the students,
Lastly, one of the teachers talked about the Christmas tree and encouraged each family to make one as each family was given materials to make one. The programme finished with food for all.
By. Sr. Anne Carbon