The district members of Andhra Pradesh had a well-planned bicentenary celebration on January 27. It was grand success and meaningful to the Oblates and the people in our parishes.

The evening began with a Mass presided by Most. Rev. Thelagathoti Joseph Raja Rao, SMM, Bishop of Vijayawada. Concelebrating were the Oblate provincial, Fr. Chinnappan SANDHAPPAN, other Oblates, diocesan and religious priests. Religious women and faithful from the Oblate parishes participated as well.

In his homily, the bishop explained to the faithful the nuances of religious life in Catholic Church. He explained the three evangelical councils in detail with biblical references and Church documents. In his advice to the Oblates, he stated: “A real vowed Oblate is the one who is always available in the mission to his given people leaving his family as secondary.”

After the mass, there was a short cultural programme. During this programme, there was the presentation of a bicentenary souvenir; the release of a book by Fr. G. BALA (Last Journey of Jesus); the release of an audio-video CD by Fr. Joseph THAMMBI (With your Grace).

There was also a skit on St. Eugene by the Oblate novices from Arpanalayam; a dance by the Holy Family Sisters from Ramankapet; a prayer-dance by people from Chintalavalasa Parish; poems by people from Musunuru Parish; and documentaries by Frs. Basil, Nirmal and Benjamin. Almost two thousand persons participated in the Mass and the agape meal. (Fr. Yesuraj in BORN, February 2017)