Kalimpong, May 8: The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, Province of North India and Nepal, will celebrate the bi-centenary of the congregation at St Joseph’s Convent here on May 11 and 12.
Representatives from various parts of the province are expected to attend the two-day event. Archbishop of Calcutta Lucas Sircar will be present on the first day, which will see Eucharistic celebrations, a Festival of Faith and Taize prayer.
On the second day, an inter-faith prayer meeting and other events will be organised in memory of the Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey, the founder of the order. “May 12 marks the foundation day of our congregation,” said Sister Teresa, the provincial of Cluny Sisters, North India and Nepal.
Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey and eight others founded the Institute of Saint Joseph of Cluny at Cabillon in France in 1805, though it was eventually recognised in 1807. The Cluny Sisters first set foot in India at Pondicherry in 1827.
Apart from running institutions like St Joseph’s Convent and St Philomena School in town, the order has also adopted eight villages in the interiors of the subdivision, providing education and healthcare.
As part of the bi-centenary celebrations, the Cluny Sisters took up two major programmes in the last few months, one involving people with HIV/AIDS and another catering to victims of child labour.
“We also plan to provide education to at least 200 needy children in each of our institutions across the province over the next few years in consonance with President A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s call to make India literate by 2010,” said Sister Teresa.