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’Ursuline Franciscan Education Society’ celebrates 50 years of golden progress

’Ursuline Franciscan Education Society’ celebrates 50 years of golden progress


Mangalore Today News Network

Mangalore, Oct 12, 2014:  The UFES is an offshoot of  the more than 125 year old pioneer indigenous order of women religious born in Mangalore at the Rosario Cathedral in 1887. It could be said that the foundation of this congregation was the brain child of a German Jesuit who was the first parish priest of Rosario here - Fr.Urban Stien. Though the congregation in its earliest days focused on the education of women and children in an informal manner by starting classes and vocational training in the old city, it was in the non-formal format.

 

Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years


Ursuline 50 years



In 1964, as the trend would have it, and since it was needed for govt recognitions and so on this "Ursuline Franciscan Educational Society - UFES" was formed, within the supreme "General Body" of the UFS - Ursuline Franciscan Sisters in Mangalore under the President ship of  the ’Superior General’ . The formal formation of this society which overseas the growth and administration norms of  all schools/colleges/vocational centres/special schools and so on through t India where it has spread and even in the African region under the roof of the Ursuline Congegation. Presently it can be said generally  that the UFES educates not less tahn  30,100 students and in the last 50 years not less than 1,99,000 have passed through its able hands.

October 11, 2014:  The UFES gracefully celebrated in a tasteful manner it’s golden (50 years - 1964-2014) jubilee mark at Bijai Church Hall. Earlier in the morning a thanks giving mass was held with Mangalore Bishop Rt.Rev. Dr. Alosius D’Souza and Bishop of Shimoga Rt.Rev.Dr.Francis Serrao SJ along with prominent clergy concelebrating.

The celebration at Bijey Hall was presided over by Bishopof Mangalore Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Dr Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shimoga was the chief guest. U T Khader, minister for Health and Family Welfare, Fr Bruno Chelangwa, Diocese of Same, Tanzania, Walter D’Mello, KES, deputy director of public instruction, Dakshina Kannada, Philomena Lobo, KES director of public instruction, secondary education, Bangalore, Sr Edilburga Monteiro, ex-president of Ursuline Franciscan Educational Society, J R Lobo, Mangalore South MLA, Prof. Edmund Frank Dean of PGDBM, St Aloysius College were the guests of honour. Gracing the celebrations were Sr Doreeen D’Souza, the superior general of the Ursuline Franciscan congregation and  president of UFES,  Sr Susheela Sequiera vice-president, Sr Lily Fernandes secretary-UFES.  Many key nuns of the congregation from all over India had come to grace the occasion along with heads of Schools/Colleges, staff and students. Indeed it was a day of  reunion and rejoicing.

Among the highlights of the celebration were: 1. The inaugurated the ‘Shikshak Nidhi’ project, Prof Edmond Frank  handed over Rs 5 lac cheque to Sr Doreen D’Souza which was followed by donations from other sources. The students  have been blessed with several scholarship and aid programmes administered by UFES and others. But,  a deep need to support and encourage the teachers who are the back bone of an educational institution was seen and "Shikshak Nidhi" was launched and Prof Frank is the leading light of this fund. 2. A book documenting  the formation and work of the UFES  authored by Rev.Sr.Lily Fernandes, the dynamic Secretary of the UFES for some years now. This hard bound book titled "Lighted to Light" is sure to enlighten many currently and in the future. It has elaborately described each institutions history in a colourful manner with  a treasure of pictures old and new.  3. The  felicitation of  primary and high school teachers who have dedicatedly served the Ursuline institutions for about 40 years was with respect and appreciation very touching indeed.  Several on stage were felicitated for their contributions over the years. Of special mention are the two past secretaries of UFES  Sr.Claudia and Sr.Irene.

Rev Sr. Doreen D’Souza, the Ursuline Superior General who is the overall head of this more than 1000 strong congregation and President of the UFES,  spoke welcoming the guests, invitees and all concerned, soon after the ceremonious entry. In her unique style this politely soft spoken and articulate revered nun appreciated the significance of the celebration, all the effort by the UFES and everyone concerned. She cordially thanked all present and those who could not be there as well for the generosity. She attributed all things to the goodness and blessings of GOD almighty.

Karnataka Minister of health and family welfare, U T Khader,  in admiration of the work of the ursuline sisters said that in Karnataka such Christian organizations have incalculably contributed to the upliftment of common people in over a century now and thus there is extraordinary advancements.  Informally he stated that he is aware of the bad condition of the roads in the vicinity of the HQ of  Ursulines in Derlakatte and within a month of  the monsoon ending he will allot 1.5 crore and see that the matter is rectified!
 
Bishop of Mangalore Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, presiding over the celebration in his address said that its a stupendous feat to spread across even the remotest areas of  many Indian states and Karnataka in particular establishing  good schools for at least a century – he complimented and congratulated the Ursuline nuns, most of whom hailed from the undivided Mangalore diocese (DK and Udupi). He thanked them profusely for their services. He said that the reputed  educational institutions are ‘convents’ and this label has come to be misused to denote value education now. The service of nuns is more than a vocation a mission from God.

Amoung the guests of honour were two special officials, one a former teacher and the other a  former student, both of them now in high places in KES- Karnataka education service. One is Walter D’Mello DDPI,DK whose stated that it is due to the UFES giving him a stepping stone  as a teacher at Hunsur, years ago that he was able to rise to this position. As a teacher he learned by the example of  the nuns the good values of  discipline, responsibility, integrity and so on which are deep rooted in his life now.

Philomena Lobo  KES -Director of Public Instruction, B’lore,  was a student at the Ursuline primary school in Koppa  in 1965.  She said some of her teachers of the time were present here to vouch for the facts. Their example of simplicity and care impressed me so much that I used to pester my parents to let me join that convent!  The siters  handling with love the kids astonishes me even now.Their stamp on my personality for good is indelible.

MLC Ivan D’Souza speaking said with all evidence given by an ex-teacher and student the verdict is sure a very positive one, and 50 years has proved its truths. He reiterated that education in DK and beyond has got a special touch due to societies as these.

MLA M’lore South J R Lobo, said I am simply forced to be grateful  to these Ursuline sisters for the contribution they have made not just for 50 years 1964-2014, but more than a 100 years before that too which has perfected their art for education. the fact that his better half Philomina Lobo on the stage as a co-guest of honour gives out the truth. What she has achieved is a proof and said ’if the sisters had not done such a good job on her I would not be here’.  He went on to say certain sectors are looking to make trouble for minority organizations such as these but, we will ensure that they continue to serve the common and deserving people for many more decades to come.

Fr. Bruno, Secretary general, Diocese of Same, Tanzania who had come all the way  stated that the Ursuline contributions to Same and Tanzania were rapidly attaining monumental proportions and requested that more sisters  are needed now and may be sent to help in building all facets of life there. He was most appreciative and grateful on behalf of all the people of Same,Tanzania.

Bishop of Shimoga Rev Dr. Francis Serrao, thanked  the Ursulines whose ‘love and skill together have produced masterpieces’ and he is aware of the services they have developed  and  a lot more need not be said. His speech of gratitude in chaste Kannada was a show stopper.

Sr. Lily Fernandes the UFES Secretary and the effort  co-ordinator of the celebrations  finally thanked each and all in the context of their contributions to bring the progrmme towards its finish with “What we have done for ourselves dies with us, what we have done for others remains an eternity”.

The  cultural programme that followed held the rapt attention of  the huge audience of young and old, teachers, parents and children from all parts of India, not to speak of nuns from many areas.  The fusion dance ‘Unity in diversity’ a truly ‘make-in-India’ spectacular  summed up the patriotism and taste of the UFES and all Ursulines.


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