The death centenary of Fr Leopold Beccaro OCD, co-founder of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC) and golden jubilee of 149 CMC sisters were observed at the generalate of the CMC here on Saturday.
Bishop of Faridabad, Mar Kuriakose Bharanikulangara, presided over the Thanksgiving Mass held on the occasion.
In his keynote address, Bishop Mar Kuriakose said that the CMC order was started in 1866 as the first woman congregation in Kerala, and it is now in its 148th year in serving people. Fr Leopold Beccaro OCD, who was a native of Italy, was instrumental in fulfilling the long-cherished dream of Fr Chavara Kuriokose Elias to establish an order for women in the state.
“The suffering Fr Leopold endured during his stay here was reverential. He learned Malayalam the hard way to communicate with the people, and eventually could write and read the language well,” he said.
He exhorted the sisters attending the ceremony to work for the upliftment of their fellow human beings and stay true to the spirit of God.
Sr Sancta, superior general of CMC, inaugurated the symposium in which nuns from Italy and USA, and those from across the country, particiapted. Sr Sancta observed on the occasion that the congregation which started with just 21 sisters has now grown to an international organisation with centres in Europe, USA and Africa and more than 6,500 sisters as its members.
Two papers were presented at the symposium, including ‘Contributions of Rev Fr Leopold to the Church of Kerala and to CMC’ and ‘Celebrating the Life of Fr Leopold’.
Vicar of the parish Rev Fr Jose Chiramel, Rev Fr Anasthasio OCD, former provincial of Genova Province, Italy, Fr David and Fr Andrea, of the same province, attended the function. Rev Fr Anasthasio OCD released the souvenir magazine ‘Golden Jubilee Smaranika of CMC’ which was specially printed for the occasion. Over 1,000 sisters from 20 provinces attended the foundation day and golden jubilee celebrations.