Closing the Jubilee Year in Bangalore


On 7th of December, along with about 250 people from various religious communities and our friends, the two communities in India celebrated the closing of the 150th anniversary of our Society’s foundation at SOLA Study House in Bangalore.

In preparation for the event, the students worked hard at preparing paintings, artwork, banners and posters focussing on Africa and our Society and placed these around our compound. This presented a festive atmosphere in which the celebration took place.

The programme started with a Mass of thanksgiving, with Fr. Praween D’Souza, OFM, as the main celebrant, who was joined by the confreres of both houses. In the name of our two communities, Fr. Paul Johnston, rector of SOLA Study House, welcomed our guests before inviting Fr. Praween to lead us in prayer. In his homily, Fr. Praween emphasized the great missionary zeal of our founder Cardinal Charles Lavigerie and how his words encouraged the early missionaries to speak of Christ and to live like Christ, in the midst of life-threatening conditions.

During the offertory, several symbolic items were presented, including a unique picture of Cardinal Lavigerie painted by Lithin Varghese, one of our third-year students, who used only coffee powder. It was well appreciated by everyone. Music for the Mass was provided by our own SOLA Study House students and the African community in Bangalore when they arrived.

Following the Mass, the festive meal took place during which everyone was delighted and contented by a spicy-Indian buffet. When all were satisfied, our cultural soirée started with presentations from the African community of Bangalore and an Indian component, including presentations from both our communities. While some adjustments needed to be made, not even the light drizzle dampened the spirit of the evening.

The celebration was an important moment where, in the presence of our friends, we gave thanks to God for his abundant blessings and his constant protection on our Society for the past 150 years.

It was a remarkable and wonderful way to bring to a close our 150th Anniversary.

Albin Joseph – Third Year Student – Bangalore

(From SOA Newsletter – January 2020)

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