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Filed on 12 August 2010

Here is some news that we received from our sisters in Pakistan. Floods started affecting various parts of the country from 28th July onwards. Torrential rains and flash floods continued to devastate life and property in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and tribal areas on Thursday, killing dozens of people.

The Provincial government has declared a state of emergency and asked the people living along the banks of Swat and Kabul rivers and their tributaries in Peshawar and Charsada districts to move to other areas. Lack of resources and planning has put the lives of thousands of people at risk in Peshawar and Charsada where the Kabul and Swat rivers converge. The district administration appeared to be helpless in moving the stranded people to safe places.

The situation in Malkand division was even more chaotic. Flash floods caused widespread devastation in Swat washing away houses, bridges, hospitals, roads and communication net works. Army has called in for evacuation work in Peshawar , Charsada, Swat and other flood hit areas.

By the beginning of August the flood water was coming down and was approaching the western part of the province of Punjab. The helpless inhabitants, including women and children , got out of the danger zone on their own. Still, hundreds of families were in the town, marooned on roofs of houses and buildings because they could not afford the transport cost. Town was under five feet deep water and flood waters have entered business centers, the district hospital , graveyard, grid station and hundreds of houses.

Soon people started moving for Multan, the only link after the closures of roads leading to Layyah and Dera Gazi Kahan .There were not enough vehicles for such a massive exodus. And now the city of Multan is hosting a very big number of flood victims.

Karachi is also having rain. The flood waters are reaching the Arabian sea and it may effects some parts of the coastal belt.

According to the UN estimates, over 12 million people had been affected by the devastating flood and rains . In most of the affected regions people have lost everything. Their livestock, houses, farmland etc. Some families are totally washed away. Some others an infant or a child or an elderly person is left behind. There is also a fear of an outbreak of waterborne disease.

Our sisters in Multan are involved in relief work together with the Justice and Peace commission and the Parish; they are trying their best to reach out to the people with the resources they have. Sr. Stella who is part of the ‘caritas’ is presently attending the ‘Lay Partnership’ programme. When she returns she hopes to visit the people in the North.

Please continue to pray that the rains will stop and the cry of the people for relief and wellbeing will be heeded to. We count on your prayers and support.

 

To celebrate the birthday of Rose Virgine our loved Foundress which was on July 31 we the Vocation Promotion team of the Province organized a programme for young girls belonging to the Rose Virginie club.

We conducted this programme both in Sinhala and Tamil. The Sinhala group met in ‘Supuwath Arana’ while the Tamil group met in Nayakakanda. Nearly 225 girls were participated for this programme.

It was a joy to see these young ones enjoying themselves and coming to know and love Rose Virgine more dearly. She is indeed a great model for them to follow.

We pray for the intercession of our loved Foundress on these our young ones.

 

24th of April 2010 was indeed a great day for our Province – Sri Lanka / Pakistan as we declared open the “Euphrasian Year”. In response to the first direction of our 29th Congregational Chapter we as a Province decided to commit ourselves in a very special year during this year (24th April 2010 – 2011) to foster and deepen our spirituality as daughters of SME. Thus a memorable day was planned out to begin this journey. In the evening of the 24th we sisters, lay partners and some of our GS children numbering around 500 joined together to begin this very significant year. We began the celebrations around the statue of St. M. Euphrasia who reminded us her daughters “How happy I am to have you all around me” Led by the dancers and flag bearer, the celebrants of the day, the Leadership team of the Province together with the Past Provincials and the scroll bearer –proceeded towards the Chapel. At the entrance were all the sisters and lay partners eagerly waiting for the proclamation of the year. Sr. Rohini Mendis - Province Leader with great joy announced the opening of the Euphrasian Year, while Sr. Cameline the oldest sister present unfurled the plaque. This was indeed a very solemn moment as the dancers and drummers expressed the joy of all present through their performance. Followed by this was the Eucharistic celebration where all of us rejoiced in the gift of St. M. Euphrasia and prayed that we too her daughters may be imbibed by her own spirit and zeal. A joyful and relaxing moment of the celebration was the performance by our GS children to whom we owe our vocation. Nearly 100 children came together to entertain all those present with a magnificent performance. We rejoiced in the giftedness of our GS children, their performance added colour and beauty to our day. As we watched them perform our hearts were filled with gratitude for them and a little prayer sprung up from our hearts that they may always grow in love and be the best for our Shepherd God. Sr. Rohini reminded us during the celebrations the powerful words of St.M. Euphrasia: "You have a sacred, precious jewel confided to you. It is our holy institute you carry in your arms, in your person. Show it to the world, to everyone, in all its beauty. Our institute was founded through love. We have all been drawn to it through love. It is love which keeps us here." She went on to say “dear sisters it is love that has brought us here together and it is love that calls us to renew ourselves in our vocation and be imbibed with the great love of our Shepherd God.” The day came to an end with a fellowship dinner before which we prayed together with lighted lanterns in our hands. With burning and eager hearts each one of us made a firm decision to allow ourselves to be transformed by the Spirit of our Shepherd God and thus go forth to extend the “mercies of God”. Yes, it is because of such a loving mother – our Foundress that we had the privilege of coming together. It was a day of rejoicing in the gift of each other; the unity we experienced together was strengthening. We returned to our communities with grateful hearts for the love we shared and the joy we experienced. Our deepest desire during this “Euphrasian Year” is that we grow to be true daughters of St. M. Euphrasia Pelletier and that our lives may be a continual song of God’s love.

 

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