Pune: The Congregation of Jesus and Mary is celebrating its bicentenary year of establishment, starting a year ahead in 2017. While the main programmes will be held in Agra, the institutions in Pune, which are run by the Congregation, too, are planning several events.
Speaking about the history of the Congregation, Sr Flory Fargose, Principal, St Joseph Girls High School, Pashan, said, “On October 6, 1818, Jesus and Mary Congregation was established in Lyons, France, by St Claudine Thevenet. In 1842, the sisters of the Congregation came to Agra, India, and on December 1, the first English-medium school, orphanage and boarding establishment, St Patrick’s, was opened in Agra.”
Fargose explained that the opening ceremony of the bicentenary celebrations will be held in Agra, as it’s the first house after France, where the work of the Congregation started.
A series of events have been planned in the institutions from October 6, 2017 till October 6, 2018 to celebrate the bicentenary year. “On October 6, 2017, there would be prayer services at all the institutions. On November 13, all the JM (Jesus and Mary) schools in Pune will be holding Mass. We are inviting our Parish Priest of St Anthony Vidya Bhavan, Father Rock Greene, and also our Catholic parents, PTA members and our students,” Fargose said.
The JM Schools have planned several intra and inter-school activities like debate competition, elocution competition, etc, and sports events like basketball, hockey, football matches. St Anne’s High School in Camp is planning a marathon.
Bookmarks, schools bags, etc will be distributed to teachers, representing the theme throughout the year.
“Apart from these, we have organised tours to Agra. We will be taking around 85 of our girls, with around 15 teachers to Agra, to let them see the house where the sisters came from France for the first time and the establishment was founded.
The closing ceremony of the event will be in France on October 6, 2018. Fargose informed, “We will be sending our young sisters, a couple of students from each of our schools, and a few from Family of Jesus and Mary (AFJM) to Lyon, France. Events till May are planned, while the rest are yet to be planned.”