-Elizabeth P Varsha, III Year B.A. English
Image Source: Stella Maris College website
Stella Maris College’s Foundress Day was celebrated on 18th November with a program at 12 pm in the OAT. All students, staff and sisters of the FMM congregation, came together to offer salutations to Mother Foundress, Blessed Mary of the Passion. The theme was the ‘Relevance of the life, misson and vision of Blessed Mary of the Passion’. The program began with a prayer invoking the blessings of the Almighty and for the grace of Blessed Mary of the Passion. This was followed with a prayer dance by Riya and Ramya of the classical dance club. The western music club sang ‘Mama Passion’ as all Student Union members, the Principal, chief guest for the day Sr. Stella Balthazar and members of the Prayer meeting community walked down the aisle to pay their respects to Sr. Helen de Chappotin with flowers and bowed heads.
Principal, Dr. Sr. Jacintha Quadras and the chief guest, Sr. Stella Balthazar jointly unveiled the portrait of Blessed Mary of the Passion and paid homage. The classical dance club performed a salutation dance known as “Narthanam” and Anitta Jaison, the General Secretary, spoke a few words about the Mother Foundress and the meaning conveyed by the salutary dance about the Mother’s life. Sr. Susan, the secretary welcomed the audience and spoke of the reason why the Stella Maris community has gathered for remembering the foundress, who was the first woman to start a congregation for women.
Sr. Francisco Nirmala introduced the chief guest Sr. Stella who is an alumna of the college and holds a masters degree in Theology. She works for women rights and victims of human trafficking. This reflects the social work done by Blessed Mary of the Passion on helping the poor. Principal Sr. Jacintha Quadras honored the chief guest with a bouquet.
The Chief Guest, Sr. Stella delivered the key note address about how the Mother Foundress continues to inspire people and how she dedicated her life for empowering women. The Mother renounced her easy life in France and came to India for helping and empowering people here. Sr. Stella stressed on Blessed Mary of the Passion being a symbol of womanhood. The western music club, then, sang ‘My end is love’ by Blessed Mary of the Passion. Though Blessed Mary of the Passion was a French woman, she learned Tamil to help the people here better and to honour this, a student from the History department, Krithika, presented a tamil poem reflecting the life of the Mother. As a final salutation, the classical dance club performed ‘Thillana’ and Dr. Shiny John Vairamon of the Chemistry department delivered the Vote of Thanks.