The 19th IMFE Graduation Day was held on Sunday 18 March 2018 at Salvation Seva Kendra Hall, Dadar. The Chief Guest was Bishop Barthol Barretto. The evening began with a riveting talk by Fr Francis Gonsalves on the ‘Current Situation of Christians in our country and the Church’s response’. He highlighted the need to be alert to conflict areas – fuelled by fanaticism, intolerance, regionalism, etc. and to increase our Hope through building harmony and outreach. He reminded us of Pope Francis’ message: “I am Mission” (Evangelii Gaudium), and asked all the people present to respond whenever and wherever they could. A brief Open House was followed by a glimpse of the preparation of the IMFE graduates through the year.
The hall was abuzz with excitement as the 19 IMFE graduates entered with their respective Commission flag and took their seats. Priya D’Souza gave the valedictory address, explaining their growth in leadership over the year. Fr Jervis D’Souza, OLCM Director, gave the graduates some advice for the future, as he wished them a fruitful ministry.
The group song emphasized the dreams of the IMFE graduates. Bp Barthol gave an inspiring message and challenged the IMFE graduates to be of service in their respective parishes. He also asked many of those in the hall to sign up for the next year’s course (www.olcmbom.org). This was followed by the actual ceremony, involving the Commission Heads who presented a towel as a sign of service to each of the IMFE graduates, before they received their certificates.
The OLCM team presented Fr Jervis a token of appreciation, as he embarks on his new role – Dy Secretary-General of the CBCI, in Delhi.
Cynthia D’Souza then proposed a Vote of Thanks and the evening drew to a close.