Posted on: 8 Oct, 2018

Modified on: 8 Oct, 2018

By Fr. Prem Xalxo SJ

125th Death Anniversary of Fr. Constant Lievens was celebrated in grand manner in Moorslede (Belgium) on Saturday 6 October 2018. H.Exc. Lode Aerts, Bishop of Brugg presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Church of Moorslede in the presence of a large number of faithful. R.P. Johan Verschueren, Major Superior of newly created Independent Region of the European Low Countries (ELC) represented the Jesuits in Europe; whereas Aurel Bryce, Anselm Ekka, Linus Kujur, Sanjay Dilip Ekka and Prem Xalxo represented Ranchi Province. In his lively homily, Mons. Lode Aerts praised the missionary zeal, dedication and undying spirit of service and evangelization of Fr. Lievens and his companions during a particularly crucial period in the history of the tribals of Chotanagur. His analogy words (Fire Must Burn) and deeds (Fire actually kindled) of Fr. Lievens beautifully summarized the theme of the day.

After the final blessing, the newly constructed museum depicting the life and works of Fr. Lievens was inaugurated by Mr. Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of the Region, and blessed by Mons. Lode Aerts. A book on the life and mission of Fr. Lievens was presented by Rev. Bart Geryl, Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of the Servant of God. Even though the Eucharistic celebration and most of the hymns were in Flemish, the eye-catching presbytery decorations in tribal style, entrance/offertory tribal dance by the Ursuline Sisters, and the post-communion hymn in Mausami Raag made all the guests feel at home.

The Ursuline Sisters from Chotanagpur, currently missioned in Belgium Lilima Toppo, Kanchan Tirkey, Angela Guria and Celestina Lakra did an excellent job in decorating the altar to give a genuine Adivasi touch to the Eucharistic celebration. They had composed 5 melodious hymns using the word 125 Years of Jubilee in honour of the Apostle of Chotanagpur. Prior to the celebration, they had recorded all the hymns with all possible tribal musical instruments; and all four of them danced to their own melodious voices the Entrance/Offertory dance and Aartri. In the absence of Rev. Sr. Bimla Minj, Ursuline Superior General, they were fully supported and encouraged by Srs. Jane and Bernadette, 1st and 2nd Counsellors respectively, which also indicated the active involvement of the entire Ursuline Generalate in making the 125th Death Anniversary of Fr. Lievens a solemn, memorable and an all-important event. Apart from extending their precious helping hands in the solemn Eucharistic celebration, they also arranged the transport for the Ranchi Jesuits to have a pleasant trip to Moorslede from Brussels. A big Thank You and heartfelt compliments to Srs. Jane, Bernadette, Kanchan, Lilima, Angela and Celestina!!!

Prior to the Holy Mass, Aurel, Anselm, Linus, Sanjay, Prem, and the two Ursuline Counsellors Srs. Jane and Bernadette visited the Ancestral House of Fr. Constant Lievens. Aurel introduced the group to Mr. Gilbert Lievens, great-grandnephew of Fr. Lievens and explained some anecdotes connected to his life. The community celebration of the 125th Death Anniversary of Fr. Constant Lievens was highly enriching, inspiring and indeed, an all-important memorable event on the way to the beatification of the Servant of God!

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