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Celebrating Nano’s Tercentenary in patna

The Almighty is all sufficient - Nano Nagle


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Venerable Nano has been acknowledged in the Presentation Circles, and the work of Nano continues to get coverage through Aashray Abhiyan - Campaigning for Shelter Rights in Patna. Yet both of us felt it was important that we mark this occasion by having a little more publicity about this great woman who lived three hundred years ago.

The celebration was a cultural evening which depicted the life of this Lady of the Lantern - lover of children: Friend of the poor. Archbishop William D’Souza, archbishop of Patna was gracious enough to grace this occasion as the chief guest. Other invitees were Religious Sisters of the neighborhood where we live, the archbishop’s community, the Jesuit community at St. Xavier’s Gandhi Maidan, the parish community and community representatives of the slums where we are engaged.

Nano’s life was depicted in three stages – her childhood, her youth and her old age. Important aspects and turning points in Nano’s life were culled out. This drama was performed by the staff and students of Nano Gyan Deep Niketan – Islamganj, Maner. In a very simple yet powerful manner these little ones along with their teachers brought out the essence of Nano’s life, which was very much appreciated. The children from the urban slums performed dances, sang songs and spoke on the need for education. The performers were free of fear and not shy to display their talents before the audience. Children from the urban slums also performed dances, sang songs and spoke on the need of educating the girl child.

Archbishop William in his address appreciated the mission of the Presentation Sisters who have spread Nano’s lantern to all the corners of the earth. He was delighted that for the past 20 years Dorothy along with her organization Aashray Abhiyan has been lighting the light of empowerment, education and rights of the urban poor in Patna and now Phyllis has joined to contribute directly in the field of education. He was happy to announce that Dorothy has been nominated on the three member committee constituted by the Government of Bihar on the direction of the Supreme Court of India to respond to the situation of homelessness in Bihar. The three members constituted are retd. Judge Narendar Kumar Singh IAS, Principal Secretary Urban and Housing Department - Govt of Bihar and Sr. Dorothy Fernandes. In conclusion archbishop read the poem of Raphael Consedine: In the face of …… that is Nano”. He had truly captured the spirit of Nano.

In conclusion all the 150 people who witnessed the program were given a packet of snacks. Dinner was served for the archbishop, the priests, religious and some of the associates of Aashray Abhiyan. The following day there was a good media coverage as our media friends attended the program and sat through till the end of Nano’s youth and were delighted with the children’s performance.

With gratitude to God and appreciation to the team members for their whole hearted support and without whom this would not be possible, we came away pondering on Nano’s last words: Love one another as you have hitherto done; Spend yourselves for the poor.”



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Islamganj Village, Maner, Patna

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