Welcome to Sadbhavana : Carmelite Provincialate
Necrology : OCD
God through your merciful help I shall try my
best to love you with all the affections of my
heart, and in my dealings with my sisters, more
humility, openness and love. Lord you know me
more than myself so you substitute yourself for
me. I rely on you, my God to become a saint. And
this is your will for me. (Written by Sr. Teresa
Sr. Teresa of Jesus was born on 1st of April
1936, of an Aristocratic Syrian family in
Karanchira, Ernakulam in Kerala. Her parents
were Paul Alapatt and Anna. They had 11 children
of whom only 5 girls and 3 boys survived
infancy. Teresa was lovingly called Ruby. Of a
very devout religious family, they treated the
servants as members of the family. The girls
were very fond of each other. Even if they had a
small fruit they would divide into 5 pieces and
share with each other. All other family members
loved her tenderly.
From an early age Teresa wanted to be a
Religious. If anyone asked her what she wanted
to become, she would at once say ‘A bride of
Christ.’ She studied in St Teresa’s College run
by Carmelite Sisters of St Teresa (CSST) in
Ernakulam. After her college studies she joined
a new Congregation that had just been started.
After few years the Congregation was dissolved
and Sr. Teresa and Sr. Therese Margaret her
companion, who had also joined the new
congregation, joined the Carmel of Bengaluru on
27th of November 1962 and received the holy
habit on 9th June 1963. She made her Simple
Profession on 1st of July 1964 and Solemn
Profession on 1st of July 1967.
Sr. Teresa of Jesus was very fervent. She had a
lively faith to see God in her Superiors and in
the daily events of life. Even though coming
from a very comfortable and well to do family,
she lived an austere and poor life. She would
choose the least desirable things, food,
clothes, and hard work. She was very exemplary
as a young Sister in fasting, mortification and
silence. She loved everyone equally and was
concerned for all the Sisters. She looked after
Mother Elizabeth and later Sr. Alice, in their
old age and took care of them with great
devotion and tenderness. Whenever she was
corrected she would never excuse herself and
accepted the correction humbly. If she had given
pain to any Sister, she would ask pardon before
going to sleep. She used to make dresses for
poor children and was very good in embroidery.
She was hard working and helped the community in
different offices. Whatever she did, she would
try to do perfectly. She was in charge of the
Sacristy and helped in the Vestment Office. She
loved gardening and had to fight with rats and
squirrels who would destroy the fruits. Once
while she was removing the boiled linen for
washing, she slipped and fell into the cauldron
of very hot soap water and was burnt very badly.
She was treated in the hospital and till her
death the scars of it were visible.
In August 1974, Sr. Teresa went to Kurnool to
help in the new Foundation there. Her companion
Sr. Teresa Margaret also went there. While Sr.
Teresa returned to Bengaluru in April 1977, Sr.
Teresa Margaret stayed on and eventually went to
Bunda in Africa, to make a new Foundation there.
In 2009 Sr. Teresa was admitted in St. Martha’s
Hospital to have fluid removed from her knees.
After a few days she was discharged and was
getting ready to return to the convent when
suddenly she got a stroke, and thanks to a
Sister who was standing nearby, she fell on an
empty bed that was near her. Being in the
hospital she was immediately attended to, and
many Doctors and Nurses rushed in and Sister
gradually revived. She was kept in intensive
care for a long time and against all hope she
recovered very well.
Sister celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 1st of
July 2014. Many members of her Family came and
joined the celebration. Archbishop Bernard Moras
presided over the Eucharist, and was joined by
our Carmelite Fathers and many other Priests.
In 2015 Sister had a fall, while sitting on a
bench in the choir, waiting for Mass to begin.
She fell back and hit her head. She fainted and
there was a blood clot in the brain. As she was
unconscious, surgery was risky and doctors
hesitated. Thanks be to God, the blood clot was
successfully removed in Vikram Hospital. Sr.
Teresa was soon back to her normal life and
following the community exercises as much as her
age and condition allowed her. Gradually we
noticed that Sister was losing her memory and
would often be confused. We consulted the
doctors and medication was given but it did not
do her much good.
Sister needed help for her personal needs and
Sr. Assumpta with the help of other Sisters
looked after her with much love and care. With
the help of Sisters she would walk round the
cloister and we would bring her to recreation
and choir in the wheel chair or walking when she
could. It became a daily routine for her to
mention the names of the Sisters one by one
during recreation. Sometimes she had to struggle
and would be confused. When Sr. Celine our
extern Sister came in, Sr. Teresa had a very
special bright smile for her and after greeting
her would ask her to go and sit down. She was
always cheerful and sometimes even witty.
Sister was keeping fairly well till the
beginning of April 2020. By the third week we
noticed that she was looking tired and breathing
hard. She could not express herself and when
asked if she had pain she would say that stomach
was paining. Due to the pandemic and lockdown we
did not want to take her to hospital. Over the
phone when we asked the doctor for some medicine
for stomach ache, the doctor said that without
examining the patient she could not prescribe
any medicine, especially for an elderly person.
She insisted that Sister be taken at once to
hospital. Thanks to her advice on 27th of April
Sr. Teresa was taken by ambulance to St.
Martha’s hospital. There they found that her
heart was very week and admitted her in the ICU.
After two days she was shifted to the ward. On
2nd of May we brought her home. Doctors said
that her heart was not functioning fully and due
to her age nothing could be done. We could just
try to make her comfortable and ease her pain.
She had acute DCOMPENSATED heart failure. She
was suffering very much but could not express
We did not have Mass all these days due to the
lockdown and only occasionally one of our
Carmelite Fathers was able to come. On 8th of
May, Fr. Provincial Charles Serrao and Fr.
Francis came for Mass. Thus Sister was able to
receive the Anointing of the Sick.
On 11th of May her nephew Balan and his wife
Doctor Moya came to see her. Sister was not able
to speak but she recognized them and was
peaceful. They left happy and satisfied that the
best was being done for her. On 12th of May, she
was unable to take any food so we called the
Sisters from St. Martha’s Hospital. Sr. Superior
and Sr. Ancy were very kind to come late in the
evening. They inserted Ryle’s tube for feeding
and Sister took some nourishment. On 13th
morning again Sisters fed her through the tube.
Sr. Teresa kept her eyes closed completely and
by 10 a.m. had high fever. She began breathing
heavily and the community was summoned. We
remained praying around her till 10.45 a.m. when
Sr. Teresa very gently surrendered her soul to
God without any struggle.
The doctor and two Sisters came from St.
Martha’s Hospital to certify the death and do
the needful. The body was kept in the Choir. St.
Ann’s Sisters and some of our friends and a few
family members from Bengaluru came.
Because of lockdown Mass was not celebrated. Our
Fr Provincial and Fr Silvestre came around 4
p.m. and they said the final prayers. They
accompanied the mortal remains along with Sr.
Celine our extern Sister and a few friends and
family members to Kalpally cemetery. Archbishop
Peter Machado arrived there at 4.30 p.m. and led
the rite of burial.
Our sincere thanks to our Archbishop Peter
Machado, our Carmelite Fathers, family members
and friends for their help. Special thanks to
the Sisters of St. Martha’s Hospital for their
ready and kind help.
Thus the bride of Christ who throughout her life
had tried to please Him and do His Will, went to
receive the eternal embrace of her Divine
A tribute of love and gratitude from
Prioress and community
of Cloistered Carmel of Bengaluru.
SR. MARY OF ST JOSEPH, OCD
SR. ANNA OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW OCD (1930 – 2019)
Entered Kottayam Carmel: 08.01.1949
First Profession: 14.07.1951
Solemn Profession: 14.07.1954
Came to Mysore Carmel: 09.12.1985
the night of 13 December St. John of the Cross ended
his earthly life wanting to move over, “ to sing the
matins in Heaven”. So also Our dear Sr. Anna left us
all on 10 December to sing the mercies and praises
of the Lord in heaven and live forever more face to
face with Him. Her 89 years long sojourn on earth is
over and we feel her absence amidst us, awakening is
each of us vivid reminiscences of her wonderful
person, simple life style and joyful holiness.
Sr. Anna Chacko Chamakalayil was born on 15th March
1930 at Athirampuzha in Kerala to Chacko
Chamakalayil and Rosa Chamakalayil. She was the 2nd
of 7 children born to them. One of her sisters, Sr.
Elizabeth, is a consecrated religious among
Sr. Anna joined Kottayam Carmel at the prime age of
18, on 8th Jan, 1949. Though she was from a middle
class family, she showed no much interest in
academic pursuit, for she had a lot of practical
intelligence and was rich in common sense and
genuine humor. The sisters at the cloister accepted
her with joy. Sr. Anna felt quite at home even in
adopting the cloister life style. She was very
generous in any work entrusted to her be it in the
kitchen or the cow-shed or in the vegetable garden.
Those were the days without running water and
cooking gas. She shouldered the hard work of drawing
water from the well and cook on firewood. In all
this daily monotones chores of a numerous cloistered
Carmel for each day of 35 long years, her name was
diligence, responsibility and love.
After an uninterrupted life span of her fruitful
service and sacrificial life for so long in Kottayam
Carmel, she was, so to say, made to be born again at
Mysur. She was chosen to be one of the pioneering
members for the new foundation in Bogadi, Mysore.
She became a blessing to the church in Mysur by her
life of prayer and sacrifice’
Sr. Anna nourished her soul with good reading,
meditation books in Malayalam and the lives of
saints, especially of our Order. Though she had no
much formal education, with an iron will she
mastered the English language in order to read well
and pray better. She would always prepare for Mass
on the previous day by marking the missal and
hymnbook used for Mass, so that she could
participate attentively, actively and devoutly in
the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
She was an embodiment of a joyful cloistered
contemplative nun always punctual for community
exercises, especially for prayer and chanting the
divine office in the name of the church for the
world. She never made excuses to be absent from
these till she was confined to the bed.
She collaborated whole-heartedly with the foundress
Mother Rosario and then with Mother Imelda and
stayed very active to supervise the work of the
construction, putting up all the inconveniences of a
new foundation in the pipeline. After the edifice
was ready for occupation and its inauguration in
1986, Sr. Anna to upon herself also the arduous task
of preparing hosts for our neighboring religious
She did not shrink from manning various
responsibilities that required knowledge and
expertise such as making alter bread, offering
medical aid to the sick as an infirmaries, taking
care of the provisory, she was at the reception even
though she did not know the local language to
interact with vendors and parlour visitors, she was
a disciplined soldier as a sacristan to have all
things neat and tidy and in perfect order.
Obviously, to accept to do all these without the
knowledge of big books is indeed a sign of heroic
humility, availability, diligence, love and maximum
She was a woman with self respect and always loved
to dress neatly as a true bride of Christ and kept
her cell always clean and tidy, which she said was
her paradise. She never wasted time and always kept
herself busy, offering a helping hand to the sisters
whenever needed. When of late she was unable to
perform these offices as old age was catching up
with her she did not excuse herself, but she would
retire to her cell, preparing rosaries and black
veils for sisters..
Sr. Anna was very lively and jovial during
recreation. She proved her wit and wisdom in her
sharp insights at the right time. God alone knows
what she would have been had she pursued university
studies. She proves amply to all that holiness is
not in knowing much but loving much.
As she was loosing her memory since 2013 and when
due to sodium depletion she began to hallucinate.
The, she would eagerly narrate them to all as if
absolute facts, entertaining us and making peels of
laud laughter resound the cloister at recreation
For five long years she was not able to do anything
by herself and was confined to the bed. None the
less there was no complaint in her mouth or
impatience on her face. She gratefully smiled
always. No doubt the community gave her round the
clock attention. We are blessed with trained medical
personnel and hence it was easier to take turns.
Nevertheless, as time was drifting she requested our
presence as she felt more comfortable to rest when
she was sure she was not left alone. Due to
geriatric vacillation of minerals, she had short
bouts of restlessness and confusion. she was given
the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, by Fr.
Wilfred Rodrigues, OCD our confessor, on 26th Dec,
In February 2015, she became very ill and slipped
down from the cot. She gradually reduced intake of
food, and she had to be fed by others. Dr. Kemparaj
examined her and she was treated with proper medical
care. Once again the anointing of the sick was
administered to her by Fr. Alwyn Aranha, OCD. After
that she used to be taken for Mass on wheel chair,
but even from the wheel chair she had a fall. From
April 22nd, 2015, her tall figure and limbs were
becoming stiff making it very difficult for her even
to sit or stand. Every movement was painful for her.
She was then shifted to the infirmary. From then on,
sister became totally bed-ridden. Daily Holy
Communion was given to her in the infirmary by Sr.
Arokia. Before receiving the Eucharist, Sister used
to pray with her in order to receive Our Lord
Our infirmarian, Sr. Therese and others, who were
allotted with the duty, looked after her from dawn
to dusk with much care and love. We kept moving her
from the bed to the wheel chair in order to avoid
bed sores. During recreations we used to bring her
for recreation and have hearty fun and laughter with
her. She used to give sweet smiles whenever the
sisters visited her, despite all her ailments and
sufferings. The sisters used to be very happy to
visit her, to pray with her and to listen to her as
well as to recreate. Often we could hear her
praying, “Lord, may the sacrifice of my life be
borne at Your feet on the throne of heaven”. This
was her continuous prayer, till she lost
consciousness of what was happening around her.
During this time every movement was causing her
As for her food, she had no special diet, as she had
no major illness, except for her old age. She had
good appetite and good taste. As she was a good
cook, she knew exactly what was missing in the food
that was served to her and she would make a joke out
of it. At times, she would speak as though she was
in her childhood days and we would have lot of fun
In February 2019, we had the privilege of having Our
Father General, Saverio Cannistra and all the
General Councillors to visit and pray at her bed
side. These were special days of grace for our
community, to think of our own death, to see the
shortness of our lives and the transitariness of
From June 2019, she stopped speaking completely and
would not answer when we asked her any question. We
could feel the pain she was going through, but could
not express, as she had lost memory, consciousness
and also her vision. On 10th December, 2019 as
Father Provincial, Fr. Charles Serrao was
providentially present speaking with the sisters we
called him inside the enclosure, to administer the
sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and pray for
her. Thus she was well equipped to meet her God.
Sr. Anna’s end came gently that very day, at about
11.40 a.m. while the sisters were praying the rosary
in the choir. Our Mother and a few sisters were
praying by her side. When they noticed Sr. Anna
breathing heavily, they gave her a few drops of
water, which she swallowed and slowly she stopped
breathing at 11.45 a.m. Thus our dear Sister left us
forever on 10th December, 2019 to her eternal abode.
Soon the community gathered around her to pray. Our
Dhyana Sadhana Fathers were called to pray for her.
Fathers Joe Tauro and John Sequiera came at once. It
was a co-incidence that Fr. John Sequeira too came
to Mysore at the right moment of her death. Sr. Anna
had intuitively told Fr. John two years earlier that
his next visit to our monastery will be for her
funeral. What she had said came perfectly true. Our
Fathers prayed the prayers for the dead and sang the
“Libera me”. Later Fathers Alphonse and Prakash too
came and helped us to prepare for the funeral.
Immediately her family and all those concerned were
informed. The body was placed in the mobile mortuary
which was made available to us by the CSST sisters.
Later, when the body was placed in the choir, our
Father Provincial, Carmelite and Capuchin Fathers
prayed over her and blessed her body. The sisters
took turns whole night to keep vigil and pray for
Sr. Anna. After praying the office for the dead, on
11th December, she was placed in the coffin
sponsored by the “Little Sisters of the Poor”, at
2.30 P.M. and moved her mortal remains to the
chapel, for public view and homage.
The funeral mass was celebrated at 3.00 p.m. His
Lordship, Most Rev. K. A. William, Bishop of Mysore
presided over the Requiem Mass, along with Bishop
Emeritus, Thomas A. Vazhapilly, our Provincial, Fr.
Charles Serrao and many Carmelite and Capuchin
Fathers. Nearly twenty-five of her family members
and relatives were present. Many of our OCD Brothers
from Pushpashrama, Capuchin Brothers, neighbouring
priests, religious and many lay people were present
for the funeral Mass and burial. Our Bishop preached
a short homily and highlighted the sacrificial life
of Sr. Anna.
After the Mass, the procession to our cemetery
included only the priests, brothers and Sr. Anna’s
family members. Only they were allowed to enter the
enclosure and pray at the grave. Rest of the people
could glance and pray thrugh the chapel windows. Our
Fr. Provincial performed the last rites with prayers
We express our heartfelt gratitude to all who were
present and also to our doctors, Sr. Dr. Veena, who
confirmed her death, nurse Sally, and all the sister
nurses from Dhyana Sadhana, who nursed her whenever
needed. We, in a special way thank Mr. Raju, our
contractor along with Mr. Thomas and his workers,
who helped to build the grave over-night, free of
cost. May our good God bless and reward each of them
with heavenly blessings.
Sr. Anna has spent almost 70 years in the garden of
Carmel serving God and praying for Church and the
needs of the world. May she, who has lived a
generous, hidden and fruitful life in Carmel, now
intercede for all from heaven until one day we come
there to sit at the table of the Lord together with
her in the heavenly homeland.
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE
Prioress and community
SR. MARY ANNE OF JESUS OCD
Entered Bengaluru Carmel: 16/07/1955
First Religious Profession: 02/02/1957
Solemn Profession: 02/02/1960
Received Black Veil: 20/05/1960
Buried at Kalpalli Cemetery, Bengaluru
MARY ANNE OF JESUS was born on 3rd of April 1936 of
a very devout and religious, aristocratic Syrian
family in Arupukara, Kerala, in the diocese of
Changanacherry. Her parents were Chacko Yosef and
Mariamma Joseph Thuruthumalil. Anne was the third of
12 children - seven boys and five girls. Two of her
aunts joined Cloistered Carmels: Sr. Teresa of Jesus
entered Thiruvalla Carmel and Sr. Elizabeth Therese
joined Bengaluru Carmel and later went to Kurnool as
one of the Foundresses. 2 of her cousins have also
joined the Carmel of Thiruvalla. She was looking
forward for the ordination of her grand nephew,
Deacon Joseph Alanickal on 2nd of January 2020.
Instead he assisted at the funeral mass of Sr. Mary
Anne was lovingly called Annakutty Chechi, even by
her much younger nieces and nephews. At the age of
12 she was paralyzed and was miraculously cured
through the intercession of St. Alphonsa. When she
received her First Holy Communion she heard an inner
voice calling her to Carmel. From that time she
wanted to join Carmel and give herself to God. When
she was 16, many proposals came for her but she
would not even come out of her room to meet the
guests. She expressed her desire to join Carmel but
her father would not give his consent. After waiting
for 3 years she was finally able to join the Carmel
of Bengaluru on 16th of July, 1955 at the age of 19.
When she left home, her brothers told her that they
would wait for some years to see if she would return
home and only then send back all the suitors. She
received the holy Habit on 23rd of January, 1956 and
made her first Profession on 2nd of February, 1957.
Sr. Anne was very hard working, punctual and
generous, always ready to lend a helping hand to
those in the community who needed any help. She was
even sent to help the Carmel of Mumbai from 1971 to
1974 and again from 1980 to 1983. Sister loved
gardening and used to cultivate lovely roses for the
Tabernacle. She had her own vegetable garden and
would water and take care of the plants almost until
a few months before she died. Even dying plants
seemed to thrive with her loving and tender care.
She was once elected Prioress and was first
councilor for many years. She was a strong support
for the Prioress. She was thorough with the liturgy
and the Sisters could always turn to her for correct
information about the religious ceremonies and
customs. She held different offices in the
community: making candles, hosts, vestments and was
in charge of the linen room, the sacristy and the
Turn. Young as well as senior Sisters could turn to
her for guidance at any time. In joys as well as in
sorrows she would always say ‘Praise the Lord’. She
was always ready to accompany the sick sisters to
the hospital and be of any help that was needed.
About a year ago Sr. Mary Anne was diagnosed with
cancer and underwent treatment. She recovered quite
well and was able to lead a normal life, and was
even active in the garden and helping to cook Hosts
and doing accounts. Suddenly about three months ago
she started having pain and was not able to eat
much. She was taken to St. Martha’s hospital and the
doctors found that the cancer had recurred. Doctors
tried to give her chemotherapy as a second surgery
was not advisable. But after two cycles she was
found to be too weak for further treatment and the
doctors found that there was no hope of recovery.
When she was in hospital, everyone was edified by
her smile and the courage with which she accepted
all her sufferings without complaint. As she was
very energetic she still hoped to get well and be of
help to the community and was very grateful for all
that was done to her during her illness.
Doctors tried to make her as comfortable as possible
and kept her on I.V. nutrition as she was unable to
take any food orally, except a few drops of water to
moisten her lips. At the advice of the doctors she
was brought back to the convent as there was nothing
they could do to cure her. The neighbouring sisters
of St. Anne’s Convent, Millers Road were extremely
helpful to the community, and were available any
time, even visiting her several times a day.
Therefore the community was able to give her all the
medical and nursing care she needed. Sr. Mary of the
Passion with the help of Sr. Jacintha kept watch at
night, as the I.V. bottles had to be monitored and
replaced when empty. Until a few days ago she was
very peaceful and conscious until the end. In the
hospital when her condition seemed critical she was
given the anointing of the sick, and after coming
back to the convent the Carmelite Fathers, including
the Provincial, visited her several times and
Doctors had foreseen that there was high risk of
infection due to the many tubes that had been
inserted. In spite of the best efforts, Sister began
to get high fever due to infection. She was very
restless during the last 3 days … and kept repeating
“My Jesus, My Jesus”. She was able to receive Holy
Communion every day. On the 17th morning she was
unable to speak and was breathing hard. The entire
community was summoned and they prayed around her
bed, till she passed away peacefully at 9.15.a.m.
During her illness her family was very supportive
and her two nephews living in Bangalore visited her
several times in the hospital and gave all the help
that they could.
The funeral Mass was celebrated at 3 p.m. the next
day (18th of November, 2019). His Grace, Most Rev.
Peter Machado, the Archbishop of Bangalore presided
over the Requiem Mass, along with
Archbishop-Emeritus Bernard Moras, the Provincial
Fr. Charles Serrao OCD, and many Carmelite Fathers.
Deacon Joseph Alanickal, Sr. Anne’s grand nephew,
(and Deacon Thomas Puthuparambil, both of whom would
be ordained on 2nd of January, 2020.) assisted. Fr.
Charles Serrao, preached a short homily and
highlighted a few unique characteristics of Sr. Mary
Anne, and the Archbishop-Emeritus led the final
Due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances the
body was not taken to the chapel outside. About 60
of her family members had come from Kerala and were
able to view the body and pray for her at the choir
grille. When brought back from the hospital, Sister
had told her nephew that she would not receive
visitors, even her own sisters, as it was not the
custom to allow visitors inside the enclosure. They
were very edified by this and remarked that as she
had wanted to be hidden and detached even from her
own relations, she had her way. The burial took
placed at Kalpalli Cemetery.
Thus ended a generous, hidden, fruitful life of
almost 65 years spent joyfully in the garden of
Carmel serving God and praying for the Church and
the needs of the whole world. May her soul rest in
SR. MARY JOSEPHA OF THE
DIVINE HEART, OCD
“I will sing of the mercies
of the Lord forever”
Our dear Sr. Josepha is now singing the mercies and
praises of the Lord in heaven, face to face after 90
years of her sojourn on earth with Him. Sister was
born in Alwaye Kerala on Aug.10th 1928 to Aleyamma
and Varkey, the God-fearing, faith-filled and
devoted Catholic parents.
Sister joined the Carmel of Mangalore at the age of
24 on 8th Sept.1952. It was a providential venture.
According to Fr. George P. c.m.i her nephew, both
the Sisters, Sr. Josepha and Sr. Ann Mary, St. Anne
of Providence did not want to become religious,
because it would deprive them of seeing their
parents and visiting home. Whereas the other sister,
Father’s Mother wanted to join the convent from her
younger years. God’s choice was the opposite way.
Annamma came to Fr. Muller’s Hospital to take care
of a sick Sister of St. Anne of Providence, where
she was working. The Lord reserved her for Himself
behind the grilles at her first visit to Mangalore
Carmel, as she went to fetch some water there. She
was vested after a year of probation and made her
first profession on the following year 17thOct.1954,
taking the name Sr. Josepha of Divine Heart. On
Oct.17th1957 she made her Solemn Profession.
After 40 years of fruitful, happy contemplative life
in Mangalore Carmel, she pioneered to be one of the
foundresses of Hassan Carmel in Chickmagalore
Diocese. No sooner the foundation took place, with
great zeal and enthusiasm, Sr. Josepha , in
consultation with the vicaress Sr. Ann Therese,
planned to make the barren land fertile. With the
assistance of Br. Baptist o.c.d, the layout was
marked for planting trees and other cultivations.
Soon shot up the saplings of coconuts, mangoes, and
plantains; besides a variety of local vegetables .
Sister worked very hard with a minimum of 2 or 3
labourers very economically. The whole compound had
a fresh green out- look soon, so much so when our
Fr. General Camillo Maccise and Defenitor general
visited us they were really surprised and commented
at the fast and orderly work which transformed the
barren land. When Sister was not occupied in the
garden, she would retire to her cell, preparing
scapulars with a hand machine, making Rosaries or
some artistic craft work, all in communion with her
Lord and Mother Mary. When arthritis afflicted her
she wouldn’t give up but used to say “Mother Mary
will help me in my work” and it proved true. Even
late at night she would make scapulars, which
manifested her love for Mother Mary as well as to
support the community.
Sr. Josepha nourished her soul, with good spiritual
reading, the Bible, lives of saints, especially of
our order and other books. Although Sister had no
much formal education, with an iron will she
mastered many languages; to pray better, to read
well and to communicate with people. She would
prepare well for mass with the help of a Missal and
participated, attentively, actively and devoutly in
the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Her own words bear
witness to it. She would say “whatever I ask during
the consecration God will grant me”. After the
consecration of the chalice she would pray, “Lord,
drop, one drop of Your Blood on each one of us, so
that we be pure and cleansed to receive Holy
Communion worthily”. Her devotion to the Blessed
Sacrament was remarkable. She would gaze with
unction and love, to the edification of all of us.
She used to pray like JESUS in His priestly Prayer
“that they may be one” that our community be always
united and we have a loving attitude towards one
another. She would pray earnestly for vocations and
advise every young girl to join Carmel.
Sr. Josepha could narrate past events so vividly as
though she was the eye-witness and capture the
attention of her listeners, leaving them
spell-bound. One of our elderly Sisters said “if
Sister had the opportunities to study like us what a
genius she would have been, she could be the best
Prioress”. Sr. Josepha’s missionary zeal and spirit
was something like that of St. Therese. One of the
s.d.b.fathers who knew her for many years exhorted
us thus “one of you should adopt her missionary
Sr. Josepha had her own struggles in relating with
the community members and accepting each one as they
are, and to be bonded. Here again we quote her
nephew “Sr. Josepha was a bit assertive and quick
tempered at home, but would soon repent for her
temper and come with apologies. Her love and empathy
for people was unparalled. She had a great heart for
the poor, the workers and for the suffering and
would try to help them from whatever quarter she
could reach”. These ofcourse were both positive and
negative points for her till the end.
Though Sr. Josepha was praying for death while on
her feet, the Lord visited her in His own terms. On
23rd Jan. 2014 she had a fall in her cell. The
sister who went with tea for her, could not open her
cell and so we had to struggle to do the needful.
After a second fall she was taken to the local
hospital and was discharged after a week. Since
there weren’t signs of improvement she was taken in
an ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital Chickmagalore.
The doctor who treated her there suggested to move
her to Fr. Muller’s Hospital Mangalore , as there
was a blood clot in the brain. She was operated and
the blood clot was removed but Sister lost her
memory to a great extend. After a fortnight she was
brought back to Holy Cross Hospital for
physiotherapy which lasted 20 days. Back to our
community she was handicapped, was confined between
her bed and wheel chair. She could no more resume
her former active life. Yet she surrendered to God’s
will joyfully. The Sisters took great care of her
with much love and devotion till the end, during
these five long years. One of our lay helpers
assisted the sisters incharge till the end with even
greater devotion . Our nurse Laxmi, being a Hindu,
surprised us with her selfless care and attention
for Sr. Josepha inspite of her busy schedule,
working in two hospitals daily. Whenever we needed
her she would come and do all the needful without
any charge, but with great sacrificial love. Sr.
Josepha was very happy with her and would call her
doctor and would obey her promptly. Sister was very
grateful for all the services she received, so also
her family and relatives.
Sr. Josepha always radiated the joy which our
beloved pope Francis desires for all consecrated
persons. She used to give sweet smiles whenever the
Sisters visited her, despite all her ailments,
weakness and sufferings. The Sisters would visit her
regularly, to pray with her, to listen to her wisdom
and wit as well as to recreate . Mostly she enjoyed
all that and we too. When we used to ask her how are
you Sister, she always answered “I am fine or I am
better”; never a word of complain except during her
baths. Towards the end every movement was causing
her excruciating pain. As for her food, there was no
special diet, but the common food of the community.
She had good appetite and good taste. She used to
prepare tasty dishes till she was able and taught
the younger ones to cook well. Whenever some salt,
sugar, pungency or sourness was missing in the food
we served her, she would make a joke out of it.
Her wit and wisdom was the subject of our
recreations often, even though she was absent. Every
visit of each Sister to Sr. Josepha was interesting.
She had a nick name or pet name for each of us and
used to give admonitions when and wherever
necessary, even though she would live in her
childhood at other times. The community would pray
the rosary with her and she would pray the first
decade. Even though she lost her memory she always
remembered the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.
On 8th Feb. She fell in a coma and after that we
heard no more her precious words; no food, no water,
except a few drops of electoral now and then. It
lasted 14 days and the Sisters would visit her, keep
vigil, pray with her and so on. During those days
our Provincial Rev.Fr.Chalres Serrao, Bishop Anthony
Samy and Parish Priest came in to pray for her and
bless her. These were special days of grace for the
community, to think of our own death, to wait
patiently, to look for the things of heaven, to see
the shortness of our lives, the futility of
achievements, the transitariness of created things
and much more.
Several times the sacrament of the anointing of sick
was administered during her confinement to the
infirmary. So also Holy communion was given daily.
On 11th Feb. while in coma, Fr. Joseph Pinto O.C.D.
came from Belur to administer the last sacrament and
viaticum. Thus she was well equipped to meet her
God. Sr. Josepha’s end came gently; on 20th
Wednesday night as if of some premonition, our
Mother prayed with her till 11p.m and visited her
several times. In the morning while the community
was at mental prayer the sister in-charge was
praying by her side. She noticed Sr. Josepha
breathing laboriously and gave her a few drops of
water which made her breathe shallow and slowly the
breathing stopped at 5.45 a.m. Thus our dear Sister
left us forever on 21st Feb. to her eternal abode.
Soon the community gathered round her to pray and
the Sisters took turn to be with her in prayer till
Immediately the family and all those concerned were
informed. At 9a.m. the rector of Don Bosco Fr.
Dominic came with another priest and prayed over her
and blessed the body. Later we placed her in the
coffin and moved to the choir. After praying the
office for the dead we kept the body in the chapel
for public view and homage. Ten of her family
members and relatives were present including her own
sister Sr. Ann Mary , and her niece Sr. Daisy (St.
Anne Providence) who brought Sr. Ann Mary with much
love and care although it was a herculean task. Many
of our o.c.d. fathers, neighbouring priests,
religious and many lay people were present for the
funeral mass and burial. Fr. Pius James the vice
provincial was the main celebrant delegated by our
Provincial Rev.Fr.Chalres Serrao who could not be
present. Fr. Joe Tauro, o.c.d. gave an inspiring
homily. Fr. Ronald Cardoza our Parish Priest saw to
all the necessary arrangements for the funeral. The
Parishners -too responded generously to everything
we needed, free of charge. The procession to our
cemetery included the community, Sr. Josepha’s
family and relatives, priests and Sisters.
Our heartfelt gratitude to everyone present and
helped us in big and small ways. We reward you by
our prayers and simple life of contemplation.
Sisters of Carmel Matha Ashram, HASSAN.
SR. MARY PAUL OF MT. CARMEL 1922 TO 2019
“ABBA Father, into your hands I commend my
PAPA, be merciful to me a sinner - the least of all
sinners, not to speak of all nuns. A humble and
contrite heart you will not spurn. My constant
prayer in life had been to Jesus - to draw me closer
to Abba Father. My beloved Jesus taught me to love
ABBA and to fix my gaze only on him alone.
Sinful as I am, I am confident he will not abandon
me. I am going to Him, our Home, with joy, trusting
in his infinite love and mercy alone- as I will
stand before Him with absolutely empty handed as I
was full of wickedness all my life.
Sister Mary Paul of Mt. Carmel was born on 31st of
Oct.1922, of very devout and religious parents -
Peter and Sabina Baa - Mother being a Lutheran
She was the eldest of 9 children - 5 girls and 4
boys, a little sister and a little brother died in
their infancy. She was educated with Belgian
Ursulines in her place and in Ranchi. She was full
of life and mischievous, unbearable to the class
teacher and some older girls. At the age of 10 she
heard about the Carmelites of Calcutta. Their life
style fascinated the little girl very much, who was
incorrigible in class in many ways, and she felt
very strongly within to join them, to correct her
faults and to do some penance.
The reading of the life of Little Flower inspired
her to follow her vocation. After her schooling she
joined the army with some of her classmates. God
kept her good and faithful to Himself in the good
company of friends. She had joined the army chiefly
to see different places in India free without
railway fare - only a pass was needed to travel
anywhere one wished.
The War ended in 1945, but it was not easy to jump
out of the army – everyone had to wait for the
release No. to come out, I asked for my release with
another girl – we were the 1st to be released. I
came straight from the army to Bangalore to join in
July 1946 with Sr. Mary of St. Joseph , we both
joined on 16th July ‘46.”
(Written by Sr. Carmel and found after her death. –
On the envelope it was written, (“My undying Life”)
Sister Mary Paul of Mt. Carmel was born on October
31st 1922 in Jharkhand in a God fearing family. She
was the eldest of 9 children. 2 of her younger
sisters are also Religious. Sr. Saritha of St
.Anne’s convent in Jharkhand and Sr. Maxima of
Ursuline Sisters from Jharkhand. They were very
close to her and would regularly visit her even
though from so far away. After her high school she
joined the Military as a Typist during World War 2.
From her childhood she desired to be a nun. She
answered the call of God and joined our Carmel at
the age of 24 in 1946. She received her holy habit
on April 23rd 1947. It was the beginning of our
Carmel and life was hard. She worked very hard to
help the community in every way. On October 7th 1948
she made her 1st Profession, and on 16th July 1954
she made her solemn profession. She celebrated her
Golden Jubilee on 7th Oct. 1998, and Diamond Jubilee
on 7th Oct.2008.
She fulfilled the office of Prioress and Councilors.
She was very generous and hard working, was very
kind for the poor people and desired to help them in
whatever way possible. She was very humble and
simple and many people remember Sr. Carmel as a
loving and tender hearted mother. Always forgetful
of self she would try to make others happy.
She used to address God as Papa and had a filial
relationship with God. She used to tell us that when
we have found God we need nothing more. She used to
insist that every day after Communion we should ask
Jesus to show us the Father.
At a very old age she used to play the organ and was
eager to teach the younger sisters. She had a bypass
surgery and suffered from Heart problem for many
years. Once when she was staying with a sick sister
to assist her in hospital, she was knocked down on
the road while going to buy medicine. Her knee was
injured and a rod had to be inserted through
surgery. In spite of all these ailments she was very
energetic and faithful in all her duties. Even
though she was very old she was able to help herself
and did not want to give trouble to others. She used
to come for Holy Mass and Rosary and would come for
recreation with the community with the help of a
During the last 3 days she was exhausted due to
weakness and had difficulty in breathing. Till the
last moment she was conscious and accepted the
treatment that was offered to relieve her. On 26th
January she was restless. So we called the priest
and Fr. Francis OCD came and gave her the anointing
of the sick. The same night she was suffering much,
she said “My end has come” and in a loud voice she
said, “My God pardon all my sins.” She said to the
Prioress “please tell all my sisters each and every
one of them that I forgive them and I also ask them
to forgive me.” Very often she was saying to the
Prioress “please don’t take me to the hospital.”
Her last day on earth was very painful. On 29th
January morning she was not able to speak. She was
struggling to breathe. We tried to help her. She was
conscious to the end. The Prioress said to her,
“Jesus must come and take you. “She opened her eyes,
and looked at the Prioress … and that was her last
look. Many sisters were around her praying, and
gently she breathed her last at 11.30 a.m. Fr. Jerry
OCD came and blessed the body.
As our Archbishop Peter Machado was not available,
Archbishop Bernard Moras came to concelebrate the
funeral mass on the 30th at 10 .a.m. together with 8
After Mass some of our Carmelite Fathers, our extern
sister Sr. Celine, along with a number of our
friends accompanied the body to Kalpally Cemetery
where 13 of our sisters are already buried. We thank
all our Benefactors and Friends. Please pray for the
repose of her soul. May she rest in peace.
A tribute of love and gratitude from
Prioress & Community of Cloistered Carmel,
RIP: Sr Rita of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary (Chicalim Carmel)
Rita Lobo, was born in Mumbai, on 27th January,
1930, of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew & Amy Lobo. She grew
up in Pune and at the age of 18 joined the Discalced
Carmelite Sisters in Bangalore. A few years later
she was sent to aid the newly founded Carmelite
Convent in Chicalim, Goa, which she did generously,
offering herself in the manual work and in obtaining
substantial financial help, through her
correspondence abroad. She was also gifted with a
musical ear and composed, sang and played classical
organ, for the delight of all. She was known for her
hearty laughter, which resounded near and far during
the recreation periods! Towards the end of her life
she was bed-ridden for about two years, slowly
losing the power of expressing herself, but
retaining a lucid mind, till a few days before her
death. She however accepted all her sicknesses
calmly, rarely complaining. Even the nurses dealing
with her during her hospitalizations, remarked that
it was a pleasure to take care of such a sweetly
responsive patient. Before the loss of her speech,
she would frequently shower her “Thank Yous”, on the
Sr. Infirmarian and other sisters who looked after
her at home, or on anyone who happened to lend her
some service. Toward the end she developed a severe
urinary tract infection, bronchial pneumonia and
finally septicemia. She passed away peacefully in
the morning of 15th May at around 7.00am. May her
soul rest in peace.
SR. RITA OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
PLACE OF BIRTH; MUMBAI
ENTERANCE IN CARMEL; 06-08-1948
FIRST PROFESSION; 25-12-1950
Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Cross
(Pune Carmel) expired on 12th October,
(1927 - 2008)
Lord… I do not occupy myself with things too great
and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and
quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its
mother. (Ps. 131)
memories of her childhood, Sr. Bridget spoke of a
friend who gave her a love for Our Lady of Dolours.
She would humorously recount, “we were in the same
class, we passed together and we failed together.”
Angeline Brodget was unconcerned about this failure
though her aunts weren’t. But Uncle Ryan, her
fovourite uncle took her report and read aloud,
“Failed in Maths, failed in Science” and then with a
tone of optimism, “but why you passed in needlework
and in Catechism. Oh! That’s enough for a girl.
Don’t worry darling, go and play.”
When all the relatives
were sad at funerals, her young cousin, later Fr.
Jagaraj SDB, showed her how to look mournful by
extracting a few tears by looking at the sun.
Bridget also knew how to have her own way with her
younger cousin, Euphie by commanding her to eat the
beetroot from her plate which she utterly detested.
Born in Singapore,
studying with the Irish Presentation Sisters in
India, Bridget had a good English acent but was
Tamilian from head to toe. She loved singing her
favorite Tamil hymns. The youngest and tenth child
of the family Brodget had a comfortable childhood
though at an early age she lost her father, Mr.
Singarayan Vaz, a chartered accountant in Singapore.
Ratnamma, her mother reared her four surviving
children with a heroic faith taking the monthly
pension of her deceased husband to the picture of
the Sacred Heart and asking Him to multiply is as He
did the loaves and fishes and making it suffice till
the end of the month. Still in her teens, Bridget
joined the Carmel of Bangalore and then went as
pioneer to Coimbatore. In 1985 she went to Mumbai
Carmel and in 1989 came to help the infant
foundation of Raipur.
gratitude were her outstanding virtues. In her final
years she was often heard saying. “who will be
treated as well as I am?” Afflicted with diabetes
she gladly accepted the privation of things ashe
loved to eat. During conferences she would be
satisfied even if she remembered one good sentence.
“I heard one good sentence, that’s enough for me.”
Bringing her first
word to recreation was a custom she kept faithfully
and which we admired in her. Soon after Mother
Renee’s death in 1996, Sr. Bridget suffered a
massive cerebral stoke and doctors predicted that
she would be a vegetable. Mother Renee’s love for
her was strongly manifested always but especially
after the former’s death. The community noticed a
great spiritual growth in Sr. Bridget.
That was one of her hobbies. However the moment we
asked for anything she was extremely generous to
part with them. Her temper would easily rise and yet
she would not harbour grudges. Towards the final
months of her life she remembered with much love
especially those who had caused her pain and there
was no remembrance of the past hurts, rather a deep
concern for them.
When asked for her age
she would say, “I was born in 1927, now calculate.”
But this loss of consciousness of the day or the
month was a painful and long dark night for her.
Much of her memory was lost. The constant fear that
she might not be able to sleep haunted her very
evening. It was pathetic to see her crying with this
unrealistic fear. This traumatic time for her was
also a training school of love for our community.
Every day in order to keep her spirits high at
recreation, we used to recite her favorite hymens
along with her. Regularly we listened to the same
childhood stories which she used to relate.
The Rosary and certain
vocal prayers came to her assistance when her mind
was weak. We used to repeat ejaculatory prayers to
her when she was sick. One day a sister asked her,
“How are you Sr. Bridget?” she responded, “I place
my trust in you.”
Six months before her
flight to heaven she had a fall and fractured her
leg. Our two infirmarians did their best to make her
comfortable. Our Mother thoughtfully arranged for
our sisters to take turns to sleep with her in the
infirmary. Twice or thrice she went into long
periods of comma. On the 29th January the
end came quickly but peacefully. Her dear ones had
visited her earlier but as they were abroad they
couldn’t be present. Our archbishop and 25 priests
concelebrated at the funeral Mass. Our chapel was
packed with Religious and lay people who were happy
to witness the firts death of a Carmelite Sister in
Thank you for all your
messages of condolence and prayers. While we thank
God for the gift of our dear Sr. Bridget we request
you to pray that she have the joy of the Beatific
MOTHER AGNES MARY OF
THE EUCHARIST, OCD
(1924 – 2007)
will praise you Lord with all my heart, I will tell of
all the wonderful things you have done”. (Ps. 9a)
It was both by her teaching and by her good example that
our dearest Mother Agnes of the Eucharist, ‘praised you
Lord with all her heart and told of all the wonderful
things you had done.’ Faithful to the spirit of the Rule
and Constitutions, she remained until the end an
undaunted, fervent and dedicated daughter of the Church.
Angeline D’Mello (her maiden name) born to Mr. & Mrs.
Philip and Prudencia D’Mello on 13th May, 1924 was the
fifth child in a family of six, two of whom died at a
tender age. As our heavenly Father would have willed it,
Mother Agnes was also buried on the same day of her
birth, (13th May) which is a beautiful day of our Lady.
Her only brother, late Rev. Fr. Thomas D’Mello, served
the Archdiocese of Bombay.
She joined the Carmel of Bangalore, on 21st Jan, 1944. A
year later she received the Holy Habit and made her
first Profession on 1st July, 1946.
The then Patriarch of Goa Mgr. J. Alvernaz had invited
the late Mother Elizabeth of the Trinity to start a
foundation in Goa. So in the year 1947, four novices,
including Mother Agnes, accompanied Mother Elizabeth of
the Trinity from Bangalore to Goa. In stature small and
thin, shy and hidden, she always witnessed to the power
of God at work in and around her. Her humble demeanor
invited one and all to approach her. She stood as a
valiant support to the foundress, Mother Elizabeth of
the Trinity during the construction of the Monastery of
Goa which was carried on amidst great poverty and
Ten years after the Mumbai Carmel was founded they felt
the need of personnel and so Mother Agnes was again
asked the sacrifice of moving out of the dovecot of Goa
to help the Carmel of Mumbai, which she did generously.
The Lord be praised for she was also instrumental in
founding two more Carmels --Baroda and Raipur.
We look with gratitude at the courage and zeal with
which she steered the barque of Andheri Carmel for
several years; surely the waters did not always flow
smoothly. It was a remarkable peaceful serenity that
always helped her to face the storms that God sent time
and again. Deep faith in God’s power and love was her
anchor. Her great faith was a source of inspiration and
joy. As prioress she was dearly loved by all for so many
years. She faced many a crisis with deep faith and
surrender to the Beloved who made her a true tower of
True to her name Agnes Mary, she was meek as a lamb and
unassuming like our blessed Mother. Her outstanding
characteristics of being merciful, loving, compassionate
to one and all within the community and to the
outsiders, made her very dear to everyone. In the
community as prioress, sub-prioress, novice mistress or
councilor, she knew how to be firm and lenient. She had
great trust in the goodness of persons; whenever she
heard complaints about somebody she would invariably
find the good in the person.
Mother always chose the humblest and hardest work. She
never excused herself from work even though she was
prioress whether it was the kitchen work, the regular
cleanings of the cloisters, the washing etc. and would
insist on doing her share even when she was over 70yrs.
It was only when her poor health declined, that she
surrendered sweetly to the care of her beloved
community. She was edifying in her resignation to the
holy will of God. For the last two years of her life,
she was mostly confined to bed, but even in these
sufferings, she was patient, calm and resigned. No
complain ever escaped her lips be it about food,
clothing, or any other inconvenience. She never missed
coming for the daily Eucharistic celebration and
attended Morning and Evening prayer in the choir, in her
wheel-chair. She would equally eagerly await the
sister-in-charge to wheel her to the recreation room.
She simply loved to be with the sisters.
A few days before her last illness, the sisters who were
attending on her were privileged to hear her reciting
the beautiful Ps. 116 “O praise the Lord all you
nations, acclaim Him all you peoples. Strong is His love
for us, He is faithful forever”. Also, time and again
she would repeat, ‘be reconciled, forgive, love’. We
accept this ‘love message’ as her last testament and
legacy to us whom she leaves behind.
During the first week of May, we could sense her
strength waning. She had high fever, her blood pressure
and diabetes shot up. On Thursday, 10th May, after Holy
Communion, Rev. Fr. Aloysius D’Souza, our confessor
administered the sacrament of Anointing. She was quite
well and answered all the prayers in her feeble voice.
Asked whether she would accept to go to the Holy Spirit
Hospital, which is next door, she answered “No”. But
after pointing out to her that the doctors there could
do much more to relieve her of pain much more than we
would love to do, she agreed.
We got her admitted and the treatment began immediately.
Our sisters took turns to be with her. Towards evening
her condition became serious. Our Mother who was by her
side at that moment, recited in her ear, the Memorare
and the invocation “Jesus Mary Joseph I give you my
heart and my soul,………………… may I breathe forth my last in
peace with you, Amen”. By then she went into coma. The
doctors did their best to revive her and shifted her
from the ward to the I.C.U. The whole night passed
without any improvement. The functioning of her heart
was very low. On Friday, 11th May, at 9.15 a.m. she
breathed her soul into the Arms of her beloved ABBA
By 11.30 a.m. the body was brought to the Carmel and
laid in the choir. A peaceful smile radiated on her
face. People flocked to pay their last tribute to our
beloved Mother. We were obliged to keep the body till
Sunday, 13th May, as her nephews from Goa wished to
attend the funeral. Hence the body was kept in the
Carmel, in the choir, in a coffin shaped freezer
(ice-box) with a glass front. Her peaceful and fresh
appearance was thus visible to all. Another nephew, his
wife and her sister from Africa had previously informed
Mother Agnes that they would be in Bombay on 13th May,
to wish her for her birthday. They kept their word but
it was her funeral that awaited them instead.
The funeral was conducted by His Lordship, Bishop
Ferdinand Fonseca along with 14 priests, Carmelites and
others. Our Chapel was packed with religious nuns,
family members, friends and benefactors. Her mortal
remains were laid to rest in our cemetery.
We express our deep gratitude to the Superior of the
Holy Spirit Hospital, Rev. Sr. Alfonse Mary for the care
and concern bestowed on our dear Mother, as well as to
the doctors, nurses and specially to the Lobo family who
were at our beck and call during those days. We are also
grateful to our brothers and sisters of the Carmelite
family for their closeness to us and for the prayers and
suffrages offered for the soul of Mother Agnes. May
Mother Agnes obtain God’s blessings on all of them.
And may God grant Eternal Rest to her soul.
Prioress & Community,
Andheri Carmel, Mumbai.
Sr. Agnes Mary of the Eucharist
DATE OF BIRTH:
JOINED BANGALORE CARMEL:
TO CHICALIM CARMEL, GOA:
TO ANDHERI CARMEL, MUMBAI:
EXPIRED (at Andheri):
Sister Mary Veronica of
the Holy Face, OCD
(1928 – 2007)
For me I am already being poured out as a libation and
the time for my departure has come. I have fought the
good fight I have finished the race, I have kept the
Sister Mary Veronica of the Holy Face was born on 28th
July 1928 in a devout and well known family in Kerala.
Her father Ouseph Kundukulam lost his first wife after
the birth of a daughter. He then married Kunjamma and
God blessed them with 2 sons and 9 daughters. Veronica
was the second last. Her youngest sister Cicily is a
religious in the CMC Congregation.
There is an interesting story about how she received her
name at baptism. Her nurse carried her to the Church for
Baptism. When the priest asked her for the name to be
given to the child, the good lady could not remember it,
and looking around pointed to the 6th Station of the Way
of the Cross and requested him to give the baby the name
of that lady there. So the child was baptized and given
the name Veronica.
Veronica was a pious girl and loved silence and
solitude. She entered Carmel on February 2nd 1953. She
was given the name Mary Veronica of the Holy Face, in
honour of the lady of the 6th Station who wiped the Face
of Jesus on His way to Calvary, with a linen cloth, on
which He left the imprint of His Holy Face. She made her
first religious profession on 17th June 1955.
Sr. Veronica was a very humble and hardworking sister.
She did whatever work was entrusted to her as perfectly
as she could. She used to do beautiful net embroidery
for Albs and Surplices and tiny heart shaped relics of
Agnus Dei with bits of gold cloth. Later she helped in
the cowshed and also with the cooking. When Sr. Seraphim
left for the foundation of Bombay Carmel, Sr.Veronica
took charge of the cows -feeding, milking, and cleaning
the stable with the help of other sisters; doing all the
hard work in spite of her frail appearance. The
veterinary doctors were amazed at her love for the
animals and the way she mastered them and spoke to them.
Like a tender mother she looked after them, and it was a
painful sacrifice for her when all the cows had to be
In May 2005 Sr. Veronica celebrated the Golden Jubilee
of her profession. Her sister Cecily and many of her
nieces and nephews came to share her joy and render
gratitude to God.
Sr. Veronica suffered from Osteoporosis and hence
walking became difficult and painful. She used a walker
to move about and would be taken to Choir and Recreation
in a wheel chair. She was always cheerful and resigned
and never complained of anything. She tried to help
herself as much as she could and was very grateful for
what ever the sisters did to help her. She would always
say to the sisters –“all things will pass away.” She was
very fervent in her prayers and the recitation of the
Divine Office, which she would always carefully prepare
beforehand. She loved reading and always held her rosary
in her hands.
Sr. Veronica’s end came suddenly. She had an attack of
influenza and her lungs were congested. She was under
medication and though she felt a little weak there was
nothing serious about her condition. On the 4th of March
she was her usual self and moved about in her cell with
the help of her walker. At noon after lunch the
expression on her face suddenly changed and she was
staring. Sisters helped her to go on her bed and the
Priest was called, who came immediately and gave her the
anointing of the sick. Sister soon recovered and for the
rest of the day was talking and even joking with the
sisters who visited her. At 6.30 p.m. her head suddenly
dropped down and her face changed again, her eyes
staring at a distance. The community was called and as
we prayed around her bed, Sr. Veronica passed away
peacefully, without any struggle. It was 7 p.m. on 4th
March 2007. It was a beautiful death and there was a
calm, serene and sweet smile on her face. The next day
at 4 p.m. the Archbishop of Bangalore, Most Rev. Bernard
Moras along with several priests celebrated the funeral
Mass. Her sister and many of her relatives came to bid
farewell to their dear departed one. Some of our
Carmelite Fathers, her family members and many of our
friends accompanied the body to the cemetery in Kalpally.
R.I.P. May dear Sr. Veronica pray for us and help us
from her heavenly Home. Kindly remember her in your
Prioress & Community
Cloistered Carmel , Bangalore.
Sr. Mary Veronica of the Holy Face
DATE OF BIRTH:
JOINED BANGALORE CARMEL:
FIRST RELIGIOUS PROFESSION:
Sr. Philomena of the Holy Spirit (1926 - 2005) -
Chicalim Carmel, Goa.
It was on the 16th May, 2005 that the Lord chose to
pluck a flower from the enclosed garden of the Chicalim
Carmel, Goa. This time it was Sr. Philomena of the Holy
Spirit. With God there is no such thing as chance;
being planned with infinite wisdom from all eternity.
Sr. Philomena received the habit of our holy order on
the feast of Pentecost and this year on that same feast
little was it suspected that she would wing her flight
to eternity. Which being the 16th of May was the feast
of St. Simon Stock or rather the feast of the Holy
Scapular to which she had always been so attached.
This dear sister was a simple little soul, little in her
own sight, but since littleness attracts even to
infatuating God Himself , as He Himself has revealed who
can know how much she was valued by Him. She had always
been and remained a humble silent soul who never
retaliated under provocation, never spoke ill of anyone
as all who knew her can testify. Doing her work
devotedly, she passed unnoticed and hidden in the midst
of the community till tragedy struck.
Having joined the Chicalim carmel in 1949, she lived her
life here almost since the beginning of the foundation
which was started in 1947 by Rev. Mother Elizabeth.
Almost penniless and without funds everything had to
start from scratch and it was in this condition that she
started her life in carmel. Being illiterate she was
naturally relegated to the role of a lay sister and
invariably it fell to her to serve the community in the
kitchen. We could witness her hard work and silent
labour day in and day out, without any replacement for
years in a primitive dark kitchen. Daily we would see
the sister at 1pm without having any siesta trudging to
the well to draw water and carry it to the kitchen. Her
life was hard but never a complaint ever escaped her
lips. This dear sister who worked hard during the whole
day was there again with community for other labours.
After almost 25 years of this hard labor tragedy struck
when she had to undergo an operation which was succeeded
by a stroke which left her mentally and physically
incapacitated and which worsened with age leaving her
totally dependant on her devoted nurse Sr. Josephine,
whom she would call for at any time of day or night. Now
began her years of pain and suffering as arthritis added
its painful effects of crippling her limbs yet there she
was in the kitchen day after day helping in the cleaning
and cutting of vegetables almost to her last day. She
was always submissive and obedient till her dying breath
and always charitable. She refused no service that was
asked of her considering herself the least and the last
of all. Her constant ejaculatory prayer was 'Jesus, Mary
I love you ,save souls." When in-charge of the poultry
she would sing in a tuneful voice as she approached "Ave
Maria, Ave Maria .."and it was strange to remark the
sudden pin drop silence that ensued from the hens in
response to her voice. Such was the simple life of Sr.
The day following Pentecost this year (2005) feeling the
end was near, as the 105 degree of temperature would not
abate and the doctors who were called in gave up hope,
she was anointed with the community surrounding her
singing the Salve Regina and reciting the chaplet of
Mercy at the end of which she was helped to renew her
Suddenly and silently the end came that very night
towards 11pm. It was 16th May 2005. She was 81 years of
BORN: 06.12. 1926.
DIED: 16.05. 2005.
Sr. Rosemira of the
Holy Spirit (1937 – 2003) – Hassan Carmel, Karnataka.
Sr. Rosemira of the Holy Spirit was born in Goa into a
pious and God fearing family. God played the 1st note
when she was only a child – which caused here deep pain
– that was when her father went to his Eternal Home. Her
young mother brought up her two little daughters – Rosy
and Alzira as best as she could. Their maternal uncles
and aunts were very sympathetic and were of immense help
and support to them all along.
The power of God began to work in little Rosy and she
realized that she had to give herself to God – a radical
way of following Christ. God played the 2nd note which
caused pain and pleasure – pain to leave here dear
mother and only sister, pleasure that she will belong
entirely to Jesus.
Led by the Spirit, she knocked at the door of the
Apostolic Carmel. God played the 3rd note – the
Apostolic Carmel sisters received her with joy. God
stood by her in the ups and downs of her formation
years. She was an exemplary sister, loved and
appreciated by all. They entrusted to her the novices
and she proved to be a very good formator.
God played the 4th note, a call to the Cloistered
Carmel. After much struggle and waiting, she was given
permission to join Carmel. She chose Chicalim Carmel,
Goa. She endeared herself being always ready with a
smile to do God’s will at all times. Later on, she was
chosen for the new foundation in Baroda, Gujarat.
God played the 5th note, when she was requested to leave
Baroda in order to help the newly founded Carmel at
Hassan. There she held office of Prioress for 6 years.
God played the 6th note. Being a talented person and
filled with zeal and love for God and souls, she had
great plans for the future as the leader of the African
missionary group of sisters – but God had other plans
for her. In deep faith she accepted God’s will and
surrendered herself to Him.
Sr. Rosemira was endowed with a pleasing personality and
there was a sort of magnetism that attracted everyone
who came in contact with her – be it children,
youngsters or elderly people either in person or through
correspondence. It was a special gift God had given her
by which she was able to help many a soul – spiritually
and materially. She was very much loved and appreciated
in the community and also by her many friends and
acquaintances – Priests, Religious, Lay people and she
was well aware of it. Very often she would say that she
was a spoilt child of God. The secret of her success was
her deep union with God in prayer. She was austere and
strict with herself and much given to external penance
and mortifications, which had to be given up gradually
towards the end of her life. Being a person of strong
will, she had to struggle hard when contradicted or not
accepted by her sisters at times. Her spirit of
mortification was such that she would flatly refuse any
extra special food given to her in order to strengthen
her. Many a time the infirmarian had to chide her,
saying that it was a greater mortification and more
pleasing to God to accept what was given with so much
Having spent so many years in the field of formation in
the A.C., she had a special attraction for the young and
they for her. Even today after so many years, her former
novices remember her with love and gratitude. Though she
was called to Carmel – to a life of deep intimacy with
God - a call she answered bravely - she remained very
much an A.C. at heart till the end. As novice mistress
she did her best to teach and inculcate in those in her
charge the spirit of faith, prayer and a total adherence
to Jesus Christ. She also wanted her novices to be
mature, responsible persons who could be relied upon in
the future. As a formator, she had a tremendous task. It
was admirable the way she dealt with the novices and
with the young sisters in particular those who were very
poor in English. Sr. Rosemira had a listening ear. She
was simple, strict with herself and with others too. She
gave importance to every aspect of religious life and
also to on-going formation.
Sr. Rosemira was a soul of prayer. She had a deep love
for and knowledge of the scriptures and was a good
teacher. She always had a smile for everyone. Actually
she was a born teacher and even when she was very sick,
she would play the role of a teacher, for it had become
second nature to her. She would take the trouble to
impart values to the community. It was always a pleasant
experience to share with her personal aspirations and
problems. She was patient and tolerant and also very
human in her approach. All appreciated her positive
outlook. One day one novice asked her, “when I get
angry, what must I do?”. To this she gave her the
example of JESUS- “when you find yourself getting angry,
remember the crucifixion of Jesus and recall to mind how
Jesus acted. From then on, whenever she gets angry, she
remembers this lesson. Her silent suffering was a lesson
for all to accept it as a gift from God, whatever
happens in our life.
She took keen interest in all who came in contact with
her, they too in return kept in contact with her sharing
their sorrows and joys.
Sr. Rosemira was very systematic and a very good
organizer – planning well in advance, putting up a
notice in time, consulting the community before
undertaking any major task. Her mind was always busy
planning; be it for shared prayer, Holy hour, Divine
Office or birthday celebrations. She was fond of playing
practical jokes on the sisters. She had a knack for
giving surprises to the sisters. On certain special
occasions, she would make the community go round and
round the cloister searching for food and lo, to the
great delight they would find a sumptuous breakfast or
lunch laid out in some unexpected place – an empty cell
or in one of the rooms or passages leading to the guest
quarters. To break the monotony of life in Carmel she
would on certain feast days encourage and enthuse the
youngsters by bringing up plays and programmes which
everyone in the community would enjoy.
She was ever ready to lend a helping hand to any sister
in need when it came to domestic work, be it sweeping
cleaning, washing or cooking. She was a real mother who
looked after the needs of the sisters –spiritual as well
as material. She practiced what she preached – hence she
was able to get the love and willing co-operation of her
sisters. She was full of concern for each and every
sister in the community sensing their needs and
difficulties. It was admirable the way she organized the
Golden Jubilee of one of the sisters – her last tribute
to the community. Sick as she was, she saw to every
detail so that everything went off beautifully to
everyone’s joy and satisfaction.
“Try to see the hand of God in everything”, Sr. Rosemira
would often tell the community. Being a person of deep
faith , she was able to perceive the hand of God in
every person and event. In everything she stressed more
on ‘inner growth’. She made each one aware of what they
are. The grace of God and her guidance made it possible
for them to overcome their daily struggles and grow in
Jesus. “Die to self” and ‘Try to do the will of God” and
“count your blessings one by one”. She was able to tell
us all these because she lived it. Even in her moments
of severe pain and suffering she could say, “I count the
blessings of God; I lack nothing. How much God loves
me.” On the feast day of Our Lady she was asked, “What
shall we tell her about you?” She answered, “Tell,
Mother, the one she loves is sick”. This shows her
love-relationship with our Blessed Mother. “Do with me
as you please, Father, I am your child”. Often she would
repeat these words of self-surrender specially in her
moments of helplessness. Unless the grain of wheat of
wheat falls into the ground and dies, it will not bear
“Make me a child”.
“Do with me as you please”.
These sentiments were often heard in her prayer. She
allowed herself to be moulded by the Lord the way He
wanted. During her illness, it was evident that He was
answering her sincere prayers. Childlike resignation to
God’s will, contentment and an attitude of gratitude –
these were proofs of her inner soul that was in deep
union with her God. Till the end, she remained like the
clay in the hand of the “potter”. However severe her
pain and suffering, there was never a word of complaint.
When asked, “why mother should God give you so much
suffering?” she would answer, “Don’t speak like that.
God gives always the best not the better.” Watching her
suffer so much, the sisters could not help shedding
tears. Then, she would say, “If you cry now, you will
not have nay tears to shed when I die.” Those who have
witnessed her suffering, found in her a great example of
strength and courage to bear their own little suffering.
Her ailment was diagnosed as cancer of the oesophogus
and she underwent a major operation to remove the entire
food pipe. She kept well for a year, till she was taken
for a check up and the MRI test revealed that the
disease had spread to the spleen and had reached the 4th
stage. She was given just 4 months of life. You can
imagine her feelings and those of the community, but
even at this moment, she remained so calm and serene
which was nothing but God’s grace and fruit of prayer.
Sensing that her end was near, she was brought home and
her birthday was celebrated in anticipation with her
only sister and some family members. When she could no
longer go to the Chapel, Holy communion was taken to her
cell which she received with great devotion.
An unusual abscess developed in her abdomen which caused
her intense pain, and finally burst, after which she was
rushed back to hospital. The cancer had now spread to
her left lung and it was admirable to see how she bore
the pain. After 20 days she was brought home, but the
wound never healed and had to be cleaned and dressed
several times a day. She was then confined to bed
completely. She was taken the last time to hospital due
to breathing difficulty, but since nothing more could be
done, she was soon brought home, so that she would be
more comfortable in her familiar surroundings. Two days
before her death she went into a state of semi-coma.
Phone calls, letters and get-well cards kept poring in,
enquiring about her health and assuring her of their
prayers. These prayers certainly obtained for her the
power of endurance from the Lord.
She died on 22nd March, just after she was prepared for
the doctor’s visit. He could only confirm her departure
to the Heavenly Abode, when he arrived.
Funeral and burial:
The funeral was held the same day at 5.30 p.m. It was
surprising that at such a short notice so many people
were able to come and pay their last respects to her –
Priests, Religious and laity from near and far. This
shows how much she was loved and revered. The presence
of the AC sisters was a proof that she was still apart
of them. The Carmelite fathers and Salesians who are
their devoted chaplains, were of great assistance.
The Vicar General of Chickmagalur officiated at the
Requiem Mass concelebrated by 22 other priests. Rev. Fr.
Dominic Vas, OCD preached the homily, Fr. Walter Lobo,
OCD gave the funeral oration and Rev. Fr. Pascal
Mariappa the parish priest conducted the last rites.
“In the evening of life we shall be judged on love”. Sr.
Rosemira believed in this love and so it was her joy to
enter into life in love and continue playing those notes
praising the Lord forever more.
JOINED THE APOSTOLIC CARMEL:
JOINED CHICALIM CARMEL, GOA:
WENT TO HASSAN CARMEL: