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Necrology : OCD Sisters

  • IN MEMORIAM
    SR. ANNA OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW OCD (1930 – 2019)

    Born: 15.03.1930
    Entered Kottayam Carmel: 08.01.1949
    First Profession: 14.07.1951
    Solemn Profession: 14.07.1954
    Came to Mysore Carmel: 09.12.1985
    Death: 10.12.2019


    On 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 Carmelite Missionaries.

    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 communities.

    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 perfection.

    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 times.

    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, 2013.

    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 worthily.

    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 excruciating pain.

    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 with her.

    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 created things.

    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 and blessing.

    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
    Carmel, Mysore.
     

  • SR. MARY ANNE OF JESUS OCD

    Birth: 03/04/1936
    Entered Bengaluru Carmel: 16/07/1955
    First Religious Profession: 02/02/1957
    Solemn Profession: 02/02/1960
    Received Black Veil: 20/05/1960
    Death: 17/11/2019
    Buried at Kalpalli Cemetery, Bengaluru


    SR. 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.

    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 blessed her.

    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 prayers.

    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 peace.
     

  • “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 spirit”.

    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 the burial.

    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 spirit.
    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 convert.

    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 walker.

    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 other priests.

    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, Bangalore.

     

  • RIP: Sr Rita of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Chicalim Carmel)
    Sr. 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.

    BIO-DATA
    SR. RITA OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
    BIRTH; 27-01-1930
    PLACE OF BIRTH; MUMBAI
    ENTERANCE IN CARMEL; 06-08-1948
    FIRST PROFESSION; 25-12-1950
    DEATH; 15-05-2017

  • Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Cross (Pune Carmel) expired on 12th October, 2008

  • Sr. Bridget
    (1927 - 2008)


    O 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)

    Recalling sweet 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. 

    Contentment and 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. 

    Collecting things…. 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 Raipur. 

    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 Vision soon

  • MOTHER AGNES MARY OF THE EUCHARIST, OCD
    (1924 – 2007)

    “I 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 difficulties.

    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 faith.

    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 father.

    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.


    BAPTISMAL NAME:
    Angeline D’Mello

    RELIGIOUS NAME:
    Sr. Agnes Mary of the Eucharist

    DATE OF BIRTH:
    19/05/1924

    JOINED BANGALORE CARMEL:
    21/01/1944

    FIRST PROFESSION:
    01/07/1946

    SOLEMN PROFESSION:
    13/05/1952

    TO CHICALIM CARMEL, GOA:
    1947

    TO ANDHERI CARMEL, MUMBAI:
    02/07/1975

    EXPIRED (at Andheri):
    11/05/2007

  • Sister Mary Veronica of the Holy Face, OCD
    (1928 – 2007)


    As 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 faith.

    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 sold.

    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 prayers.

    Prioress & Community
    Cloistered Carmel , Bangalore.


    BAPTISMAL NAME:
    Veronica Kundukulam

    RELIGIOUS NAME:
    Sr. Mary Veronica of the Holy Face

    FATHER:
    Ouseph Kundukulam

    MOTHER:
    Kunjamma

    DATE OF BIRTH:
    28/07/1928

    STATE:
    Karnataka, India

    JOINED BANGALORE CARMEL:
    02/02/1953

    FIRST RELIGIOUS PROFESSION:
    17/06/1955

    SOLEMN PROFESSION:
    24/06/1960

    EXPIRED:
    04/03/2007

  • Rev. 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; everything
    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. Philomena.

    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 vows.

    Suddenly and silently the end came that very night towards 11pm. It was 16th May 2005. She was 81 years of age.

    BORN: 06.12. 1926.
    FIRST PROFESSION: 21.11.1952
    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 love.

    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 much fruit.

    “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 sickness:
    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.

    BORN:
    03/10/1937

    JOINED THE APOSTOLIC CARMEL
    :
    1958

    JOINED CHICALIM CARMEL, GOA:

    02/06/1977

    SOLEMN PROFESSION:

    15/08/1981

    BARODA FOUNDATION:
    1983

    WENT TO HASSAN CARMEL:
    07/03/1996

    DIED:

    22/03/2003

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