Oration of three sisters

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EULOGY AND FARWELL TO OUR BELOVED SISTER MARIE IMMACULATA AMALORPAVANATHAN (1934- 2021)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” – John 5:24

It is a privilege to have been asked by Sister Immaculata to give her eulogy. A year ago, when she asked us to do this, we said we would but please not so soon, for which Sr. Immaculata simply smiled. Her smile was her greatest gift to us and to those of her beloved. For the past 5 years, sister was with us in our community. We all lived together as little birds in this beautiful nest called Ashirvad. Soon the call came from God and she flew away from the presence of the other birds.

Sr. Immaculata’s favorite Scripture verse was from Micah 6:8: He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the Lord requires of you? “To Act Justly and to Love Tenderly and to Walk Humbly with Your God.” And she did walk humbly with God.

Sister Immaculata was born as the only child to her beloved God fearing and pious parents Mr. Amolorpavanathan and Mrs. Rita Amolorpavanathan. But she lost her mother when she was only a six-month old baby. God never abandoned this child but rather she was blessed with a caring and a loving step mother, under whom our sister Immaculata grew up in God’s love. At the age of seven, our beloved sister received her first Holy Communion. From that day until her death, it was very visible, the moment she receives the Holy Communion in her hand, her eyes would light up and she would just love to ‘be’ in the intimacy with the Lord. Every day she would receive the Holy Communion in an atmosphere of rapt attention and utter reverence to Jesus in the Host.

Her early education with the FMM Sisters developed in her a taste for religious life and as a response to the unfailing love of Jesus, she entered the family of the Sisters of the Cross, Amravati, in June 1953. She then entered the novitiate in January 1954, and made her First profession in January 1956 and the Final Profession in 1959 at Trichy.

As we look back at the life History of our beloved sister, we would like to tell everyone that she was a vibrant and an enthusiastic young religious in her early years. After equipping herself as a trained teacher, she served the Congregation at various capacities as a Teacher, as an Assistant Head Mistress, Head Mistress, Pastoral minister and a prayer warrior in various places like Vadugerpet, Karungal, Fort, Puthur Provincialate, Vellore, Vepoor, Butterworth, Golden Rock, Cantonment and finally at Ashirvad from 1963 to 2021. The experience of knowing Sister Immaculata and of journeying with her life, touched our hearts deeply. I must record here that, living with her and experiencing her as a person and her character in our community is probably one of the best formative years of experience for each of us. These years of living with her has taught us the meaning of sisterhood, and has illustrated to us in full color, what it means to give one’s life, until death, surrendering totally to the Mission of God.

We all know that sister Immaculata lived an austere life, fully dedicated to God. Her deepest love for the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate was unquenchable. She was a very smart and a generous woman who loved her Congregation very much and tried her level best to show the world what it means to taste the mercy of God. She continued her ardent search to find meaning and purpose in her religious life. She would spend long hours before the Blessed Sacrament praying for the Church, for the World and for our Congregation. She was very much particular in praying for the Priests and for their commitment in their Consecration to God. Besides participating in the daily morning Eucharistic Celebration, Sister Immaculata was ever eager and willing to participate in another Holy Eucharist whenever there was an opportunity. Many of her students who still remember and love her, would come from abroad and far way places, only to visit her and to get her blessings. Her love for the Church was very visible and she would never miss reading any news about the Church and would ever be willing to read all the encyclicals of the Pope and the pastoral letters of the Bishops. She was also a multitalented woman and was blessed with a great artistic sense.

In short, we can say that Rev. Sr. Immaculata lived her Religious life to the full. This contentment is very much seen in her diary, where she has written as follows: “I loved and lived my religious life with the deepest joy and contentment and lived it to the full purely by God’s grace”. This shows how Sr. Immaculata had lived her commitment and we are sure that the she would be happy to enter the Joy of the Master in heaven, hearing the words of Jesus: Welcome home, good and faithful servant. Due to the advancement of age, though she had few complications with regard to her health, a very good medical care was given to her and the health condition of our sister was always kept under control.

None of us imagined that her final call will come so suddenly. On 5th June, her condition suddenly deteriorated and she left us all suddenly and went to receive her eternal reward on 6th June at 8.45p.m. The loss of our dear sister is painful and inconsolable to all of us who are close to her. As we all pray for the repose of her soul, we can be rest assured that she will continue to inspire us and intercede for us in the holy presence of God.

The Sisters of the Cross are ever grateful to the Family of Sister Immaculata for the gift of her to the Congregation. Let’s all pay homage to this Godly woman as we take this lesson from her life, to ‘Grow in the personal attachment with Christ who has called us to this religious life’.

Adieu to you our beloved Rev. Sr. Immaculata. God Has crowned you with the crown of Eternal Joy for the life you have lived. You are always loved and never forgotten!!!! Rest in Peace Dear Sr. Immaculata.

Sisters of Ashirvad,
Trichy,
07.05.2021.

A tribute of gratitude to our beloved Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj (1959 – 2021)

“How precious to me are your thoughts. O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” Ps 139: 17-18.

May 17th 2021 is an unforgettable day in the annals of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod , Province of Trichy, as our beloved Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj, the Province animator has entered her heavenly abode to join the multitude of saints singing forever the glory of God. Her life on earth was a joyful witness to the Paschal Mystery and she enjoyed praying daily her favourite Ps: 139 and made her life, a life of gratitude and surrender. We profoundly thank God for such a wonderful life of dear Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj.

Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj was born in Kandy – Sri Lanka on 15th March 1959 to Mr. Selvaraj and Mrs. Jayamary who were pious, simple and humble. She was the third of five siblings of four sisters and one brother. As her beloved family members are with us participating in this virtual meeting, we offer our heartfelt condolences to them and thank them for gifting the Congregation with Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj. She did her schooling in a well esteemed Good Shepherd Convent School, Kandy, Sri Lanka. In 1974 her family came to India and completed her Std. Xth and XIth in Zamindar’s Hr. Sec. School, Thuraiyur. After her schooling in 1976 she did her typing and shorthand in Mambalasalai. It is here that the Lord called her through the instrumentality of Sr. Genevieve Mani who often used to tell her, “You have a vocation, think and pray over it”. After one year of study, she joined the Aspirancy at Mambalasalai in 1977. After her Aspirancy she was sent to do her Teacher’s training at Palani and joined the Novitiate in the year 1981. She made her first and final commitment in1983 and 1989 respectively.

After her first profession she began her teaching ministry. From 1983 to 1984 she taught in St. Ann’s School, Hyderabad, from 1984 to 1989 in R. C. Middle School, Namakkal, from 1989 to 1991 St. James Middle School, Kovandakurichy, from 1991 – 1992 teaching in R. C. Middle School, Fatimapuram and Community Animator, from 1992 – 1994 she taught in R. C. Middle School, Kallakudi. From 1994 to 2001 she was the Novice Mistress at Holy Cross Novitiate, Trichy. After her term of office as Novice mistress, from 2001 to 2003 she was the Community Animator cum teacher in Kovandakurichy. From 2003 to 2006 she was teaching as well as animating the community at Fatimapuram. From 2006 to 2010 she animated the community at Sathuvachari Vellore and again from 2010 – 2011 in Namakkal and from 2011 – 2015 in Trichy Novitiate she served as the Community Animator. From 2015 to 2016 she was sent to Peradeniya – Sri Lanka, to help the province as Novice Mistress. From 2017 to till her death she served the province of Trichy as the Province Animator.

Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj was a person of God. As a teacher she loved to teach the little ones. She treated all of them with respect and love. She was spreading the sweet fragrance of God’s love among them. As a community animator in various places especially in village communities she loved the people like her own family members, she took part in their joys and sorrows and strengthened their Faith. They fondly remember her for her affection and compassion. People from all walks of life felt at home in her presence. The poor had a special place in her heart. She enjoyed her community life where ever she was. She had great admiration for the sacrificial lives of the pioneers of all the communities and Institutions of our Province. As a Novice mistress she found joy in accompanying, directing and forming the Novices. As an animator in the Novitiate community, she was very optimistic and always radiated positive energy, inspiring the Novices, preaching more by her very life than by her words.

In all the responsibilities given to her, she walked in the footsteps of her Lord and master Jesus Christ and Mother Claudine. She excelled in unconditional forgiveness. She was patience personified. The amazing thing that we absolutely admired in her was that she had great capacity to listen intently. Her confidentiality is very remarkable, we can confide in her anything and be sure that she will never ever betray us at any time to anyone. She was a kind hearted person, kindness in her thoughts, words and actions. She was so kind that even those who hurt her were given a word of appreciation, and a broad smile. We believe that this was the way Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj represented God through her life. ‘Be happy and make others happy’ was her motto that kept her joyful all the time. Sr. Jyothi selvaraj won over us with her goodness.

One of the greatest blessings in life is having a caring sister to love and stand by us all the time. During her four years of service as the Province Animator, Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj was a loving sister to all of us who stood by us, especially at the time of our difficulties. Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj was truly a spiritual mother, to whom we could pour out our hearts in anger or in love. But as a mother she only knew to respond to us in love saying “God Bless you”. As Provincial Superior she was a good shepherdess with tender love and compassion especially for the sick and elderly sisters of the Province. Her trust in the Lord was so deep that she was calm and serene even at the face of conflicting situations. Her life was a redemptive suffering that she neither grumbled, nor blamed but only passionately loved the sisters. When the mission in Holy Land was proposed to be under the care of the Province of Trichy, Sr. Jyothy Selvaraj readily accepted and worked whole heartedly for its growth. Despite her physical ailments she gave her very best till the end. Though it is painful to miss her physical presence we are happy that she will continue to live in our memories as she has left us a legacy of how to be spiritual mothers bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit.

In 1998 she was confirmed of cancer and underwent right Mastectomy. She has written in her dairy that at the time of her sickness she loved to sit at the foot of the Cross, for the Cross gave her power and strength. She also has written that she experienced Jesus carrying her during those moments of pain and sufferings. On 26th April 2021 after completing the work of the Province, she went to CMC, Hospital, Vellore for her checkup. During this time she was again confirmed of cancer being spread. On the 4th May 2021 she was found positive of COVID – 19 and was admitted in GVN Hospital, Mambalasalai. The doctors did their best to save her life. But God in His unconditional love took her to himself on 17th May 2021 at 5.15 a.m. Saying, ”well-done dear daughter, I am well pleased with you”

Dear Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj as we lived with you we understood that in the grounding of our lives, in silence, we experience the wisdom and the transformative Goodness that exists in us and around us. We thank you for your humble, simple, unassuming and beautiful life that will always be an inspiration for us. With much love we pray that you enjoy the eternal Bliss of the Divine. As you have returned to your Eternal Home, please do intercede with God for the Province which you loved much. With heavy heart we bid you farewell dear sister Sr. Jyothi Selvaraj until we meet again.

Sr. Saveri Savarimuthu,
Sisters of the Province of Trichy,
17.05.2021.

A Fond Adieu to our beloved Sr. Rose Mary Xavier

“I press on towards the goal for the price of the Heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14)

We are deeply saddened with the unexpected, untimely departure of our beloved Sr. Rose Mary Xavier who entered into the eternal abode on 19th May at 9.45 p.m.

The Lord found delight in baptizing our dear Sr. Rose Mary as His beloved daughter and placed on her the indelible mark of His ownership. She was born on 19th March 1966 at Poovai Ma Nagar, to Mr. Xavier Jeganathan and Mrs. Susaiammal. From her diary we read about her Parents as “My parents were Teachers. They were very prayerful, God fearing, committed, responsible, sincere and hardworking.” They were blessed with 4 children. Sister had one elder Sister, one elder brother and one younger Sister. This younger Sister Payrinbam is the member of our Congregation.

Although from the beginning Sister had many hurdles to join the Religious life, she was blessed with the strong desire and inner strength steering through, every stage of her life with unflinching faith. From all eternity, God had a plan for her to be a Sister of the Cross, so she joined the band of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross.

She made her First Profession on 28th May 1991 and final Profession on 25th May 1997 in the family of the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod. She has spent 30 years of humble, dedicated service in the vineyard of the Lord. She served the Congregation in different capacities. Her first appointment was as Office-in- Charge at St. Joseph’s Anglo-Indian Girls Hr. Sec. School, Cantonment. She was good and accurate in accounts so she was placed in charge of office for many years. She had been Sister-In-Charge at Vepoor and Oddanchatram. She served as the Province Bursar for 6 years (from 2005 – 2011). She equipped herself and completed her M.A., B.Ed. (English). Few years she worked as a Teacher. Since it was a great need she was appointed as Office Manager at Holy Cross Matric. Hr. Sec. School, Vellore from 2018 to till date. She worked very diligently and kept the accounts up-to-date.

She did her one year Theological Course at Dindivanam, Tamil Nadu. This gave her an impetus to study the Bible very deeply and motivated others to do the same. Her thirst for Evangelization is admirable. In the school she motivated the Teaching and Non-teaching staff to read the Bible and to participate in the competitions in different Magazines. She always carried the Bible to the Church. She was an inspiration for many others to follow this practice. She was a person of convictions and principles. She understood the dignity of labour. She was close to the poor and needy. Whatever work was given to her, she performed it with diligence and love.

On 3rd March Sister had a fall and hurt her Right ankle. This made her confined to her room. Suddenly she had fever for 3 days and had no appetite. She was taking only liquid food. Since she was not used to Allopathic medicine, she treated herself with herbal medicines. Since she felt weak and helpless she was ready to go for 2 units of I.V but it was not possible due to Lock down. On 19th she felt very weak and helpless difficult to breathe, we took her to the hospital. Since all the hospitals were full, before we could reach a particular hospital she became serious. Doctors tried their best and it was too late. In the company of four of her community members she breathed her last in the hospital at 9.45 p.m. leaving us all in great shock.

Dear Sr. Rose Mary, you have left behind the legacy by inspiring us to give our best in fulfilling the entrusted mission. We fondly remember your valuable contribution to the Congregation, Society, and the Church especially to the poor and needy. We love you and thank you for your exemplary life and ask the Lord to grant you eternal peace. We are assured that we have a powerful intercessor in you before our Almighty God.

We pray that the splendour of the radiance of Jesus forever shine on you on the radiant morn of eternity! Good bye dear Sr. Rose Mary till we meet in our Father’s Home.

Your loving Sisters of Vellore Community.
20.05.2021.

Remembering …

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Sr. Pacifica Damian

Mother Claudine Echernier


Mother Claudine Echernier
1801 – 1869

It was in the village called ‘vers le Creux’ in the parish of Feterne in Chablais, that Claudine Echernier was born on the 29th of may 1801. Her Fater, Francis Echernier, and her mother, Anne Dutruel, had nine children, four of whom died at a tender age. Poverty was their lot yet they were very rich in faith. They possessed only a small cottage, consisting of a single room without wooden flooring and a small portion of land whose produce together with the work of the father who was a day labourer, kept the wolf from the door. The parents taught the children to fear the good God; they advised them to be good; that was all they could do.

Claudine evinces from her young age a most astonishing thirst for knowledge, and a great spiritual sensibility. At the age of 10, urged by necessity, her parents send her as a shepherdess to a rich proprietor of champagnes, Mr.Maillet. About the age of 15 she had the misfortune of losing her mother and had to replace her in tending to her brothers and sisters. Active and diligent, this girl of 15 had made up her mind to become a seamstress. A friend, Miss Poncet, an expert in the trade, taught her the art of cutting out and stitching.

But soon, a new trial arose: her father, having yielded to the lure of smuggling, might serve a sentence of several years in prison. Claudine became at once the head of the little family and the support of the prisoner. Being endowed with a generous heart, she fulfilled these austere tasks with all the vigour of her 20 years. After his release, Francois Echernier remarried. Then Claudine who was 26, being freed from her obligations as housekeeper, entered the service of the Parish Priest of Feternes who had just been appointed to the parish of Chavanod.

But her life was so well ordered that no one could point out the least thing that was disedifying; everything breathed piety, modesty, humility, charity and mortification; in a word, she was as exemplary in this parish as she had been at Feterne.