We Women Will

We Women Will

REGINA

April 15

One of my favourite stories from Antony de Mello’s books is the following.

While a Mullah was in prayer, a woman tripped over him and continued her errands without even stopping to apologize. Later on, the same day, the Mullah met her again and berated her for the rudeness with which she had behaved with him. The woman seemed astounded. She went on to explain her surprise: “Sir, I was worried sick for having lost my husband! If I could not even realize I had tripped on you, such a respected Mullah, how then could you possibly notice me, a peasant, while being in conversation with God?”

The first person who comes to my mind as this story’s quintessence is Regina.

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Sr Marie Gabrielle Riopel SCSM

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We Women Will

A True Mother, a True Sister

Mar 09

What could be the best compliment paid to a woman religious? Prayerful? Obedient? Hard-working?
These qualities are certainly important. However, one of the best tributes I’ve ever heard about a Sister was: “She was a true mother and sister.”
I came to know Sr Sarita (name changed) about twenty years ago. She was an aspirant and now and then enjoyed wearing a half-saree and keeping two plaits with colourful ribbons. There seemed to be nothing ‘remarkable’ about her besides her joyful, affectionate and quiet way.
Over the years I saw her becoming a young woman whose presence brought unity and eased communication wherever she worked.
Whenever there was a new house to open, there she was, ever available. To be on the move, open a new house, learn new languages or serve in different ministries never seemed too difficult or demanding for her. In her unassuming way, she opened five houses in twenty years. She would say: “What’s there, Sister? It’s our family, it’s our mission.”

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Sr Marie Gabrielle Riopel SCSM

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We Women Will

SUZANNE’S SIX SECRETS

FEB 06
We start a new column by Sister Marie Gabrielle Riopel, Canadian by birth, who has made India her home. What is the WWW? Not “World Wide Web,” but “We Women Will.” This column will highlight the difference that women make to their own lives and thereby teach all of us the art of living.  The first heroine of her column is a swimming instructor who became her friend.

I first met Suzanne in 1985. She was a Lifeguard and Red Cross swimming instructor.

I had always loved swimming, but knew the training required by Red Cross and the Federation for National Lifeguards was strenuous. I had also heard unpleasant stories from sisters who had done it before. But then, they had not been trained by Suzanne!

As soon as she set foot in our school, Suzanne became a hit! Her bubbly-bossy though respectful manners made us look forward to her classes, however hard or demanding they were! (Ever tried raising your hands holding bricks while being in deep water?)

In spite of Suzanne’s enthusiasm, after attending her classes for three years, we became a bit used to her ways. Gradually, our participation grew lukewarm. It was nothing dramatic, but Suzanne might have noticed it. She, however, never said a word about it.

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Sr Marie Gabrielle Riopel SCSM

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