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