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Jan 22

Adieu to our beloved Mother Giovanna Alberoni – A great Italian Missionary

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”.t: 25/34 On 18th January 2021, the Lord has called to himself our dearest Mother Giovanna Alberoni to gift her with the crown of eternal life which he has prepared for her from all eternity. Her departure has left a void in our hearts and in the hearts of all those who knew her and loved her. Mother Giovanna, was born at San Giorgio in Piacenza, Italy on October 1, 1926, second of three girls. She was fondly called as Mariuccia. After her studies she joined the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate in Piacenza. She made her first profession on 18th September 1948. As a young religious, she had a great desire to work as a missionary in Africa, but obedience brought her to our mission land in India.

Mother Giovanna along with three other sisters, arrived in India on 4th November 1948 at the age of 22, offering generously to work among the poor. Young and full of enthusiasm, she embraced her new life and its challenges with deep faith and optimism, bravely overcoming many hurdles and difficulties which were never lacking.

She acquired MBBS Degree from Lady Hardinge Medical college, New Delhi, and served in our Hospitals at Kanpur, Calicut, Vythiri and Mumbai, creating an environment of comfort to the sick through her talents and professional skills. As a medical doctor her kindness and compassion to the sick was exceptional. She was a champion of the Community Health Department for the poor in the slums of Mumbai.

Although an Italian, Mother Giovanna was truly a mother to the Indians. She had a special concern and love for the poor and illiterate. She has sponsored thousands of poor children to gain education irrespective of caste and creed. She won several awards in Italy and India for her humanitarian service in the medical field and other charitable works.

Mother Giovanna served the Congregation at different levels, She was the first Provincial Superior of Indian Province in the year 1985. When in 1988 we organized into three provinces, she was appointed as the first Provincial Superior of Sacred Heart Province. In 1997 She was elected as the Superior General of the Congregation. It was during her tenure as Superior General that our Foundress Blessed Brigida of Jesus who died three centuries ago, was beatified on 15th March 1998. Mother Giovanna’s dream as a young religious, of going to Africa as a missionary was fulfilled in the year 2001 when she opened the new mission in the African Countries of Tanzania and Kenya.

Mother Giovanna’s contribution to our Congregation has been great and remarkable. She worked tirelessly for the growth of the Indian mission for 72 years. She was a dynamic, vibrant and zealous missionary who left an indelible mark in the history of our Congregation. We owe our depth of gratitude to our Mother who was truly an inspiration for all of us. May she always live in our hearts and obtain blessings for us to tread the path of heroic commitment and holiness that she has set before us. Adieu beloved Mother !!! Remember us to the Lord.