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Sr. Christopher

Our hearts are in grief and sorrow for the death of our dear Sister Christopher who offered her life of love and suffering following the example of out Foundress, Blessed Brigida of Jesus. She has reached the abode of peace and joy, the eternal bliss of Paradise on 10 September 2015. Sister Christopher was born on 2nd January 1947 at Iditty, Kerala, in the Diocese of Kpthamangalam, At Baptism, she received the name of Mary, after our Heavenly Mother. She had 4 Sisters and 4 brothers, one of them is a religious of the Congregation of Monfort Brothers ; two Sisters are religious of our Congregation, Sister Melania and Sister Tecla. Sister Christopher had joined our Institute on 23rd June 1963, had made her first profession on 17th February 1966 and the final Profession on 25th May 1971. For 49 years she has been a member of our Ursuline family and has served with great generosity in various important offices. She was an excellent teacher, dedicated and efficient: Head Mistress of St. Rita’s school at Goa, then at Kanpur, at Obra, Kannur and finally at Aluva. The interaction of Sister Christopher with her students was marked by a special ‘touch’ and interest in their wellbeing. This is proved by the fact that, after 35 years, some ex students came to Mumbai, from Delhi and Ahamedabad to visit her in hospital. She has been a Provincial Councillor, Vice-Provincial, Secretary General at Rome; She had obtained the Licentiate in psychology and the Doctorate from the prestigious Salesian University of Rome. She was fluent in English and in Italian and has translated many documents and writings of our Foundresse who lived the 17th century. Hers has been a special, unique service for our Congregation. She had absorbed the Carism of the Institute and had shared it with us through seminars and retreats. Three years ago, in Augst, the doctors diagnosed that she was suffering from a chronic liver disease, probably congenital. She had been hospitalised several times after that, especially during the last 12 months. On August 12th 2015 she was admitted to our Holy Family Hospital of Bandra. Her liver was not functioning and had caused many disfunctions. Her family was informed of the gravity of her conditions and her Sisters Melania and Tecla and Brother Thomas and other members of the family came to be with her to share in her suffering. She received the Sacrament of the sick on 27th August and the Holy Eucharist every day. The conditions of Sister Christopher became grave, 10 days before the end, but she knew how to bear the pain with courage; whoever visited her was edified. On 10th morning she seemed more serene. Had received a small part of the Host and soon after her breathing became more difficult. Her Sisters, brother, the Sisters of the Shalom Community and other relations were around her bed praying. At 12 noon she opened her eyes and fixed them directly on the Crucifix for a few seconds, then she looked around and closed her eyes slowly. Sister Beena, Sr. Tecla and Brother Thomas said they had seen a light in the eyes of Sister Christopher while she was looking at the Crucifix, like an embrace from the Master. Then she closed her eyes in peace – no more alive in this world. Her body was exposed in the community hall – like in a mortuary chapel. The Sisters of our local community and of many other places, the members of her family and other persons came to pray for her and to pay homage during the night too. Before the funeral, celebrated at 16.00 on the 11th September, the Office of the Dead was recited by the cousin, Father Thoma Nellanikatt V.C. along with the people present. The Eucharist was celebrated by the Parish Priest of St. Andrew, Fr. Caeser D’Mello with many Paoline and Salesian Concelebrant. Many UMIs had come for the funeral from different parts of India. Sister Vandana, the Vice-General was present and Sr. Ruzaria Corte, the Vice-Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province – representing Sister Kusum, the Provincial who is presently in Tanzania. Sister Christopher is buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew’s parish at Bandra, Mumbai. Dear Sister Christopher, we will always remember your cheerfulness, generosity, spirit ot sacrifice, your simplicity and your gentle affection for each one of us, your sisters. “To live in the hearts of people you leave behind, is never to die!” “Good-by, dear Sister Chriss, as you were affectionately called, may you enjoy the eternal peace in the arms of your divine Spouse, you have served with deep love and faith.