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Sr. Theophane Odackal

Obituary of Sr. Theophane Odackal 26th August 2016 “Suffering is measured in hours, but the reward is eternal” Blessed Brigida of Jesus These words of Blessed Brigida, our Foundress, are very true in the life of dear Sister Theophane. God has a purpose for all our sufferings, a reason for all our struggles and a reward for our faithfulness.  Sister Theophane was a living example of deep faith and dedication:  she was self-sacrificing and very hard-working even by nature.  Her patient endurance and silent acceptance of pain and suffering inspired those who came in contact with her.  This was highlighted by Rev. Raphy  Manjaly, the Bishop of Allahabad in his homily at the funeral Eucharist.  Sister Theophane suffered with dignity.  He also emphasized that she served the poor and needy, especially towards the end of her active life, through a socio-pastoral ministry.  She was very generous, full of missionary zeal and so gave her best wherever she was appointed.. Leaving behind her prolonged pain, Sister Theophane has flown to her Heavenly abode to receive an eternal reward. We are grateful to God for the memory of her goodness. Sister Theophane was born the 6th of 8 children gifted to Varkey and Mariam Odackal, on  28th November 1945, at Ezalloor, Idikky Dst of Kerala. At Baptism, she received the name of Rosa.  After completing the High School she joined our Congregation, a missionary one, at Cannanore in 1963.  Made her first Profession in 1966 and the final Profession in 1971. She qualified as a post-graduate teacher and served in most of our Schools in Northern India: at  St. Joseph’s Convent, Chakkery,  St. Mary’s School, Bazpur, Sacred Heart Convent, Obra, Mariapur, Kanpur and at Nirmala School at Kathgodam; She served in various capacities – as teacher, Principal, Manager  of the school and as Animator of  Communities. For a term of 6 years, Sister Theophane rendered her services as a Councillor and General Procurator of the Congregation, at the Generalate in Rome, From 1999 to 2002 she was working in the socio-pastoral ministry at Naveenta Pastoral Centre of the Luchnow Diocese. In 2002 she was transferred to our Nirmala Convent at Kathgodam where she remained for the rest of her life.  For 14 years she worked also for the socio-pastoral ministry of our UMI Province and for the Diocese of Bareilly.  For a period she served in the Social Centre of the Diocese at Kathgodam. As a member of the Finance Commission of her Province she worked till the end of the financial year -  2015 – 2016, enriching the Financial Ministry with her valuable contribution. In 2006 when she was diagnosed of having cancer, she underwent a radical mastectomy at Mariampur Hospital, followed by chemotherapy and radiation at Kamala Nehru Cancer Institute, Allahabad. For the next 7 years she was able to lead a normal life.  The Cancer recurred in 2014 and she was treated again at Allahabad,  She was also taken to Holy  Family Hospital, Bandra – Mumbai.  For the last one year she was treated at the Royal  Ratan Cancer Institute, Kanpur. As her health deteriorated, she was admitted several times to our Mariampur Hospital. The last admission was on 17th August.  She was suffering intensely.  On 26th August she received the Sacrament of the sick, and breathed her last at 4.45 pm, our Sisters were near her. The funeral service took plae on 27th August at 10.30 am.  The Bishop of Allahabad, Rev. Raphy Manjaly was the main Celebrant of the Eucharist along with 8 other Priests.  After the Mass, the funeral procession moved to Lal Kurth cemetery where her body was laid to rest near her beloved Sister Anastasia UMI who had gone to heaven before her, 4 months ago. Let us rest assured that the Heavenly Father rewarded dear Sister Theophane for all the good she had done here on earth and pray that together with our Blessed Foundress and all the Sisters who left us, she may bless us and accompany us on our journey to Heaven.