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Mother Giovanna Alberoni

Sister Giovanna Saveria Alberoni was born at San Giorgio Piacentino on 1st October 1926, second of three girls. She was baptized Maria Filomena, her pet name was Mariuccia

San Giorgio P.no is a small village, but it was lucky to have the Daughters of Charity who ran a Kindergarden school and a laboratory for teaching embroidery and other arts to the girls. There was only the elementary school and so, after the 5th class, most of the life revolved around the home and the Church’s activities.

When she was 12 years of age, it became possible to reach the city of Piacenza, by bus, where higher schools were available. Mariuccia was a student of the Ursuline’s Professional School which, with a 3 years course, prepared the students for employment in ‘offices’.

On the suggestion of the Principal, Mother Bianca Franchinbi, she was allowed to continue her education at the ‘Magistrali Section of the Usulines’s school which gave her a diploma for teaching in the Elementary schools. Another chance was given her to pursue her studies further and she passed the Lyceum Exam, needed for admission to a University.

By then, Mariuccia had other dreams which had come to her from many parts and in many ways. The strong faith of her family, the dedicated service of the good Parish Priest, the example of the Sisters, both the DCs and the Ursulines, the experience of the Second World War and many others influences had sown the seeds of a religious vocation. Her mother told her that, when she was carrying her in the womb, she had prayed that the child might be a boy and become a priest!!

The Novitiate, joined in January 1946, was a happy and positive experience, under the direction of Mother Claudia Margherita Scarani and with the 11 fellow novices.

More than just wanting to be a religious, Mariuccia dreamed to be a missionary and a missionary in Africa. However, the Ursulines had their foreign mission in India and so Mariuuccia, Sister Maria Giovanna Saveria, landed in India along with the third group of Ursuline missionaries who flew to India in November 1948. She had made her first Profession on 18th September 1948.

The initial experience included: study of English, the customs and culture of India, besides a professional skill At the time, it seemed almost a waste of time, but it was an essential preparation for being a missionary, one prepared to learn more than to teach! Having acquired the MBBS Degree from the University of New Delhi, she has served in our Hospitals at Kanpur, Calicut, Vaiythiri and Mumbai. To date, she is a member of the Shalom Community, of the Holy Family Hospital at Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai.