70 Years of Vowed Life

Ann Roberta Powers, SCN, celebrated the 70th anniversary of her first vows on March 25 in Mokama. Sister Ann Roberta made her first ‘fiat’ in 1943. She remembered and prayed for all her 15 Novitiate companions, of which five are living.

Sister Ann Roberta made her 2nd ‘fiat’ when she volunteered for the India Mission in 1947. We are really privileged to have her with us, the youngest of the six who came to India in 1947.

Sister Ann Roberta worked with Dr. Lazarus in her first mission at Nazareth Hospital. While holding a flickering torch in the operation theatre, she handed the doctor surgical instruments.

Sister Ann Roberta taught for many years at Nazareth Academy, Gaya. Being young, she mastered the Hindi language quickly which helped her to manage the children easily.

Since her heart longed for the poor, she opted to work in Chatra. Chatra is predominantly a tribal area. She started a Hindi medium school for the tribal children of the area.

Young in age, spirit, and at heart, Sister Ann Roberta moved to places where she was most needed. While in Ranchi, she encouraged the young sisters in their studies.

Sister Ann Roberta spent years of her energetic life in the accounts at the Provincial House at Mokama and Patna. For a number of years, she helped with the accounts at Nazareth Academy, Gaya, her last active mission. Though frail in health, she was independent to move about in the house and attended Mass at the parish church on Sundays and on special occasions. In last September, she had a fall. She was shifted to Patna for surgery and treatment.

Sister Ann Roberta spends her time in prayer at Mokama, the retirement home of the Sisters. Where ever there was a community need, Sister Ann Roberta was there. She is a great source of inspiration for all of us. 

On her 70th anniversary, we, her present local community, had a simple thanksgiving prayer at her bedside. We praised God for our loving great SCN missionary who spent her whole life for the poor and those in need. She is a living example for all of us. Our hearts were on fire as we sang for her; Happy Joyful Day to you … to you, to you, to you, to you … in Hindi. Where will you find such a daring but loving missionary today?

Written by Maria Palathingal, SCN

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