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SCNs from Bangalore, Mandair, Gumla, Gomoh, Patna and Mokama gathered together to spend time remembering Sister Patricia Mary Kelley at Nazareth Convent, Ranchi on April 27. A prayer service offering gratitude for a life that spent itself in selfless service to our Province especially to those in formation was prepared by Ranchi Local Community and lead by Sisters Arpita Mundamattam and Rekha Kerketta. In her introduction, Sister Rekha recalled the life of Sister Patricia or Pat — as she was lovingly referred to — and helped all who gathered, remember the many instances that Pat initiated directions that changed the life of the young in formation.

The shifting of the first year novitiate to Sokho — a remote area in Bihar was shared.  Sister Pat’s movement towards a radical life-style for canonical novices that was so in keeping with the culture of the country was recalled, the many inspiring moments as well as the humor it provided.

Many who gathered recalled Sister Pat’s strong desire to be inculturated in India’s rich heritage. Many of Sister Pat’s novices spoke at the memorial.  Sisters Marceline Indwar, Shobhita Panthladickal, Sunita Vayalipara, Mary Juliana Tuti, Sangeeta Ayithamattam, Josita Eniakattu, Shalini’Souza and several others shared memories of inspiration and also fun times.  Sister Pat’s Irish humor was lovingly remembered and many a smile crossed the faces of those present in the remembering of stories and incidents that spoke of Sister Pat’s attempt to learn Hindi, speak it and live out the life she called each of us to through solidarity with the poor. At the end of the sharing of stories and memories, SCNs offered floral tributes and took blessings from a woman so loved and so admired in many ways.  In all the sharing it was evident that Sister Pat’s presence and service has had an impact on the poor, the young and mission of the Province.  India and the members of the Eastern Province will always remember this woman’s love and ministry with much gratitude.

Surrendering Sister Pat to our loving God was not easy. But all are assured that she will continue to accompany us in our new journeys as we move into two Provinces, initiate new ministries and try to follow the path she carved out for us in formation and mission. The Prayer service was followed by “fellowship” and a community meal prepared by Sister Jessie.  All enjoyed continuing the conversation on Sister Pat and her humor around the table.

Jessie Saldanha, SCN

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