Memorial Service for Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held in Chandapura, India
“If we have died with him, we shall also live with him.” (2, Timothy 2/11)
The Chandapura community gathered together for a memorial service for Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held. Sister Mary Stella Ambrose led the community in prayer. She gave a brief introduction of the life and ministry of Sister Paula. Sister Ann Palatty then garlanded the photos of both the martyrs.
The community was reminded that both the Sisters actualized the mission statement of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, to lay down their lives and resources in caring for the poor and marginalized.
All the Sisters are greatly saddened by the untimely demise of both the Sisters. Their death is a loss for the SCNs, SSSFs, the Church and the community of the people of Durant, Mississippi. The song “Lose yourself in me …” kept the theme of laying down one’s life for the sake of Christ alive. The words of St. Timothy were read by Sister Anice Vattukulam. The intercessory prayers brought to mind the victims’ families, their congregations, the Church and the perpetrator and for the grace to live the mission statement in daily lives. The memorial service concluded with everyone lighting candles symbolizing in carrying forward the mission begun by Sisters Paula and Margaret, and standing around the altar to show the solidarity with the total congregation. The Sisters, pre-novices and candidates peacefully marched out of the chapel with lighted candles singing “Keepers of the Flame.” “We do believe that if we have died with Him, we shall also live with him.” —Sister Bridget Vadakeattam