The three enthusiastic Tertians of 2021-22, Anshumala Nira Toppo, Oliva Kujur, and Seema Joy Kujur, officially began their program at Nazareth Convent, Mokama on March 19, 2021. With great zeal, they immersed themselves in reading the books on St. Vincent De Paul, Bishop David, and Mother Catherine Spalding. Walking with their life stories closely we were enriched to know how much we were cared for in the community and it is our turn now to love deeply our community and to ponder over our own lives. Sister Basanti Lakra, director of temporary professed and the Tertians, guided us to reflect and be positive towards life.
Meanwhile, we had the privilege to join the “Contemplative Engagement Retreat on SCN Constitutions” conducted by SCNS Josita Eniakattu and Sushma Bodra from April 6-12. It was a precious time of self-renewal. It also enriched our previous study on the lives of our community patrons. It called us to evaluate our life as to how we have lived the SCN Constitutions in our lives and lived our discipleship in the true sense of SCN Charity Charism.
From April 14 we were with the children of the ‘After Care Home’ at Nazareth Hospital for an exposure program. We had the privilege to join them to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitutions. It was an extraordinary experience for us to spend our time teaching and learning at Children’s Home.
Since the hospital had to open many more wards to care for the COVID-symptom patients and needed extra helping hand in the wards and to take care of the additional SCNs who were admitted with the same and quarantined, Sister Basanti asked us to volunteer at the hospital. We felt that it was an opportune time for us to respond to the needs of the hospital. And energized with the study on SCN charism and the Constitutions retreat we readily said, “Yes we will go to the hospital and do whatever is needed.”
Anshumala being a trained nurse served the sick Sisters whereas Oliva and Seema helped in the dietary department with shopping, attending to oxygen emergencies, and other needs of the hospital. Though we were enthusiastic to render our services it was scary in the beginning. But as we moved along with love and hope, fears calmed down and everything was fine with us. Shortly the number of SCN patients increased from six to sixteen. We moved to the hospital as we did not want to bring the germs to the elderly Sisters in the Convent. And we spent almost a month in the hospital caring for the sick and attending to many of their needs.
It has been a great experience for us to render our services at the real need of the Hospital. We witnessed God’s healing touch closely as all the Sisters got well and were discharged. In serving the Sisters in the hospital, we felt that we were in the presence of God daily. We were very much inspired by the dedicated life-gifting services and love of our SCN Sisters, nurses, Sister Dr. Shanti James, and employees at the hospital. The power of prayers of our SCN Sisters and Associates were felt tangibly as the sixteen hospitalized Sisters recovered during the second surge of COVID -19. There were also other patients who were battling for life. Sadly a few were called to God.
Our experiences as Tertians confirm that the Charity Charism of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth is very much alive and still continues. Now it is our responsibility to transmit it to the next generation. The love of Christ urges us on!
Sisters Anshumala Toppo, Oliva Kujur and Seema Joy Kujur