Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pioneer Carmelite Sr. Sabina Mascarenhas Passes Away

A Pioneer Carmelite Nun Passes Away

May 17, 2007

AHMEDABAD, Gujarat (SAR NEWS) -- Sister Sabina Mascarenhas, the first Indian candidate to join the Spanish Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity of Vedruna (CCV), died in Mumbai following a massive heart attack May 13. She was 72.

Sister Mascarenhas had served her congregation for 52 years in different fields like education, administration and formation of the youth in Gujarat. She worked till the last day of her life as secretary to the Provincial Sister Celine Paul at their Mother House, Shraddhasseri, Andheri East, Mumbai.

Sister Mascarenhas was born August 29, 1935, at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir State into a devout family from Goa state. She joined the CCV Sisters at Bhavnagar in 1955 after teaching for a few years at the congregation's Fatima School.

The Catholic nun had her earlier religious formation in Rome, Italy. On her return from Rome, she took up teaching again from 1962 at the Fatima High School, Bhavnagar. In 1973 she was appointed superior of their community at St. Xavier's Ladies' Hostel Ahmedabad, which housed hundreds of girls studying in St. Xavier's College Ahmedabad.

She has also worked in the socio-pastoral field in Modasa Mission and youth ministry at Vidyanagar in Anand, Gujarat state, for two years.

Sister Mascarenhas was then elected to lead their congregation in India as the Provincial Superior in 1982. "As the Provincial she gave her best during six years. She was a person who always had time for everyone. The young and the old loved her alike," a senior CCV nun, Sister Theresa, told SAR News.

After her two terms as Provincial Superior, Sister Mascarenhas was appointed superior of the Ahwa Deep Darshan School Community and then as the formation in charge at Bhavnagar.

From 1997 till her death, Sister Mascarenhas served the congregation as secretary to three Provincial Superiors: Sisters Bonita, Romania and Celine Paul.

"Sabina died as she lived – gently, humbly and peacefully. Hardly ever a complaint passed her lips. She was a person of great depth and of understanding and therefore never spoke ill of anyone," said Sister Celine Paul at the funeral.

Sister Mascarenhas's parents died early. So Sabina and her brother, now living at Bhavnagar, and a sister, living in Mumbai, were brought up by an uncle at Bhavnagar.

"Sister Sabina was an inspiring personality," said Sister Mary Mangan, a senior sister of the CCV Congregation.

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