She continued Teresa’s legacy with quiet dignity
“She was having heart-related ailments since months and her condition deteriorated since May,” Archbishop of Calcutta Father Thomas D’Souza said on Tuesday.
The Archbishop visited St John’s Church this evening where Sister Nirmala’s body has been kept for people to pay their last respect. He organised a mass prayer and paid his last homage to Sister Nirmala.
“I met her some 15 days ago when she was unconscious and struggling. But her condition improved in the last few days when she had regained consciousness and talked about the work to be done for the MoC. But she never spoke about her illness. She breathed her last peacefully. She was a great soul,” the Archbishop of the city said. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid a visit to St John’s Church and condoled Sister Nirmala’s death.
“I express my condolence on the demise of Sister Nirmala formerly Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity. This revered nun dedicated her entire life to the services of the distressed. She shouldered <g data-gr-id="38">great</g> responsibility of Superior General for 12 long years. Her death is (an) irreparable loss. May her soul rest in peace,” Banerjee told reporters at <g data-gr-id="40">Nabanna</g>.
After morning mass at St John’s Church, Sister Nirmala’s body would be taken to Mother House on Wednesday at around 10 AM, a MoC official said. Her body would be kept there till 5 PM to allow people to have a last glimpse. Then her body would be taken to the century-old graveyard of St John’s Church for the last rites, the official added. Sister Mary Prema succeeded Sister Nirmala in April 2009. The MoC official said anyone who wants to pay respect to Sister Nirmala could do so at the organisation’s headquarters at Mother House. Asked whether any representative from Vatican would attend the funeral, the official said, “Though as of now we do not have information regarding <g data-gr-id="42">that</g> but it is likely nobody will be coming.
“But one priest from Rome may come. We also expect priests from other countries as well as other states tomorrow,” the official added. Sister Nirmala was elected Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity on March 13, 1997, six months before Mother Teresa’s death.