by Sr. Noel Christine Fernando SCJM
Let me share with you a bit of my own experience of her Companionship.Sr. Anjela was a pleasant and a loyal companion on our common journey. We loved her and she generously shared the wisdom of her 84 years and 50 years as a religious sister. Her life was a vocation of a missionary journey, that has sprouted in her as a religious nun.
It is when people care for another and help another to rise up from pain and sorrow, from loneliness and misery, that resurrection happens and a new life springs up. That indeed has been the ministry of Sr. Angela. She meant a lot to those around her. She had always been attentive to the needs of those who were in need and rush to help them cheerfully, obligingly and happily.
She was a prayerful soul with great devotion to the Eucharist which drew her courageously, perseveringly and with a smiling face and with full of love to serve the poor in their needs. Sr. Anjela was a person of deep feeling, having loving and gentle ways and a great friend and companion.
In The Little Prince, there is a line which reads “Shared bread has a different taste”. All of Sr. Angela’s friends will undoubtedly agree that the reference is hundred percent true of Sr. Angela. We have shared and been enriched by the varied aspects of her rich character.
She was a true RGS. Faithfulness was her driving power, responding ever more deeply to what the Lord continued to ask of her.
Sr. Anjela was engaged in different ministries through which she revealed the presence and love of God. She had always a place in her heart for the poor and needy and serving others has been her distinguishing characteristic. Apart from performing her congregational duties, she made herself available for anyone, the poor victims, her sisters, her family, friends, co-workers etc etc.
Her down to earth personality, openness and sociability took her to the fringes of society; meeting young and old, the rich and the poor alike. Every relationship was infinitely precious to her, every man, woman or child a “sacred history”. Every one called her ‘Amma’ / ‘Mother’.
Referring to her life, she herself highlighted the unexpected turns and the all embracing power provided by the grace of vocation.
The legacy of her work was total commitment to Social Justice with great love for those abandoned in poverty and marginalization. The determination with which she resisted every kind of injustice made her creative and straight forward.
She passed away the way she lived, unseen and unspoken. She will no doubt accompany us still graciously from where she dwells in the peace of God. On our part, we will remember our dear sister for the humour in her eyes, her mild and soft smile, her simplicity and faithfulness as a Good Shepeard.
We are sorry to let her go but grateful for what she has willed to us; that joy of living for others, to commit – to involve and being faithful to the God given vocation. She was the Link in the chain that held us together. Chastened by suffering, she set out on her last journey, her mind fixed on the Eternal One. Isn’t she a good model of a religious vocation to be followed in today’s context by our younger generation?