1. SR.BERTRAND (1927 – 1989)
Born on the 9th May, 1927, Teresa Lopez was the youngest of three children. The other two were boys. She was a cheerful and mischievous child from her early days and remained that way till she died. She lost her mother in childhood and her farther also, after some years. She studied up to the high school at St. Joseph’s High School, in Trichur and then completed her B.A at St. Teresa’s Convent Ernakulum. She then felt called to religious life and joined our Congregations. She was professed in 1954 and was given the name Sr. Bertrand. She was my novitiate companion for a whole year. She and I took to each other right away, because we both used to get into trouble with our mistress. She was never put next to me for recreation because Mother probably thought that we would get too boisterous! However we could be friends from afar. But along with her jokes and fun, she was spiritually mature.
After her novitiate she was a teacher all her life. Her students loved her. She was compassionate lively and full of humor. Besides, she could detect the poor ones, the sick and needy and she helped them effectively, but obstructively. In fact the poor in the neighborhood were her friends and she would help them according to their need. She would do it with such sensitivity that no one would guess who the beneficiary.
Sr. Bertrand lived poor and died poor. Like Christ she chose to be poor and she kept to this decision very deliberately. I remember when terricotton material became the common material for habits; she would not succumb to it. She kept to cotton habits and would not give in to any persuasion. But she never paraded her ‘holiness ‘to anyone.
She developed leukemia but her power of endurance was such that no one realized that she was suffering from a terminal disease. Towards the end she suffered excruciating pain, but she died very peacefully. She was 62 years when she died.