Sr. Carmelita (1928 – 2013)
We are gathered here today to bid farewell to an indomitable person who has left an indelible mark on anyone who has come in contact with her. People from different walks of life are her friends. Navy, military, railway, sports, doctors, lawyers, administrators, business people, professors, musicians, social workers, youth, children, orphans, destitute, aged, sick and the poor have all found in Sr. Carmelita a very understanding and supportive friend and helper. Anyone who sought help from sr. Carmelita has never sought it in vain. When it comes to helping someone she forgets everything except that person and that person’s need. Many of us who are here have experienced her generosity with time and influence.
Born as the youngest of nine children of Mrs. Mary Casmina NeeD’sa and Mr. John Salvadore Pinto on 4th March 1928 at Mangalore, she was baptized on 11th march 1928 at St Sebastian’s Church, Bendore receiving the name Josephine Catherine. Josephine Catherine lost her mother a few days after her birth. But her mother’s absence was never made to feel in her life. Her father and her siblings showered their entire love and care on the motherless baby that she grew up as a very strong, loving, sensitive and other oriented person. After her Intermediate she felt the call to enter Carmel and joined this institute in 1948 and made her first commitment in 1949 and her final commitment in 1952 at St. Teresa’s convent. After four years of her life in St. Teresa’s Convent, in her words “doing odd jobs”, she was sent to Bangalore for higher studies. She received the Mysore University Scholarship for highest marks in Zoology and the National Scholarship for the same for three years. In 1959 she passed with Fist Rank from the University in Masters. In the same year she joined the faculty of Zoology as founder head in St Teresa’s college and in1983 she retired after making the Department one of the best of its kind. Her presence in the campus was marked by her involvement in the sports and extra- carricular activities. She was a good organizer and with her gifted voice she often served as M.C for all the programmes in the College and convent. It is her endeavour that found fruition in the consitutution of the basketball team in the Mahatma Gandhi University. She was a vibrant person and her vibrancy was contageous. All felt at home in her presence.
On her retirement, Sr. Carmenlita joined in the staff of Medicare hospital as Administrator and Matron. Her meritorious service was highly appreciated by patients, doctors and staff that even today I am sure many are here, to witness the passing off of a great legend. Sr. Carmelita is described as a medical wonder because she survived ten major operations, and seven minor ones. Nothing in the world could defeat her spirit because her strength was the strength of faith she had in God with whom she had a personal relationship. She enjoyed life and made others enjoy too. She was kind and compassionate to the poor, the sick and needy. Very often in spite of her physical discomforts she has taken initiative to accompany the sick orphans to hospitals and supported them with her prayers and presence till they were cured. She bore people in the heart and walked with them till the end. She couldn’t keep anger for long that is why she had a large circle of friends. In the words of one of her colleagues “Sr. Carmelita was a genuine person, we all loved her and she loved us. She had a smile and an encouraging word for all”.
Sr. Carmelita was not suffering from any fatal illness. Following a minor fall she was admitted in the hospital for a few days where she was given the anointing of the sick by Mgr. Sebastian Lewis, our parish priest and later she was discharged from the hospital. Her condition worsened and she was given anointing again by Rev Fr. Norbertine OCD. At 2.40 p.m she breathed her last in the presence of the sisters praying beside her bed. Her end was very peaceful.
Persons like Sr. Carmelita are very rare to find especially in this world of devalues and corruption. Our Institute lost one more of its stalwarts in the demise of Sr. Carmelita.
Dear Sr. Carmelita, you did not want any tribute to be written or read for you. You believed in the promises of Jesus that what your right hand did your left hand should not know. But the Institute owes to the public an account of your life spent in the service of God’s people. You have fought the good fight and kept the faith, now you are before God to receive the reward kept for you from all eternity. We will miss you, Sr. Carmelita. You were an integral part our life in this convent. We will miss your singing in the choir, your voice at our prayers, your laughter and announcement at our recreation and get together and your presence everywhere.