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INDIAN NEWS
Church people hail nun’s ‘ashram life’
Published Date: September 13, 2010

Church leaders have hailed a Catholic nun’s life and work in the Hindu temple town of Rishikesh as a shining example of evangelization in India.

Sister Vandana, whom Hindus affectionately called Mataji (mother), “was a great evangelist as she chose to live among orthodox Hindus in the foothills of the Himalayas,” said Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona.

He was speaking at the release of a 12 hymn CD on the nun composed in Hindi on Sept. 12. The release was to mark her 86th birthday today.

The nun was born a Zoroastrian and became a Catholic at the age of 20 while studying at Sophia College, Mumbai, run by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus congregation. She later became the congregation’s provincial in India.

She is now bedridden with Alzheimer’s disease.

She was brought to Pune for medical care in 2004 from the Jeveen Dhara Ashram or life flowing monastery that she founded in the late 1970s in the foothills of the Himalayas.

She was unable to attend the thanksgiving Holy Mass at the Church on Sept. 12.

Sister Vandana is among the leaders of Indian Ashram movement that began in the 1970s and inspired by the renewal of Second Vatican Council.

What inspired me was her “way of life among the Hindu religious leaders and ascetics” and her “heart-rending bhajans [hymns] she composed to spread the message of Christ,” said Bishop Dabre.

Sister Vandana was an ardent promoter of Indian culture and spirituality in the Church, said Sister Pratibha, the congregation’s present provincial in India.

Anand Modak, a Hindu musician and a consultant to publish the CD, said Sister Vandana’s compositions have “a rare devotional sweetness, showcasing her sweet surrender to the Lord.”

Source: ucanews.com

 
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