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Sr. Christina Neelamkavil

Sr. Christina 

D.O.B: 14.08.1933

Professed: 24.11.1955

R.I.P: 30.10.2018

         “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” was the echo of beloved Sr. Christina as she breathed her last on 30th October at 7.15 am. in Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, as the Ursuline sisters commended her soul to the Heavenly Father. Slowly and serenly, she entered heaven to join the chorus of angels to praise her beloved for all eternity. 

Humanly speaking, death is final. It is the end. No more laughter, no more relationships, no more insights but all of us beleive that death is not final, its a transitory phase to begin the life eternal. In bidding farewell to dear Sr. Christina, the only convinction that consoles is “life is only changed and not ended”.

Gratitude to the Almighty God for the Precious gift of Sr. Christina to the Ursuline Congregation and especially to the Sacred Heart Province. Sr. Christina was born on 14th August 1933, as the second child to Varghese and Annamma Neelamkavil, in Kottekad, Kerala in the Archdiocese of Trichur. She was baptized as Clara and was blessed with four brothers and four sisters.

Clara responded to the call of Jesus and joined the Ursuline Congregation on 2nd June 1951. On 24th November 1955, made her First Profession and was transferred to Punchakkad in Payyannur for two years. She was very zealous and was known for her hard work and commitment. On 3rd January 1959, she pronounced her final ‘yes’ to the Lord.

As a young religious, Sr. Christina was missioned to North India, where the Ursuline presence  was at the initial stage. She worked tirelessly as a teacher for nine years, in the state of UP, at Robertsganj, Chakkeri and Obra. Her dedicated and enthusiastic approach inspired many students, who loved and respected her much. She also had a sense of humor, which made her teaching profession more interesting and enriching. As an effective and efficient teacher, she enjoyed her ministry and continued it, for several years in the various schools at Kannur, Pariyaram, Wellington and Trivandrum. She served as a superior in Ursuline Convent, Pariyaram.

As an Ursuline, Sr. Christina loved the Congregation and was a zealous missionary. This was evident in her sharing of the experiences and imparting the knowledge of the mission and its growth to the younger generation. After her retirement, she was involved in family apostolate in the various communities at Bangalore, Aluva, Loutolim and Nashik. She was sociable and had special consideration for the poor and the needy. Thus she served the Congregation for  63 long  years with unwavering commitment.

She was creative especially in staging colorful programs during school functions. She led the choir and sang melodiously. Cooking was one of her hobby and her preparations had a delicious taste, she enjoyed cooking even recently. Towards the end of her life, she used to spend long hours in prayer and had a special devotion and reverence to the Holy Eucharist. Her spontaneous prayers included everyone and different intentions of the world. She gave priority for the sacrament of reconciliation. She loved scripture, and prayed faithfully and earnestly for the conversion of sinners and shared her deep God experience with others. Being part of the community, she found joy in everything- community prayers, meals, meetings and above all, she loved being together during the time of recreation. She would enact the past events and make everyone feel happy and enjoyable. She was sensitive to the needs of the community and meticulously performed every action. She had been a source of inspiration for others to dedicate their lives for Jesus.  

Heartfelt sympathies to Neelamkavil family, her brother, sisters and her dear and near ones. Visits by the family members meant a great deal to her and she graciously welcomed anyone who called on her. During those occassions, we cannot forget her smile which seemed to radiate peace. Indeed, she has been a pillar of strength and comfort to many in her family circle. She dearly loved her family and their presence was a testimony of who she was and of their great love for her.

For more than a decade, she was at St. Joseph’s community- Nashik. She was closely associated with the Don Bosco Parish and Kilbil St. Joseph School-Nashik. Its only few months that she was moved to Morello Home-Nashik for better care and treatment. About two weeks before her demise, her words were “its time for me”. Then with a pause and with a smile she said, “God is everything; I am nothing.” Sr. Christina was a heart patient for 10 years and was on pacemaker and medication. In the last year of her life she had frequent hospitalisation. She was discharged from Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, about a month before her demise and was taking rest at Nashik.

She was brought to Holy Family Hospital on 29th October, at around 12 noon with abdominal discomfort. Immedietly she was admitted to ICCU as her vital parameters were detected to be unstable. After the initial investigations she was diagnosed to have massive gastro-intestinal bleeding. Although, the treatment measures and interventions were initiated to revive her condition,  she failed to respond. Inspite of all the efforts by the expert team of doctors at Holy Family Hospital, she was gradually deteriorating. At the destined time, the Heavenly Father welcomed her to Heaven, in the presence of  many of the Ursuline sisters on 30th October at 7.15 am.

Fathers and sisters from various nearby communities, staff of the Hospital and her dear family memebrs paid their last respect and continuously prayed for the soul of Sr. Christina  from 9.00 a.m. onwards on 30th October. On 31st at 10.00 am, the funeral procession started to St. Andrew’s Church- Bandra. Fr. Anthony, along with concelebrants offered the Holy Mass at 10.30 am. After the Holy Mass and prayers, her body was laid to rest with the hope of meeting her in heaven one day.

St Paul says, in 2nd Corinthians, we could see her outer self wasting away and inner self being renewed day by day. For 85 years, Sr. Christina, lived a life with great courage and walked in faith and is now at home in heaven.

The heavenly choir in the midst of their angelic music lifted the soul of Sr. Christina to the heavens bosom where she will be one  with them and enjoy the everlasting peace and joy. May Sr. Christina bring down blessings from heaven to everyone, her dear Ursuline family and the Neelamkavil family.