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Sr. Edith Mascarenhas FMA

Born : 28.02.1920

Professed: 06.01.1946

Died : 08.10.2014

Dear Sisters,

On 8th October,2014 the Lord called to eternal bliss our dearest Sr. Edith Mascarenhas aged 94, after a committed life of 68 years in His vineyard. She belonged to the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore, India.

Sr. Edith was born in Mangalore on 28.02.1920 as the second of nine children. The first four, 3 daughters and a son, were gifted to the Salesian Congregation by the deeply Christian parents of holy memory. In spite of nagging ailments, Muriel, as she was called at home, was a star in the school. She was graduated from the well known St. Agnes College, Mangalore. After much coaxing and cajoling, Muriel managed to extract permission from her parents to join the Salesian Sisters of the Province of St. Thomas, the Apostle, Madras, India. She proved the "superiority of mind over matter" when she went through successfully the Spartan formation of the pre-Vatican years. Sr. Edith who sought God alone, found Him in everything especially in the sacrifices and privations demanded by the post Second World War period. She was professed on 06.01-1946.

Sr.Edith'sfluency in English, alertness of mind, precision even in little things and willingness for hard work did not escape the eyes of the Superiors. She was put in-charge-of the school office of St. Francis Xavier's, Broadway, St. Mary's Vellore and St. Joseph's Arni in successive years. She plunged herself into work with the spirit of the "Da Mihi Animas". She was appointed as the Economer of Auxilium Convent Wadala, Bombay for 3 years. Next we find her as the Superior of Our Lady's Centre, Chetpet, Madras. Her capacity for management of financial matters led the Superiors to appoint her as Provincial Economer from 1967 to 1970. In 1971, she was sent to U.S.A. on a 2 years' assignment given by the Province. In 1980 she had the opportunity to visit Germany and Italy. During 1982-88, Sr. Edith consumed herself for the house of Kodambakkam, Madras. With her extra-ordinary tact and power of persuasion, she helped to solve many serious problems. Only God knew the numberless hidden sacrifices she made everyday going out from morning till evening on various commissions.

In July 1988 Sr. Edith was asked to take more care of her tired limbs and failing eye sight at Sacred Heart Novitiate, Bangalore. Like a true child of Don Bosco, she wanted to rest only in heaven. She wanted to place at the service of the Congregation her unique talent to be a Public Relations Officer. Tell Sr. Edith of a need, she will soar over mountains and sail overoceans to reach the goal ? in spite ofher fractured hip. We, of the younger generation are amazed at the energy, the zest and the zeal with which she gets charged, when she takes upon herself a responsibility.When Sacred Heart Province, Bangalore was carved out from St. Thomas' Province Madras in 1993, Sr. Edith stayed back in our Province extending her creative and experienced hands in solving issues connected with land and constructions and for the growth of our Province. Though pulled down by various ailments for the past 12 years, she still rose above them with a strong will, keeping to her diet and Practices of piety, always eager to know every happening of the Province, feeling happy at the visit of the Sisters of the Province and making everyone wonder with her sharp memory till the end.

What was the source of this energy? Nothing else than her uninterrupted prayer. Her devotion to Our Lady was filial and tender. On journeys short or long, she would keep reciting the Rosary all the while. Another outstanding trait of this great personality was her delicatesense of gratitude. Even if you give her a pin, she would remember it for ever and would thank you as though you had done her a mighty favour.

Sr. Edith has left behind a vacuum that cannot be filled by anybody. Today she is a "Memory", an unbreakable link that connects the past with the present. Her very life is an effective lesson that proclaims to the world that life is a passing reality, vanity, vanity, everything is vanity; what matters is "Eternity". A life span can hold it when one's gaze is ever turned to Him. Today is our day of Thanksgiving to you, dear Sr. Edith for the rich patrimony of sanctity you have contributed to our Institute and to our Province by the eloquent testimony of your enthusiasm and joy in your consecrated life. The words of Rabindra Nath Tagore, the Indian mystic have truly realised in your life:"Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and has breathed through it melodies eternally new".

Yes, dear Sr. Edith, the last moment of your life came very softly and suddenly - even on that day, life went on as usual till you found it difficult to swallow the last tablet, and in a minute your eyes were closed in calmness and serenity. We do believe that the angels accompanied you to the throne of God. May you experience His close presence as a reward of your life of committed love and prayer.

Sr. Crescentia D'Almeida