CNEWA

90 Years, 90 Heroes:
Sister Rosily Karuthedath

In India, there is a thriving and devoted order of sisters committed to caring for those who have been forgotten, tossed aside, or neglected. The Nirmala Dasi sisters — Servants of God, in English — often care for the poorest of the poor, especially the sick:

Working with a strong but gentle faith, the Nirmala Dasi Sisters bring love and healing to people otherwise overlooked by society. Irrespective of caste and creed, all those whom the sisters care for are welcomed and accepted as children of God.

For all their energy and effort, they do not consider taking any remuneration for their services. Poverty is stipulated in their constitution.

“We eat, pray and work, everyone together, all the time,” said a sister who works at the Damien Institute, a hospital for people with Hansen’s disease staffed by the religious and supported by Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

One of the heroic women leading this great work is Sister Rosily Karuthedath, whom we profiled during our celebration of the Year of Sisters:

In sprawling cities and tiny villages across India, millions of people endure lives of struggle and abuse. For the poorest of the poor who also live with HIV and AIDS, that struggle can be totally overwhelming.

Sister Rosily Karuthedath knows how much they suffer. In the village of Peringadoor, she and four other Nirmala Dasi Sisters have run an oasis of hope called Grace Home since 1999. On a slender budget bolstered with funds from Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the sisters provide shelter, food and medical support for sixty-five HIV infected patients, including thirty children.

For the poor and ill who arrive at Grace Home, the door is always open. And the caring sisters are always inside. “We believe in giving acceptance and dignity to the patients, even if they are socially isolated and discriminated against,” Sister Rosily says. “We attempt to fill the emptiness experienced by the patients with love, concern and care.”

Sister Rosily is offering a home to those who suffer — a home, literally, of Grace.

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