Thursday, 23 June 2016

Being human - even as religious

The most vivid memory of Sr Modesta that I have is the time a few of us in the Provincial house felicitated her on her Jubilee.  It was immediately after her Jubilee celebrations in her Provincial house at the province/community level. She had then come to visit Fr Noel after a day or two. The Provincial house community was with Fr Noel in his office for a meeting when we were informed by Maria the receptionist that Sr Modesta was here. (She had a NP - national permit.  She did not need any appointment to meet anyone, anywhere, anytime!) By the time she reached the Provincial's office, we pulled out a shawl, and a small card.

As soon as she entered the office, we all sang a song, spoke a few words of appreciation, offered her the card and the shawl. It was all so natural and affectionate. She was thrilled!  And then the best part: In her usual inimitable style she hugged everyone.  Literally all of us had to bend low to embrace her, given her size and her aged hump.  It was truly so cordial and spontaneous. The drama began when one of the confreres did not want to embrace. He only wanted to shake hands!!  We all found it so very very odd, yet he didn't.  It was a scene to behold: a senior, good natured and noble lady extending her arms reaching out for a warm embrace and the confrere seeking only her right hand!! 

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