Sister Nirmala-Missionary of Charity passes away
India

Sister Nirmala-Missionary of Charity passes away

23 Jun 2015 | By Siripriya

Mother Teresa's successor is no more

The head of the Missionaries of Charity - Sister Nirmala Joshi who succeeded Mother Teresa passed away in Kolkata today. She was 81.

Her body is being kept at St John's Church in Sealdah and will be shifted to Mother House in Kolkata tomorrow where the funeral will take place.

Sister Mary Prema will succeed Sister Nirmala.

Timeline

5 Apr 1958: Not an easy journey for a Brahmin girl

Sister Nirmala was born as Kusum Joshi into a high caste Brahmin family.

She "felt Jesus Christ had come alive to me" at her missionary school and decided to embrace Christianity.

She was finally baptized on 5 April 1958, as Sister Nirmala.

Her change of religion was not accepted by her parents, and it took them years to relent and accept her new avatar.

1979: Work before heading the mission

Work before heading the mission

Sister Nirmala was one of the first Sisters of the institute to head a foreign mission when she went to Panama.

She supervised the Missionaries of Charity's centers in Europe and in Washington D.C in the United States.

She became the first assistant to Mother Teresa, and in 1979 headed the order's Contemplative Wing in Kolkata, in which nuns devote their lives to meditation.

13 Mar 1997: Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa

Sister Nirmala replaced Mother Teresa as the Superior General of the charity mission after Mother Teresa's insistence to be relieved of her duties.

It took an eight-week selection effort which commenced with a closed-door vote by 132 senior nuns.

Sister Nirmala was to be aided by a council of four members to be elected before the nuns dispersed to their missions around the world.

Fact: Sister Nirmala faces heat over nuns' actions

In 2000, one of the order’s nuns - Sister Francesco, was accused of burning four girls on a hot plate, an incident because of which Sister Nirmala had to face criticism.

26 Jan 2009: Sister Nirmala awarded the Padma Vibhushan

Sister Nirmala awarded the Padma Vibhushan

The Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity Sister Nirmala was given the 2nd highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan for her work for the poor and her actions for peace in the country.

She dedicated the award to the poor, urging everyone to take part in building "a civilisation based on love." This is the highest award received by Missionaries of Charity.

23 Jun 2015: Mother Teresa's successor is no more