Dearest Sr. Joan Dharmai…..
Category : PDDM India
Her entrance into the Congregation, in Mumbai on July 15, 1972, was a special joy for the Community at Bandra because Joan was the first vocation from St.Andrews our parish in Bandra.
After the novitiate in Bangalore she made her First Profession on May 31st, 1975 and perpetual vows in Mumbai on September 6th, 1981. In her requests for admissions to the various stages of formation, and in particular in the request for final vows, she expresses the joy, for the beauty of the consecrated life. She writes, “I am happy to be able to dedicate my life to Jesus Master through the apostolate of the Pious Disciples”. This belief and happiness in her vocation has made her increasingly generous in the apostolate, capable of giving herself without measuring the sacrifice.
After her First profession she was assigned at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai and Allahabad and once again at Mumbai at the service of the Pauline Priests. Writing to Mother M. Lucia Ricci, the then Superior General, she expressed: “I am happy to spend these first years of my life as a Sister Disciple at the Society of St. Paul in Bandra. I love this ministry and am happy to serve others in the spirit of Mary Most Holy. I’m fine even with lot of work ” (Mumbai, 11.7.1976).
From 1981 she was in Nellore, a community with various services, in collaboration with the seminary and with the Bishop. In 1983 she returned to Mumbai once again at the Society of St. Paul and in 1989 she was the local superior in Nellore. From 1992, for two terms she was the local superior in the diocesan retreat house at Kohima, Nagaland, a place/ that can be considered as mission land for many of our Indian sisters, given the distance from the provincial headquarters and different culture and climatic conditions. This shows her openness, the fineness of her good heart, capacity for receptivity, care for vocations and attentiveness to the poor around. She was also very spontaneous in sharing the Word of God and generous in carrying the communion to the sick.
In 1998 she was at the service of Nunciature, Delhi /and from 1999 in Bangalore and in Mumbai. In 2006 she was again local superior in Nellore.
After having overcome a serious heart attack, in a letter dated 23/08/2013, to Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, the Superior General she wrote: “The picture you sent me is full of meaning. The wheat symbolizes the Eucharist and Mother Scholastica is an example of one who lived as a grain of wheat until the end of her earthly existence and gave her life for us, for the Congregation (…) I too, am called to be a grain of wheat and die to myself every day in order to grow in to the likeness of Jesus Master. During my illness, the Congregation and the Province/ have done a lot for me … I was not ready, and the Lord gave me more opportunity to prepare myself for when he wants to call me “.
For 17 years, in fact, she suffered from heart problems and was being treated for it. Her health situation has become complicated with diabetics, kidney and heart problems especially in the last two years. From 27th April her situation aggravated and this made her live the last days in intensive care, until the final consummation. The sisters of the Community of Bangalore and even family members have accompanied it with loving closeness and prayer until the passage to eternal life. In the light of/ the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, on May 9, 2016, at 8.40 p.m at Bangalore, in St. Johns Medical College Hospital, the Lord called our SR. MARY JOAN DHARMAI to contemplate his face forever.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE.