Sister Nirmala is no more

Headed Missionaries of Charity for 12 years, was not keeping well.

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury | Kolkata | Updated: June 24, 2015 12:33 am
Sister Nirmala, Sister Nirmala death, Sister Nirmala passes away, Nirmala Joshi, Nirmala Joshi death, Mother Teresa, Sister Nirmala Missionaries of Charity, St John’s Church, Mamata Banerjee, Kolkata news, India news Sister Nirmala was one of the first nuns to be sent on a foreign mission by Mother Teresa when she visited Panama in connection with the Missionaries of Charity work.

Sister Nirmala – who had succeeded Mother Teresa as the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997 and served for 12 years in that post – passed away around mid night last night.

“She breathed her last peacefully. She was a great soul,” said Archibishop of Kolkata Father Thomas D’Souza.

Talking to the Indian Express, the Archbishop said that Sister Nirmala was suffering from some heart ailment and staying at a Missionaries of Charity home near St John’s Church, Sealdah.  She was admitted to hospital some time back but again brought back to the MoC home, said the Archbishop.

Sister Nirmala who was born in Ranchi had her early education in Patna and later she joined the order of the MoC in 1976. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul) Sister Nirmala who was born in Ranchi had her early education in Patna and later she joined the order of the MoC in 1976. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

“When I saw her about 15 days ago, she was unconscious and struggling. But in the past two days she had regained consciousness and talked about the work to be done for the MoC. She was such a great soul. She will never talk about her illness,” said the Archbishop of Kolkata.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was one of the first to tweet the sad news. She posted, “Saddened at the passing away of Sister Nirmala who headed the Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa. Kolkata and the world will miss her.”

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Sister Nirmala who was born in Ranchi had her early education in Patna and she joined the order of the MoC in 1976.

Her original name was Nirmala Joshi. She was inspired by the work of Mother Teresa and dedicated herself fully to the service of the poor.

She was one of the first nuns to be sent on a foreign mission by Mother Teresa when she visited Panama in connection with the Missionaries of Charity work.

Her term as the Superior General of the MoC ended in 2009 when the German born Sister Prema took over as the SG. But though Sister Nirmala succeeded Mother Teresa as the Superior General, the title “Mother” was not conferred on anyone of the order after Mother Teresa.

The funeral of Sister Nirmala would be held at the Mother House on AJC Bose Road, said the Archbishop and she will be buried at the St John’s cemetery where many of the eminent nuns are resting, said Thomas D’Souza.

A pall of gloom descended at the Mother House on AJC Bose Road, the headquarters of the MoC, where mourners began to turn up soon after the news spread. There are about 4,500 nuns attached to the order at the moment and most of them working in Indian cities and towns. The order has its centres spread over 150 countries of the world.

Sister Nirmala in recent times had been in the “contemplative wing” of the MoC – which meant that she was mostly in prayers and connected to the world outside through her prayers. The active wing of the MoC are the houses where the dying and the destitute are sheltered – like Kalighat, Shanti Dan and Prem Dan etc.

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Sister Nirmala’s life was devoted to service, caring for the poor and underprivileged. Saddened by her demise. May her soul rest in peace.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

Heartfelt condolences on passing away of Sister Nirmala. Hers was an inspiring life dedicated to service of the poor.
Pranab Mukherjee, President

Kolkata and the world will miss her… She was soft spoken and a nice lady.
— Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister

A worthy successor of Mother Teresa, Sister Nirmala will be deeply missed by the millions whose lives she touched in the service of humanity.
Sonia Gandhi, Congress President

Sister Nirmala carried forward Mother Teresa’s work with quiet dedication and dignity.
— Rahul Gandhi, Congress Vice-President

She spent her entire life serving the poor. Her death has left everyone grief-stricken.
— Raghubar Das, Jharkhand Chief Minister

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  1. S
    sathyanarayana
    Jun 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm
    I am pleased to extend my deepest condolences to Honourable "SISTER NIRMALA JOSHI" on her sudden demise. I deeply remember that she use say that humanity is first, Secondly Elevation of POVERTY in a Positive way. Thirdly she use to say that Service to humanity(Positive Way) is Service to God. Fourthly She use to see Godness in Humanity. After St.Mother Teressa, She did 12 years Service as a President of MISSIONARY OF CHARITIES, in Kolkata. In 2009 Government of India given "PADMABHUSHAN AWARD" to her Services. She Devoted her entaire life for poor and needy people. Her sudden demise is a great loss. We Pray for her soul peace. Condolences from: M.Sathyanarayana,B,(LLB) & NAGARAJU(14 YEARS), Agreement Workers, Agreements House & Galli, #1-7-988/A, Ramnagar Kshetra, , Zamisthanpur N.D.S.O., Musheerabad Mandal D.S.O., Vidyanagar District, Hyderabad City & Capital, Telangaana State, INDIA - Pincode : 500020., E-mail : . Phone/Cell : ( 91) 9441213253.
    Reply
    1. F
      Francis Anthony
      Jun 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm
      May her soul rest in peace!
      Reply
      1. M
        Madan Dhital
        Jun 30, 2015 at 12:51 am
        Indian Express for your kind information sister nirmala was not born in ranchi, india but she was born in syanja nepal on july 23, 1934 please do not mislead general public by showing fake information
        Reply
        1. M
          Madan Dhital
          Jun 30, 2015 at 12:54 am
          people will blame this woman known as sister nirmala for transforming the religion of indians into christians just like mother teresa and make fun of her
          Reply
          1. A
            amit
            Jun 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm
            service to poor means service to god!!!!!!!!!! love you sister nirmala your service to god is a great sign of human being.
            Reply
            1. J
              jaya
              Jun 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm
              Successor? Hopefully someone with a Christian name, like Sonia. Sonia hi would fit in, she soon will be unemplo.
              Reply
              1. A
                ABHISHEK.MADDALA
                Jun 24, 2015 at 7:06 am
                May her soul rest in peace.My hearty condolences on sister nirmala"s demise.
                Reply
                1. M
                  mario panday
                  Jun 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm
                  Oh ! God Bless Her Departed Soul
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    maria teresa
                    Jun 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm
                    She was a great moman and when I went to her in tears in times of difficulties as a junior sister she encouged me, can hold my tears will miss her dearly, may jer soul rest in peace.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mysore Ranganath
                      Jun 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm
                      No respect for the dead..cheap thoughts
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rao VVN
                        Jun 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm
                        Rest in Peace Sister Nirmala. The world remembers you for the great work.
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Ratna
                          Jun 24, 2015 at 9:48 am
                          A wonderful woman who helped translate the charismatic influence of Blessed Mother Theresa into an ongoing force for good and service to the poor. But a small correction: Her original name was Kusum Joshi, not Nirmala, which was her religious name.
                          Reply
                          1. U
                            Uttom Jubit
                            Jun 24, 2015 at 8:46 am
                            God give you Ever-life.
                            Reply
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