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This story (recently reported by Agenzia Fides) is already known to the entire parish of Doripara in Gazipur, a city near the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. Indeed, it’s not every day that one comes across a family with five daughters and a niece who are religious sisters!
That’s right: five sisters from a family with seven children became sisters, as well as one of their cousins, but all in different congregations.
In Bangladesh, Sr. Linsa lives in Khulna, where she is the superior of a community. Sr. Mary Supriti Rozario works as the principal of Bottomley Home Girls’ High School in the capital city of Dhaka. The elder sister, Sr. Hedwig Rozario, was a superior in Suihari and recently completed her term, while Sr. Beena is now the superior general of her religious congregation. Finally, Sister Lisbetha is a missionary in Congo, where she’s a superior in the Missionaries of Charity. Their niece, Sr. Lawrensa Rozario, works as assistant principal of a girls’ high school in Dhaka.
They’re all in different places, but all united nonetheless.
“In religious life we are sometimes confronted with worries and challenges: we stay in community, share joys and sufferings. We help each other grow spiritually. We support each other. We also have a Facebook Messenger social network group that connects us to each other and helps us stay in touch,” Sr. Beena tells Fides.
Loving God is never a waste of time
When the sisters are asked where their vocations come from, they all recall with emotion their parents, who passed away several years ago and who, in their simplicity, left them a vital legacy: “Loving God and neighbor is never a waste of time.”
Their father was a village chief and flutist and their mother was a housewife; both parents “always put God first,” they tell Fides. “Our mother was a pious woman and our father was a village chief. They raised us to trust in God. Without evening prayer we could not enjoy dinner. Our mother told us one day about the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, whose four elder sisters preceded or followed her in the choice of consecrated life.”
Sr. Mary Supriti, the youngest, says, “During my childhood there was an atmosphere of prayer in our family. Our parents inspired us to always seek closeness to Jesus. In the evening we prayed the Rosary together.The family bond helped me a lot in my vocation,” she explains to Fides. “My elder sisters showed me a simple and holy life and, above all, a happy life. Their work, their kindness and charity attracted me and I also chose religious life.”
As the youngest child, Mary Supriti loved her father very much and vice versa. “My father suffered from the separation when I left our house, but he didn’t stop me.” He simply told his daughters not to do anything that would make the family feel ashamed. “Today we are all happy and enjoying our consecrated life, keeping in our hearts the teachings of our parents, especially trust in God at all times, in our daily life,” the five nuns concluded.
Fr. Kajol Joachim, the parish priest of Doripara, is happy to tell the amazing story of this family. He says that from of a population of 3,500 Catholics in his parish have come six priests, 10 religious brothers, and 49 women in religious life. “The fact that there are six nuns in a family is of course an extraordinary fact.I believe that the parents played a fundamental role in raising the children with the love of God. But the girls were also able to observe the lives of other nuns and priests,” he says.