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Successor to Mother Teresa to Visit Her Native Nepal
Sister Nirmala, a Catholic convert, returns to her home from Jan. 13
Radheshyam Dahal (rsdahal)     Print Article 
Published 2006-01-11 13:41 (KST)   
Sister Nirmala was a simple Hindu when she left Nepal, and now is returning as a highly regarded Christian missionary.

Nirmala, who heads the Missionaries of Charity, went to India as a student of Hinduism in the 1940s and is set to pay a return visit to Nepal as a revered Catholic nun from Jan. 13. This is her first visit to Nepal since becoming Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity.

Sister Nirmala
©2006 Radheshyam
She was born into a Hindu family in 1934 in Putalibazar, Shyangja District, Nepal. A daughter of an Indian Army officer, Sister Nirmala is the eldest of eight sisters and two brothers. Six of her sisters and both brothers are still Hindus. Her Christian sister Bindu is principal of Carval school in Patna, India.

Sister Leslie, head of the Missionaries of Charity in Nepal, said that Sister Nirmala had been unable to visit Nepal because of her busy schedule. So everyone here is very much taken with her visit.

The headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity are located in Kolkatta, Nepal, with affiliates in 130 countries, representing 710 social service organizations working with the elderly and disabled. The Nepal branch was established in 1980 with the active involvement of Sister Nirmala.

This charity has branched out into Pokhara and Kathmandu. The Missionaries are busy caring for 40 infants. Sister Nirmala's brother, Professor Surendra Prasad Regmi, said that she had also actively worked as Head of the Missionaries of Charity in Nepal.

Within two months of the death of Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa died in 1997, the charity council selected Sister Nirmala to be her successor. Sister Nirmala had been so deeply impressed with Mother Teresa's work that she was inspired to leave the Hindu religion.

She became a Christian and started serving others. Nonetheless, here in the realm of Hinduism, forswearing one's religion is considered as an act of sinful disobedience.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Radheshyam Dahal

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