Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sister Marian Teresa Gomes, CSC, of Bangladesh Dies


The photo of Sister Marian Teresa Gomes, CSC,
displayed during the funeral Mass
at the Holy Rosary Church of Tejgaon, Dhaka

Sister Marian Teresa's coffin in the church during the funeral Mass

Photos (Dhaka: July 6, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Sister Marian Teresa Gomes, CSC, the first Bangali (Bengalee) Holy Cross nun from Bangladesh died in her sleep on June 25 in Le Mans, France, while attending the 2011 International Session on the Holy Cross Spirituality.

Her funeral Mass, officiated by Dhaka’s Archbishop Paulinus Costa, was held at Holy Rosary Church in Dhaka on July 6. Other co-celebrants were Coadjutor Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, CSC; Vatican ambassador to Bangladesh Archbishop Joseph Marino; Bishop Theotonius Gomes, CSC; Bishop Bijoy D’Cruze, OMI; Bishop Lawrence Subrata Howlader, CSC; and a large contingent of diocesan and Religious priests. Many Brothers and Sisters from the Holy Cross and other congregations and lay men and women – including Sister Teresa’s relatives were also present. Sister’s old mother and only brother Dr. Lawrence Gomes, who lives in the USA, attended the funeral service.

Among the dignitaries were Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, a former student of Holy Cross College where Sister Marian Teresa was the principal, and State Minister for Cultural Affairs Mr. Promode Mankin. A sizable number of present and past students of Holy Cross High School and College paid their last tribute to her. Later Sister Teresa was buried at the Holy Cross Sisters' cemetery at Bhadun, a suburb of Dhaka.

Sister Marian Teresa Gomes had a colourful career as a nun. She was the principal of both Holy Cross High School and College for 38 years, gave leadership to the Bangladesh Conference of the Religious (BCR) as its President, was a member of the Episcopal Commission for Education and Government’s Board of Education, provided formation education to Holy Cross Sisters in Africa and was an elected member of the Leadership Team of the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Cross at Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.

Sister Teresa was born on November 27, 1936 at Golla of Dhaka District. She studied at St. Thecla's Primary School at Golla and St. Xavier’s Girls’ High School in Dhaka. She did her B.A. from Holy Cross College, Dhaka, and B.Ed. from Mymensingh Women’s College, M.Ed. from the University of Dhaka and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.

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