Persecution brought us religious vocation: Kandhamal sisters

Light of truth

Hundreds of Christians and Hindus attended a thanksgiving Mass for two sisters who became full-fledged Catholic nuns after suffering religious persecution as teenagers in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.

While Manjuta Pradhan professed final vows as a member of the Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph on April 27, her elder sister pronounced her vows in the Daughters of Charity two years ago.

However their village decided to honour both the sisters with a thanksgiving Mass on May 4 at Our Lady of Charity Church, Raikia, a major parish under the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese.

More than 2,500 people, including some Hindus who had persecuted the two nuns’ family, attended the Mass.

The two nuns hail from Badingnaju (village built on rock), a substation of Raikia.

Assistant parish priest Father T. Francis Kanhar who led the Mass said, the two nuns lived up to the name of their village by remaining like or rock in their faith. “During the 2008 communal violence, they underwent pain, agony, persecution as their Hindu neighbours chased them from their native place. But they remained very strong in their faith in Christ and that has brought them to this state. They have now become an inspiration to many Hindu neighbours. Nothing is impossible in the eyes of God,” the priest told the gathering.

The sisters agreed with their parish priest.

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