Yemen burial for nun from Gumla

Mass for Sister Annselna at Dumri today

By RUDRA BISWAS in Ranchi
  • Published 6.03.16
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A condolence meeting in progress at the village residence of Sister Annselna (below) in Gumla district on Saturday. Sister Annselna (57) died in a terrorist attack in Yemen along with three other nuns on Friday. Telegraph pictures

Ranchi, March 5: Sister Annselna (57) of Gumla, one of four nuns who died in a terrorist attack in Yemen yesterday, will be buried at the port city of Aden, the Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi has declared.

"The deceased nun, along with others, was serving breakfast to the inmates of a home for the elderly when the gunmen attacked," said Sister Sebastino, Regional Superior, Missionaries of Charity, Ranchi, who led a five-member team this morning to convey the news of Sister Annselna's demise to her family living at Kutlu Bhandar village in Dumri of Gumla district.

"We do not intend to bring her body back to India for her last rites. She will be laid to rest at the place of her martyrdom in Aden as per our tradition," she told The Telegraph after returning to Ranchi.

Today, sisters belonging to the Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi declared Sister Annselna, the youngest of seven siblings in a family of farmers, a martyr, saying that she lived and died for the people.

"We are saddened by the brutal end that befell Sister Annselna as well as proud of her at the same time. She has become a martyr in the true sense of the term, living and dying for a cause. She was 20 years old when she had volunteered to lead the life of a nun, to serve God, the poor and the needy. She has lived a purposeful life," Sister Sebastino said, adding that a mass would be held tomorrow at Kutlu Bhandar, her birthplace.

Among the others who accompanied Sister Sebastino to the village today were Sister Eugenius from Missionaries of Charity (MC) Doranda, Ranchi, Sister Joel from MC Radha Rani Leprosy Centre on Itki Road, Ranchi, Sister Mukti Dan from Gumla parish, Father Cyprian Kullu, vicar general from Gumla diocese and Cyprian Kujur from Rajawal church in Gumla.

Father Cyprian Kullu appealed to both the Centre and the state to provide some sort of relief to the family of the Sister Annselna.

"The sister belongs to a family of farmers. Her parents are long dead. She has four brothers, who are staying at the village. She is the youngest of three sisters. The elder sisters are married. Though the family does not expect any relief as the sister had devoted her life for the service of the poor, we shall be grateful if the government provides some relief to the poor family," the vicar general said.

At least 16 people, including the four nuns, were killed when two gunmen attacked a Missionaries of Charity convent and nursing home for elderly and disabled persons in Aden.

The three other nuns who died have been identified as Sister Margherite and Sister Reginette from Rwanda and Sister Judith from Kenya.