Third woman to join Mother Teresa dies

Story By: C M Paul  (Matters India) Kolkata  — Sr. Gertrude MC, the third woman to join Mother Teresa in starting the Missionaries of Charity passed away Sunday morning 5.30 am.

“Funeral Mass is scheduled to be held at 3 pm today, Sunday at Missionaries of Charity Mother House, 54A Lower Circular Road, followed by burial at St John’s Church Sealdah,” says Sr Lynn MC.

A qualified medical doctor by profession she spent all her years in bringing God’s love to the poorest of the poor.

Born in 1929 Gertrude met Mother Teresa in 1946. She was the third Sister in the Missionaries of Charity and was with Mother Teresa when Mother Teresa passed away in Calcutta Mother House on the night of 5th September 1997.

Sister Gertrude imbibed the spirit of the Missionaries of Charity directly from Blessed Mother Teresa – the mission was to be Christ-like and to see Christ in every person.Once Sister Gertrude told me of the difficulties the MCs encountered in the early days. Not only the difficulties in comforting and caring for the poor, but even simply in being accepted by the poor.

Mother Teresa realized that to be accepted by the poor, the Sisters had to live like the poor and even dress like the poor.

As a Missionary of Charity nun, Sr Gertrude did MBBS from Calcutta University and secured a gold medal for her brilliant academic performance. When she told the good news of getting a gold medal for her studies to Mother Teresa, Sr Gertrude was shocked to hear Mother Teresa telling her, “you don’t need a gold medal to serve Jesus and the poor. Return it. Someone else could benefit it more than you.”

“Sr Gertrude had to make the great sacrifice of relinquishing the hard earned gold medal to remain a Missionary of Charity sister and serve the poorest of the poor,” I recall Mother Teresa’s biographer Jesuit Fr Edward Le Jolly telling us in one of our luncheon sessions with Monsignor Eric Barber at Sacred Heart Church Presbytery at Dharamthala while I was editor of The Herald weekly 1989-1991 in Calcutta.

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