The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

» And offer ourselves in challenging services

In Memory

Sr. Maria Louise NICHOLAS (Mary Germaine)

“I heard you calling and here I am Lord!”

Sr. Maria Louise Nicholas was born on 15th June 1921 in Coimbatore. After her studies she entered the Institute on 15th August,1946 in Palluruthy and received the religious name ‘Germaine. Sr. Maria Louise was a teacher by profession and she taught in several of our schools in Coimbatore, Sathyamangalam, Ketti, Martalli, Bhimanapally, and so on. In those days Otterthotti was a small village and there was no system of transport and we had no community there. So Maria Louise and her companion daily travelled by bullock cart from Sathyamangalam to teach in the little school at Otterthotti. They used to carry their food with them and often shared their meal with the local people who had nothing to eat. Maria Louise loved them all and treated them with respect, love and concern. Some of those people are still there and with tears they shared how she cared for them in those days. At the funeral Mass, the priest in his homily said that she was the ‘Mother Theresa’ of Otterthotti. After retiring from school she devoted her life to the Pastoral work in Kazipet, Hyderabad, Thomayarpalayam, and Otterthotti. Maria Louise was a real missionary, gentle and simple in her ways, always contented with the minimum, cheerful and faithful to her fmm vocation.

She came to Otterthotti in 1989 as the animator of the community and she has worked almost 40 years in Martalli and Otterthotti areas. She busied herself with Pastoral Work and house visiting and endeared herself to the people of Otterthotti and they affectionately called her ‘Amma’. She left Otterthotti on 26th January, for health reasons and came to Bangalore just twelve days before her death. It was hard for her to leave Otterthotti where she spent many years.

She was in Providence, Bangalore only for twelve days. On 8th February after her lunch she was a bit restless. She took a sip of water which did not go down and she fell into a sort of coma. We called the Franciscan Friars and immediately Fr. Peter OFM arrived and administered the Sacrament of the sick and anointed her and the doctor certified that she was no more. The Lord found her ready and He came for her. Maria Louise, without any sort of struggles, quietly went to meet the Lord who was waiting for her. As soon as the news reached Otterthotti the Parish Priest and the people requested that the mortal remain of Sr.Maria Louise be brought to Otterthotti for burial. She too had expressed the desire that Otterthotti be her last resting place. So the ambulance with her mortal remains accompanied by a few sisters left Bangalore for Otterthotti at 5.30 p.m.

As they arrived in the village, people there were waiting in two lines with tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands to welcome her back for the last time. She was laid in front of our house and the people were taking their turns to be near her and prayed all through the night. Rt. Rev.Thomas Anthony Vazhapilly, Bishop of Mysore with 22 priests con-celebrated the Mass and she was laid to rest in a new tomb near the convent. The whole village was present for the funeral, and they had prepared a very meaningful and touching liturgy. Everyone had only gratitude and appreciation for this quiet, unassuming and loving sister. Her family members from Coimbatore were also present for the Mass and funeral.

As we thank her for her committed service to the Province and to the Institute, we pray that she may enjoy eternal bliss and peace with the Lord. May she continue to pray for us all, especially for our sisters in the missions in Martalli, Otterthotti and Thomayarpalayam areas who are still living with minimum comfort, yet actively involved in the lives of people.

Thank you dear Sr. Marie Louise. Adieu and Good bye!

Sr. Kulandai Teresa