Born: 10 July 1932
Professed: 3 December 1957
Died: 23 June 2004
Sr. Maria Goretti was born as the first of nine children to Abraham and Rosamma Abraham, a deeply religious and very loving middle class family in Perumpetty of Changanacherry diocese, Kerala. She was baptized Maria but her dear ones affectionately called her Mary. As a little girl, Mary was brought up by her maternal grand parents.
Mary was an avid reader from a young age .The regular reading of the Malayalam magazine ‘Preshitha Keralam’ depicting the life of the missionaries in North India boosted her missionary spirit. On 28 April 1952 with the first group of Indian candidates she set out to Hazaribag.
The enthusiastic and promising candidate did her nursing and midwifery training in Holy Family Hospital, Mandar. After the Profession in 1957 her first assignment was in Mahuadanr. Later she was in M.J.K Govt. Hospital, Bettiah for 10 years rendering service to the poor. In February 1971 Sr. Goretti with her vivacious and sociable nature was chosen to begin a new mission in Devala, Tamil Nadu. A new dispensary was set up and social welfare schemes were introduced for the uplift of the poor. Then she was sent to Kunkuri Hospital to serve the tribals of the then Madhya Pradesh and later to Tripolia Hospital, Patna.
In 1973, late Sr. Sigrid the then provincial wrote to her saying, ‘The Holy Spirit asks you to move again’, and she said with a deep sense of surrender, “The Holy Spirit has moved me too many times and I am ready to move again”. That was the inner disposition of Sr. Goretti, prompt readiness to go anywhere, and cheerful availability to do whatever was asked of her.
In 1974 Sr. Goretti set out with zeal and zest for Trasi, Karnataka where she served as the superior of the community for six years, taking care of the new hospital with 20 beds. Sometimes she had to administer very critical cases but she trusted in the providential care of God. She was happy to be available to the suffering and no sacrifice seemed adequate enough.
Sr. Goretti’s missionary spirit and enthusiasm soared high, when she was called to Sonada in 1980. Besides being a loving and affectionate ‘ammachy’ to the sisters of the community and to the people around, she also served the sick. In 1984 she was back in Tripolia Hospital and later in Trasi. From there she was sent to Singasandra to be the superior of the community. Sr. Goretti, who enjoyed the company of young people found a way into the hearts of the formees there.
After six years of service in Singasandra, in 1995, she was transferred to Kanjirapally. Her health was becoming more delicate with the interplay of high BP and diabetics. However she was interested in different activities and managed the accounts of the community quite well. She was very systematic, accurate and prompt in her work. After three years she was sent to Devarshola, where she was taking care of the society accounts. Later as her health was deteriorating, she was taken to Bangalore and then to Kalyan Hospital. Whenever she was well she would help to write the accounts, take care of the visitors, visit the patients and take communion for them and exchange pleasantries with doctors in OPD. People loved her warm and pleasant company.
She was a woman of wide knowledge and experience and shared them happily with her sisters in the community. Her vision of life was to be a very fervent religious. Her peace loving nature impelled her to be at peace with everyone and she made all possible efforts to foster that in the communities. She envisaged her life as a pilgrimage during which her Heavenly Father took her to different places, halting shorter and longer times according to the need of the people and for His greater glory.
On 17 September 2003 due to hypoglycemia (low sugar) she went into coma. The constant care and attention of Sr. Anicet, the sisters and the doctors in the Hospital woke her up after a month to see once again God’s glory. Again she had a similar attack in May 2004. On 23 June 2004 at 5.15 pm leaving behind lots of memories she left this world for her eternal reward.
Dear Sr. Goretti, you are a flower that bloomed to the full and the Master found you ready to pluck. He has placed you in the bouquet of eternity. May you enjoy the heavenly bliss!
Sr. Regis Kocherry