Sister Provati Mardi, Missionary of the Immaculate Conception, makes her first profession
by Sumon Corraya

Bishop Theotonius Gomes led the ceremony on Saturday. Sister Provati Mardi is 29 and an ethnic Santal. Some 15 PIME sisters are from Bangladesh, plus more from other countries.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Sister Provati Mardi has officially joined the Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception (MdI), the female congregation linked to Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME).

"With my first vows among the Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception, I dedicate myself to God. I shall work for God and his people,” she said with a smile.

Sister Provati, 29, is an ethnic Santal. She made her first profession at the MdI’s provincial house in Mirpur (Dhaka) last Saturday. The MdI Sisters are often referred to as the PIME Sisters.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Bishop Emeritus Theotonius Gomes, who led the Eucharistic service, and 40 MdI nuns.

Sister Provati noted that “12 of us entered the training house in 2009, but only I took the vows. The others left along the way. I am very happy to become a PIME Sister.”

The new MdI member comes from Sursunipara parish, in the Diocese of Rajshahi. Her father is a farmer and her mother, a housewife. She is the second of four children.

She spoke to AsiaNews about how she discovered her religious vocation. “My father's sister is a PIME sister. I have always looked up to her for way of life; it attracted me and led me to join the Sisters’ training house.”

“I must say I decided to become a nun at an early age. When I told my parents, they encouraged me. My aunt was happy when I told her that I wanted to become a PIME nun like her.”

“The main purpose of the PIME missionaries,” she explained, “is to preach the Gospel of God to others. I very much want to go somewhere far away to preach the Gospel. I want to work for those who are forgotten, oppressed. I thank God who chose me for His work.”

Sister Bondona Cruze, provincial superior of Bangladesh, was overjoyed at welcoming Sister Provati Mardi. “There hadn’t been any local vocation for a long time. I hope that other girls, looking up to her, might wish to follow the same path.”

Sister Bondona notes that 15 PIME sisters are from Bangladesh, working as missionaries in various foreign countries.

In Bangladesh the MdI Sisters have 56 members, including 15 foreign nuns from Italy, Brazil and India.