Religious Name :

Sister Maria Julia D'Sa 

Maiden Name :  Maria Julia D'Sa 
Religious No :  1214
Native Place :  Bethalbatim, Salcette 
Parish :  Nossa Senhora Dos Remedios Church
Diocese :  Goa Diocese 
State :  Goa 
Date of Birth :  02.07.1935 
Date of First Profession : 19.04.1960 
Date of Perpetual Profession : 24.07.1965
Status : ……………..
RIP 12-12-2018




INST NO. 1214

When this child was born on 2 July 1935 the Church used to celebrate the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 2nd. Yes Maria Julia was a beloved child of Mother Mary and she fostered a tender devotion for her heavenly mother. Mary had created a loving heart in Maria Julia. The special feature of her countenance was a smiling impression and shining eyes. No wonder Mother Mary accompanied her to heaven on a Saturday, 8 December 2018, the feast of her Immaculate Conception. Let us praise and thank God for this double event made real in the life of our dear Sister Maria Julia de Sa!

It was 2 July 1935 that the fourth child of Assis Francis D’Sa and Anna Maria Piedade Alfonso saw the light of the day. There was joy everywhere as they welcomed this fourth child. The love of the parents and home welcomed every child that was born to them. God gave them nine children in all. Theirs was a pious and loving family.

Maria Julia completed her studies till Std VIII at Holy Rosary High School, Nuvem, Goa. A close contact with the sisters as well as the love and piety of her family sowed the seed of vocation in the heart of Julie. Soon the sisters helped her to go to Mangalore in consultation with her parents and family. Those of us who studied at St. Agnes High School in the late 1950’s have a vivid recollection of Julie, a young sprightly girl who stayed as an aspirant with the House Maids; she was made an attender in the High School. She used to carry the attendance register from class to class to take the signature of the staff members and we never missed to exchange a smile of joy when we saw Julie!

On 15 April 1958 Julie was received as a Postulant by the Superior General Mother Sylvia at Maryhill convent. Along with her other postulant companions they were initiated into religious life for a year as postulants and for another year as novices. On her vestition day, on 16 April 1959 Julie was given the name Sister Mary Ricarda of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. On 19 April 1960 she made her First Commitment. Sister Ricarda willingly accepted the new name, although she loved her baptismal name dearly. After Vatican II when the Baptismal commitment was highlighted as the basis of our catholic faith and that religious life is understood as living our Baptismal commitment to the full, the Institute had given us the freedom to revert to our baptismal name. It was a great sense of joy to Sister Ricarda to make use of the opportunity and she took back her baptismal name and was delighted to call herself Sister Maria Julia de Sa thereafter!

As a young sister, Sister Ricarda was agile in movement with quick steps in walking. She loved to do whatever work that was assigned to her. Her first transfer was to Mother House St. Ann’s where she was Assistant Minister. Within the next year she was transferred to Goa and lived for a year at St. Mary’s convent Mapusa where she served the community joyfully by taking up the duty of Refectorian. Very soon, within a year she received a transfer back to St. Ann’s Mangalore where she was happy to have been given the duty of assistant infirmarian for two years. As a fifth year Junior she was transferred to the North -. For the first nine months at Carmel New Delhi and for the next three months at Carmel Udampur. Sister Ricarda was happy to involve herself in cooking in both the convents and with the gift of culinary art, she was happy to prepare food for the community. Thus with a good blend of transfers and variety of duties, Sister Ricarda was grateful to God to join Tertianship programme with her companions and on 27 May 1965 she made her Final Commitment at St. Ann’s Convent Mangalore. As a finally professed sister she continued her mission at the Mother House and served as assistant infirmarian for two years and moved to Holy Rosary Convent Nuvem for the next three years where she enjoyed cooking dishes for the community and for the boarders. She came back to Mangalore and was happy to accept the transfer to St. Agnes Convent where she lived for seven consecutive years. Two special skills Sister Ricarda excelled in were flower making and stitching. She did the duty of seamstress while at St. Agnes. She had some original thinking – a twofold aim of producing flowers and also taking orders to prepare flowers for special occasions, mostly connected with our convents. She was happy to add her earnings to the community mission. She would take orders from some known ladies who approached her, always with a word to the Superior. Her delicate and artistic fingers produced First Communion wreathes, as well as wreathes for the sisters in the community for Jubilees and funerals. It was so good to know that Sister Maria Julia felt herself useful for having many opportunities to contribute to the community needs at special occasions like this. In addition, she was very creative in preparing button roses, which had a great demand in the city of Mangalore.

In 1974 when Provinces were formed she voluntarily stayed back in Mangalore and opted for the Karnataka Province. Nevertheless Sister Maria Julia D’Sa (by then she had changed her name) kept her relationship with all her family members, availed of the Home holiday to Goa regularly; and reciprocally, without fail her sisters, nephews and nieces visited her twice a year and this brought her much joy. She would lovingly speak about her family and so the community knew all of them by name! She celebrated their success through letters, greeting cards and they in turn would call her often. The climax was when she celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2010 at St. Mary’s and a bus load of them attended the occasion which brought immense joy to Sister Maria Julia. Everyone present for the funeral of Sister Maria Julia has witnessed how endearingly her niece-in-law spoke in genuine terms her heartfelt sentiments in loving appreciation of their dear Aunt.

Sister Maria Julia, ever since she came back to Mangalore in 1969 remained in just three convents, namely St. Agnes, St. Ann’s and St. Mary’s. The first six years when she lived in St. Agnes, she kept good health and was very active and rendered generous service as a hard working sister. In 1976 she was transferred to St. Mary’s for the first time. Here she broke down in health. She was disturbed with sudden illnesses such as heart trouble, infection and malfunctioning of the kidney and slowly started losing confidence and her nerves became weak. After a stay for 6 years at St. Mary’s she was transferred to St. Ann’s and lived there for 11 years and was back in Marjil in 1993. After eight years she was once again transferred to St. Ann’s for another four years. Her last transfer was in 2007 when she was back in St. Mary’s and stayed here to the end of her life here below. Understanding her chronic ill health we thank God for the beauty of Sister Maria Julia’s life with intermittent struggles to stay normal and peaceful. Yet her heart was beautiful. She was a prayerful sister. The key ingredient of her life was freshness of the deep springs of prayer and passionate love for the kingdom of God. She had a great devotion to Mother Mary and she used to sing constantly the hymn ‘Avnkari Saibini, tu ge amchi Rani…’

The joyful spirit of Sister Maria Julia was remarkable when it came to life in the community. She loved to take part in community recreations and made sure that her item was included in the show when frequent entertainments were put up at special recreations such as special birthdays and feast days of sisters, or jubilee of a sister, convent feast days. She loved to put on costumes and put up a song or a dance and bring much joy and hilarity. Her favourite song at every occasion was ‘Fulan, fulan, hi muji fulan’ and she would offer the flowers to the star of the day. One more favourite song of hers was:

I sing because I am happy
I sing because I am free
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me…

Her face would beam with joy when higher superiors were around her and she would sing and dance at every occasion of their arrival. Her spirit of readiness to contribute whatever she could for the growth of the community was remarkable.

Sister Maria Julia was noted for her cleanliness, etiquette, humour; she practised what she spoke or expressed. Her openness, simplicity, charity, candid speech and sense of belonging to the community were praiseworthy. She was fond of plants and her garden was decked with variety of lovely flowers, which she would arrange on the altar daily.

Sister Roshan who was her superior at Marjil appreciates some of her qualities: Sr. Maria Julia D’sa was a wonderful affectionate person; she knew good cooking, was a good infirmarian. She had green fingers; whatever she produced in the compound she wanted every sister to share it. She had the ‘sister sense’. She was a sharp observer and would listen to everything carefully. In her own way she was considerate towards the aged. She could produce flower wreathes etc. with satin cloth and there was a good sale.

Since a couple of months before her death, Sister Maria Julia suffered from fever now and then and was not at all active. When requested to go to the hospital she was unwilling. She was almost forcefully taken to the hospital on 8 October 2018 by Sister Gloria the Superior assisted by Sister Ellen Marie. Dr. Roshan her physician and Dr. Amith the Nephrologist got a thorough investigation done. The report showed that she had ischemic heart disease and renal failure. They treated her accordingly. Gradually her lungs became weaker, yet her spirit was positive and she was looking forward to being back in the community. She was discharged and joined the community on 22 October, faithfully taking the medication prescribed. After returning from the hospital she was attending all the spiritual exercises and spent much time before the Eucharistic Lord. It is so true that God gives us all the graces to have the right dispositions when the end draws near. Sister Maria Julia grew quiet, calm and serene, though she grew feebler, weak and helpless.

On 6 December 2018 her sister Olga Fernandes along with her son Leslie and his family came to see her and stayed for a night. Sister was glad to have them with her.

On 8 December morning as usual her devoted aide Calista went to give her a cup of tea but found no response. She was alarmed and rushed to inform the Superior, who with Sister Ellen Marie rushed to her room and tried to resuscitate her but she did not respond. The Lord had summoned her to his abode at 6 a.m. when she gently and peacefully breathed her last and offered her soul to God in the presence of the community. It was providential that Father Sanjay who had come to attend the final vows at Maryhill and was accommodated with the family of Sister Maya Peter at St. Mary’s was present at this sacred moment to anoint her. The whole community participated in the prayers. Dr. Roshan was called to certify her death. The news was instantly given to the Superior General at Maryhill and Provincial Superior Sister Carmel Rita at St. Ann’s. The latter immediately came along with Sister Rose Agnes to visit her remains and commend her soul into the hands of the Almighty and then proceeded to Maryhill to attend the Final Vows.

Her remains were kept in the mortuary of Father Muller Hospital after embalming. To enable the family members of Sister Maria Julia to attend the funeral from Goa and Mumbai, the funeral was fixed for 9 December 3 p.m. On the following day the mortal remains of dear Sister Maria Julia were brought to the Convent chapel at 12 noon.

Rt Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore visited the chapel around 12.40 p.m. and .prayed for a while round the mortal remains of dear Sister Maria Julia. At 3 p.m. the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Rev Fr. Alphonse Fernandes SJ from St. Aloysius College community whom Sister Maria Julia used to claim as her spiritual friend, with ten other priests. A touching homily was preached by Rev. Fr. Amith S.J. The Chapel was filled with many people - our sisters, sisters of other congregations, her family members, AC Associates, Staff members, neighbours, parishioners. Rev Father Valerian D’Souza the Parish Priest was there throughout the service and took leadership to conduct the funeral service and burial service. The eulogy was prepared and read By Sister Letitia. Sister Maria Julia was very specially blessed to have Sister Susheela our Superior General to attend the funeral.

After the services in the chapel the funeral cortege wended its way to the Milagres cemeteryall present followed in buses and vehicles with motorcade. The mortal remains of our dear Sister were laid to rest in the Parish Cemetery.

The Superior and community are grateful to the Rector and community St. Aloysius College for their daily spiritual ministry of celebrating Mass for the community in the morning. Sister Maria Julia had the blessing of participating in the Eucharist. And considered to receive the ‘sign of peace’ directly from the celebrant daily as receiving peace from Jesus Himself! Gratitude was conveyed to the main celebrant Father Alphonse Fernandes and to Father Amith for the meaningful homily. Father Valerian D’Souza’s supportive presence all through the celebration till the final journey to the cemetery and burial service was greatly commended. The presence of Superior General Sister Susheela, Generalate members Sister Joselin, Sister Vimala Paul along with the Bursar General Sister Maria Pavitha, Provincial Superior Sister Carmel Rita and her Team, all the AC Sisters, The family members of Sister Maria Julia from Goa and Mumbai, the Staff, AC Associates, the neighbours and all the rest was graciously appreciated. The faithful and loving care taken by Calista was gratefully remembered. The Doctors, especially Dr. Roshan and Staff members of Fr Muller Hospital were thanked for their devoted service.

May Sister Maria Julia’s soul rest in peace and may she intercede for the Apostolic Carmel, especially the Superior and Community of St. Mary’s Marjil


Date of birth :             02.07.1935
Entered Postulancy : 15.04.1958
First Profession :       19.04.1960
Final Profession :       24.07.1965
Date of Decease :     08.12.2018
Date of Burial :          09.12.2018
Place of Burial :        Our Lady of Miracles Church Cemetery, Milagres Mangalore

A tribute of love from Superior and Community, St. Mary’s Convent Marjil

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