Religious Name :

Sister Mary Teresa of Avila of Jesus 

Maiden Name :  Celine Cecilia Monteiro 
Religious No :  1274 
Native Place :  Kadri 
Parish :  Church of St. Francis Xavier, Bejai 
Diocese :  Mangalore Diocese 
State :  Karnataka 
Date of Birth :  18.03.1938
Date of First Profession : 10.01.1963
Date of Perpetual Profession : 17.05.1968 
Date of Decease : 18-04-2021


Obituary of Sr. Mary Teresa of Avila of Jesus
Institute No. 1274

“My soul finds rest in God alone:
My salvation comes from Him” - Ps 62:1

The bride who was in constant pursuit of her Beloved finally met Him in the early hours of Sunday, 18 April 2021 at 7.00 a.m., winged her flight from time to eternity, to be united with the dear departed parents, the dear ones and a host of ACs who have gone before her.

Sister Mary Teresa of Avila of Jesus, nee Celine Cecilia Monteiro saw the light of day on 18 March 1938 as the youngest among three children of late Antony L. Monteiro and late Letitia Alvares. Being the youngest child she was loved very much by all. She was baptized on 27 March at St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai, Mangalore. Her two older siblings left this earth at early teenage years and she became the only surviving child and her parents prized her very much and accompanied her every moment of the day and provided protection. Her life began at the portals of St Agnes High School as a tiny tot when she was enrolled to study for eleven fruitful years up to 1959.

Soon after the completion of her SSLC she heeded the call to renounce the world to dedicate her life to God and His people. She joined the Apostolic Carmel family on 15 June 1960. While she made her first commitment on 10 January 1963, she pronounced her total commitment on 17 May 1968, both at Presentation Convent Maryhill.
Though an only child after her two brothers went to God at an early age, her parents made a great sacrifice of offering her to the Lord in His service. However, her father was anxious that his daughter should be closer home so he could visit her often. So much so late Mother Theodosia, the Superior General used to say that when it was time for transfers, he used to come to Maryhill, the headquarters of the Congregation then, to find out if his daughter had a transfer. Even after the death of her parents she became the darling of her cousins Joe, Dolphy and Alphie. She was even given the special privilege by her cousin Joe to have a home visit holiday with the family in the USA in 1998.

Soon after her first profession Sr Teresa attended the Needle Craft Training Course at St Agnes Youth Occupation Centre and then completed her TCH at St Ann’s Training Institute, Mangalore in 1965. Equipped with academic and technical qualifications she began her service in the vineyard of the Lord.

Her service during her long life as an Apostolic Carmel Sister began at Annunciation Convent, Ladyhiil as Assistant Minister, and the Needle Craft teacher in school, then at Maryhill, St. Joseph’s, Mysore, St. Ann’s and Lourdes Convent, Bangalore for short periods of time. After she completed her TCH she was a teacher at Infant Jesus School, Maryhill, St. Agnes Primary School, St. Joseph’s, Kundapura, Stella Maris School, Kotekar, and later was the Headmistress at St. Agnes and Annunciation Kannada Primary Schools till she retired from teaching. She served in the convents as bursar, infirmarian, diarist, minister, sacristan, orphanage mistress and in charge of the farm. She was transferred from Yesu Prem Niketan to our community at St. Agnes Convent in 2013 where she could avail of the facility of daily mass in the convent.
Her mischievous nature was evident right from the start, even from her candidature days at St. Agnes Hostel where the candidates were housed as trial boarders. As a sister known for her sense of humour, witty answers and mischievous pranks, she chased away every gloom when she was in company. She was more bubbly and mischievous during her younger days at St. Agnes where she had the company of a few batch mates, for instance, on the festival of Shivaratri, some things would be misplaced to the annoyance of those who were the target. When it was 10 years after their first profession, along with a few batch mates she led the group to make some celebrative noises with tin containers and they termed it as their Tin Jubilee Celebration, when such celebration was not at all in vogue. The community recreations till her last days would witness her wit and the songs of yesteryears bringing back the memory of her youthfulness.

As the orphanage mistress of Bal Graha she was known for her special love for the children. She would cater to all their needs, instill love for prayer in them as she collected and distributed holy pictures for them. She was very meticulous and orderly, hence, she would be dissatisfied until all things tidy and in their right place. Sr Teresa gave her whole hearted service, be it as headmistress, sacristan, infirmarian, diarist or even as the bursar. During her declining years as a member of our community, even when she developed the disability of walking with ease due to her right lower limb cellulitis and osteomyelitis of the toe, she took great delight to sit at the convent parlour as a receptionist and attracted many children passing by towards her with a smile. She would talk to every person who knocked at the convent door, bless every girl who came to talk to her, collect their phone numbers to pursue them as a vocation promoter.

Her love for the Eucharist was great. One could find lots of paper slips with short prayers and names for persons which she offered to God at the consecration. She would spend time praying the Rosary the whole day for various intentions. Being a part of the prayer and suffering force of the community she faithfully brought to mind the people listed in papers.

Afflicted by an ischemic heart, she had the first cardiac attack in the year 2000 and a second one in 2018 and went through the procedure of the angiogram. Ever since, she took to the wheelchair to attend all the community exercises. Though she had a weak heart, osteophytes, diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis, her love and concern for the sisters was so great that it showed through her cheerful countenance and witty quips and actions. She would enquire about the mission and concerns of each sister and assured them of her prayers with the words “I am praying for you and all your dear ones and students. May Jesus bless you”. She would promptly make a note of their names and needs and include them in the list for whom she would pray daily.

For the last fortnight of her life on earth, the intake of solid food became difficult therefore she was strengthened with porridge and other liquid foods. She was wheeled to the chapel for prayer as well as all the community exercises which she wanted to attend at any cost. During the last days she persisted in asking to keep her closer to the altar to be united with Jesus. During the last ten days of her life she was totally bed-ridden and breathing was laborious and later she ceased speaking. She was given the intravenous drips with which she regained some strength and started recognizing the sisters with a sweet smile but it was short lived. Her relatives, mainly, her dear Cousins, Alfie D’Souza here in Mangalore and her two cousins, Joe and Dolphy in the USA were informed, who kept enquiring after her. Sisters took turns to stay with her at night as her condition became precarious. On the last night two sisters stayed with her strengthening her with prayers and hymns. On 18 April, the last day of her life, while most of the sisters were attending the Sunday Mass at the Parish and a few, the online Mass, Sr. Lydia sat with her strengthening her with prayers. She was privileged to breathe her last peacefully in the presence of our dear Superior, Sr Lydia, who accompanied her in her last moments of this earthly journey with prayer and hymns and offered her to the Lord in the name of our community.

With the passing away of our dear Sister we have one more intercessor in heaven. She leaves behind footprints with the spirit of joy, other centeredness and gratitude for the least service rendered to her. We pray for the grace to emulate her life of simplicity, guilelessness and childlike prayer attitude especially during these anxious days of the Covid Pandemic.

We extend our thanks to Dr. Alphonsa Mary Job who certified Sr Teresa’s death and the nurse Vidya for assisting our Sister during her last days of ill health and helplessness. The community gave her a strong support of prayer and assisted in all her needs specially, Sr Agatha Mary, her batch mate who showed special concern for her spiritual as well as physical needs by being at her side most of the time. Our maid, Tapaswini took great care of our Sr Teresa and did much hoping she would get back on her feet.

The mortal remains of our dear sister were taken in procession from her room, singing hymns, to the Convent Chapel and she was laid out in the Chapel. We stayed with her in the presence of the Lord praying for her. The funeral service was held the same day at 4.30 p.m. with Fr. Maxim Noronha, Vicar General as the main celebrant. Several sisters from our convents visited her remains and many were present and a couple of her relatives too were with her at her final journey. After the Funeral Mass she was interred in the convent cemetery.

Our sincere thanks to Fr Maxim Noronha, Vicar General who administered the Sacrament of the sick a week prior to her going home and again for celebrating the Eucharist of her last journey on earth and Fr. Alwyn Serrao, Principal, Padua College for his inspiring homily. We are grateful to our Provincial Superior, Sr Shamitha who not only visited her during the last days but also came over immediately after her demise to pay respects to the mortal remains of our Sister and to support and assist us.
We express our gratitude to Sr. Maria Nirmalini, our Superior General who made it a point to visit her with words of comfort when she came over for the Centenary Celebrations of the College. Thanks to Fr. Vincent Monteiro, our Parish Priest and to Fr. Nelson Peris and Ashwin Crasta, Assistant Parish priests who visited her mortal remains and prayed for her. In spite of the distressing days of the Covid pandemic, we saw several sisters being present for the funeral service of our dear Sister Teresa. May she intercede for each one of us from her heavenly abode.

Dear Sister Teresa, we cherish memories of you not only as we pass by your room, now vacant but also the moments of your cheerful conversations and loving concern for each sister. You have gone to a place you always wanted to go, the eternal house of your spouse even during your helpless days, with your plea, ‘take me to the Chapel’. Till we meet in that heavenly abode do intercede for us that the Apostolic Carmel you loved and cherished be blessed with many fervent vocations.

A loving tribute from all of us, your sisters at St. Agnes Convent

Bio Data
Name in Religion: Sister Mary Teresa of Avila of Jesus
Maiden Name: Celine Cecilia Monteiro
Institute No.: 1274
Date of Birth: 18.03.1938
Date of entrance to Postulancy: 25.06.1960
Date of First Profession: 10.01.1963
Date of Final Profession: 17.05.1968
Date of Decease: 18.04.2021
Date of Burial: 18.04.2021
Place of Burial: St. Agnes Convent Cemetery, Mangaluru

Home | About | Sitemap| Contact

Copyright ©2017 Powered by eCreators

Contact Us

AC Provincial House
St. Ann's Convent

Phone: 0824 -2425286, 2441084