Religious Name :

Sister Mary Noelle of Jesus

Maiden Name :  Winnifred Marie Grace Pinto
Religious No :  726
Native Place :  Mangalore
Parish :  St. Sebastian's Church, Bendore
Diocese :  Mangalore Diocese
State :  Karnataka
Date of Birth :  18.11.1928
Date of First Profession : 24.05.1948
Date of Perpetual Profession : 20.05.1954
Status : ……………..
RIP 01-07-2018



Institute No.726

‘My soul O God doth thirst for Thee
For Thee the source of every grace
O when shall I Thy beauty see?
When shall I see Thee face to face?’

With this longing and yearning, Sister Noelle was all ready with her lamp trimmed and burning, awaiting for the Bridegroom who came on Sunday July 1, at 8.15 p.m. Sister Noelle entered heaven led by the Bridegroom to celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb.

Sister Mary Noelle A.C. was the first born child among the three children gifted to her parents Late Felix Mathew Pinto and Lily Marceline Peres of Mercara Hill, Bendore, Mangaluru. She was born on November 18, 1928 and was christened Winnifred Marie Grace Pinto. Having been born and brought up in the shade of St. Sebastian’s Church, Bendore and St. Agnes Convent in the vicinity, she grew up as a child of predilection freely moving between the home, Parish Church and St. Agnes campus. The second child was Celine later married to Gilbert Pinto and the third child was Noel John who married Nancy and moved to the UK. Winnie was gifted with exquisite intelligence and amassed wide knowledge in all the subjects - science, humanities, spiritual and philosophical and was gifted with a special talent to grasp each topic with depth and ease. She has glorified God to this day by using her faculty of heart, mind and spirit to the fullest extent and has also enriched the entire Congregation and individuals through her rich contribution and sharing.

As a young girl Winnie was drawn to a closer intimacy with Jesus and heard the voice, “I want you in Carmel”. After her Schooling and Intermediate studies at St. Agnes School and College, she joined the Apostolic Carmel at St. Ann’s our Mother House and made her First Profession on 24th May 1948 and was given the name Sister M. Noelle of Jesus.

Sister Noelle along with Sister Mariella continued their B.Sc. studies at St. Aloysius College. Then, on completing her Physics at Patna University she joined St. Agnes College and was appointed the Head of the Faculty of Science and it was under her leadership and initiative that the Science Department was established and built up with the courses of study in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. With her retentive and fertile mind and vision she really gave a lift to the Faculty of Science and was a pillar of strength in every respect both academically and administratively. Later she was appointed Principal of the College. In 1971 she left St. Agnes College and joined the Manchester University UK, to pursue Higher Studies in Laser Physics. When she returned qualified, to enrich the College and the Department of Physics, God had a different plan for her. She waited to know and discern His plan and pursued the field of Spirituality, specialized in Manila, Philippines and completely turned her direction inward to her Indwelling God and outward to point out the path of Prayer and Spirituality. She spent the rest of the time as Master of Prayer and guiding retreats at the Spirituality Centre, Maria Kripa Maryhill.

From here the Lord chose her as the Provincial Superior of Karnataka Province in1980 for three years during which she was responsible for the renovation of Bishop Michael Antony’s Centre at St. Ann’s and sheltered an old lady in her hour of need. In 1984 she was elected to the General Administration as General Councillor and served the Congregation in this capacity till 1996. While she was there, she built up the Apostolic Carmel Archives and was involved in building up the Spirituality and History of the Apostolic Carmel. She co-authored the book ‘The First 40 years’ and published the Biography of Mother Aloysia written by the late Sister Xavier A.C. after 50 years of the passing away of Mother Aloysia. Both these books were published by the Generalate ‘neath the leadership of Sister Noelle.

We praise and thank God for the work she continued and recently in the month of April 2018 she completed her final book which was published by the Superior General, titled ‘A collection of 100 Stories’. This book is a testimony to the gift of a retentive and fertile mind dear Sister Noelle possessed and used this power to glorify God and to enrich others, especially our Institute. By this her work she has paid a tribute to the Apostolic Carmel, our Mother, whose worthy daughter she lived and died.

Sister Noelle returned to the Province in 1996. Our Mother House, St. Ann’s Convent and Community was the richer for having her as its Community member who by her presence and contribution has kept the Charism and spirit of our Congregation alive and growing, in union with the Church, helping us to move with the signs of the times and in keeping with her teaching, especially responding to the prophetic call of our beloved Pope, Pope Francis.

A special mention is in place about the close bond that existed between Sister Noelle and her family members. She kept alive all the family bonds which she relished as a child and a young girl and by her contacts kept the family together in love and grace. Her mother who passed away first and her beloved brother Noel next and last of all her only sister Celine, brought her still more close to the children and, they have to this day kept this bond alive and growing by their regular visits to her and acquainting her with every event and situation among the family members. She was to them a pillar of strength. They looked up to her incessantly and received her loving, caring and supportive response at every turn, especially the power of her loving prayers for their well being.

Sister Noelle was happy to help any sister, her own Superiors and the Heads of Institutions of the Campus and every sister of her community who sought her guidance and help. She was a great inspiration and point of reference to every Provincial Superior of the Province of Karnataka. She had a photographic memory – a remarkable ability to remember information, stories, events and past history in minute detail. Those who attended her talks on Indian Spirituality, AC Spirituality, Scripture, etc. would be wonderstruck at her capacity to deliver the matter with such precision – like a stream flowing out from its source calmly and peacefully – without using a book or a paper with some points jotted down. Her knowledge of the rubrics in Liturgy was like a Ready Reckoner for the Community. The sisters could approach her at any time to check when they were in doubt regarding the celebration of the Eucharist or praying the Divine Office. The Spirituality Centre at Maryhill remains ever grateful for the guidance and support received from her each time she was requested.

Sister Noelle was an unassuming sister filled with the wisdom of the Spirit and always gentle in her speech. She lived her community life fervently to the very end. As long as her feeble health and limited energy sustained her, she went to the Chapel for all spiritual exercises and to the community room for other meetings and recreation. Every morning and evening at the end of the Prayer of the Church she would add her prayer intention for small and big events pertaining to the Church, the Congregation, her Province, her community and the world at large. Orderliness and neatness which she practised gave her a measure of peace of mind and security because she knew where everything was placed. Every Sunday recreation would end with an interesting story or an incident read from either a Magazine or the Newspaper. Community Days and other grand occasions would end up with hilarious laughter when dear Sister Noelle would take part in any of the skits presented by her group- dressed up to suit the part given to her. She is our model and inspiration who lived a life of holiness, humility, integrity, faithfulness, religious obedience, faith and sisterly love.

The community celebrated her Platinum Jubilee of Religious Life on 8th April 2018. She was very happy at this celebration. Ever since then Sister Noelle’s health started deteriorating and needed constant hospitalization for chest congestion and weakness. Her Superiors Sister Shalini, Sister Edna Furtado and at present Sister Maria Kripa have bestowed their attentive and loving care organizing all help through the sisters of the community and the aides specially our Sisters Maria Sheila, Glani D’Souza and the domestic helpers, Lucy and Tapaswini. During her last days Sister Noelle’s only desire was to go to God. She was well prepared to meet Jesus. When she missed her ring on the finger (it had been removed because her fingers had become very thin and it used to slip out often), she reminded the Sister Infirmarian and said, “How can I go to Jesus without my ring?” She was eagerly waiting to GO HOME and behold her Saviour face to face. She was really blessed to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Holy Communion and the Sacrament of the Anointing.

On 26th June Sister Noelle was again admitted to Fr. Muller Medical College Hospital. After two days she showed some improvement. On Sunday, July 1st she had slight temperature and towards late evening she fixed her gaze at a particular point which she would not shift. Jesus her Lord and Master came knocking at her door. Thus gazing at Him she surrendered her spirit gently and peacefully into the bosom of the Heavenly Father at 8.15 p.m. Her close family members were at her side praying and interceding for her. When news came that Sister Noelle was very low Sister Maria Kripa, the Superior and four other Sisters reached the hospital immediately to pray by her side and offer her soul to God. To enable the relatives of Sister Noelle to attend the funeral, it was fixed for Tuesday, July 3rd.

The Sisters of the Provincial House and St. Ann’s community and her dear nieces and nephews were there to receive Sister Noelle’s mortal remains and to pray by her side on July 3, 2018. The Eucharist was celebrated at 3.30 p.m. by Rev Fr J B Crasta, the Parish Priest along with other Priests. Rev. Fr. Alwyn Serrao, the Principal of Padua Degree College preached the homily. The Chapel was filled to capacity by our Sisters, the Sisters of other Congregation, Novices, Tertians and her relatives, former students and Staff Members.

We express our gratitude to dear Sister Mabilia, the General Councillor who represented the Superior General & her Team; as also to Sister Joselin the Tertian Directress who attended the funeral with the Tertians; the Sisters who came all the way from Kerala and to Sister Edna Furtado the former Superior of St. Ann’s Community.

Dear Sister Noelle, our words are inadequate to express all that we want to. We love and cherish the beautiful memories of your dedicated and committed life spent with us. Now that you share the company of your beloved parents and siblings together with the Angels and Saints, our Mother of Carmel, Venerable Mother Veronica and all the Sisters who have gone before us, do intercede for us, the Sisters of your Community, the Congregation, the Church and your loved ones. May the vacant place left by your demise be filled by many generous vocations to the Apostolic Carmel.

Adieu, dear Sr. Noelle, till we all meet on the heavenly shore!

A tribute of love and gratitude from Sister Carmel Rita, the Provincial Superior, Sisters of the Provincial House, Sister Maria Kripa and the Sisters of St Ann’s Convent.


Name in Religion: Sister M. Noelle of Jesus
Institute No. : 726
Date of Birth: 18.11.1928
Date of Entrance into Postulancy: 15.07.1946
Date of First Profession: 24.05.1948
Date of Final Profession: 20.05.1954
Date of Decease: 01.07.2018
Date of Burial: 03.07.2018
Place of Burial: St. Ann’s Convent Cemetery.

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