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New Apostolic Society of nuns launched in Goa

Former Society of Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier started life helping priests serve village women

New Apostolic Society of nuns launched in Goa

Archbishop Reverend Filipe Neri Ferrao during a religious service in Goa, in this file photo. (Photo by Sebastian D'souza/AFP)

May 19, 2017

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A group of nuns based in India’s southwestern Goa state, who began missionary work decades ago as the Society of Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, has been canonically elevated to a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right.

Named the Missionary Sisters of Our lady of Pilar, the official elevation of the community of 50 local nuns was solemnized by Archbishop Fellip Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman May 13.

The community was formed in 1988 in an effort to help meet the challenges Pilar priests — a local congregation of priests — faced in their mission and in tribal areas of India.

Sister Nina Lopes, councilor of the congregation, said they started helping priests serve village women in the missions.

Sister Isabel D’Souza, the first superior of the congregation said they are "grateful to God for this day. It’s a happy moment. It will boost our commitment to the missions."

During the ceremony, Archbishop Ferrao called on the nuns to "serve with love, humility and a smiling face."

Societies of Apostolic Life are similar to Institutes of Consecrated Life. They live a community life and pursue an apostolic purpose but without taking public religious vows.


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