Bangladesh mourns 'inspirational' mother of 6 priests and nuns

In 2016, Josephine Corraya received a national award for her humility and educating her family against the odds
Bangladesh mourns 'inspirational' mother of 6 priests and nuns

Josephine Corraya, 82, a prominent Catholic mother in Bangladesh at a Church-run clinic in  Gazipur district on May 5. (Photo by Sumon Corraya)

November 13, 2017
A Bangladeshi Catholic who won a prestigious national award for her humble and dedicated life of service passed away Nov. 9. She was 82.

Josephine Corraya died in a Dhaka hospital where she was treated for various ailments, including a stroke she suffered on Oct. 28.

In 2016, Corraya received the Ratnagarva Maa (mothers of outstanding personalities), a prestigious national award initiated to honour successful mothers across the country, thanks to her extraordinary life of service through educating her sons and daughters. Of her 10 children, three are priests and three are nuns.

Her eldest son Father Theotonius P. Rebeiro is a canon law professor at Holy Spirit Major Seminary and chancellor of Dhaka Archdiocese, his sibling Father Leonard C. Rebeiro is a parish priest in Chittagong Archdiocese and the youngest son, Father Augustine Bulbul Rebeiro is the Director of the Catholic bishops' communication center.

"Josephine Corraya sacrificed her whole life for the church and society. Through her life of prayer and service she has inspired many people in society," Father Kamal Corraya (not related), from Dhaka Archdiocese told

"She is a great inspiration for mothers … the Church and society need more women like her," he said.

Corraya was married at the age of 15 although she wanted to become nun. Her husband was a poor farmer who died in 1983 when their youngest child was seven years old. Her life was a long struggle to educate her children and see that they fulfill their religious vocations. 

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