~ A compassionate heartbeat in the world ~

Sr Marlene Jude

My mom and dad! This picture was taken in Kolkata, India – where I was born in 1947. I guess this picture dates around 1957.

My dad was Protestant – and my mom VERY Catholic (Portuguese background). Anyway, I owe my faith to both my great parents! When I saw the movie MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING – I saw a lot of my mom and dad in it.

I was raised Catholic, (did you guess!) – and thanks to my good parents, received an excellent Catholic education in three Catholic Schools – Queen of the Missions, Loreto House, and my final year in St. Helen’s, Kurseong where I got to know the Daughters of the Cross – and contrary to expectations – mine and others – I got the ‘call’!!

My friends could not picture me in a convent – neither could my mom!! My mother held me back from joining after high school. I eventually joined in 1969, when I was 23 – after graduating from Calcutta University and spending a fun year in London with my elder sister, Muriel, and my Aunt Barton (my mom’s elder sister).

In St. Margaret’s Home, Kurseong. Sr. Damian told me, when I was 15, – ‘orphans need a double portion of love’. Somehow that got to me – and from then I thought I would like to be a Sister, and give the children in St. Margaret’s, a ‘double portion of love’. In the picture, I am a Novice – posing with a few children’ – though I was never given the opportunity to work directly in St. Margaret’s. My mother finally had to give in – and told me I could ‘try’ to live in the convent – and that she would not be surprised if I came back in a hurry! My dad told me – if this was God’s will for me, I would be happy – if not, I always had a home to come back to. My friends advised that I take the name of St. Jude – and so I got the name Sr. Marlene Jude!

St. Jude, the Patron of Hopeless Cases, definitely had to keep an eye, or even two, on me – but I look back at my 41 years of being a Daughter of the Cross – and I think – what a journey! How blessed I am! To God be the glory!

In St. Vincent’s Home, Calcutta – with my two nephews, Andrew and Sean, visiting from London. Andrew, (on my left) is now a Salesian priest in Chertsey. Something may have rubbed off!!! In India, my main ministry was education and administration.

I have tried to be as brief as possible – so there will be questions or comments – I can be reached by e-mail - srmarlene@sbcglobal.net

I pray that young women reading this, will have the grace to hear and follow God’s call too. That makes life so worthwhile!