Bridget Sequeira

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Bridget Sequeira
Born 12 December 1905
Abu Sher, Iran
Died 1 July 1987
Karachi
Nationality Indian
Citizenship Pakistani
Occupation Religious sister
Known for Founder, Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King
Board member of Karachi Municipal Council
Parent(s) Joao Felipe Sequeira and Matilda de Melo

Mother Bridget Sequeira, F.M.C.K., was a Franciscan Religious Sister who founded the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King, a missionary religious congregation for women, in Karachi, Pakistan. It is the only Catholic religious institute for women to have been founded for women in that nation. It is currently headquartered in Goa, India.

Early life[edit]

Sequeira was born in Bushehr, Persia, on 12 December 1905. Her parents were Joao Felipe Sequeira and Matilda de Melo from the Sonarbhatt section of Saligao, in the District of North Goa, then part of Portuguese India, now part of the Republic of India.[1]

In 1913 she was sent to Karachi, then still part of the British Raj, where she studied at St Joseph's Convent School and passed the Senior Cambridge examination in 1921. She then joined the staff of St Joseph’s School. She later passed the Secondary Teachers' Certificate Examination and went on to a teaching job at St Joseph's Convent School in the same city.[1]

Religious life[edit]

In 1937 she founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King in Karachi. The congregation has grown and spread through various parts of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.[2] In 1939 Sequeira was also elected as a member of the Municipal Council by the people of Karachi.[1]

In 1946 Sequeira sailed to her ancestral city of Saligao, accompanied by three Sisters of her congregation, landing in Goa on 13 May. They arrived at the house in Cotula where her aunt, Etelvina de Melo, operated St. Mary's Girls School, which had been founded in 1900 by Joshino Sequeira as the first English school for girls in Goa. Mother Bridget then took control of the school from her aunt.[3] With this the Franciscan Missionaries became established in India.

Later the Sisters would build their own modern structure on a hill in Donvaddo in Saligao, called the Lourdes Convent High School. It was built in three stages and finally completed in 1968.[4]

On 1 July 1987 Mother Bridget died in the novitiate house in the Malir Town sector of Metropolitan Karachi.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The congregation has constructed schools, orphanages, and hospitals, as well as homes for the aged and disabled.[5] During their 10th General Chapter held in 2005, the Sisters decided to move the motherhouse from Karachi to Old Goa and to divide the administration of the congregation into two provinces: the Province of St Francis of Assisi in Pakistan and St Clare's Province in India, as well as three Regions, which are expected to develop into full provinces.[6]

To date this is the only Roman Catholic religious institute originating in Pakistan, actually predating the better known Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, in 1950.

In 2010 there were 61 sisters in Pakistan, still working in their various institutions and ministries.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sister Ursula, F.M.C.K. Foot Prints on the Sands of Time. Lourdes Convent, Saligao, North Goa, India
  2. ^ a b "Franciscan Sisters elect new Superior General". The Navhind Times. 17 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Mascarenhas, Nascimento, The Rev. "Historical view of education and schools in Saligao: St. Mary's Girls' School". Saligao Serenade. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Mascarenhas, Nascimento, The Rev. "Cotula Walk – III". Saligao Serenade. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "UCANews.com August 10, 2007". [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Something about the FMCK". osdir.com. 30 December 2005. Retrieved 15 December 2012.