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Pakistan’s Catholic nun celebrates 50 years of service

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Sister Rita Fazal Din of the Convent of Jesus and Mary celebrated her 50 years as a dedicated nun in Pakistan on Friday. Filled with spiritual blessings, the 78 year old nun told city news that she loved being an educationist for more than five decades as it was a spiritual journey serving humanity.

She was sent to a small village of Mariakhel in Mianwali district, Rawalpindi diocese, for a short period of time, something she may never forget as it was her first ever experience to live in a rural setting. “I served the poors with dedication and accepted it as the will of God,” Sister Rita said.

In 1966, Sr. Rita, one of her eight siblings, chose this life against the will of her parents and other family members, who would always think that she would eventually return during the formation period of becoming a nun.

Sister’s Ritha’s father Fazal Din, an army man, died when she was only 9 years old. Her mother, a housewife, raised her eight children depending only on her husband’s pension and trusting God. My mother, she recalls, was very strict and made no compromise on education of all of us brothers and sisters. In 1970,

she got her first appointment as a teacher at the age of 27 and then went on to teach in Lahore, Mariakhel, Shadbad, Karachi, Murree, and other cities of Pakistan over the next five decades. The nun never forgets her experience of studying in Sri Lanka and Rome and even spending a Holy Week in Holy Land, which raised her spiritually with more love of God and for serving humanity. “I am thankful to my provincial and superiors for their support and encouragement over the years,” she said.

In 1996, she was appointed the principal of Catholic Fatima School. When she was asked to become superior of her congregation, she initially showed reluctance but accepted it later considering that God has a new plan. “God never ever leaves you even in your difficulties. God gave me strength and wanted me to be here even though I had to face many difficulties.

Wherever I worked or stayed I lived my life with full devotion and gave my hundred percent.” In her message, she advised young sisters to keep Jesus in their thoughts and live their life for others, serve you elder and obey your superior sisters as it is the will of God.

“I was a very strict teacher but after school whenever I met my students or their parents I was one among them as their sister. God keeps me young and it’s because of the love of God and of my community .”

Photo: Sister Rita celebrates her 5oth anniversary as Catholic nun at Mariakhel Covent in a simple ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions. Photo supplied.

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