News from the Communities of the Little sisters in India

Shusheela shares about her work

Susheela who has just retired from her work would like to share some thoughts:

‘I left recently the Community of Pirappancode (South India) where I have been since 1987. I was working in a leprosy eradication project managed by the Malankara Catholic Church. It has been a very enriching time in my life strengthening my growth at all levels. We were 18 'field’ workers. A field worker has to live in the area allotted to him/her for work. Each area may have a population of 80, 100 or even 150 thousands people so each time I was sent to a new area the community moved along with me! It was not always easy to find lodging close to a Church, market and access to transport, etc...; but we did manage. I can recall many touching experiences. For example, once when starting in a new area, the previous worker warned me strongly not to go in search of a certain patient, who no longer frequented the clinics. Knowing the gravity of terminating treatment in leprosy, I just could not ignore him. This staff member had bitter memories of trying to convince him to be regular in taking his medicine. With no other way than to trust in God and surrendering my brother into God's hands I set out, trying to locate his living place in a hilly area. Even his neighbours discouraged me from going to his house saying 'he will be very hard on you and may chase you away as he is very angry for having got that disease'. But, when I did meet him, I found him so docile and kind with me. I was amazed and could only believe in the work God had done! As a result of this transformation he came very regularly for 24 months and completed his full treatment. He told me: "Now I do not have to come any more to the clinic but you can come and should come to my house!" This experience taught me to never hesitate to call for God's help when I find myself in a hopeless situation. When I made my final commitment I had consecrated my life for people who suffer from leprosy. Now I am enjoying a sabbatical time and soon I will be joining the Community of Varanasi.'