Anne Marie Thayilchirayil, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

April 7, 2022

Anne Marie Thayilchirayil, SCN, died on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. in Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna. She was 84 years old and in her 62nd year of religious life.

Anne Marie was born on Feb. 7, 1938, to Mr. PJ Joseph and Mariamma Cherian at Pazhayangady, Changanacherry Diocese, Kerala. She was the third child of eight children. As a child, she was known as Annamma. 

From a very young age onwards Annamma had a great desire to become a missionary. After passing the matriculation examination, she decided to join a missionary congregation. She was interviewed by SCNs Lawrencetta and Eugenia Muething at St. Thomas Hospital, Chethipuzha, and was selected to the SCN Congregation. On Jan. 9, 1957, she started her missionary journey along with eighteen other girls who were heading for Mokama for their nursing studies.

She did her candidacy in Gaya from 1957 to 1958.

Sister Anne Marie entered the postulancy on Jan. 6, 1958, followed by two years of novitiate under the wise guidance of Sister Lawrencetta. She made her first vows on Dec. 21, 1960. From January to June, she was assigned to Nazareth Academy before she went to Patna Women’s College for her pre-university studies. She received her Bachelor of Science at Nazareth College, Kentucky, from May 1962 to May 1965. She made her Perpetual Vows in St. Vincent Church, Kentucky, on Dec. 21, 1965.

From June 1965 to April 1967, she studied for her M.Ed. at Spalding College, Louisville. From June 1967 to January 1968 she was assigned as a teacher at Nazareth Academy, Gaya. 

She served as Superior/Administration at Nazareth Convent Mokama from January 1968 to May 1970. From June 1970 to May 1978 she was assigned as principal at Nazareth Academy, Gaya, becoming the first Indian SCN principal when Sister James Leo Goldsborough retired from the post.

From August 1978 to March 1979 she attended a pastoral ministry course at the Pastoral Orientation Centre, Cochin. 

In 1979, along with Sisters Jean Kulangara and Joel Urumpil, Sister Anne Marie was chosen to serve in Nepal, the first foreign mission of the India Province.Prior to beginning their ministry, they attended a six-month Nepali language course in Kathmandu. During the language study, she discerned her future ministry and opted to work among the illiterate women and children of rural Nepal, which was the need of the time. From Nov. 1979 to January 1983 she did social service in Godavari and from February 1983 to January 1985 in Illam. From January 1985 to May 1986 Sister Anne Marie served as faith formation coordinator in Kathmandu. She returned to India in 1986, was appointed as the director of temporary professed and stayed in Gomoh from May 1986 to November 1987. She traveled extensively throughout India and Nepal, wherever the young Sisters were studying or missioned during this period. 

She served as the acting principal of Nazareth Academy, Gaya, for a year from November 1987 to August 1988 and then continued her ministry as she director of temporary professed from June 1989 to May 1992. From June 1992 to May 1994 Sister Anne Marie was appointed a second time as the administrator of Nazareth Convent, Mokama. Besides her administrative duties, she taught English to the pre-novices and novices. From June 1994 to April 1997 she was appointed as the principal of Nazareth Academy, Gaya and then served as the director of Najyoti School, Kathmandu from 1997 to 2002. Sister Anne Marie joined the teaching faculty in the formation from 2002 to 2007. From 2007 onwards, she was working as director of NOSA (Nazareth Old Students’ Association) and resided at Nazareth Academy, Gaya. She also served as the community coordinator and director of the outreach program for women and was an active member in the parish. 

She was fortunate to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in December 2019 along with her novitiate companion Sister Anne George. With her language and writing skills in English, she contributed a lot to the Marie Menard Committee. She was a committed educationalist. 

Sister Anne Marie was very jovial and outgoing. She loved being with Sisters and people. Her approachable nature, care, and concern attracted everyone to her and they loved her company. She was a valiant, wise woman, friend, and mentor to many. She experienced fulfillment in community life wherever she worked. 

She is survived by her three sisters, Elimma Varghese, Lillykutty Jose, Ansamma Thomas, and two brothers T.J. Antony and T J Chacko, and the SCN Community.

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