In the remote village of Musunuru in the state of Andhra Pradesh, a beacon of hope shines bright.
Nestled among a predominantly Christian and Hindu population is Nazareth Preranalaya, a convent home for three Sisters who run the Preranalaya Social Development Center (PSDC). The name Preranalaya means “inspiration,” and that is exactly what this center provides to the young women and children of the community.
The Sisters’ faith in God is the driving force behind their mission to empower the young women and children of Musunuru. They believe it is their calling to serve the most vulnerable members of their community and to provide them with the tools they need to create better lives for themselves. They see their work that emanates from Nazareth Preranalaya as an extension of their religious beliefs and a way to put their faith into action.
Sister Sudha Rani Jonnalagadda is in charge of the PSDC and oversees a variety of community training programs, including computer classes, tailoring, and English courses. These skills-developing, college-accredited courses give students the tools they need to further their education and create stronger, more successful lives for themselves and their future families. The need in this area is strong, and the Sisters’ efforts are making a real difference in the lives of the young people they serve.
In addition to the training programs, Sister Lucy Puthukkatt runs a holistic treatment health clinic at the PSDC, where she creates oils and herbal treatments for natural body care. These are sought out by locals and taken into villages through the outreach programs of the center, providing much-needed health services to those who would otherwise have limited access. Sister Lucy, accompanied by an auxiliary nurse, visits villages to educate women on health and hygiene and assess their living conditions. With the nurse, she conducts basic health check-ups and offers guidance on pregnancies.
Sister Silbiya M is a dedicated and compassionate educator, who wears many hats in her community. Not only is she a teacher in the local parish school, but she also holds a vital role as the supervisor of the St. Vincent Girls Hostel. This hostel serves as a safe and nurturing home for young girls, who are able to live there while they attend school. Sister Silbiya M’s presence in the hostel is a constant source of care and support for the girls, and her dedication to their success is an inspiration to them all. She is a role model for the young minds she teaches, showing them that with hard work and determination, they can achieve their dreams. She is a true advocate for the education and well-being of these young girls, and her efforts are making a real difference in their lives.
Jyoti was just 13 years old when her older sister arranged for her to be married. She had dreamed of joining a religious congregation, but her family had other plans. The young man was an engineer on a railway line, and they believed it would provide a stable environment for her.
Jyoti’s life was far from stable. Her husband became an alcoholic, using all their income and family benefits to support his drinking habit. One night, during a domestic dispute, Jyoti was pushed from the terrace of their home. She was severely injured, and it was uncertain if she would ever walk again.
It was Sister Ann Moylan, of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who believed in Jyoti. She took her in and helped her begin the program at PSDC, a program for young women like Jyoti. With the support and encouragement of Sister Ann and the other Sisters, Jyoti began to recover. She excelled in the program, and eventually took up work at the center, excelling there as well.
Sadly, Jyoti’s husband never recovered from his demons. He died from his drinking, leaving Jyoti and their two daughters fatherless. But Jyoti refused to let the hardships of the past get her down. She moved away from Musunuru to enroll her daughters in the best schools. She built a new life, took new work in the city, and thrived at it. She was recently promoted, and she does not let the hardships of the past get her down.
What makes Jyoti emotional is the support shown to her by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. With her newfound success, it is her hope that her children will have a better life. She sees hope for the others who come to the Inspiration Center, and is grateful for the second chance she was given. Jyoti is a testament to the power of hope, and the kindness of strangers.
As the Sisters continue their mission to empower the young women and children of Mususnuru, they serve as a reminder to us all of the power of faith and compassion. Their work at the Preranalaya Social Development Center is not only changing the lives of those they serve, but also inspiring others to take action and make a difference in their own communities. They have shown that with a little bit of inspiration and a lot of hard work, it is possible to create real and meaningful change in the world. The sisters remind us that with faith, determination, and a willingness to serve, we can all make a difference and leave a lasting impact on the lives of those around us.
The Mission Continues
Today, Sisters continue providing a lifeline to the people of Musunuru. Their belief in the power of God to change lives is evident in all that they do. They approach their work with compassion, humility, and a deep sense of purpose. The Sisters also take time to pray and reflect every day, which gives them the strength and guidance to continue their mission. They see God’s hand in every success and every obstacle and are convinced that their faith is what sustains them and gives them the strength to carry on. They believe that their work is a way of giving thanks and glory to God, which is the ultimate source of their inspiration.
Through their tireless efforts at the Preranalaya Social Development Center, they are giving young women and children the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future for themselves and their families. They are truly an inspiration.
Find this story and more in The Journey Magazine. 2023, Vol. I