Vandana Mataji dies
Sister Vandana is among the leaders of Indian Ashram movement that began inspired by the renewal prompted by Second Vatican Council.
Posted on February 26, 2013, 5:18 PM
Vandana Mataji, a Catholic nun who pioneered Christian Ashram movement in India, died in Pune on Monday following age related illness. She was 92.
The funeral of the nun, a member of Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus congregation, was held on Feb. 26.
Inspired by the Second Vatican Council, she lived and worked in the Hindu temple town of Rishikesh for many years as an example of evangelization envisaged by the Council.
She was brought to Pune for medical care in 2004 from the Jeveen Dhara Ashram or life flowing monastery that she founded in the late 1970s in the foothills of the Himalayas.
She has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was bedridden for many years. Her last years were spent in Pune, as old age took away many of her abilities of bodily control.
Sister Vandana, whom Hindus affectionately called Mataji (mother) wrote several Hindi hymns.
The nun was born a Zoroastrian and became a Catholic at the age of 20 while studying at Sophia College, Mumbai, run by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus congregation. She later became the congregation’s provincial in India.
Sister Vandana is among the leaders of Indian Ashram movement that began in the 1970s inspired by the renewal prompted by Second Vatican Council.
Sister Vandana is hailed as an ardent promoter of Indian culture and spirituality in the Church.