Sisters of Charity Federation Archives

Blanche Correia, SCN Oral History

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Blanche Correia.jpg

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Fear not I am with you; Isaiah 5:3
My life in this Congregation has been a long and rewarding
experience and I thank God for the Spiritual Journey with
my Sisters and all the people of God in my life.
As I recall my thirty-eight years as a professed Sister of
Charity of Nazareth I can only thank God for the wonders
God has done for me and through me. God was the centre of
my life. I have touched a good number of people’s lives in my
career as a teacher and principal in various schools. Living in
multicultural communities has been a blessing as well as a
challenge to know various cultures and appreciate them. The
formation directors, junior directors and the provincials have
helped me to grow to become the person I am today.
I, Sister Blanche Correia, come from a very devout family. My
father’s name was Mr. Francis Manuel Correia and my
mother’s name was Luzan Francis Correia. We were nine
children: three brothers and six sisters. My father worked for
Air India and my mother was a house wife. My parents had
only primary level education. My mother was a very religious
woman. On certain days, Sunday and Wednesday, Mass was
compulsory. We were expected to say the rosary daily. If we
failed to do so, we did not get our supper. My father died
when I was eight years old and my mother died when I was
sixteen years old. Both of our parents worked hard till their
death to take care of all of us. They made sure that we were

all given a proper education by which we would be able to
stand on our own feet.
I completed my Matriculation and Diploma in Education (D.
Ed.) and taught two years in Mumbai Church School before
entering the Sister of Charity of Nazareth.
My call to religious life came from my mother, priests in the
parish, attending vocation camps, convent education,
assisting nuns in the church on Saturdays and Sundays, etc.
Going to North India to join the Nazareth Sisters was a big
risk as I was the first one from Vasai to join them. I did not
receive any cooperation from my family except my
brother-in-law, Mr. Raphael Lopes. Most of my education
was in Church-run schools and college except Class I to IV
which was in government school.
When it came time to choose a Congregation, I attended
vocation camp and met two SCNs Teresita Theruvankunnel
and Mary Scaria Menonparampil at Gorai, Mumbai. They
both came wearing sari, not habits. The fact that the Sisters
wore the sari attracted me to join this order. I had no idea
where Bihar was and my family objected to my going. They
were happy with my decision to join the convent but wished I
would choose one that was not so far away as Bihar.
Initially I struggled a lot with homesickness but the presence
of my candidate director Sister Olive Pinto, along with Sisters
Shalini D’Souza and Margaret Rodericks I was able to handle

my homesickness. My eldest sister and her husband’s visit to
Mokama changed the attitude of my family. They were very
happy with the Sisters’ hospitality and the friendly
atmosphere in the convent.
Yes, I kept on missing my own culture, language, food habits
-especially fish, which we used to have daily at home - family
get-togethers every Sunday and many other family functions.
Novitiate life was not much fun with so many rules and
regulations. However, the disciplined and enthusiastic Novice
Mistress, Sister Shalini, made the novitiate life joyful. I was
happy with my group. We were four in our group and one
left as a postulant so we were only three to make first vows.
For the first vows, several of my family members visited
Mokama and joined the celebration. My first mission was in
Golmuri, Jamshedpurat. Sisters Teresa Madassery, Mary
Julianna Tuti (deceased) and Sarala Anithottathil were my
companions in the community.
Sister Sarala and I were assigned to Rahargoda School and
Sisters Teresa and Juliana worked for Catholic Relief Services
(CRS). I was committed and enthusiastic about my mission.
After the first mission in Rahargora, SCNs were asked to take
up Gyan Deep Vidylaya, Birsanagar. I was appointed as the
first SCN headmistress there. The then provincial, Sister
Margaret Rodericks, asked me to learn cycling. I did struggle
and learn. I used to go to Birsanagar daily on a cycle along
with the other SCN Premila Parackattu. Staying with Sisters

Teresa and Juliana Tuti was a joyful experience. I learnt a lot
from them. Here I also completed my IA, (Intermediate
studies) from Ranchi University as a private student.
I was appointed to Vasai, my own hometown, to work with
the youth there. I was very energetic and enthusiastic about
working with the youth and I gained a lot of confidence in
this ministry.
At that time, I was invited to go for final vow preparation.
After six months of spiritual preparation, I said, ‘YES’ to God
on May 4, 1985, and committed myself into the service of
God’s people. It was a very joyful and memorable day for me
and for my family.
Graduating from Mumbai’s prestigious St. Xavier’s College in
sociology was a proud moment for me. I was then sent to
Bihar, to a small village called Hilsa, Nalanda District for
another mission. As the Principal of Christ Jyoti School Hilsa, I
totally dedicated myself to this mission. Nazareth Pre-School
Gaya, gave me a lot of joy and satisfaction. Visiting and
counselling the women who were in a jail was another
painful experience. It was a God-given privilege for me to
have that sacred experience in Gaya Central Jail.
Going back to Birsanagar where I was a pioneer to take the
responsibility of Gyan Deep High School was a moment of
pride. Here I learnt to drive the scooter. God gave me an
opportunity to reach out to the rich and invite them to serve
the poor as St. Vincent did. The school flourished and many

students were admitted in the school. These students were
mainly the domestic workers’ children. I have many sweet
memories of this mission.
Recognizing my talents, the Provincial Leadership Team (PLT)
and Central Leadership Team (CLT) of that time invited me to
go for further studies at Spalding University in Kentucky in
the United States. I accepted the invitation and completed
my Master of Education in School Administration. I
considered myself fortunate as I walked on the holy ground
where our co-founder, Mother Catherine Spalding, and many
other great holy women walked. With gratitude and joy, I
cherish those years of mine spent in Nazareth, Kentucky. I am
grateful to the PLT and CLT who gave me this opportunity to
educate myself in School Administration. My special thanks
and gratitude goes to Sisters Mary Serra Goethals and Rose
Howard who assisted and accommodated me in their home
and community. As they were both educationists and
principals in the schools, I profited a lot intellectually. They
were my walking encyclopaedias.
I was happy to be back in India in December 2007. I was
assigned as the Principal of Nazareth Convent High School,
Vasai beginning June 1​st​ 2008. The responsibility was great,
especially working with my own people. I took up the
challenge and continued my service in the field of education
to the people of Vasai. As per the rule in the Maharasthra
education department, I officially retired on the 1​st​ of June

2014 and my service was extended up to September 30,
2014. I am grateful to God for accompanying me all those
years. This was a significant assignment and I struggled to
swim through. I knew there were some personalities who did
not like my way of functioning. So they instigated people
against me. Yes, the management wholeheartedly supported
me to clear the mess in the administration. This mission has
groomed and grilled me to take up any challenges in life and
fight for the truth.
I was appointed as the Principal of Nazareth School from the
1​st​ of January 2015, in Banakal, affiliated with CISCE New
Delhi (Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations). I
accepted it joyfully as CISCE accepted my appointment. To
date I am giving my service to the people of this Malnad area.
I am happy here except for my health. Due to allergy in the
air, heavy rain almost four to five months and uneven land
and staircases has disturbed my health. I am confident God
will continue to guide me in my journey.
Almost twenty-eight years in school administration has kept
my mind alert. I need to update myself constantly and
educate myself with what is happening in the world, India
etc. Being with the students has kept me very young and
energetic.
I lost my parents before I joined the SCNs and I lost two
brothers and a sister after I joined. I consider it a huge loss in

my life. I have not yet recovered from the death of my eldest
sister, who was like a mother to me.
Over the years, there have been many ups and downs,
misunderstandings, accusations, condemnations, and
criticisms but I took it as a part of my mission. In success and
failures I have experienced God at my side. God has
protected me, defended me, kept me safe under His wings.
Once I was caught up in a big flood and God saved me. I was
returning from my college and got down at Mumbai Central
station to go to the hostel. I just could not proceed due to
heavy rain. The water was above my waist, I could not go
further. Just then a gentleman appeared and held my hand
and took me to a safe place.
Surgeries of hysterectomy and spine brought me closer to
God.
I look forward to the future that God may continue to use me
for the service of God’s people. I draw strength and
nourishment through devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and
daily Eucharist.
My answer to any young women would be: it is worth
dedicating our life for the Kingdom of God, to spread the
Good News.

I Can Sing Mercies of the Lord Forever I will Sing ...

Dublin Core

Title

Blanche Correia, SCN Oral History

Subject

Correia, Blanche, SCN; Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Creator

SCN Archival Center

Source

SCN Archival Center

Date

7/9/1905

Rights

Permission for any type of publication of archival materials, including text, photographs, video, or audio must be secured from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Archival Center before publication. Contact archives staff for appropriate forms and contact information.

Format

PDF

Language

English

Identifier

MMC-BlancheCorreia

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Unknown

Interviewee

Blanche Correia, SCN

Location

United States

Citation

SCN Archival Center , “Blanche Correia, SCN Oral History,” Sisters of Charity Federation Archives, accessed June 25, 2024, https://scfederationarchives.org/items/show/103.

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