Sister Elizabeth Vadakekara is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and Associates who faithfully live our mission of healing presence today.
Born in Kerala, India, Sister Elizabeth Vadakekara entered the Medical Mission Sisters in 1965. She made her First Vows in 1968 and attended the Christian Medical College in Punjab. She chose to be a general practitioner, and served as a junior doctor at our Kurji Holy Family Hospital in Patna, and at our Holy Family Hospital in Mandar. “My interest has always been connected to community-based interventions,” she says.
Her first overseas mission was to Holy Family Hospital in Bongao, the Philippines, where she practiced as a physician for five years. “We were available 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year,” she recalls. “Interaction with the tribal people energized me, and sustained my commitment to be for the people without counting the cost.”
When Sister Elizabeth returned to India, her focus was on developing community health programs in different villages with a vision of self-supported programs for the people and by the people. To help with this ministry she earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from King’s College in London.
In 2004, Sister Elizabeth began serving a six-year term as our Sector Coordinator for Asia. A member of the Kerala Conference of Major Superiors’ Action Committee for Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation, she coordinated many aspects of outreach to tsunami victims, including those of our own Community. She also was involved with the Thrani Center for Crisis Control, and represented the center to the government’s health department when needed. In addition, she served as a consultant to persons with HIV/AIDS.
Sister Elizabeth was elected our Assistant Society Coordinator in 2010 and now lives in our international headquarters in London. In her many expressions of mission, she participates in a wide variety of public health, justice and religious life conferences worldwide. With Society Coordinator Sister Agnes Lanfermann, Sister Elizabeth provides support and leadership to our almost 600 Sisters in mission on six continents.
In Advent, Sister shared her personal reflection on what she believes is at the heart of the season and also at the heart of the Medical Mission Sisters’ life: “to let go of all that does not contribute to our being a healing presence of Christ in the community of life.”
January 1, 2013