Sister Philo is one of 625 Medical Mission Sisters in 18 nations trying to be present to others in the spirit of Jesus the Healer.
Born the second child in a family with eight siblings, Sister Philo made her First Vows in 1966, at the age of 18. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from BCM College in Kottayam, Kerala, India. Her first mission assignment was in Kerala, at St. Thomas Hospital in Chethipuzha. She then had an intercultural experience in rural Jhamkhed, Maharashtra, which inspired her to choose work at the grassroots level for the development of people.
After Sister Philo made her Final Vows in 1975, she served in community health for several years. She worked in a community development project at the pastoral orientation center in Cochin. Her next assignment was to Padappakara in the Quilon Diocese, where she was able to implement programs of the diocesan social services for the health and welfare of the people.
In 1982, Sister Philo began ministry in North East India. After studying bookkeeping and accounting, she was appointed our district treasurer, and was elected to a six-year term as district coordinator. After that, she was involved for ten years with vocation promotion and formation.
For the past eight years, Sister Philo has been in mission with people who are recovering from substance abuse at the Shalom Rehabilitation Center in Chumukedima, Nagaland. The detoxification facility accommodates 20 residents at any given time. “Recovery and rehabilitation happen to each person at their own pace,” she says.
As assistant to the director of the Center, Sister Philo gives input sessions to the clients and does counseling. Educating health workers, other religious, and high school students about chemical dependency is another aspect of her work.
Sister Philo shares, “With faith and trust in God and with a daring spirit, we continue our ministry to the most neglected…we realize that God has strengthened us to go forward with courage and a sense of total commitment to our mission.”
October 1, 2010