ASIA/BANGLADESH - Catholic nun dedicated to the sick dies of coronavirus
Tuesday, 13 October 2020c
Natore (Agenzia Fides) - Catholic sister Mary Arpita of the female institute "Associates of Mary Queen of the Apostles" (SMRA) died of Covid-19. Sister Arpita was responsible for the “St. Mary's” Dispensary and Maternity center, in the parish of Bonpara in Natore, in the Diocese of Rajshahi. She also ran the Women Community Development Center, a vocational training center for women that supports hundreds of seamstresses. The 68-year-old nun was infected with dengue fever on August 17th and then died of pneumonia as a result of Covid-19 disease. Although she was hospitalized in Dhaka, she did not survive due to the previous illness.
Fr. Bikash H. Reberio, parish priest of Bonpara who worked closely with Sister Mary Arpita, told Fides: "Sister Mary Arpita was a dedicated religious. She was very kind and humble. Although she suffered from various diseases, she was hardworking and spared no effort. Sister Mary Arpita paid special attention to her patients. Often times she forgot to have her meals just to stay with them. She has always looked after the sick with love".
As a pious person, the parish priest stressed, she was "a woman of prayer" who drew her strength from Holy Mass".
Sister Mary Arpita was an experienced nurse who managed many Catholic structures and maternity centers. She worked in the Nursing Institute contributing to the training of many students who are now nurses. Under the jurisdiction of the parish of Bonpara there is a school, a dispensary, the St. Mary Maternity Center, a cutting and sewing center for women. Approximately 90% of the patients at the St. Mary's dispensary and maternity center are Muslim.
A Muslim patient named Nurjahan Begum, 55, tells Fides: "Every time I got sick, I went to St. Mary's Dispensary and Maternity Center. Sister Arpita took care of me with love. I was saddened by her death. May the Lord bless her". (FB-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 13/10/2020)