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German nun Mary Prema to lead Missionaries of Charity

Sister Mary Prema, a German nun, will lead the Missionaries of Charity after its Superior General, Sister Nirmala, stepped down today because of ill-health, sources in the order said.
Sister Mary Prema
Sister Mary Prema

Sister Nirmala, who had taken over as head of the order after its founder Mother Teresa died in 1997, had asked to be relieved of her duties citing ill-health and a desire to live a contemplative life in the congregation, the sources said.

A formal announcement is expected to be made shortly by the Missionaries of Charity, they said.

The order's general chapter, which some 160 nuns are attending at a place some 30 km from here, will end tomorrow. The nuns had wanted to re-elect Sister Nirmala as the Superior General, but she told them in writing that she wished to step down.

The nuns also elected Sister Joseph as Assistant Superior General and first councillor. Other councillors include Sisters Joanna, Adriana and Joseph Maria, the sources said.

Sister Nirmala had been chosen by the government for the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian honour, this year.

INT
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