Sister Maria Lurdes

Sister Maria Lurdes                 ND 5855                PDF Download

(formerly Sister Maria Eli)

Maria Lurdes CARAFINI

Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Date and Place of Birth:            August 10, 1946         Colorado, RS
Date and Place of Profession: February 11, 1967     Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:         July 22, 2021              Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Burial:          July 22, 2021              Sta Cruz Cemetery, Passo Fundo, RS

“Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan 12:3)

Maria Lurdes Carafini was the oldest of 15 children born to Ernesto Luiz and Altiva Rodrigues do Nascimento Carafini, both of whom were farmers. From an early age she expressed the desire to enter religious life so her parents enrolled her in the School of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Constantina, where she began her studies in the 4th grade.

Maria Lurdes became an aspirant in 1958 and, after several years in which she strengthened her vocation through discernment, community life and prayer, as well as by participating in the apostolic mission of the sisters, she entered Novitiate and received the name Sister Maria Eli. Later, she returned to her baptism name.

Sister Maria Lurdes graduated in Mathematics from the Passo Fundo University. For 38 years she taught mathematics in the elementary and high schools staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame in Passo Fundo and Carazinho. In Carazinho she also taught in public schools. Although she was familiar with her subject matter, Sister always presented the material with new incentives, enthusiasm, and pleasure. Her students enjoyed both their classes and their teacher, who got along well with everyone. “If I understand math today, I owe it to Sr. M. Lurdes Carafini”, one of her former students stated.

Besides teaching Math, Sister M. Lurdes showed a great zeal for religious, liturgical, and community life. She particularly enjoyed her work in Youth Ministry and Prison Ministry, but especially with the physically challenged. Prisoners shared their stories with Sister who listened, preserved, and kept everything she heard in confidence. The men and women trusted her completely.

Beginning in 2007 Sister M. Lurdes took on administrative tasks in different institutions in the Province. At the time of her death, Sister was creating an archive which would contain the financial records from all the affiliations of the Province beginning in 1923 when the Sisters of Notre Dame arrived in Brazil.

In 2020, Sister M. Lurdes was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She lost a kidney but her recovery from the chemotherapy was slow. On the morning of July 22, 2021, when she did not come to breakfast, Sister was found in her room, a victim of a fatal heart attack. With Saint Magdalene, whose feast was celebrated that day, Sister M. Lurdes could say: “I saw the Lord”! May she now enjoy a happy eternity.