Sister Mary Vibha

Sister Mary Vibha                                ND 6049                                  PDF Download

Maria Thomas Odalany

Our Lady of the Visitation Province, Bangalore, India

Date and Place of Birth:            August 3, 1940         Kadaplamattam, Kerala, India
Date and Place of Profession: January 6, 1969       Jamalpur, Bihar, India
Date and Place of Death:         February 25, 2024   Notre Dame Convent (Shalom Sadan) Vijayanagar, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Date and Place of Funeral:      February 25, 2024   Notre Dame Convent, (Shalom Sadan) Vijayanagar, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Date and Place of Burial:          February 25, 2024   SND Cemetery, Formation House, Hinkal, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Sister Mary Vibha was born as the first child to a very devout Catholic couple, Thomas and Annamma Odalany. She had four brothers. In her autobiography, Maria writes that her mother taught her to have a great devotion to Mary and the importance of telling the truth always to avoid unnecessary troubles. She grew up in a large joined family where she mingled well with her siblings and her cousins as they all lived together in the same house where she learned the art of sharing her life with others.

She had nurtured her desire to be a religious Sister as the Carmelite Sisters were her teachers. Fr. Joseph Maliparambil, her Parish Priest, supported her missionary desire and encouraged her to join the Sisters of Notre Dame. On July 13, 1963, Maria joined the group of 23 girls who opted to join the Sisters of Notre Dame in Jamalpur, Bihar in North India.

Sister Mary Vibha was a true missionary and a great community builder all her life. She was missioned to St. Joseph’s parish school as soon as she made her First Profession. She loved to teach the poor and the needy children of the parish schools of Jamalpur and Patna. She had a special charism in dealing with the young people with her gentleness and soft-spoken words.

Much before the advice of Pope Francis to go to the peripheries, Sister Mary Vibha experienced what it is to be in the periphery. All her active years in ministry were spent in village mission stations with minimum facilities. The list of her appointments to various institutions as principal, teacher, in leadership roles and pastoral services to provide skills for the young girls covers many years until her health began to fail.

She was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which almost claimed her life. She survived but could not regain her health well enough to resume her active ministry. She was appointed to Shalom Sadan (Peace House), the infirmary of the province, where she fully participated in the ministry of prayer and presence.

We offer her our grateful appreciation for her 61 years of life in Notre Dame. May God bless her abundantly and may her gentle soul rest in peace.