Sister Odemira Maria

Sister Odemira Maria             ND 5194              PDF Download

Odemira Cardoso

Our Lady Aparecida Province, Canoas, RS – Brazil

Date and Place of Birth:               September 18, 1930          Santo Antônio da Patrulha, RS
Date and Place of Profession:     February 12, 1959              Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:             January 11, 2024               Santa Clara Hospital, Porto Alegre, RS
Date and Place of Burial:             January 12, 2024              Convent Cemetery, Canoas, RS

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” (Ps 23,6)

At the age of 93, Sister Odemira Maria triumphed over life´s earthly challenges and embarked on the journey to eternal life. Fond memories and testimonials from Sisters who shared life with her attest to her fulfilled and joyous existence.

Odemira, the fifth of seven children born to Alfredo Cardoso da Silva and Ana Gomes Cardoso, experienced early challenges when she lost her mother during the birth of one of her brothers. In 1956, as a young adult, Odemira entered the postulancy of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Passo Fundo. Two years later, as a second-year novice, she became a part of the pre-seminary community in Ivorá. There, she began her ministry by baking bread for the Sisters and the young seminarians, starting her lifelong commitments to providing nourishment and performing various domestic services.

Sister Odemira Maria demonstrated unwavering dedication to her ministry. The young women who were in the formation program at that time cherish fond memories of Sister and the way she impacted their lives with her teachings. Fellow Sisters fondly remember her kindness and ever-present smile, as she was always ready to extend a warm welcome to everyone she encountered.

Sister Odemira Maria had a passion for culinary exploration, delighting in trying new recipes and creating healthy and delicious meals. She took pleasure in surprising her fellow Sisters with special culinary delights, especially during times of heightened activities.

Her availability, joy, and gratitude were truly exceptional. She dedicated herself to nurturing her spiritual life, skillfully integrating moments of prayer with her diligent work. In reflecting on her character, the words of Pope John XXIII resonate: “Kindness rendered my life happy.”

After serving in various communities within the Province, in 2016, due to age and fragile physical health conditions, Sister Odemira Maria joined the Recanto Aparecida community. Even in her advanced years, she demonstrated a remarkable ability to make the most of her time. Engaging in small community tasks and pursuing crafts, she remained actively involved. In her later years, Sister found joy in coloring. Despite her senility, she exhibited a perfect touch in her artwork and took pleasure in sharing her creations with others. Her face would light up with joy whenever someone offered her well-sharpened colored pencils or praised her for her artistic endeavors.

Sister Odemira Maria actively participated in community life and prayer times whenever her health allowed. Despite facing the challenges of old age and hearing difficulties, she consistently joined the communal rosary with other elderly Sisters. Known for her pleasant demeanor, she made community living enjoyable and cherished the companionship of her fellow Sisters. She had a unique gift for offering words of encouragement to everyone around her. The affectionate visits from her family brought her special joy.

On December 29th, Sister Odemira Maria was admitted to Santa Clara Hospital in Porto Alegre. Unfortunately, her health condition declined gradually until she peacefully passed away on January 11, 2024. Throughout her remarkable 65 years of religious life, Sister wholeheartedly internalized our Notre Dame charism, leaving behind a profound testimony of a fulfilled, kind, and joyous existence. We are grateful to God for Sister´s life, vocation, and dedicated mission within our Congregation. May the good God, in His infinite mercy, reward Sister Odemira Maria for all the good she has shared. May she rest in peace, and may her memory continue to inspire us all.