Over a Cup of Tea & Chicken Patties
MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2017
A TRIBUTE – What a wonderful person, one with a heart of gold and a
tremendous sense of humour!
This is how I would like to remember Sr. Mary Emily fc, having known her from
close quarters during the last fifteen years of her life on earth. Though I’ve known
her as the Principal of St. Joseph’s College for Women Karachi, I met her for the
first time in 1999 when together we started the denationalization process of our
We remained friends since then though I'd not seen her for the last couple of
years when she was unwell. After the colleges were returned in May 2005, I
would meet Sr. Emily every weekend over a cup of tea and her favorite
chicken patties and share pondering thoughts about women's education, the
college, the community, the Congregation and Pakistan in general; she was a
treasure-trove of information.
If St. Joseph’s college is back with the Institute of the Daughters of the Cross
today it is due to the unflinching resolve of Sr. Mary Emily who took on the
arduous responsibility, at the age of 80 years then, of attending meetings,
negotiating terms and writing letters to the high and mighty, for the return of the
Christian colleges to its rightful owners.
Sr. Emily was surely a woman of true-substance, principled in all matters and
outright straight-forward in all her dealings. She was a caring person and was
always concerned about girls who could not afford college education, and
therefore, after the denationalization of the colleges, taking over as Principal of
St. Joseph's, she insisted at Board Meetings that the fee-structure should be a
bare-minimum so that parents could send their daughters to college.
When the time came to hire teachers, she made it very clear to potential
candidates (and there were so many who wanted to step in and be part of a
prestigious institution), no matter how qualified they were or how high their
salaries were at other colleges, they were coming to "St. Joseph's" to teach
young women to become future leaders, mothers and good human beings.
A sincere and kind soul, dedicated to her profession, strong in her Faith, deeply
concerned for the poor, knowing her purpose in life, and being an honorable
citizen of Pakistan, is how I would like to summarize her characteristics as a
person, teacher, leader and a devout nun.
She was honored by the Government of Pakistan with the "Sitara-e-Imtiaz" on
23 March, 2009 for her services to education in Pakistan.