Rev. Sr. Noelle Marie of Sacred Heart of Jesus

A young talented girl completes her SSLC exam with flying colors from the local National Higher Secondary School (Todays National Junior College) in May 1960. The then Headmaster of the High school, Shri. PN Bhoja Rao expects his favorite and brilliant student to go for College studies in MGM Udupi….that too was whispered in the ears of her proud parents and elder brothers…..Ultimately she was admitted for her BA studies in prestigious St Agnes College, Mangalore, opting to reside in the College Hostel…..On obtaining bachelor degree, with a first class, probably ‘first woman graduate from Furtado Family’, in May 1966, yes she is none other than Gratia Daisy Furtado……. 

All plans were in place, for further studies etc. butyoung Daisy resolved what to do next…..Yes she had a call from Almighty Lord to serve in his vineyard the entire life….that too as a Carmelite…..She was greatly attracted and influenced during her days in the College and Hostel, in the company of Apostolic Carmel Sisters….Once she informs her intentions, the whole family, with no clue whatsoever, gets the shock of the day….Only daughter, the pet sister, that too youngest in the family, the darling of five elder brothers, like mother, caretaker aunt for two nephews……decides to join a Convent…..!

Early life and faith formation:

Eusebius Furtado and Bridget Lobo’s was a God fearing family in Hosala. Daily prayers, reciting of rosary and whenever convenient attending daily Mass was a routine affair….Lot of land and property, paddy fields and coconut gardens, either side of the tributary Sita, pairs of buffaloes and the shed full of cows, men also engaged on a rotation based ferry service at Karugalnade, once a commercial route connecting Malnad and Coast via Barkur to Sastan and beyond….and in such a closely knit orthodox,aristocrat family, baby Daisy was born on the last day of the year i.e. 31-12-1943 at 12.00 noon. Generally ‘Furtado clan’ had fewer girls’population and here too, the 6th and the only girl child was received by the family as a great gift from heavens. Eldest of the brothers was Louis, followed by William, Rosario, Wennie and Charles……

Gratia Daisy had her primary education in the Maryknoll Higher Primary School, Hosala Barkur and joined the male dominated, then famous National High School, Barkur, about 2.25. Km away from the home. She recalls her tiresome four times a day walking up and down…..even now...! Her classmates shared with us that, she always stood first in English language throughout her learning career which she continued till graduation. Shri Sarvotham Pai, who taught her English in the SSLC used to quote her exemplary record in the following batches in NJC, for many years…..She was outspoken, courageous and a fighter for due rights, at times mischievous during school / College days, in a male dominated world of those days…..She had a distinct record in the High School and in St. Agnes, to be the leader / representative of girls in College Parliament….!!

Brief about the Apostolic Carmel Sisters:

‘Apostolic Carmel Sisters’ were just establishing in Mangalore…. and outside St. Cicily’s Convent started in Udupi in 1918 (celebrated its Centenary Celebrations on 29th and 30th November, 2018) was just the third Convent of the congregation."A sower went out to sow ... and some seed fell on good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding ... a hundredfold" -Mk 4:38

Bayonne, France 1868: The seed of the Apostolic Carmel was sown in the heart of a woman who little realized the greatness of the mission God was entrusting to her. Born as Sophie Leeves, the daughter of an Anglican Minister, she was led by God, first to the Catholic faith in 1850 and then to the religious life as a sister of ‘St. Joseph of the Apparition’ in the following year, where she took the name of Sister Mary Veronica of the Passion. Being sent to India in 1861, she felt an interior call to Carmel, not understanding where it would lead her. At this time, the Carmelite bishops of the West Coast of India were experiencing the need for a teaching Order of Carmelite Sisters to further the work of the missions. Mother Veronica’s call to Carmel seemed to be a providential response to this need. Under the guidance of Father Marie Ephrem, she came to accept her mission to found this new congregation. After much struggle and many difficulties, Mother Veronica found admission into the novitiate of the Carmel of Pau where she imbibed the spirit of Carmel as one born to it.

The Apostolic Carmel was founded by Mother Veronica at Bayonne in 1868, and established at Mangalore, India, in 1870, by Bishop Marie Ephrem OCD.

Young teenager Daisy often read and heard of Apostolic Carmel sisters and their special and dedicated service in furthering girl’s higher education. By this time now famous St. Agnes College, then exclusively reserved for women in Karnataka State, at Bendur, Mangalore was established.

Daisy Joins Apostolic Carmel Sisters Convent:

Much contrary to the wishes of the family in the beginning, after her graduation, the parents granted permission and she went to Mangalore and joined St. Ann’s Convent. On 31-05-1969 made her first vows and accepted the religious name as ‘Sister Noelle Marie of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Apart from prayers, training to be a nun, she completed her B.Ed. from St Ann’s College, yet again a Carmelite Institution,Mangalore, in theyear 1970, deservedly with a first class…..!

Professional career, in short, as a High School Teacher:

  • To begin with her passionate and spectacular teaching career Sr. Daisy was first posted to Carmel Convent Moodubidre, and served there till the year 1971
  • Then she also served in Mary Hill, Mangalore, as a High School teacher, for a short period.
  • St. Cecily’s High School, Udupi from 1984 till 1988. About four years she taught English and Social studies for SSLC students.
  • Served as Principal of Sacred Heart D.Ed College, Jaya Nagar, Bangalore.
  • She was also the Principal of Loyola School in Shimogga, which she always considers a very enriching experience.

There were good number of opportunities and encouragement for her from superioursto go for higher studies. She enjoyed the company of teenage students, especially girls, as she understood their formation years are very crucial for a right choice of a profession / vocation, confidence building, decent future for themselves in the families and ‘one to one contact with students in understanding and guiding them’,…..as a result teaching remained as her first passion, a dedicated service……and in her long career in teaching, shepresented various research thesis to National Education Dept. Her two in depth essays focusing on teaching methodology in High Schools, won her National Teacher Certificate Awards…..!

Mission Bidar:

Conceived, Constructed & Started D.Ed. College for training Teachers in Bidar, a backward northern district of Karnataka State and served as its founder Principal / Correspondent, for initial four years 2009 to 2013……A woman of God, a woman for others, Sr. Noelle Marie is blessed with a great mind and a great heart. She possessed in generous measure, initiative, tact and a fine sense of humor, determination and common sense.  Mount Carmel D.Ed. College in Bidar is probably one of the greatest legacies she left behind….

Carmel D.Ed. College, Bidar (2009)

Went to Nairobi, Kenya on a Mission, to be a part of overseas Convent of Apostolic Carmel Sisters in Africa…. however health did not permit her to stay there for long, was there only for a short stint of  6 Months.

After retirement, again back to Mangalore –Marjil, Convent,Fulnir near Milagres Church.

At present in Mysore – Superior of the St. Joseph’s Convent, Bannimantapa, Mysore.

St. Joseph’s Convent, Mysuru


Why Sr. Daisy is unique and special:

Of course she is my Aunt and being first religious in our ‘Furtado family’, we do have highest respects for her. Her life itself is a motivation. Today three of her nephews are serving as Priests – Fr. Nelson SFX –(earlier served as Rector, Minor Seminary, Pilar Fathers Kallianpur)now in Pune, soon designated to serve in Austria, Fr. Johnson SVD, now in Mozambique Africa holding the responsibility of Provincial and Fr. Jason S.J. at present in St Joseph’s Institutions as Lecturer, Bangalore….(All are three proud sons of devout Late William & Mrs. Celine Furtado)

Today she is young and active at 74 years, and platinum year of life about to commence. Rooted in the contemplative spirit of Carmel, and nourished by its life of prayer and missionary zeal, Sr. Noelle Marie in the congregation of the Apostolic Carmel expresses the vitality of the Church through its fruitfulness in the active apostolate of education and other works of service and mercy. Fifty long years of service with sheer dedication with no intentions of or craving for personal glory or recognition and giving her best where she was assigned and expected by the superiors are the hall mark of her religious life….!


Barkuronline team’ tried several times in the past few years to get the basic information, but the request was politely turned downand this time too she was reluctant to be featured….She is more than deserved to be made known to the younger generation. A proud Barkurian woman, has educated, transformed and influenced the life and living of hundreds of students, what they are today…..We feel delighted and respectfully honor her as ‘Personality of the Month’, and wish her good health and peace of mind in coming days / years….Today she is a most contented religious, a silent revolutionary, first one from Furtado and Lobo families hailing from Barkur, a perfect teacher foradolescent teenagers, a role model in Apostolic Carmel fraternity……

On behalf of Barkur-on-line team,

P. Archibald Furtado, 02/12/2018, archibarkur@gmail.com.

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