The late (Sr.) Rosina Nanayakkara (1943 - 2011), still fondly referred to by many as Sister Rosina lived her life in the service of others. She was a woman of deep spirituality and love of Christ and consequently tried to follow in His footsteps. Her religious life and philosophy, though radical, was one of purity, humility and integrity and beyond all, dictated by love of Christ and fellow beings. Subsequent to leaving the religious order, she lived a life of simplicity, poverty and purity among the marginalized. She lived until the last days of her life in the service of the poor, the helpless, and the voiceless of society.
Rosina's Lasting Impact
As an educator, she taught and molded thousands of young minds. During her over 30 years of service at the Sacred Heart Convent (SHC) in Galle, Sri Lanka, part of it as the Principal (1976 - 2005), she led the school to excellence in all areas. She instilled in her students principles of discipline, academic excellence, honesty, respect and fairness. Her students now live with respect across the world as living testaments to her teachings and love.
Her life as a religious was guided by the teachings of Christ. She was never afraid to confront injustice and traditions in her pursuit of loving service to others. Since leaving Sacred Heart Convent, Rosina spent time in Sri Lanka’s North and the deep South provinces living among the poor and helping them. From this invisible post, as a lay woman living among the people, she gave all she had for the education of the young and for the empowerment of women. During her last few years of her life, her love of the marginalized in society drew her to care for in a very loving and special way the mentally challenged young adult she had in her care. All this, was while she continued her silent support of the Tsunami orphans and guiding and listening to the young Heartians who continued to consult her and keep her informed of their progress in life and share their problems with her. This to her was the way to lead a true spiritual life. She wrote: “To love God and our neighbor is not a commandment. It is a gift given to us by God”.