Grassroots ministry, and international roles

About

The scenic Southern Indian State of Kerala is my birthplace and my family is ‘Podimattam’, traditional Catholics who encouraged the practice of Christian values. I am Alice, fifth born and first girl among six boys and two girls. The love, security and freedom from my parents, sharing and appreciation among siblings, respect and acceptance from neighbours made me what I am today. 

I grew up witnessing the welcoming and benevolent nature of my parents towards the poor who visited them and those who worked at home. They taught us to respect the poor, share till it hurts, understand the orphans and befriend the outcastes. As a child, the plight of orphans, homeless and wandering people disturbed me.

In Good Shepherd

In the Parish, I was a member and leader of “Mission League”, a pious organization for children which motivated the desire for prayer, sacrifice and fundraising for missionaries. After my Pre-University and Secretarial Courses, I declined a job in the bank and decided to become a Sister to serve people who were lonely and despised.  My uncle, a priest, helped me to find Good Shepherd Sisters of Bangalore during my 21st year in 1976. Despite the cultural shock, multiple languages and food habits, I persevered since the charism and spirituality of the Good Shepherd matched with my inner call.  

The Challenges

Professed in 1979, I adopted the name Shalini as part of inculturation. For the first 10 years I worked for the recovery, training and rehabilitation of girls and young women with personal and social difficulties in our Institutions. For the next fourteen years, I was involved with the Province's Social Action Ministry among the Dalits and Indigenous people focusing on grassroot development, education and group work with women, youth and children. I have pioneered for the creative ministry of Indigenous people in 1993, organized State level networks of women and have initiated and managed social work projects.

I have served my Province in roles of local leadership and various province commissions. Presently I am involved in formation, organizing workshops and giving retreats. I have a professional Master's Degree in Social Work and another Master’s Degree in Leadership and Pastoral Care.

My international experiences include participation in the monumental 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. In 1998 I travelled to Australia and Thailand Provinces to study and collaborate with their Economic Justice and Trading Circle Programs. I was a province delegate for the General Chapter 2003. 

In 2005 I was appointed Coordinator of Good Shepherd International Office for Justice, Peace, and Solidarity in Mission, at our Good Shepherd Generalate in Rome, to promote education and action for justice within the congregation.  I represented the Congregation on JPS issues and worked in close collaboration with the UN NGO in New York. Simultaneously, I organized four International Workshops, in Thailand, Guatemala, Egypt and Belgium, for training Good Shepherd JP Contacts and representatives, and initiated four Continental Regional JP networks.  

The Inspiration

I value the opportunities of attending educational sessions in United Nations, visiting Good Shepherd National Advocacy Centre, Washington DC, exposures to other places and participating in work related to JP especially prevention of trafficking in persons.  

I enjoy and relax doing art, gardening, nature, music, meaningful ministry and relationships.

 

Projects

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region

Anukampa Nivas - House of Compassion and Tenderness

Anukampa Nivas - House of Compassion and Tenderness

In Nagpur India, Sisters from two provinces gather to lay the foundation stone for the Provincialate building, and to bury a time capsule