KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Some 160 professional nurses (both male and female) kept the Holy Thursday with solemn Eucharistic celebration marking the Last Supper of Jesus, at Don Bosco School Chapel, Park Circus. Earlier on Wednesday, the nurses had a day of recollection with opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation at three places – DB Park Circus, Mukundapur and Chingrihatta.
The Sacred Easter Triduum services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are being organized by the Jesus Youth Movement for Nurses in Kolkata along with the CMI Fathers of Syro Malabar parish in Behala and the Salesians of Don Bosco Kolkata.
Rector and Principal of Don Bosco School Park Circus Fr Siby Vadakel presided over the solemn Holy Thursday Eucharist along with five other priests and delivered the homily in Malayalam.
Besides the services in Malayalam on all three days, a service in Hindi language on Easter Sunday is scheduled for nurses especially from northeast India.
Good Friday services at DBPC are scheduled for morning 9.00 am with adoration, followed by the Passion narration. During the day, priests will be available for the sacrament of reconciliation.
The nurses take turns to participate in the Holy Week services, finding time between their duty shifts. While the day shift lasts only six hours each, the grueling graveyard (night) shift is 12 hours lasting from 8 pm to 8 am. Some of the nurses with duty in the ICU and ITU departments find it extremely difficult to get leave to attend Church services.
Late last year (9 December 2011), Malayalee nurses P.K. Vineetha (22) and Remya Rajan (23) died after fighting a valiant battle to save the patients entrusted to them in the female general ward of Kolkata’a ill fated AMRI Hospital. They saved eight out of nine patients in their charge.
On several occasions after the AMRI fire incident, Chief Minister of Bengal Miss Mamata Banerjee praised the courage and dedication of the Malayalee nurses who sacrificed their lives saving others.
It is estimated that about 400 Syro Malabar nurses are working in different hospitals around Kolkata. In search of job, new migrants, especially young professionals are arriving from Kerala and settling in Kolkata every month.