Celebrating a lifewell Lived
MEMORIES OF SISTER TRIFA DeSOUZA
Dear Loving Excellency, dear Rev. Fathers, Rev. Sisters and beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Our Risen Lord said to his Disciples in John, Chapter 14, Verses 1-3: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me so that where I am you may be too."
First of all, the people of St Vincent de Paul Parish and I wish to convey our condolences and prayers to the bereaved family of Sr. Trifa and to the members of the Convents in Kenya and England to which she belonged for over 50 years.
I used to enjoy meeting her every year when she returned to Southampton to spend precious time with her family and fellow Sisters and to raise funds for Edelvale Trust. Sr. Trifa came to the UK last year for her Sister Ita's Funeral and her stay was extended to almost 4 months because of the Pandemic. During that time, at the daily Mass, many of the Parishioners got to know Sr. Trifa very well and they realised just what a wise, wonderful, and inspirational Woman she really was.
While she was with us, she often told me that she would like to go back to Kenya as quickly as possible and that it was her wish to die in Kenya because she loved your Country so dearly. Indeed, she found her happiness serving people in Kenya; she was a true Missionary.
We pray for our loving Sr. Trifa who has gone to the place which our Risen Lord has already prepared for her.
Yours in our Risen Christ, Fr. Tony.
TRIBUTE FOR SR. TRIFA DeSOUZA
Sr.Trifa was a delight to be with, every cheerful, simple, honest with herself, committed in prayer in her own way, stubborn and inquisitive. She lived true to her religious vocation and loved the girls in care with her whole heart.
Her energy, commitment and love were towards the girls in Edelvale Homes. Anything she would seek for help was towards the welfare of the girls in need in Edelvale Home and practically no conservation you would have with her that she would not mention the girls in Edelvale. I suppose she lived the 4th vow of apostolic zeal to the full.
Sr. Trifa enjoyed life to the full and took life in a simple manner. She never allowed challenges in life to overcome her but always looked at the brighter side trusting all into God’s hands.
Sr. Trifa somehow had fallen in love with Kenya and the mission towards the needy girls. Her heart was rooted in Kenya and for sure death found her while still in Kenya.
May her soul be received by the angels in heaven and enjoy the presence of God. Rest in peace Sr.Trifa
MEMORIES OF SISTER TRIFA DeSOUZA
I have very happy memories of Sr Trifa, as we were in the novitiate together. Trifa was that bit older than me and when I would be worried about something, she had a dismissive way of saying, “ah don’t worry about it”. Trifa had her own personality and she wasn’t going to change!! There was an instant when Trifa and myself went fishing, to the local seaside, we caught nothing, only Trifa lost her shoe and we had to face back to Sr Euphrasia, (novice mistress), minus a shoe, and acknowledge that we had been fishing!!
I know Trifa worked with the teenagers in Corinaldo, in the mid-seventies for some years, with Sr Ann Kavanagh, at the same time she was caring for Sr Euphrasia, who was quite ill with cancer. Trifa longed to go back to Kenya and pestered Mother Agnes until her wish was granted. We missed her but she was in seventh heaven!!!
Sr Enda Gorman
Debbie used to pick Trifa up at Heathrow on arrival home for holidays and bring her to Fairlight to wait for Ita and Mena to pick her up from here. Over dinner, she would talk animatedly about the mission and especially the children in Edelvale. I also admired how she made sure to visit every community and sister while she was home.
I have some lovely memories of Trifa: She had a cheery disposition, enjoyed being good-humouredly teased, had a very philosophical attitude towards problems and difficulties, helpful and liked to help; careful to mind her own business, kept her own counsel and tried to be on good terms with everybody.
She was a good cook…The girls in Melrose loved her cooking, especially her curries, and so did we. Some- times they were so hot I used to say to her “we’ll need the fire brigade to put out the flames at the back of our throats! Wherever I happened to be she never went back without bringing me a curry….the taste of which lasted until she came home again! No other curry like Trifa’s! Her fruit cakes were something – no Master Chef could better them!
Trifa truly found her mission with the children in Edelvale. She just loved those kids and they loved her. How they will miss her. She was a born missionary – totally dedicated to them, heart and soul. Everything else was relative to the care of those children. She had a number of sponsors and friends in the UK who would ensure she went back with her purse replenished to provide for necessities, but she delighted in bringing back little gifts of sweets etc which anyone would enjoy to see the children’s happy smiles.
I’m sure the Lord received her with open arms and a “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of everlasting life”.
Trifa, rest, at last, in peace in the heart of God whom you served so generously and faithfully all your life. We are proud of you and your work in Kenya – the first sister of OLC to die in Kenya. We will miss you.
Sister Josephine Collier
Angela Cole, Dorothy and I have just had a little chat about Trifa. Angela worked with her in Melrose and she said the girls loved her and her curry meals. Angela remembered how she looked after Sr Euphrasia in the last months of her life very caringly. Margaret Elizabeth said she worked in Anawim while at Northfield. Dorothy knew her at Goan School, Nairobi from they were young. She said she was always full of fun and mischief.
Sisters Ruth O Neill, Dorothy Gracias, Angela Cole
I can only say I have lost a very dearly beloved friend whom I found frustrating, stubborn, loving, caring and a true FRIEND. I am sure there are many others who could say the same thing. Many people trusted Trifa and she carried their secrets to the grave. She never gossiped or carried stories. She truly respected the sanctity of Friendship. She was loved by old and young, rich and poor. May she rest in peace.
Sister Charlotte Cassidy
A TRIBUTE TO SR. Trifa:
We grieve and miss you Dear Sr. Trifa but we have faith that God has you in His loving mansion, May God rest you in peace.
I know Sr. Trifa since 1967 January. We were together in the formation house of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Redcote Convent, Bittern Southampton England. I had finished my formation then and was in Southampton General Hospital, pursuing a nursing profession which terminated before finishing the training and came back to Kenya September 1967.
Sr.Trifa came back to Kenya in 1982 and we have lived together since then in the mission of giving hope and a profitable future to needy young girls in Edelvale Homes, Waridi and Jamaa Home and Mission Hospital. She worked most of her life At Edelvale homes and Waridi nursery and hostel where we used to send our young girls from Edelvale after completing Secondary school to pursue college courses and Sr.Trifa helped most of the girls get Jobs after colleges.
Our beloved sister was a hard-working sister imbued with zeal and dedication for mission. She was also a loving happy sister in community. We celebrated our life together in building a community of love and life-giving mission.
Sr.Trifa will live in our memories always and she will be greatly missed. May she rest in Eternal Peace. Sr. Edel
Trifa was born on November 10, 1932, with her twin sister Nifa in Merces Goa. The twins were elder sisters to Fabian, Mena, Ita and Pio.
Trifa and family moved to Nairobi in 1940 where she studied at Dr.Ribeiro Goan School. She was a talented and successful hockey player and sprinter competing throughout East Africa. After leaving school Trifa worked as a secretary for East African Posts and Telegraphs and then for Coca Cola. In 1967 she began her religious journey.
Aunty Trifa would often tell us about life growing up. I remember her telling us about how she would be a handful and get into trouble - not just as a child but also at work! I’m sure she wasn’t the most likely candidate to become a nun growing up Trifa adored her cats always telling us stories of the feline antics back home. She loved travelling with friends and family. And, she was fantastic at cooking, making delicious pork curry, samosas, chapattis and more whilst she visited us in Southampton each year. We will always remember her cheeky smile and her stout dedication to ‘her girls’. She was an inspiration to us all. Trifa re-joins her beloved twin sister Nifa, recently departed sister Ita and parents Paulina and John Joseph.
Trifa, you were our sister, our aunty, and our friend. Your memory is our keepsake from which we’ll never part,
God has you in His keeping, we have you in our hearts.