Prabina Rudum is a young sister currently working on her thesis on Theology in the Jnana Deepa Institute of Philosophy and Theology, run by the Jesuits in North India, where she lives with sisters from other congregations. These days are busy for her, as she is moving to a new mission: from March, she will be teaching theology in Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi.
First of all, we want to know more about you thesis. Please, tell us about it.
Well, I have just presented the draft, so there is still a long process until it is finished, but it is mainly a critique of androcentric images of Christ’s representation in History and an attempt to offer different images that could be more inclusive for women. It’s just the beginning of a search and I will also work around other symbols that are, also, androcentric, and how they dialogue with Indian women. The main goal is to help Indian women to become more conscious of themselves”.
You are only 36 years old and made your final bows five years ago. How did you get to know the Congregation and why did you feel attracted to Loreto sisters?
I am from Darjeeling, a small town in the hills in West Bengal, North India, and I studied there in one of the IBVM schools in the area. Besides, my aunt, Sister Barbara, is a Loreto sister, so they were like family for me. Sr. Elizabeth Chattrerjee, my principal while in school, was my inspiration. I said yes to the Loreto congregation in 2004 and I completed my perpetual vows five years ago. Talking about Mary Ward, she tells us that she has always been “a very close companion” for her. “What sustain my spiritual journey is Mary Ward’s spirituality of Just-relationship from where flow freedom, sincerity and joy. A relationship not only with human beings, but with God and everything I touch, see and feel. And, in fact, my thesis and my conviction for society equally flow from there.
In India, both, IBVM and CJ Congregations are present. Have you had a previous relationship with the CJ branch?
Yes, I’ve known CJs for a long time, because they have a house very near the place where I was born, in Darjeeling, and a young CJ sister was also in the Women Studies Center last year. But I hope to get to know many more of them as the Union Process proceeds.
What sustain my spiritual journey is Mary Ward’s spirituality of Just-relationship
What do you expect from the Union?
I’m hoping that Union will help us to be closer and I am sure it will be a very enriching process from a Spiritual point of view. We have some common heritage, but we also have different interpretations of Spirituality because of culture, history… and I am hoping that we will enrich each other with different visions of our common Spirituality.
Do you find any difficulties for the process?
I don’t have much international experience, so I’m just talking from an Indian point of view. India has always been a multicultural and multireligious country, but the present government is promoting mono-religion and mono-culture, they are making every body’s life hard, putting restrictions on Muslims or Catholics and I fear that the legal work that will follow after Union may not be an easy task in India.
On the other hand, in the beginning I thought: “Union is beautiful, but what is the problem with being two branches? Why is it so necessary to come together? That was my question at the beginning. But then I started the Process, and the Ambassador meetings and I really started looking forward to meet with my CJ sisters; now I feel the strength of the whole Process”.
A strength that Prabina also finds in another of her passions: Dancing. “Before I joined, I used to dance in different group dances and different platforms and it’s something that has always been with me. I just leave myself to dance, to enjoy the movement, no matter if I am dancing with people or just dancing alone in my room, it gives me a great feeling of freedom!”