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† Sr. María Bertha CHIRIBOGA ASTUDILLO sscc (Colombia)

   Dear Brothers and Sisters:

   Our Sister MARIA BERTHA CHIRIBOGA ASTUDILLO was called to eternal life on Tuesday June 7 at 10:45 pm when the light of the Lord shone for her announcing her journey to the Father's house to enjoy the eternal glory that He has promised.

   Over the past three years, Mary Bertha, began her ordeal because of a CA tumour, which was slowly deteriorating her organism, which was complicated because of diabetes. Thus she lived through a slow process of pain and weakness, but shouldered it well and her face and showed great serenity and peace. This ordeal was slowly preparing her for the great encounter with the Lord.

   Maria Bertha CHIRIBOGA ASTUDILLO (Dolores Susana Chiriboga) was born in Azuay, Ecuador, on October 2, 1926. She belonged to a very Christian family. Her parents: MANUEL CHIRIBOA and DOMITILA ASTUDILLO and had several brothers and sisters whom she loved very much and she felt very much loved by them.
She became a postulant in Quito, Ecuador on January 6, 1947 and on August 2 began her novitiate in the same year. She made her temporary profession on September 17,1949. Se made her perpetual vows on February 11, 1953. All her formation took place in Quito, Ecuador.

   Immediately after her Perpetual Profession she was assigned to serve the mission in the new and recently founded Community of the Sacred Hearts in Pereira, Colombia. Maria Berta welcomed this assignment very joyfully, and gave it all her enthusiasm, her grace and sense of humor and joy in the midst of children of Pereira.

   In 1967, she was sent to the new community that opened in Manrique, Medellín, a popular neighborhood. There, Maria Bertha dedicated herself as always with great enthusiasm to evangelize the children and people of the environment.

   In 1976 when another new community was opened in the neighborhood of Garcés Navas, Bogotá. Maria Berta
was asked to part of the Mission to start: an education centre of the "Fe y Alegría" Foundation. She gave it her best with joy and enthusiasm and lived happily in the midst of the people in that sector.

   In 1995, she was asked to join the community "LAS MESAS-NARIÑO." There she gave unconditional service to the poorest people and left her print of affection and closeness in the hearts of many people.

   The joy and simplicity of Jesus was reflected throughout her life giving her the identity of a consecrated women living out the mission of proclaiming God's love. And it was the means by which she evangelized helped by singing, music, and the simple word.
She never neglect adoration, she always dedicating the best of her time to be at the feet of Jesus in the Eucharist, until her life was slowly fading like a candle before the altar.

   Maria Berta leaves us the with the memory of her simplicity, her joy, her closeness, her good humor, living out the SS.CC. Charism. We are confident that from heaven, she will continue to encourage us to live out our mission.
The Sisters of the Province of Colombia, ask that you to join inl our song of gratitude and praise and offer your prayers for this life that was a testimony of love and service to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

   Cordially united in one mission

Adiela Londoño
Provincial Superior Sisters of Colombia