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Nirmala Joshi

Sister Nirmala Joshi, M.C.
Born 1934 (age 81–82)
Ranchi, Bihar and Orissa Province, British Indian Empire
Nationality British Indian (1934-1947), Indian (1947-)
Education Master's degree in Political science, Doctor Juris
Religion Hinduism (1934-1958), Roman Catholicism (1958-)

Nirmala Joshi, M.C. (better known as Sister Nirmala) (born 1934), is a Roman Catholic Religious Sister who succeeded the famed Mother Teresa of Calcutta as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity in March 1997.[1][2]


Joshi was born in 1934 in Ranchi, Bihar and Orissa Province in the British Indian Empire (now the capital of the Indian State of Jharkhand). Her parents were from Nepal and her father was an officer of the British Army until the nation's independence in 1947. Although the family was Hindu, she was educated by Christian missionaries in Patna (capital of Bihar state). At that time she learned of Mother Teresa's work and wanted to share in that service. She soon converted to Roman Catholicism and joined the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa.[3]

Joshi has a Master's degree in Political Science from an Indian university and additional training as a lawyer.[4] She was one of the first Sisters of the institute to head a foreign mission when she went to Panama.

In 1976, Joshi started the contemplative branch of the Missionaries of Charity and remained at its head until 1997 when she was elected to succeed Mother Teresa as Superior General of the institute.[4]

The government of India bestowed the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, on Sister Nirmala on Republic Day (January 26) 2009 for her services to the nation.[5][6] Her term as Superior General ended on 25 March 2009, and she was succeeded by German-born Sister Mary Prema Pierick, M.C.


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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Mother Teresa
Superior General of the
Missionaries of Charity

Succeeded by
Sister Mary Prema Pierick