Cover photo for Maria Nisari's Obituary
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1937 Maria 2017

Maria Nisari

December 5, 1937 — October 28, 2017

A Rosary and Visitation Service celebrating Maria's life will be held on Monday, October 30th, at 7:00 p.m., at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, 503 North Main, Belton, TX 76513. A Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 31st, at 10:00 a.m. at SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church, 104 N. Brazos Street, Granger, TX 76530. Reverend Joseph Nisari and Reverend Andrew Nisari will concelebrate the service. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Granger, TX.

Maria Nisari went home to her beloved Father on Saturday, October 28, after a brave battle with cancer. She was 80. Maria leaves behind a heart-broken family and many friends. Her extraordinary life is a testament to her faith, courage, and indomitable spirit-taking her from a one-room house in a tiny Pakistani village-to Italy, Malta, New York City, and finally, Texas.
Maria was born on December 5th, 1937, in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, the fifth of ten children born to first-generation Indian Christians. Her father, Barkat Joseph, was a catechist; her mother, Mariam Raj, a homemaker. In 1961, along with her sister Theresa, Maria joined the order of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus in Malta. She was seventeen years old. Throughout her life, she would put herself in God's hands. She envisioned herself as an imperfect and humble servant of God. Alone, she could do nothing, but with God, the possibilities were limitless.
After professing her final vows, Maria would spend the next twenty-five years in Padri Jo Goth, Pakistan, ministering to the desperately poor, illiterate population-one that had no rights, let alone benefits-voiceless people who faced daily injustices and discrimination. She would have many duties, among them nurse, teacher, social worker, Eucharistic Minister, and music director. It was here that she would humble herself and-following the example of St. Paul-attempt to ‘become all things to all men.'
In 1991, Maria made the decision to leave the convent on sabbatical and continue her ministry as a lay missionary. She left for the United States on July 18th, arriving with little else besides a six-month visa, a resolute spirit, and her language capabilities; she could speak Maltese, English, Italian, Urdu, and Punjabi fluently. A stranger in a strange land, Maria did indeed survive. She would live in New York City for the next twenty-two years, working as a para-professional for the New York City Department of Education. After her retirement in 2010, Maria moved to Texas-first to Dime Box, and then to Belton-to continue her service to God through the Missionaries of Hope, an organization founded by her family to provide education to the poorest of the poor, the children in rural Pakistan.
Maria will be remembered especially for her deep faith in God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for her sense of humor, love of life, and the love and support she gave to her family. She is survived by her sisters Sabina Nisari (Pakistan), Justina Nisari (Pakistan), and RoseMary Chaudhry (New York City); brothers Reverend Joseph Nisari (Cedarbrake Retreat Center, Belton, Texas), and Shafqat Paul Nisari (Fort Worth, Texas); and many nieces, nephews, and relatives.
Honoring Maria's life and serving as pallbearers are: Shan Chaudhry, Younas Masih, Paul Nisari, and Austin Francis. Dr. David Lemper will serve as honorary pallbearer.

Personal words of comfort may be sent to the family online at the Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, at

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice - or to Missionaries of Hope, a project that was founded by Maria's family. The organization provides education to the poorest of the poor, the forgotten children of Pakistan.
Missionaries of Hope
c/o Rev. Joseph Nisari
1313 Live Oak Dr., Belton, TX 76513


HarperTalasek Funeral Home Chapel
503 N. Main St.
Belton, TX  76513
Monday, October 30, 2017



HarperTalasek Funeral Chapel
503 N. Main St.
Belton, TX  76513
Monday, October 30, 2017

Funeral Mass

SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church
100 N. Brazos
Granger, TX  76530
Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Holy Cross Cemetery
251 CR 348
Granger, TX  76530

Memorial Contributions

Missionaries of Hope
c/o Rev. Joseph Nisari 1313 Live Oak Dr.
Belton, TX  76513
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria Nisari, please visit our flower store.


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