SR. CANDIDA (1913-1978)

Sr. Candida, the only daughter of her parents, was born on the 16th April, 1907, at Kumbalanghi, Kerala. She joined the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa at a very young age and made her first profession on the 9th July, 1928.

Sister had a very charming personality. She aimed at perfection in everything she did. She specialized in Sanskrit and was known to be an excellent teacher.  Besides being a professor, she was a sport woman and was in charge of the games and sports in Mt. Carmel College, Bangalore, where she was appointed first and then later, at Teresian College, Mysore.  Her enthusiasm was greater than the students. She encouraged them and fostered the skills in them. Though she was so senior, her cheerful enthusiasm   was behind the success of the students.

In addition to these two activities, she was also a great gardener.  She tended and cared for her plants like a mother. She could be seen early and late, in the garden, among her roses and other flowering plants.

Still another activity of hers was needlework.  She turned out exquisite appliqué and embroidery for the chapel. Only she and God knew where she had the time for all this. And she was never hurried or preoccupied. She could be ever charming and friendly and available to others.  

When she was Professor in Mt. Carmel College she registered for a higher degree in Sanskrit at Banaras. University.  There she met Raymundo Pannikar, himself a Sanskrit scholar. They made friends. He used to visit her at Mt. Carmel and she coached him.  Later he became and is even now a great and eminent personality in the Church and a known world scholar. I had the great fortune of meeting him in 2002 at Sadhana, Lonavala. He remembered Sr. Candida and acknowledged her as his teacher.

Though a scholar, an academician and an artist, Sr. Candida was a practical woman. She was a great admirer of St. Teresa of Avila and like her; she combined in herself a deep sense of the spiritual with human qualities like humour and cheerfulness.

Sister spent her retirement years in Carmel Convent, Trivandrum. She died of a heart attack, quite suddenly on the 10th July, 1978.

Sunday, June 10, 2018