MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE
Born : 11.01.1923 – Polur
First Commitment : 06.01.1949 – Kotagiri
Final Commitment : 04.01.1955 – Vellore
Died : 23.07.2014 at Sacred Heart Home,Katpadi
Funeral on Thursday, 24th July 2014, at 10.00 a.m. Sacred Heart Home, Katpadi
A BRIEF PROFILE OF SR. MORIS KANNIKKAM MARIA
At 11.55 a.m. on Wednesday, the 23rd of July, 2014, our dear Sr. MORIS Kannikkam Maria of left this world at the age of 92 to her new abode in heaven. The entire community – Sisters, Aspirants, Postulants and the House Staff together with the Provincial, Sr. Magnifcat – were gathered around her and were celebrating the Holy Eucharist. After the anointing of the sick, when the Eucharistic Sacrifice began and while the reading was going on, Sr. Kannikkam made her ultimate offering to the Lord to whom she had dedicated herself in joyful service all through her life and breathed her last. The community continued with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and offered the first suffrages for the repose of her soul thanking the Lord for such a beautiful life and holy death.
Sr. Kannikkam Maria was born on 11th January 1923, to Moris Maduranayagam and Bakkiammal, in Polur, North Arcot District as the fourth child with three elder sisters, one younger sister and a younger brother. She was baptised on 21st January 1923, and received confirmation on 22nd February, 1933.
Gifted with a family of deep Christian faith, Kannikkam grew up edified by the good example of her sisters and the witnessing life of her mother. Daily communion, regular confessions and faithful recitation of the Holy Rosary as a family, were at the root of her religious vocation. Her constant prayer to Jesus and Mary was to make her pure and humble. The affectionate atmosphere created in the home shaped the life of Kannikkam and made her loving and kind – a truely Salesian characteristic.
Having lost her father while still very young, Kannikkam was much worried as to how she could pursue her childhood dream of becoming a religious. The desire to become a sister was so strong that she overcame all the obstacles and the prayers of Sr. Sandra Burgos – an ardent missionary -seem to have played a vital role in her entry into the congregation.
As a member of an active family in the Salesian Parish at Polur, Kannikkam learnt the basic tenets of Salesian Charism, came to know about the life of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello and decided that she would be a Salesian sister and only salesian sister. Kannikkam joined the congregation as a postulant at the age of 23 in Yercaud, on 24th of May, 1946, after completing her Std. VIII Higher Grade Teacher Training and two years of teaching experience in St. Mary’s Vellore. She entered the novitiate in Kotagiri on 6th January, 1947.
Sr. Kannikkam made her first profession on 6th January, 1949, in Kotagiri and completed her Secondary School in St. Mary’s, Vellore in the year 1951 and Teacher’s Training in Mary Immaculate, Thirupathur in the year 1954. She took technical examinations in drawing and painting, interior decorations and obtained technical teacher training certificate in 1955. She made her perpetual profession on 4th January, 1955.
Sr. Kannikkam held various responsibilities as teacher in the Elementary School, assistant of the boarders in St. Mary’s, Vellore, Mary Immaculate, Thirupathur and St. Joseph’s, Arni from 1949 to 1957. She served as the Headmistress of the Elementary School at St. Joseph’s, Arni, Little Flower Boy’s School, Pallikonda and St. Mary’s, Vellore from 1958 to 1975. Sr. Kannikkam knew how combine kindness and firmness in the right proportion and as such was a very good assistant in the school and in the boarding.
She was very creative in all that she did – be it in the class room or in the recreation or in the chapel with the celebration of the liturgy – there was life and originality in whatever she did. With her resourceful initiatives, she was capable of keeping the boarders alive and active. Sr. Kannikkam imbibed the Salesian Spirit from the missionary sisters with whom she lived and the same she practiced in her dealings with the children and the young, keeping them as her role models. She worked diligently as a teacher especially with the boys of Pallikonda. With her prayers and recommendations five boys were already priests by the year 1994.
She also held responsibilities as the Vicar in the Communities of Arni and Vellore and Economer in Thanjavur and Vyasarpadi. As Economer in Vyasarpadi from 1982 to 2008 for 26 years she rendered remarkable services to the community. The many Salesians who lived at the ‘Beatitudes’ Centre Vyasarpadi during those long years remember the wonderful ways in which she expressed her motherly and loving care towards them. Her meticulous and systematic way of maintaining accounts with precision and accuracy was something wonderful and very much to be appreciated.
Sr. Kannikkam gratefully remembers Mother Theresa Merlo, the pioneer whom she says, helped her to become a Salesian Sister. She recalls with love and gratitude the gentle corrections of Mother Avio Maria, the edifying life of renunciation lived by Sr. Borrini Giacomina, the dedicated life of Sr. Maria Angeleri, the formative interventions of Sr. Ruffina Micheal and the exemplary life of the missionary sisters with whom she lived. She was very much devoted to her superiors and she loved and respected them.
Sr. Kannikkam was ready for any type of work that was assigned to her and she had no preferences whatsoever but only readiness to do what God’s will demanded. Reading the life of the Salesian saints greatly enthused her and inspired her to do something special for the young. Towards this end she was always ready to spend all her time and energy. Though a bit proud by nature and would soon give into her anger she would lose no time in overcoming herself, become humble and mend the broken relationships.
When at last Sr. Kannikkam was confined to a wheel chair and was no more able to do active apostolate among the young in Vyasarpadi, she was transferred to Katpadi in the year 2008. From then on she dedicated her life to prayer ministry drawing down blessings upon the Community, the young candidates, Province and the Congregation. Her presence in the formation house of aspirants and postulants was a great edification for the young formees. Her readiness to lend a helping hand in the kitchen, the longing to be with the community, her involvement and participation in the various community moments, punctuality, diligence, word in the ear and good nights were a source of inspiration to one and all.
Sr. Kannikkam was slowly declining in her health and during the past one month she was confined to her bed. The last three days of her life, she was unable to eat, sleep or speak. Conscious till the very end, she slowly and gradually surrendered herself to the Lord in a total offering of herself.
Dear Sr. Kannikkam, we thank you for your long life of dedicated service in the province. Now that you are in the embrace of the Father, intercede for us with the Lord for many holy vocations for our Province for India and for the Institute. We entrust to your powerful prayers the forth coming General Chapter. Following your example may we all live our commitment joyfully serving the Lord in His poor till the end.
Sr. Magnificat Soosai, fma
Provincial – INM