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Sr. Claudia Kedangan

     Sr. Claudia 

Born: 03.03.1930

Professed: 24.05.1952

 R.I.P: 09.12.2017                  

Dear Sr. Claudia, Ursulines miss you…

You never said I’m leaving, you never said goodbye to anyone;

You were gone before we knew it and only God knows why;

In life the Ursulines loved you dearly; in death they still love you;

In their hearts they hold a place that only you can fill…

 

The saying ‘It is in dying that we are born to eternal life’ is true, as Sr. Claudia took  her flight to heaven on 9th December 2017, around 4.00 pm. She was 87 years old. She passes over to eternity having completed successfully her mission on earth when we least expected. For her, community life and its every activity was a treasured experience and she readily participated in it at all times. Her life in the community brought blessings and immeasurable joy.   

Sr. Claudia was born on 3rd March 1930 as the 3rd child to Antony and Rosa Kollannur, Tharayil at Parappour in the Archdiocese of Trichur, Kerala. God gifted them with ten children, five sons and five daughters of whom three brothers and three sisters have preceeded her for their eternal reward. In the early age itself, she had a desire to follow the Lord very closely. Her devoted and pious parents instilled in her a deep love for Jesus and Mother Mary. Religious vocations apparently ran in the Kedangan family. As her immediate family members had already joined the UMI’s, she was also inspired to give her life totally to the Lord following the footsteps of Bl. Brigida. 

Her entrance to the Ursuline Congregation was on 8th June 1949.  She was already a trained teacher before she joined. She made her first profession on 24th May 1952 and the perpetual profession on 24th May 1955 and was a full-fledged member of the Congregation for the past 65 years. As a young religious, she was zealous and enthusiastic and her life was marked by hard work, discipline and integrity. Her association with the Ursuline Italian pioneers speakes about her of dedication, commitment, toil and hard labour which she endured lovingly for the growth and expansion of the mission in India at its initial stage.

 Her interaction with Fr. Caironi S J and other Italian Jesuit missionaries have left an indelible mark of firmness, courage and incessant energy. She spared no effort to work for the progress of the mission in all our Provinces. Her pioneering involvements while working in Northern, Southern and Central part of India reveal her love for the mission of Jesus. She was committed in the mission…… leading and guiding those under her care with persistence and determination. She withstood all the hurdles and numerous challenges with firm trust and confidence in the Lord. There were times when she felt utterly helpless but in those moments she was closer to the Lord in the Tabernacle. She left a legacy of sacrifice, availability, zeal for the mission and constant prayer.

In the Gospel, Jesus says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Thess words of Jesus inspired Sr. Claudia to give herself fully for the integrated development of children, especially the poor and the needy. She undertook willingly and joyfully every trial and difficulty for the benefit of the children. Her dedicated, dynamic, and efficient service as a teacher, superior and hostel warden in the institutions in the different Provinces is noteworthy and commendable. After the retirement she generously and bravely served as a warden in some of the Ursuline boardings. A kind hearted and compassionate sister – she was a mother for the orphans and the abandoned. It is said, every situation she handled with shrewdness and insight. One of the pupils’ parent commented ‘she was a mother to all my children, strict yet loving and drew out the best from them for their future’. Her footprints of care and compassion are sown at Ursuline convent-Payyannur, St. Mary’s Convent-Bazpur, Sacred Heart convent-Obra, Ursuline Convent-Trivandram, Marianad Convent-Pampra, Ursuline Convent -Trikaripur, Ursuline Convent-Mangara, Ursuline convent- Mirjan, St. Ignatius convent -Paladka, St. Rita’s convent-Maina, Brigida Nivas-T C Palaya and Ursuline convent-Davis Road. Sr. Claudia was a person of conviction and she never compromised it with anything else. She was very faithful in spending time with the Lord and was seen in the chapel regularly in the afternoons in silent colloquy with the Him. She also spent time doing crochet, cooking, reading and cherished time with her friends and family. 

For 20 years, she had been part of the community at Davis Road. She lived an edifying life in her religious observances and practices. Her sense of responsibility, hospitality, affection and care were remarkable qualities that one wouldn’t easily miss. Her love for her family members was very strong in the early years, and she would get ready well in advance and wait eagerly for their arrival. In the recent years, she surrendered everything to the Lord and she never mentioned that she wanted to visit her family members. She used to say, ‘I’m just happy here’.

She was keeping rather good health, coping cheerfully with age-related ailments. She was a chronic patient of diabetic mellitus and Parkinson diseases. On 8th December 2017, early morning at around 2.00 am, she was found restless and complained about severe abdominal pain. Immediately she was rushed to St. Philomina’s Hospital- Bangalore. On her way to the Hospital, the Superior of the community asked her, ‘Do you remember the prayer we said while we were on our way to the hospital the last time? Immediately she whispered,  ‘Memorare’. On the way she kept praying loudly the Memorare many times.  At the Hospital, after the emergency care in the causality department she was shifted to the ICU for investigation and further treatment. She was showing signs of improvement till noon the next day. She received the anointing of the sick and Holy Communion joyfully in the morning.

She mentioned to Sr. Angeline, her cousin and others, who stayed with her in the Hospital, ‘do not leave me alone’. She was conscious and was talking until 3.00pm.  Then suddenly her vital signs started deteriorating and all the measures taken to revive her were in vain. At 4.00pm. she heard the gentle whisper of her beloved, as her life silently slipped away …‘Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, come’!!! With this invitation Sr. Claudia followed her eternal Spouse to a new dwelling place on 9th December 2017. The glow of peace and serenity that surrounded her made everyone believe that her voice joined the heavenly chorus. Indeed the sudden and unexpected departure was great a shock for all the Ursulines. However, it’s the faith in the resurrection of the body that gives the reason to proceed in this earthly journey towards eternity.

Bl. Brigida says “Suffering and pain are measured in hours but the reward cannot be measured because it is eternal”. Beloved Sr. Claudia, making these words of the Foundress a reality you have begun your journey to heaven. The Ursulines will miss you much….when you are in that kingdom where  there’s no pain and sorrow but only joy and peace remember and pray for each one.

Ursulines hear your whispering words – when your tomorrows start without me, don’t think we’re far apart, for every time you think of me, I’m right there in your heart.