Sr Mary Helen Siluvainathan of the Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC) passed away on 23 November 2015. She was 75.
Sr Mary was born on 12 April 1940 in Singapore. She lost her mother when she was very young and was brought up by her father. When she was critically ill as a child, her father prayed and made a vow to offer her to God if God would bless and heal her. She fulfilled her father’s promise when she entered the Canossian Convent in 1959. Sr Mary professed her final vows in 1967 at Vimercate in northern Italy.
Sr Mary was trained as a teacher and taught in St Anthony’s Convent in Middle Road. She also went on a mission outreach to Taunggyi, Myanmar and was the local leader of the communities of Canossa Convent and St Joseph’s Home. Sr Mary was actively involved in RCIA with the parishes and catechesis in the Canossian schools. Through bible sharing with the Golden Circle, she guided those who wished to deepen their relationship with God. She was also Sister Animator of Our Lady of Sorrows Sodality (also known as the Purple Ladies), and the St Anthony and San Antonio Lay Canossian Groups.
Sr Mary was very proud to be a Canossian Sister. Her greatest zeal was to make Jesus known and loved— she often shared about the lives of the two great Canossian saints: St Magdalene of Canossa and St Josephine Bakhita. This zeal helped her overcome her ill health. Her sisters remember her as one who did not allow her illness to control her, but put great effort into controlling it. Sr Mary had a strong sense of belonging to her religious community, she meticulously kept notes and their Community Life Plans. When she was hospitalized, she participated in planning for her community’s item for their Christmas gathering and even took leave from the doctors to help prepare for it. Although she grew weaker, Sr Mary remained joyful and smiling.
Sr Mary was a friend, a ‘mother’ to her nieces and nephews, a guide and companion. She will be remembered for her love for God and neighbour, her humility, her candour, for standing firm to her beliefs and her radiant smile.
Her body was cremated on 27 November 2015. We invite you to continue to pray for her in your masses and prayers.
Credits: Sr Priscilla Ahin, FDCC; Chancery Office