Sr Candida Manche
"Admittedly, it is not in our power to determine how our death may come about.
However, it does lie in our power to determine how we live, so that we may die without fear."
(St.Augustine Sermon, 306,2)
Having been asked to say a few words about Sr.Candida, the first thought that comes to me is that Sr.Candida would be very embarrassed about all this. You see, knowing Sr.Candida, Iknow that she never wanted to be the centre of attention and here we are today singing our praises of her. and how embarrassed she must be feeling.
For Sr.Candida any praise was always replied with "it's my job!" We would say: "Sr.Candidawhy do you work so hard making things as perfect as you can? Why not take the easy way out?" Her reply: "It's my job...be perfect as my Father your Father is perfect". Sr.Candida, "why do you insist on praying the rosary late into the nigt or praying your 'office' when you aren't feeling well?" "It's my job...pray constantly." Sr.Candidna, why do you go overseas to serve in Italy?.. "it's my job ...you alone do I love, you alone do I seek."
Lastly, whilst holidaying in Sydney, she was once again asked to spend a few more months helping our Australian communities she quietly served.It's only fitting that on her coffin lies the Congregations' book of rules and Constitutions. It was these books that Sr.Candida tried so hard to follow and for us who lived with her she was, in many ways, our model.
It's only fitting that on her coffin lies the Congregations' book of rules and Constitutions. It was these books that Sr.Candida tried so hard to follow and for us who lived with her she was, in many ways, our model. If we wanted to know how to pray we would look to her. If we wanted to know to live community life, we would look to her. If we wanted to know how to live life simply, yet solidly based on God, we would look towards her. Even when at the age of 63, she was asked to move to Italy she showed, very quietly by action, that what she had taught so many novices was still important to her: obedience to the rule.
Perhaps the virtue Sr.Candida will always be remembered for is that she never wanted to inconvenience anyone. she would always be apologizing: "I'm sorry I've been so much trouble; I'm sorry I have to disturb your work, I'm sorry that you have to drive me to the doctor's." You see, Sr.Candida seemed to believe that everyone was much more important than she was.
One can't help thinking that the circumstances of her death were typical of her life. She wanted God alone. "that the family and the community would have wished to have been with her in her last moments, Sr.Candida seemed to, with a quiet determination, have said "this is where I wish to die: with my heart facing the one I follow and love." Therefore, on the 16th of January whilst at Mass, Sr.Candida, met her Creator.
Finally, I can't help thinking that the day of her death, Sr.Candida would have stood knocking at the door of heaven - ever so gently so as not to disturb God who must be very busty elsewhere, and very softly saying "I'm Sr.Candida, Augustinian Sister, Servant of Jesus and Mary." and God replying, "I'm God, servant of Candida, come in."
Eulogy:Mass of Christian Burial, 21/01/1991
Sr.Lorraine Testa (asjm)