Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sister M. Riji Kannampuzha

“Come and hear, all you who fear God, while I recount what have been done for me”.
(Psalm 66:16d)


As I look over my story with the Lord, and the many blessings He has given me, it seems as though, discovering a mountain range in my backyard that I had never noticed before! My first gift from Lord was to be born on March 8, 1974 into a very warm and loving home, where I grew up as the eldest of two siblings in rural village of Kerala. The faith situations of my family enriched and deepened my own Catholic faith.  One of the highlights of my young life that I still remember very well was receiving my first communion; Jesus stole my heart when I made my first communion. True to my first love from that moment on, I joyfully prayed to make me His own. All I can say is that from that day God has been preparing my heart. 

God surprised me with a vocation when all of a sudden; I thought of joining to be a religious while I was in grade ten. Sr. Mary of my home parish directed me to choose our congregation. Along with Sr. Siji I travelled to North India on 21 August, 1989 and arrived at Pithora on 23 August 1989. My arrival to the our congregation is to me the first step on the long path of gifts and grace by which the Lord has patiently and graciously led me all my life till today. Thinking of my journey, I recall the words of Thomas Merton’s prayer: “I do not know where I am going…but you will lead me down the right road, though I know nothing of it.”

I liked the rhythm of religious life. In the initial stages of religious life I realized, I knew nothing of St. Francis of Assisi whose spirituality I was to follow. Then I happened to read the book St. Francis of Assisi by Kasnthascus from the time I caught his fire and His love for Jesus. I love his spirituality and his dream of evangelizing the whole world with love. God continued to call me closer to Him during my formation discernment, but there were many moments when I tried to push Him away and reasoned that I needed to “experience more of life.” God poured out some of the greatest and solid mentors who showed me what it looks like to live a religious life joyfully and authentically, even if it is not always easy. During my lifetime, I have been blessed with many Spiritual programs offered by the community that have enhanced my spiritual and prayer life.

Through the years, I have come to believe that my call to religious life is a gift that calls me to be open enough to become my truer self. Saying “yes”, to God is not always easy but with His Grace, all is possible. In addition, I have come to experience that God wants my happiness and to use my talents in a way that will help others and me. My relationship with God became central and my commitment to religious life as a sister of the Hospital sisters of the third order regular of St Francis became real. With this awareness, I look towards the future and all of life with a willing spirit, believing God will be with me every step of the way. In the words of St. Francis, “He will never leave me to walk this path alone”!  I started my career with teaching and I continue with it. To date, I have been a Religious for more than 25 years. May God grant me many more years in this vocation He laid out for me, to continue with the zeal to make Jesus known and loved.