Dadda loved me a lot
I was his pet, he loved me a lot
But never told me so
But I have heard from others
And his deeds showed them all
The day he gave
As a bride to another
It had been his saddest day in life
My uncle told me so
The tears he
shed on my wedding day
That I will never forget
He was losing his little girl
And gaining a son in life
He loved my
Like he loved no other
Took care of him and guided him
And spoilt him a little too.
God called him
and he went away
To his eternal rest and home above
He may not be with us in life
But with God he will always be
He is present
in our hearts
And there he will always be
He was my Dadda
And no one can take his place
was gentleness personified
Mother Lewis, F.M.M. (Sr. Frances Monks)
The death of Mother Lewis who worked as a missionary in
Sri Lanka, saddened me very much. She passed away in the United
States, after a terminal illness patiently borne.
My first encounter
with Mother Lewis was in 1947, when I was a student at O.L.V. Convent,
Moratuwa. She had just arrived from the United States, and we were
some of her earliest students. We were inclined to be rather naughty
and inattentive at times, but she left a broad margin for our playfulness
and soon established a fine rapport with us.
we were too young, too "green" and too immature to appreciate
her innate goodness, her dedication and her saintliness. She was
just a nice teacher, kind, pleasant and soft-spoken. Within a short
period, while she was still in her twenties (with a maturity far
beyond her years), she was appointed Principal of O.L.V. Convent.
By then she had won the hearts of all the teachers who gave her
their whole-hearted co-operation.
school, I joined her staff to do part-time work for seven years.
It was truly a joy to work for Mother Lewis. During that period
not once did I hear her speak an unkind word to anyone. She was
always affable and appreciative. She was a true friend and guide
for convent life made me take up an appointment in a distant school,
but Mother Lewis' kindness was never forgotten.
tenure as principal, the school made excellent progress in studies
and sports. She took a keen interest, in extra-curricular activities,
but first and foremost, she placed emphasis on the religious formation
of her students. She realized that her students needed a solid religious
foundation much more than academic achievements.
a high standard of discipline, but never did she raise her voice
or resort to harsh tactics.
unassuming ways, her calm, placid manner, her slim, tall figure
and dignified bearing, her pleasant disposition, and above all,
her kindness and compassion, left a deep impression on the minds
of her students, and won for her their respect, admiration and loyalty.
was gentleness personified. Her gentleness was something that I
truly admired and marvelled at. Many were those who had a profound
admiration for her, but very few could emulate her.
Sixty one years
of her life had been consecrated to the Lord. After my retirement,
during a traumatic period of my life, when I was (in the words of
the psalmist) like 'a pelican of the wilderness', a 'sparrow alone
upon the house top', Mother Lewis was a tower of strength to me.
A few years
ago, on the advice of a doctor, she bade good-bye to Sri Lanka and
returned to her homeland.
end, when her life was quiet ebbing away, she had been constantly
saying, "I am going to see my divine spouse". While asking
God's forgiveness for any ingratitude that I may have shown to such
a wonderful person, I praise and thank God for Mother Lewis' beautiful
life and for the joy that she brought to the lives of those who
had the privilege of associating with her.