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Nun candidate ends life in Indian convent

Anna Poorani, 27, was reportedly suffering from depression and hanged herself to death

Photo of the convent of Sisters of Providence of the Institute of Charity in southern Indian Kerala state, where a candidate-nun committed suicide reportedly after she suffered depression

Photo of the convent of Sisters of Providence of the Institute of Charity in southern Indian Kerala state, where a candidate-nun committed suicide reportedly after she suffered depression. (Photo: english.mathrubhumi.com)

Published: March 02, 2023 12:23 PM GMT

Updated: March 02, 2023 12:26 PM GMT

The body of a postulant candidate of the Italy-based Sisters of Providence of the Institute of Charity was found hanging in her congregation’s house in India, police said.

The body of Anna Poorani, 27, was found inside the room of her convent in Vettuthara near the southern Indian state of Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, on Feb. 27. 

The police, after a primary investigation, said it was a case of suicide.

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Poorani, a native of nearby Tamil Nadu state, left a suicide note in her native Tamil language, saying no one should be blamed for her death, said Sister Mary Helen Sebastian, provincial superior of the Sisters of Providence of the Institute of Charity, popularly known as the Rosminian Sisters. 

The suicide note, according to the provincial, said, “I am going to Jesus as I understand that I cannot lead a genuine life on this earth.” 

Poorani also owned responsibility for her action and sought "pardon from the mother" but did not specify if it was her biological mother or her superior.

Poorani, according to the provincial, had joined the community for all the activities on the previous night until she retired to bed.

She, however, did not turn up for morning prayers. Other nuns went to her room only to find her body hanging from a ceiling fan in the room.

The nuns later informed the police and completed the legal formalities before handing over the body to family members, who took the body to her hometown in Tirupur in Tamil Nadu.

Poorani "was suffering from depression,” parish priest Father Maria Dominic Zacharias told UCA News on Feb. 28. 

He said nobody would “ever have imagined that she would take such an extreme step.”

The priest also ruled out any foul play.

“The body was removed from the ceiling fan in the presence of family members to avoid any confusion,” the priest added.

Poorani joined the Italian-based congregation three years ago. She had gone to Andhra Pradesh, another southern Indian state, as part of training and returned to Kerala in January. 

At least 20 nuns, including novices, have committed suicide in Kerala state since 1987.


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1 Comments on this Story
It needs a lot of explaining why so many “suicides” are taking place in Kerala convents. Even in the case of Sister Abhaya, whose body was found in the well of St. Pius Convent in Kerala’s Kottayam town on March 27, 1992, it was termed by her congregation as a case of suicide. But later investigations proved it was a murder. What is CBCI’s (and also Sisters in Solidarity) stand on this?

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