At the heart of the world

Indian Province: Our Pilgrim Path


Province of India

 


Foot Steps of Our Missionary Sisters...

The visions and dreams of Fr. Medaille and Mother St. John Fontbonne  were first carried to  India by the six French sisters in 1906. In 1907, the second batch of three sisters joined the six in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. During the next few years the Indian Mission kept       growing on account of the missionary response of the sisters from France.


Missionary Journey...

The sisters visited the people in their homes and engaged in direct evangelization. They travelled on foot, bullock-carts and at times by bus. Along with pastoral works, the sisters began  to include health care and some of the sisters started to work in the Municipal Hospital.

In 1922 Sr. Rose Benedicte the first American missionary arrived in Madurai. The Colonial British Government  requested the sisters reopen a school and boarding for "Kalar" ( a particular underprivileged  section/caste of that time) girls. This was a turning point for the apostolate of the sisters and the first school was opened in Madurai. A creche, an orphanage and a school were established  in Usilampatti in1934. In 1942, another school was  started in Ramnad district about 90 kilometres away from Madurai.

Forty-five years  after the missionary seeds  were sown in Indian soil, the door of a Novitiate  was opened for the   Indians to join the Congregation and Sr. Marie de Britto was the first Indian to set foot in Assumption House  where      Sr. Gabrielle Carabelli , the first Novice Mistress welcomed her in 1951.

Realizing the need for women's higher education, Fatima College  emerged as the first Catholic college for women, due to the charismatic leadership of Sr. Rose Benedicte. In the same year, Holy Family Convent was started along with an industrial/technical school and an orphanage.


Springs of New Life...

In 1977, Indian sisters began the animation and administration of the Province and the Novitiate was shifted  to Peace Haven, Bangalore and in 1982 a more spacious Formation House  of Anudhavana was built. The administrative structure of the Indian Province consisted of four  statutory Sectors- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka coupled with  Andhra, Kerala  and Madhya Pradesh. In 2005, Madhya Pradesh (present
Chattisgrah and Orisa) became a Region.

At present the Province is blessed with 29 communities  spread over four States of India where the sisters  are engaged in  various apostolates and services with special emphasis on  option for the poor and the empowerment of women.


Journey Continued...


Some of the major areas of apostolate are:


Education from Kindergarten to higher education leading to doctorate

Social Action & implementation of Millennium Development Goals

Pastoral and Family Apostolate for Faith formation

Preventive & Curative Health Ministry which includes Hospital care and Health camps

Collaborative Ministry with the formation of Lay Associates


Indian Province responded to transcultural mission from 1970 to the present. The Province continues  to respond to the international need of the Congregation. Nine sisters are presently ministering outside India.