CIC – Sivagangai Province
Rev. Fr. Augustine Pereira, a Diocesan priest from Tuticorin, and Rev. Fr. Julius Larmey, SJ, and Rev. Fr. Eugene Nespoulous, SJ, the ardent Jesuits of Roman Catholic Madurai Mission are the founders of our Congregation. While Fr. Larmey and Fr. Nespoulous are the French missionaries, Fr. Pereira is the son of our soil, born in Tuticorin in 1854. Leaving behind his father’s business Fr. Pereira joined Rev. Fr. Julius Larmey, SJ, to work as his co-pastor in 1875 at Panjampatty assisting him in pastoral ministry. Being motivated by these dedicated men of God a group 4 women pledged to stay together under their aegis. These 4 foremothers of our Congregation are now honoured as the founding mothers of our Congregation.
The Sisters of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, known in common parlance as Madurai Blue Sisters, since the inception of the Congregation reflect the vision of their Founder in living out their charism of “Preaching the Good News to the Poor in Simplicity and Love.” ‘Simplicity’ of life is the rootedness of the Sisters while ‘Love’ is their openness. In simplicity of heart they are rooted in their Lord and Master and in love they offer themselves to their ministries in education, healthcare, social work, pastoral care, and evangelisation. In the beautiful blend of simplicity and openness the Good News is preached in word and
The fountain of our spirituality is the Immaculate heart of Mary to which the Congregation is fondly dedicated. The Immaculate Heart of Mary reverberate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She bore the God Incarnate into the world and led him from Nazareth to Cana and from Cana to Calvary. We strive to walk in the footsteps of Mary Immaculate in our own little ways and reflect her involvement in and commitment to God’s salvific plan for the broken humanity. Her spouse and the foster father of Our Lord, Saint Joseph is our co-patron. His silent surrender and righteous attitude is our inspiration as well. And the Ignatian Spirituality of our Founders also has a key role to play in granting us the practical ways for a professed life.
Our spirituality is strengthened and is made manifest by the following practices:
– Daily Morning and Evening Prayer
– Recital of the Office of the Hours
– Meditation – Contemplative
– Holy Mass
– Examen of Conscience at Noon
– Eucharistic Adoration
– Recital of the Holy Rosary and the Litany
– Monthly Recollection
– Sacrament of Reconciliation- Annual Retreat
– Way of the Cross during the Lent
– Spiritual Reading – Readings from the Spiritual Classics
– Daily Reading of the Word of God at Meals
– Fasting on First Saturday of the Month
Our Superior General Rev.Mother Mary Josefa took efforts to divide the Congregation into regions for the sake of an efficient administration. Rev.Mother Josephine Alphonsa the successor of mother Mary Josefa, made streneous efforts to change it into provinces; such as Madurai, Sivagangai and Palayamkottai. In the year of 1997 March, the region of Sivagangai was formed into province comprising of —– Communities.
Srs.Baley Margaret[ 1984-88],Sr.Romanees Mary [1988-1991] Sr.Ignatius Florence were the Regional Superiors. When the region came into being as province Sr.Motchalangaram was elected as the first Provincial [1997-2004].Followed by Sr.Motchalargaram. Sr.Celine Saleth [2004-2007] and Sr.Maria pushpam [2007-2013] were the provincials. At present Sr.Alphonse Fathima[ from 2013] renders her service as the provincial of Sivagangai Province.
We serve in the following dioceses
Walking in the Loving Footsteps of Mary Immaculate.
Preaching the Good news to the poor in simplicity and Love.
To be in relationship with those deprived of their human rights especially the women
To proclaim the Gospel to the people in order to help them to understand the good news and experience the presence of God in their day to day life and deepen our God experience as the sisters of the congregation of Immaculate conception
The ways and means they take to be effective in their ministry:
- Selecting villages to get involved in direct evangelical ministry
- Having regular study of the scripture
- Conducting orientation programmes to the volunteers
- Visiting families and praying with them
- Teaching Catechism and giving counseling to those in need
- Visiting the sick and aged and helping them by listening to their problems
Pastoral Ministry and Family apostolate
As per our charism, our focus is on preaching the Good news to the poor in simplicity and love. Keeping this in mind, we work in collaboration with the priests and laity in the parishes through catechism, BCC, Preparing for the sacraments, Arranging for the rectification of marriages, helping people to take part in the liturgy meaningfully with full zeal and spirit, getting involved in the parish council, Visiting families and actively taking part in the group prayer.
Education is life – Guard it well
The goal of our Educational ministry is to help the children and young women studying in our schools, To acquire up-to-date knowledge and good character, So as to reach full maturity and be responsible persons in the future society.
SCHOOLS IN SHORT
- Sebastian Higher Sec. School, Kuthalore
This school is located at Kuthalore, about 7 kilometers away from Karaikudi. Most of the people are farmers. The village was not developed in several other ways before Rev. Fr. Queen S. J. asked the Amalavi sisters to do gospel works. In 1940 a house was built for the sisters by him. Then the sisters stepped foot in Middle school, belonging to the Sivagangai Diocese. As the people did not get frequent monsoon they had to migrate to the towns. The result was a very small present-age of population belonging to Christians. Some elders were a large hearted people. They showed excessive solicitude to us. Because of their repeated requisition, we had to start a High School for their children. The school was built in 1998. The magnanimous people made a contribution in the form of 2.11 acre land for a newly started school. A hostel is constructed for the children to be better in their education.
2. Amala Annai High School, Karankadu
Ramnad is located 8 kms away from Thondi. Karangadu is a place bordering on vast expanse of sea water and on the lap of the sea shore. Actually the people of here are not abundance of wealth, education, large supply of goods, thoughts and words. Their main work is fishing. Most of them are fishermen. At the outset, typically saying in 1800 a choultry was built. The sisters of Amala stayed there and worked in the primary school, belonging to Sivagangai Diocese. The sisters had taken up projects and instituted programmes covering a wide field of social service and involving the active participation of its village children. By dint of huge effort made by the Parish Priest and the Amalavi sisters the middle school was made into a High School. Periodically occurring cyclone and hurricane the people were affected and suffered a lot. We, the Amala sisters went to their aid particularly in the years 1964, 1967, 1974, 1995, 2006. Our help is unforgettable and is impressed deeply by them in memory of our service. By giving them a timely help and support day and night. We only helped a lame dog over a stile. The people will never forget this while they are above the ground. The school will be their crowning glory.
3) Sahaya Rani Higher Secondary School SoosaiyapparPattinam
This school is located at SoosaiyapparPattinam, about 2 kilometres away from Kalaiyarkoil. A Very large percentage of population is Christians. Agriculture is their main solace, relief and comfort. Till 1920 there were no schools in and around the town. Later in 1926 a primary school was opened. As there were no good schools, the young girls of the village had to go to the towns such as Madurai, Tirunelveli and Dindigul inorder to get good education. Some poverty stricken girls had to study upto VIII and after that they had to discontinue their studies. No one backed them up. To monitor women’s education some parish priests inspired the Amalavi sisters to open a High School in the interest of the girls. The local people made a contribution in the form of 2land, along with it we purchased 2. 12 acre land. In 1969 a High School was opened by the Amalavi sisters and in the year 1979, it was made into a Higher Sec. School. The students stood first in the public exams, leading to the SSLC and Higher Secondary Examinations. The benefactorof German
Polo family, gave us a charitable gift. With that a hostel was constructed mainly for the poor and needy.
4) LoruduAnnai Higher Secondary School , K. Pudu
Pudur is located on the way to Alagarkoil, North side. Hundred years before K. Pudur was a small town with an average population. Some lived in huts. The circumstances led Amalavi sisters opened the first two classes for the welfare of the poor children. The school was opened in 1933. As the sisters used to go to school on foot, Rev. Fr. Gabriel comas sj helped them to build a home. A new house was built for the sisters in 1937. Classes were conducted in Tamil from standard VI to VIII.
Sisters those are engaged in medical service take care, not only to heal the physical illness of the people but also to comfort them and bring peace to their hearts, and be concerned about their welfare of the whole being through counseling.
Aim of undertaking healing ministry
- To make quality health service available, affordable and accessible in the rural area
- To be helpful in the rehabilitated activities related to health problems.
- To provide first aid and emergency treatment at homes in the villages.
- To help the downtrodden by deepening our values in the commercialized world.
Regular activates at our Health centres
- Promoting preventive measures by means of conducting awareness programmes and camps [eye check up, diabetes check up etc]
- Collaborating with NGO’s and Governmental Organizations.
- providing palliative care
- Teaching alternative medicines
- Giving concession for the poor and medicine at fee of coat for the deserved
- Appointing qualified professionals from the outside.
Health – Hope for the Future
The God has become like men and have come down to us. God knows the thoughts and desires of everyone. God finds the people full of irrational belief, belief in what is absurd. They carryout superstitiously their minds. Then God got rid of all these with all His might. God freed and liberated them from irrational faith in witchcraft, conjuring black-magic. As God is the Healer, He works miraculously among the people he puts one’s mind arrest. He showed kindness and mercy. He changed their minds and carried out his plans. God called preachers, ambassadors and apostles to follow out his works. Amalvai sisters with love of service to humanity circulate in the community to help poor patients at hospitals with eagerness and intense zeal, fervor.
They carry out their schemes in public and the people will see them or know what they are doing. The people affected by a disease or indisposition are looked after well by the sisters. They do all the medical service to the sick people at good time. They work miraculously among the sick people. They do this service with eagerness and intense zeal, fervor by carrying first aid kits.
They are sent to Tuticorin, Bangalore, Hydrabad , Patna, Mumbai and Madurai to be trained for attending on the sick, a female attendant on children etc., In 1966 Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier was sent to St. John’s medical college, America to study medicine, there she was a student of medicine for four years. She came back to India as a skillful physician. The sisters work among the sick people with medicinal plants. They are good at herbaceous study. Each tables are given numbers for easy understanding the people who are lacking education. Even they do their works among the sick people during holidays satisfactorily. Every sister tries to attain perfection in her work. Even the sisters are sent to Madurai Rajaji Hospital, Dindigul St. Joseph’s Hospital, TrihyInfant Jesus Hospital to be trained as medical attendants. They never do slip work. A child should be a crawler. Without crawling a babe will not be well advanced in its life. According to this the sisters are well trained to care for the sick. The sick people are looked after by trained nurses. Medicines are supplied to poor patients.
Leonard Hospital, K. Pudur
A few Amalavai sisters set their feet in Madurai. The actual, day today management have ever in the hands of the Amalavai sisters took over the responsibility of opening a hospital. They continued to look after the facility in Madurai. In 1961 Amalavi sisters’ Golden jubilee and Rev. Bishop Leonard S.J’s silver jubilee were celebrated in a grant manner. In memory of the two functions a land was purchased worth Rs. 1000/- to build a hospital. Sr. Gabirini and Salomi were sent to Rajaji Hospital to receive training as medical attendants. They helped skillfully and willingly. A fine hospital was opened in the land on 15th of August 1962. The well trained sister Salomi was appointed to the post of medical attendant. Maternity section was opened. They started a maternity section in a secluded place and the inpatients are put in a secluded place. People started flocking towards the hospital to get medicine. Proper medical care is given to the sick. So the dispensary is familiar to the locality. Because of our sisters un instinted help our service gets widespread reputation. Out patients are looked after well. There is a separate new building constructed for them on 2nd of January, 1976. The problem of providing medical facilities and special treatment have to be solved. On the 1st November, 1998 a separate room is constructed for the sisters to stay in.There is an up-to-date scan, X-ray machine, a well equipped pathological laboratory and a very good operating theatre. Where operations are performed by the visiting surgeon attached to the hospital. Even the sick sisters are looked after well by the trained missionaries.
In 2003 Dr. Rev. Sr. Rosy was appointed as doctor and president of the hospital. The hospital was expanded by her huge effort. Various visiting physicians are taken turns at the hospital. Facilities in the Hospital have been improved from time to time.
The Hospital is well equipped, with X-ray, Maternity and other Facilities and also the inchargeis Sr. Dr. Rosy:
Cancer awareness is given along with the other organizations. Though this extra work meant little or no holiday for these doctors, sisters and medical attendants, they helped willingly.
St. Joseph’s Hospital, Pullial
Pullial is situated between Tiruvadanai and Devakottai. Pious people are living here. They are having reverence for God. Most of the people are farmers. In the beginning people were suffering from Cholera, an infectious disease Plague, an epidemic disease and Malaria. In this circumstances Rev. Fr. Alexis, Parish Priest wished to construct a hospital for the people who are despair, and pain. At the same time Sr. Gabiriniwho worked atRajaji Hospital in Madurai resigned her job and joined this hospital. She did her service in the Amalavai building itself. They ran the hospital in a temporary building. The need for a good permanent hospital with a resident staff was soon felt. They appointed same medical also stands. The Parish priest gave them good remuneration for the work on 21st April 1971 a new hospital was opened by Rev. Fr. Bishop Justin Diraviam. Then in 1978 this hospital was taken inchargeby the Amalavai sisters. “St. Joseph’s Hospital” The hospital was fittingly named. Without Fr. Alex initiative, the hospital would not have built.
Aravind eye hospital Madurai, Meenatchi Mission Hospital, Madurai. Thamian Eye Hospital, Nilakottai, Salaigiramam conduct free Eye checkup programme every year. Rotary club also help in the hospital. Mobile clinic is run in and around Pullial. Serving the sick people through mobile clinic is crowning glory.
Members of One Family:
In the beginning the hospital was opened in a small tiled house. Facilities in the hospital have been improved from time to time. Now this hospital has 50 beds. They work miraculously with a love of service to the humanity and a missionary zeal the sisters give quality care and medical attention. Remediable work is done immediately. So their service gets widespread reputation. As the inpatients and out patients are looked after well and are given good medical treatment people start flocking towards this hospital. They examine the condition and soundness of the sick people body. Various visiting physicians are taken turns at the hospital.
The Immaculate School of Nursing
This place has more or less poor people such as coolies, low income people. Because of the Poverty problem their children particularly young girls had to give up their studies after finishing their plus two. They were like fish out of water. They had to work in the fields removing weeds. Due to utter poverty the people could not send their daughters to schools after the plus two.
In these circumstances the Amalavai sisters looked into this matter and decided to improve this hospital and Nursing school by creating more and more medical attendants and nurses. Thus Immaculate School of Nursing was born. Rev. Sr. Motcha Alangaram took huge effort and was taken over the responsibility of improving this school. Inspection was done by the Tamil Nadu Nursing Council and Indian Nursing Council. They inspected each and every tools and the place carefully, and after examining carefully, on the 14th of June 2007 Recognition order was given by them. Young girls are well trained and educated successfully. Every year to do the certificate course 20 girls are admitted for certified course to this school of Nursing and after thorough detailed and knowledge. Four years they get their certificates and after that they are appointed as nurses in the hospital. This St. Joseph’s hospital is the top most hospital at Puliyal. Through the fruitful service this hospital’s name and fame is spread far and wide, that is work slowly into favour. This is our Mother hospital of all the hospitals. This nursing school is tied up with Municipality. For practical and preferring activity this school is affiliated with
1) Government Head quarter’s Hospital – Ramnad.
2) Primary Health Centre (PHC) – Thiruvegam burthur
3) Rajaji Government Hospital – Madurai.
4) Padmini Urology Hospital – Karaikudi.
CCC- Community Care Centre for HIV / AIDS Patients:
This is in the middle place for specially intended for aids affected persons. AIDS is a killing disease. It is a dreadful, horrible, awful, fearful and terrible disease because of that the aids stricken people are left lonely and are departed from others. In order to prevent it, on 17th of June, 2008 ‘C’ Programme was started, particularly for the aids affected persons.
- Inspect carefully regarding white corpo cells. It should not be diminished. If it decreases in amount, careful attentionshoud be taken through ART.
- Home care will be taken and no delay in helping.
- CD4 is carefully examined once in six months.
- Nourishing food is given.
- Helping by giving booklets.
- Most affected persons are sent to Rajaji Hospital or Sivagangai hospital.
- Awareness on Aids is given now and then.
This committee is run by the valuable suggestions, hints and proposals of the collector, Pleader, doctor, school headmaster, politician and village president. This committee is taken their advice. After the death of the AIDS affected persons’ dead bodies are cremated. The bodies are burnt to Ashes.
Speaking high of our service:
Sr. Motcham is spoken highly of her loyal work attending on the AIDS people. Because of her tireless work and considered with much respect the Human rights organization considered high and honoured her. On 29th of November 2009 she was granted “STAR ACHIEVER” award on 29th of January 2011 the Media Vision Organization gave her “Bharatha Rathina” award. It is a decision of her service. The two awards are unforgettable things given in recognition.
The goal of our social development and social transformation is to contribute towards the integral growth of the human person as individuals and as communities. Sisters try their level best to help the poor get their basic rights such as food, clothing, shelter and education and thus help them to live with freedom and self respect. Social service is being rendered in such a way that people do not lose sight of their ultimate end according to God’s plan. Forming self-help groups of women enable them to live with proper self-esteem.