THE ORIGIN OF NORTH INDIA MISSION
From 1889 until 1985 the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception rendered service only in the Southern part of India. God’s call to serve in the Northern part of India came to CIC through Most Rev. Bishop John B. Thakur in the year 1986 when the Congregation celebrated its Platinum Jubilee.
The Bishop of Muzaffarpur Most Rev. John B.Thakur wrote an invitation letter to Superior General Mary Josepha on 18.12.1980 to serve for the people in his diocese, in the State of Bihar which is located in the North India. The matter was discussed in the consult meeting. Everyone in the meeting felt it as the plan of God and accepted the invitation happily.
The Bishop visited the CIC Generalate to discuss with the Superior General and the Sisters the needs of the new diocese. Fr. Mariannan S.J. a native of Panjampatti was in the Jesuit Province when the diocese was divided from the Archdiocese of Patna. Providentially he opted to serve in the new diocese. He also joined the bishop during his visit to Madurai and introduced our Sisters to him, as our Congregation had its origin in 1899 in Panjampatti, his native village. In the meantime General councilors also visited the place in Bihar and realized the necessity of the Congregation’s service there.
THE FIRST MISSIONARIES TO NORTH INDIA
Archbishop Casmir S.J. immediately granted permission and fully supported the new endeavor. The Congregation made its first venture in the year 1986 in memory of its
platinum jubilee. It was inaugurated in the presence of the Bishop of Muzaffarpur who attended the Jubilee celebrations. A team of six Sisters Arul Xavier, Jeyamary, Salethmary, Antoniammal, Thynese and Arul Mary Rani, the pioneers of the mission, committed themselves to the
service in front of the entire Congregation gathered for the platinum jubilee. Everyone encouraged them with joy and enthusiasm. It was an unforgettable day in the history of the Congregation.
The six missionaries started their journey to Varanasi in June 1986 at Nava Sadhana. Immediately after the course they reached Bettiah in the diocese of Muzaffarpur. The Superior General and her team arrived in advance at Bettiah to prepare the place for the Sisters. The Bishop of Muzaffarpur inaugurated the Convent on the exact date of the completion of the Platinum Jubilee on 02.07.1986 in the presence of the Priests, religious and some devoted Catholics of the Parish.
After taking an ample period of one year to learn Hindi, the local language at Bettiah, the Sisters entered into their first mission station at Ramnagar, where they were eagerly waiting to begin their new ministry with generous hearts to offer themselves with zeal and enthusiasm. The mission continues to bear fruit with the blessings of Almighty God through the intercession of Mother of the Immaculate Conception, the Patron of the Congregation. God blessed the Sisters to celebrate the 25 years of their marvelous challenging service in the Mission in North India in the year 2011.
Since the Congregation was still a diocesan one in the year 1985, the Bishop wrote a letter to the then Archbishop of Madurai, Most Rev. Justine Diraviam about the need of the CIC Sisters mission in the diocese of Muzaffarpur. Since the Congregation was starting for the first time the mission in North India, the discernment period for decision making took an appropriate time. At last the rays of hope came when Archbishop Casmir Gnanadickam S.J. succeeded Archbishop Justine Diraviam after his retirement in 1985.
The Church in Tamil Nadu had already tasted the bread and had relished its sweetness and riches. The Sisters felt that the tasted seeds of love, service, simplicity and cheerfulness of the CIC should be sown in new soil. How and where were the questions to be left to the Divine Providence. Yes, God’s ways are beyond our comprehension. The history begins with a Bank Manager working in Muzaffurpur who came in contact with Most Rev. J. B. Thakur S.J., the bishop of Muzaffurpur. He spoke to the bishop about the Sisters of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of Madurai (known as ‘the Madurai Blues’) and about their tireless service, hard work, simplicity and easy movement with the people. The bishop too was looking for Sisters who will work for the people and the development of the diocese. Coincidently the bishop travelled down South in the year 1986 to attend a CBCI meeting when he met the then Superior General Mother Mary Josefa and extended her an invitation to work in his diocese. Mother General accepted the invitation as God’s call and thought of exploring the mission in North India. Meanwhile, Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier (the then General Councilor) came to Patna for a CRI meeting. The sharing of the missionaries during the meeting about their mission experiences touched her heart and she felt confirmed of God’s call to serve the underprivileged people of this area. It was like a burning bush experience.
‘CIC North Mission’ has turned silver. Indeed, 25 years is a landmark in the ministry of service and love. The decision taken by the Congregation and the pioneering efforts in the mission have borne much fruit. The initial struggles were inevitable. Indeed they have become stepping stones in witnessing to Divine love. We are proud of the CIC North Mission and our hearts are filled with gratitude and joy. We join our Mother, the Immaculate Mary, in singing magnificent of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Trust in God; trust in the Congregation and trust in the companions motivated the Sisters to walk the extra mile. The missionary fervour and the desire to serve the poor empowered the Sisters to learn new languages, cultures, customs and adjust to food habits, climate change and other conditions of new places. The spirit of the Gospel and the charism of the Congregation animated them to bear witness to the person of Jesus. The pioneering valour and courage of the holy founders served as the inspirational light in the untrodden tracks of life. Therefore, it is an opportunity to look back and enter into an introspection to move forward and walk ahead in life.
The mission challenges
The mission journey has not been just a bed of roses. Initially, the Sisters had to manage everything with the help of their broken Hindi and the local dialects. Even though they knew a little list it was not that helpful mingling with other religious or sharing their opinions in different meetings. A feeling of embarrassment and hesitation was always prevailing.
The pioneer Sisters were teachers by profession and here, they had to be involved in social work too, a fielding they were not familiar with. They had to cycle for hours to reach a village. Yet, the Sisters’ hearts went to the people who were like a “flock without a shepherd”. They put in extra energy to bring up the people. The rampant illiteracy, superstitious practices, child marriage, bonded labour, landlord system,etc gave them a cultural shock. The fear of dacoits too was in the air always. Nobody could come out of their house after 6 p.m.
Ramnagar, for example, had never seen Sisters and, therefore, the awareness program imparted to the women and non-formal education, conducted for the children in the villages, raised the eyebrows of the rich and the landlords. The Sisters were even threatened with dire consequences if they continued to frequent the villages. The children and the women were stopped from attending classes. Finally, the determined Sisters knocked at the door of the Ramnagar Raja and Rani to seek their help for a peaceful continuity of their ministry among the poor.
The Sisters had not been spared by fundamentalist forces who planned to erect a temple in front of the convent of Ramnagar and, thus, force the Sisters to leave the place. The Sisters withstood the abuses and pressure and managed to stop the construction with the help of some influential people and the local administration.
Sisters too had many sleepless nights at the hands of miscreants who made it their mission to disturb the Sisters at night by pelting stones on the convent. The Sisters did not give up and held on to the Eucharistic Lord. Their persistence and God’s grace wrought miracles and the stone throwing episode stopped.
In Jharkhand working among Tribals especially among the Korwas was a different experience for the Sisters. First of all, there was no place to stay for the Sisters; so, they had to stay in rented houses where lots of inconvenience such as toilet, water, electricity, phone, transportation, language, etc. made them feel out of the place. There was a place called Jamuniatanrd where Sisters had to light the kerosene lamp for 24 hours. It is situated in the jungle ,19 kilometers away from the small semi-town.
St. Paul says, “I have been near death more often” (2 Cor: 11:23b). This came true in our Sisters’ life those who were in Jamuniatanr and other places too. They had to face all kinds of people who gave perennial trouble, especially in the beginning of a new mission. Sisters have even faced gunned forces and the threat of being bombed. The grace of God and the CIC wisdom always saw them through to continue with the mission of love.
The Sisters were also challenged by the floods in Bihar and malaria in Jharkhand. Many of them had to return to south, affected by malaria. Some of the Sisters met dacoits on their travel. Few of them witnessed the bomb blast, train accident, bus accident and terrorist attacks in the bus, etc.
In spite of all these challenges, difficulties, struggles and inconveniences Sisters have continued to do tremendous work in the mission. We have 8 communities and there are around 40 sisters in the mission.
The CIC mission began almost from nothing. God’s fatherly care and the generous help and support of bishops of the dioceses of Muzaffuerpur, Patna, Bettiah, Daltonganj, Hazaribagh, and Dumka, the Jesuits, and well wishers, we have grown in ourselves and have made tangible contribution in the areas of education, health, social and pastoral ministries. The Northern Mission gratefully holds up all the pioneers and their successors who made history by their deep commitment and hard work. Let our silver history journey towards gold.
Junior Sisters ‘ higher education
All the Sisters in North India, those who want to do their higher studies in the College, are sent to the CIC Madonna College Madurai. It helps the Hindi speaking Sisters to experience the inter culture in the Southern part of India and to visit the CIC retired Sisters to cherish their experiences.
Formation in 2018
The formation programme of Aspirancy and Novitiate are in Amala Bhavan (Sitagarah) North India. Petulancy programme is in Bangalore. Since in Daltonganj the programme of Community College were gradually decreasing that house is now used for Aspirancy and Skill training for Computer and Tailoring. In Amala Bhavan Novitiate all the novices of India are having their formation programme. A separate building was built for the Sisters doing retreat.
CIC MISSION HOUSE IN PATNA
The CIC North Mission was guided by the Mother House in Madurai. Everything was fine in the initial stages. However, with the growing number of Sisters and communities, the Sisters expressed the need for close coordination. The then Mother General, Josephine Alphonsa, appointed Sr. Little Flower on 2nd July 1997 and endowed her with authority to do the work of coordination from Darbhanga. However, Darbhanga did not have easy communication and transport facilities. Thus it was unanimously agreed to have the Mission House in Patna, the capital of Bihar. With the help of Most Rev. Bishop Benedict Osta S.J., the then Archbishop of Patna, a house was bought in Boring Canal Road- Patna and was blessed on 19.08.1998. A first floor was added in 2001 to have more facilities for the Sisters.
The mission house served the purposes of administration, coordination and education. Students staying in this house attended classes in Women’s College, B.Ed College and Holy Family Hospital, Kurji. The first postulency too was begun in the Mission House from 2002 – 2004. Now there are candidates attending college.
Nirmala Asha Society was registered on 03.08.2007 to coordinate the financial and legal requirements of the mission. The Mission House remains as the symbol of the CIC mission in the North.
CIC MISSION IN RAMNAGAR
Ramnagar can well be termed as the ‘cradle’ of the CIC mission in the North. It is situated in the State of Bihar. It belonged formerly to the diocese of Muzzaffarpur while now it is in the diocese of Bethiah. In fact, the CIC Sisters came to Muzzaffarpur with an invitation extended by Most Rev. J.B.Thakur S.J. the Bishop of Muzzaffarpur diocese. Now the Sisters are working under Most Rev. Victor Henry Thakur of the Diocese of Bettiah.
The pioneer Sisters, after having stayed almost for a year in Bettiah (2nd July 1986 to 87), came to Ramnagar on 02.06.1987, the designated first community of the CIC Sisters. They stayed for a short spell of time in the parish and shifted to the building bought by the diocese for the Sisters where they are staying to this day.
Sr. Jaya Mary was the first superior of the house. They were 6 members forming this first CIC community. The Northern CIC mission began in this small community. They stayed together and enjoyed each other’s companionship.
The Sisters began their ministry by visiting the villages around inhabited by Muzagars, Bhuias, Yadavs and others. They realized that most of these people were ignorant and illiterate. Thus they began non-formal education, classes in the villages. The first village where they began their intervention was Sonkar. Sisters stayed in the villages to impart education to these poor people. The Sisters also began empowerment programs for women working as labourers under landlords. The Tailoring Institute was begun on 12.07.1995 for the women. Many women have benefited from this intervention. The Sisters are working in the social field in collaboration with the diocesan Social Educational Development Centre (SEDC), Bettiah. A multipurpose hall too has been built for workshops, seminars and other activities especially for the women.
The Sisters also engaged in health ministry by promoting herbal and home remedies. In fact, 7.12.1994, a Health Centre was constructed and health ministry has been going on effectively down the years. Importance was also given to patients affected by leprosy who received a lot of attention and care.
Along with these ministries, 2 Sisters worked as teachers in the primary Hindi medium school of the diocese which was turned into St. Xavier’s English medium School on 1.2.2001. It is managed by the Sisters even today. A hostel has been opened in 2006 for the boys and girls studying in the English medium school.
The Sisters are also engaged in pastoral ministry especially in the formation of Small Christian Communities, catechism for the children and other works of pastoral care. The community of the sisters at Ramnagar has been contributing much for the growth of the area and the people in spite of the initial struggles and challenges.
CIC MISSION IN DARBHANGA
Most Rev. Thakur, the Bishop of Muzaffarpur, in appreciation of the work carried out by the CIC Sisters in Ramnagar invited them to begin a second house in the diocese at Darbhanga. It is 125 km from Patna and 65 km from Nepal. The basic desire of the bishop was that the Sisters live in the midst of the people and work for their development.
The Superior General Rev. Sr. Josephine Alphonsa accepted the invitation. A group of 3 Sisters under the leadership of Sr. Thynase Mary began the CIC community on 15/07/1990 staying in a rented house which was then the servant quarters of the Holy Cross Sisters. The Diocese acquired the land from the Holy Cross Sisters and facilitated the stay of our Sisters. However, it was a very difficult stay as the house had just one room which had to be put to multipurpose use, as a prayer room, dining hall, dormitory, library, parlour, and sick room. Sisters had to share the common toilet with other tenants. They had to hand pump water from the common tube well. They had to put up with the situations of no electricity, no phone connection and even a flooded room during the rainy season. They had to have snakes, frogs, and different insects as their companions during those days. To make the matter worse, they had to face the fury of some disgruntled Christians who wanted the Sisters to leave the place. But the spirit of our fore-runners at Panjampatti, total trust in the Lord and his Mother Mary made the Sisters to stand together in the struggles and in their journey forward.
Mahila Kalyan Kendra (13.07.1993) for the empowerment of women was also constructed. Recently the congregation has purchased 3.72 acres of land at Sahila village in March 2009 to begin a new CIC community though training programs for different groups of people they have already started.
Here too, like at Ramnagar, the Sisters began their ministry with non-formal education. The first village of
intervention was Bela among the Dalits and Muslims. Today the Sisters are working in 60 villages. The main focus here is the empowerment of women through the formation of Self Help Groups. Today they have 166 groups in 3 blocks. They are also having micro-finance programs and income generating activities. 32 field workers are engaged in the social ministry.
The collaboration of Caritas Swiss is praiseworthy. Training imparted to women and youth have made them vocal and self-reliant. The Mahila Kalyan Kendra have also conducted tailoring for the women for some years. Darbhanga is often affected by floods and the Sisters have carried out a lot of relief work supported by Caritas Swiss, Caritas India and CRS.
The Sisters engaged in health ministry began their work as a mobile clinic supported by government doctors from Darbhanga medical college. After constructing Nirmala Health Centre they have been concentrating on tuberculosis and kala-azar. The
Health ministry has been promoting herbal practices. The mobile clinic continues with flood relief when and if needed and performing other health related activities.
The Sisters are collaborating with the diocese in the education ministry. They are managing the school begun by the Sisters themselves in the year 15/07/1994. It is a Hindi medium school for the rural children.
The CIC Sisters have made a massive contribution to the mission at Darbhanga through their commitment and hard labour. They have engaged themselves in multi-tasking and optimum utilization of the opportunities to serve the people of the area.
CIC Dental Clinic
In Dharbanga, since the dispensary is not functioning and Sr. Paula completed the Dental Degree Course – BDS, in the old dispensary itself medical treatment for Dental is started for the people with full-fledged equipment.
CIC mission in Sahila
Immaculate Socio – Medical Center was blessed by Most Rev. John Baptist Thakur SJ the Bishop of Muzaffarpur and
opened by Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier the Superior General of CIC on 1.7.2011 as the SILVER JUBILEE MEMORIAL OF NORTH MISSION. It is situated in the Village of Sahila which is around 8 km away from Darbhanga town. Sisters Sahaya Rani Maria John, Josephine Mary, Jackuline Janaki, Albin Nisha, Anurupa Kerkette are mainly doing the Social, Medical and Pastoral ministries from here. But this Socio
– Medical Center was converted into a CBSC School on 19.04.2014 due to the most needed Ministry of Education to develop in and around the areas of Sahila. It is a very successful ministry at present here. Sisters are working very hard to develop and establish this new venture by overcoming all the difficult situations, struggles, ups and downs and challenges. Extension of Building construction for the school is in progress.
Origin of the CIC Presence in the Jharkhand State
Two veteran missionaries Frs. Maria Packiam S.J. and Savari Muthu S.J. showed the way to CIC through the Superior General Sr. Josephine Alphonsa and Assistant General Sr.Alphonse Fatima and they brought 10 Sisters together, to the southern part of Bihar which forms now the new State of Jharkhand.
With the encouragement of the then Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Edward Mudavasary S.J. and the invitation of Rt. Rev. Bishop Charles Soreng S.J. the Sisters landed in the Mission stations of Patratu, Daltonkaj and Bishrampur on different days one after another.
CIC MISSION IN PATRATU
The first batch of three Sisters on 13/07/1994 landed in Bhurkhunda where Fr. Maria Packiam S.J. was the parish priest. After a month’s stay in Bhurkhunda, they moved to Patratu and stayed for another 3 months in the house of Mr. Oscar Toppo.
The Jesuits of Hazaribag built a house for the Sisters on their own land in Patratu. The house was blessed and inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Charles Soreng S.J. on 27/11/1994. The CIC community began with 3 Sisters under the leadership of Sr. Victoria, the Superior.
The Sisters began their ministry by visiting the people in the neighbourhood to get acquainted with their language, culture, habits and situation. The first ministry was among the lepers in Jaynagar colony. They gave them medical care, non-formal education and even arranged rehabilitation. They extended their mobile clinic to other villages. They were engaged in curative, preventive, promotive heath care. Eye-camps, health awareness programs and mobile clinics continue.
The social ministry began with non-formal education in Palu and Osam villages. Today the work has extended too many villages with the formation of Self Help Groups; micro-credit activities; income generating activities like poultry, mushroom cultivation; candle making; soap and surf making etc and women’s empowerment programs. The women Self Help Groups are also connected to JHARCRAFT. The work is being carried out for the benefit of the tribal and dalit populations.
The Sisters are managing a Jesuit School begun in 19/10/1997. It is a Hindi medium school serving the rural population. The school is up to class VII and it has 518 students out of whom 230 are in the hostel. The Sisters are also engaged in pastoral ministry. They visit the families, teach catechism and organize the Sunday service.
CIC MISSION IN DALTONGANJ
On the initiative of Bishop of Hazaribagh, Bishop Charles Soreng S.J.on 27/11/1994, the CIC extended its CIC mission to Daltonganj and Jamuniatanr. However, as rooms were not available at both the places for the Sisters to stay, all the 5 Sisters appointed for Daltonganj and Jamuniatanr communities, stayed at Bishrampur in a room of the boys’ hostel under the leadership of Sr. Lourdu Mary. They reached Bishrampur on 15/07/1994. Fr. Xavier Draviam S.J., was the parish priest of Bishrampur and under his guidance the Sisters spent most of the days in the villages. It was a great learning experience for all of them.
The 2 Sisters belonging to the community at Daltonganj left Bishrampur on 15/11/1994 but had to stay at Vivek Sadan, the Jesuit pre-novitiate, for some time. They shifted to a rented house in Shahpur, Daltonganj on 10th July 1995 and stayed in the same until they had their new house built by the Jesuits in Sahodaya campus which was inaugurated on 29/09/1997. The present house at Birsanagar was also built by the Jesuits and was inaugurated in 2005.
The ministry here too began with non-formal education in the villages which was turned into a formal school on 25th January 1995. It was in collaboration with the Jesuits that the school was started though the management was in the hands of the Sisters. Today it has become a high school thanks to the great commitment of the Sisters. A hostel was started both for boys and girls in 1997 though the hostel for girls has been separated with the construction of a new building which was inaugurated on 27/04/2006. The girls’ hostel has been entrusted to the Sisters for management.
The Sisters also have social ministry in 6 villages. They have formed Self Help Groups: income generating activities and women’s empowerment programs. The health ministry is intertwined with the social ministry though the Health Centre built in 2009 has consolidated the health intervention especially among the school and hostel children. The mission is flourishing and the CIC is making a tangible contribution to its growth.
CIC MISSION IN JAMUNIATANR
Jamuniatanr has an interesting beginning. Sisters were sent initially to a place called Bharwa. However, they had to stay almost for six months at Bishrampur before taking up the new mission. Meanwhile, Fr. Xavier Draviam S.J., the parish priest of Bishrampur found a place called Siroikala where he built a mud house to home the Sisters which they could not take up due to local issues. It was then that Fr. Xavier Draviam S.J. discovered Jamuniatanr where a new CIC community is to be born.
After staying 6 months in Bishrampur, the Sisters moved to Jamuniatanr on 06/01/1995. The local population belongs to a minor tribe called Korawas. Initially the 3 Sisters under the leadership of Sr. Dhanaseeli Sengol stayed in one of the houses of the villagers, Mr. Sukkar Korwa. In fact, it was a shed built for the cattle, which was turned into a one-room convent with the verandah turned chapel and kitchen. It was away from other inhabitants. The Sisters had to find the cover of the bushes in the morning for their morning needs. They had to live for years without the basic needs. The Hazaribag Jesuits built a house for the Sisters and it was blessed on 31/07/1999 though in 2003 through an internal settlement, the Sisters took up to stay in the Jesuit residence while the Jesuit fathers moved to the Sisters’ convent.
The people were very poor and had been exploited for ages. They were completely ignorant and illiterate. The Sisters began a school for the children. It was begun in the shed built by the people though a new building was constructed by the Jesuits on 24/06/1999. The school has reached up to class VIII. The Sisters are managing the school. Hostels were begun for the girls and boys. The girls’ hostel is administered by the Sisters and a new building was built for the hostel in 2006.
The Sisters are also engaged in social ministry. They are working in 27 villages. They have formed 51 Self Help Groups and are doing a lot of work for the empowerment of women. They had organized tailoring for the women in 2003.
The Sisters began medical ministry as a mobile clinic. They used the garage as health centre for some time until a new health centre was constructed and inaugurated in April 2008. The health centre is doing marvellous work as the people have no other facility in the vicinity. They have also received an ambulance from the Jharkhand government for health work.
Jamuniatanr had its own bundle of struggles but today it has become the beacon of hope for many poor and marginalized people. The pioneering Sisters need to be given special applause.
CIC NOVITIATE – AMALA BHAVAN: (SITAGARAH)
The CIC Mission expanded with the passage of time. People benefited from its presence and contribution. Some young girls felt attracted to the CIC way of life. They lived in different communities to taste the CIC life. It was then that Sr. Josephine
Alphonsa was inspired to begin a formation house in the North. She was looking for the place to give flesh to the new venture. The Hazaribagh Jesuits fulfilled this dream by giving us 2 acres of land in Sitagarah to begin the formation house. The Mother General Sr. Josephine
Alphonsa came along with her councillors to Sitagarah on 25/01/1996 to see the land. The Sisters were very much impressed with the offer of two acres of fertile and beautiful land. The paper work got through on 27/04/2001 and the plan of having a CIC novitiate was almost a reality. The congregation and especially the Northern mission will remain ever grateful to the munificence of the Jesuits of Hazaribagh Province.
The foundation stone was laid for Amala Bhavan Novitiate on 08/01/2003 by the then Jesuit Provincial Fr. Goudentius Kongari S.J. Sr. Sahaya Rani stayed in the Holy Cross Community and took care of the construction work very carefully and diligently. She was the one who toiled tirelessly night and day to construct the novitiate. Indeed we owe a lot to her hard work and commitment. We tip a big hat to you dear Sr. Sahaya Rani.
The formation was begun in the Jesuit’s old bungalow at Sitagarah on 10/05/2003 with 6 novices. They came from Patna to Sitagarah, symbolizing, our first four pioneers, the founders of our congregation, leaving Panjampatti to Madurai for their novitiate formation. Sr. Bridget Moses was the novice mistress.
The new building for formation was under construction and it was inaugurated on 18/10/2003 by Rt. Rev. Bishop Charles Soreng. Sr.Antony Xavier, the then
Superior General, Sr. Arokia Mary, the then Procurator General, Sr. Margret, the Secretary General and the Sisters from the north mission w e r e p r e s e n t t o o a t t h e inauguration. The novitiate was shifted from the old bungalow to the new building on 22/12/2003.
10/05/2005 should be termed the red letter day. The first novices from the North professed their vows to be CIC Sisters in the service of the Lord and his people endearing a motto, “stay with us Lord as we offer our life for your people. It was a proud moment for all. Prouder still was the fact that those Sisters professed their final vows on the Silver Jubilee day on 1st July 2011. 32 Sisters have professed from Amla Bhawan Novitiate and they were vibrantly part of the Silver History. CIC is rooted in the soil and is going to be around here bearing much fruit.
CIC MISSION IN KARON
Karon is the latest in the addition of CIC communities in the North and the first among the tribal Santals. Fr. Vargeese Puthucherry S.J. the then Provincial of Dumka-Raiganj province invited the Sisters to collaborate with Dumka-Raiganj Jesuits province in working for the Santals in the diocese of Dumka. Srs. Lourdu Mary, the then Mission Superior and Kulandai Therese visited the place and in consultation with the then Mother General Anthony Xavier finalized the plan to work in Karon.
A team of 2 Sisters under the leadership of Sr. Stella arrived at Karon on 02/04/2005. They stayed with the Jesuits in the same house for almost a month. The official welcome was accorded to the Sisters on 15/05/2005 during the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Most Rev. Julius Marandi, the Bishop of Dumka and the Jesuit Provincial. The full community of 3 Sisters was flanked by the Mother General, Consultors, Provincials from Madurai, Sivagangai and Palayamkottai and the Mission Superior while they offered themselves to work for the people in Karon. They settled in a temporary house built for them by the Jesuits where they continue to stay till today.
The Sisters began the primary school in collaboration with the Jesuits and their dedicated work has helped the school to grow. It has reached to Class VII. The school is being managed by the Sisters. A new building has been constructed for the school by the Jesuits. The hostel for the boys and girls too is managed by the Sisters.
The Sisters are also engaged in social and health ministry. They have been working in collaboration with the government in polio, malaria and health awareness programs. They have also begun Self Help Groups in 9 villages to make the women self-reliant and self-dependent. The seed is growing into a big tree!
CIC MISSION IN RANCHI
The aim to buy a house in Ranchi was to work for the Tribals and also to fulfill the needs of the Sisters, those who are rendering challenging service in the mission. Sisters come from South India, after their travel over a long tedious journey by train, they did not have any place to rest which belonged to CIC and continue their journey to their destiny, the mission stations. This need was felt very strongly in the time of Rev. Sr. Antony Xavier, the then Superior General of the Congregation. The same matter was brought to the attention of Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier the Superior General of our Congregation. It took five years to find a house in Ranchi. At last it was fulfilled by the grace of Almighty God through the great effort of the Superior General, Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier. When she came for the visitation she discussed the matter with Fr. Xavier Raj S.J. and Fr. Lourdu Raj S.J. on 13/11/2011. According to her discussion they met Fr. Xavier Soren S.J. the Advocate of Ranchi Province and explained about their dire need of finding a house in Ranchi.
Fr. Xavier Soren tried his best and finally he found the house in which the Sisters live at present. Sr. Josephine Jeya Mary, the Mission Superior, visited it and informed the Superior General on 05/12/2010 and also submitted the report to the Cardinal of Ranchi Diocese.
The Superior General after consultation with the consulters of the Congregation took the decision to buy the house in Ranchi.
CIC NORTH INDIA MISSION REWARI – DELHI
In the History of the congregation of the Immaculate conception, select another chapter has created which means one more mission station has initiated in Delhi diocese the place called Rewari which falls in Haryana state.
There was an invitation from the Arch Bishop of Delhi, most Rev.Bishop Anil Cutto in January of year 2014. Since it was a second time from Delhi Arch-Diocese after six years, Rev. Mother General Sr.Antony Xavier took serious steps and had a valuable discussion in the consult. After having met with the consulters the decision was taken to visit the place called Rewari.
In April one of consulters’ Sr. Dhanaseeli Sengole, Sr. Arul Mary Rani the mission superior, and Sr. Micheal Janci Rani who has experience in the social work field visited the place together with the Director of Chetanalaya, Fr. Savari Raj and the CBCI peace and justice commission in charge Fr. Charles.
This small gathering of sharing made a hope to take a further level of discussion. There were many consults organized to know the possibilities and the priorities.
CIC NORTH INDIA MISSION – BHONDSI
On the Missionary journey, it is a pride and privilege for the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception and especially to the Mission of North India that another new house has opened in Bhondsi in the Archdiocese of Delhi. This particular mission belongs to the State of Haryana in North India.
The Archdiocese was happy about the presence of our CIC Sisters in Rewari. The two year of the service and the commitment of the Sisters impressed the diocese. As a result of hard work and the sincerity in the mission, another impact was created in the heart of Delhi Diocese.
The Archbishop of Delhi J.T. Anil Cutto has proposed an invitation to the Superior General Rev. Sr. Antony Xavier during her canonical visitation of the year 2015. On 31st August 2015, Superior General met the bishop and discussed about the new mission station, Bhondsi.
According to the discussion on 28th August 2015, Fr. Savari Raj took the Superior General, the mission Superior Sr. Arul Mary Rani, the Secretory Sr. Glory and the Local Superior Sr. Janci Rani to the mission station Bhondsi. Fr. Thavamani the principal of the school and Fr. Julian the director of the orphanage, the Centre welcomed the Sisters and briefly described about the mission over there. The orphanage children performed a welcome song. The Sisters moved on to Rewari after a short observation of the place.