The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo – Eastern province

The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo – Eastern province

Adrien Villa, # 28 Surappatu Main Road, Vinayagapuram,
Kolathur P.O Chennai 600 099
St. Charles Borromeo

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Kizhakkambalam

The third house in ‘God’s own country’ was started in the year 2007 at Kizhakkambalam.

The beauty of the surroundings charms any one who enters this lovely place. Kizhakkambalam is a parish within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam.
For several years the Sisters had been looking for a place where it would be possible to make their presence in a Syrian Rite diocese for the purpose of vocation promotion. This coincided with the invitation extended by Rev. Fr.Varghese Manavalan, the parish priest of St.Antony’s Church, Kizhakkambalam, in March 2006. The mission is to manage the academic standard of the CBSE High School at Kizhakkambalam, in Angamaly-Ernakulam Diocese. The Provincial council proceeded with the enquiries to collect information they needed for discerning God’s plan.
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After much prayer and discernment the council unanimously felt it was the plan of God. In the mean time Fr.Varghese had a meeting with His Excellency Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil and his two Auxiliary Bishops to discuss this matter. The Cardinal expressed his joy saying that he was glad to have the Srs. of St. Charles, the dedicated and simple Sisters in his diocese as he had known them in other places.

In July 2006 Sr. Jaya, the Provoncial Superior received a letter from Most Rev. Thomas Chakkiath welcoming the Sisters of St.Charles to the diocese of Angamaly-Ernakulam. The Provincial Superior and the council visited the place and had several talks with the Manager and the board members of St. Antony’s Public School.

The promises and condition made by the Board were:

  • One sister as Principal holding post graduation and B.Ed; and the other holding a diploma in teacher education will be employed and paid by the Board in St.Antony’s High School.
  • As it aims at providing education to the children of the locality, it will not be a residential school.
  • A period of one year contract to be made as trial period if that is the wish of the congregation.
  • A rented house with minimum requirements is provided by the School Board for a community of three Sisters.

These conditions were studied by the Provincial and council in consultation with a few others who visited the mission. A decision was made and a dream was realized on April 26, 2007. Sr. Celine Joseph and Sr. Cecily Thomas along with Sr.Josita found a house close to Pristine has beautiful blooms. The fragrance of pristine roses spread from the third house in ‘God’s own country’ in the year 2007 at Kizhakkambalam. The beauty of the surroundings charms any one who enters this lovely place. Kizhakkambalam is a parish within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam.

For several years the Sisters had been looking for a place where we could have our presence in a Syrian Rite diocese. This coincided with the inspiration given by Rev.Fr.Varghese Manavalan, (Brother of Sr. Josita Manavalan, SCB) the parish priest of St.Antony’s Church, Kizhakkambalam, in March 2006. In July 2006 Sr. Jaya, the Provoncial Superior received a letter from Most Rev. Thomas Chakkiath welcoming the Sisters of St.Charles to the diocese of Angamaly- Ernakulam. The mission is to manage the academic standard of St.Antony’s Public School at Kizhakkambalam, in Angamaly Ernakulam Diocese. Sr. Jaya, the Provincial called the Council and proceeded with the enquiries to collect information to see the possibilities for executing the new proposal. Untiringly she made frequent journeys to Kizhakkambalam for survey and consultation with the Manager, Rev.Fr.Varghese Manavalan, and the members of the school Board to enhance the discernment process.

In the mean time Fr.Varghese had a meeting with His Excellency Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil and his two Auxiliary Bishops to discuss this matter. The Cardinal expressed his joy saying that he was glad to have the ‘Charlies’ the dedicated and simple Sisters in his diocese as he had known them in other places.

The promises and condition made by the Board were:

  • One sister as Principal holding post graduation and B.Ed; and the other holding a diploma in teacher education will be employed and paid by the Board in St.Antony’s High School.
  • As it aims at providing Education to the children of the locality, it will not be a residential school.
  • A period of one year contract to be made as trial period if that is the wish of the Congregation.
  • A rented house with minimum requirements be provided by the School Board for a community of three Sisters.

These conditions were studied by the Provincial and council in consultation with a few others who visited the mission. A decision was made and a dream was realized on April 26, 2007. Sr.Celine Joseph and Sr. Cecily Thomas along with Sr.Josita found a house close to the school. Srs.Celine and Cecily were full time teachers while Sr Michael was the Superior of this new community. Our sisters did their best in fulfilling the expectations of the management and School Board. Sr.Michael engaged herself in family visits, catechism, family unit prayer etc. She spared no effort in reaching out to the poor and the needy.

Beginnings have to yield to changes for firm footing, haven’t they? Sr.Celine was made Principal of the School, the office which she held from 2007 to 2009 to fulfil a need for an experienced formator to direct the Candidates, she was transferred to Adrien Villa in 2009. Sr.Cecily with her complaints of weak limbs that did not co-operate with her to move about briskly which she was obliged to do in a school of 600 children returned to Tamilnadu. Sr.Elizabeth Martin was posted in her place. After a year she vacated the post to be filled in by Sr.Mini. Sr.Lizzy James was appointed as the Principal of the School in 2009. Sr.Joel joined the community in June 2010 to be the third member of the community after Sr. Michael was transferred to the new community.

The members of the community have a good rapport with the laity in the parish. This extraordinary plunge made in Kerala is to extend and to draw vocations as well. The special task of the Sisters here is to ‘launch deeper’ to inspire young people to dedicate themselves to live the charism of compassion.

The Church in Ernakulam -Angamaly

The Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, formerly known as Archdiocese of Ernakulam, occupies a prominent position in the history of the Syro-Malabar Church. It was established as a Vicariate by the Bull “Quae Rei Sacre” of Pope Leo XII on July 28, 1896. Mar Aloysius Pazeparambil who was appointed as the first Vicar Apostolic, assumed charge on November 5, 1896.

The most significant part in the history of St. Thomas Christians of 20th century and especially of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam was surely the event of the Syro-Malabar Church being declared a Major Archiepiscopal Church ‘Sui Luris’ by Pope John Paul II. The Holy See thus recognized the legitimate right of the Syro- Malabar Church and also took into account the pre- eminence of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam by making it the Sea of the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. Thereby the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar is also the Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

It is also worthy of special mention that it was an illustrious son of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam in the person of Archbishop Abraham Kattumana, who was appointed by Pope John Paul II as the Pontifical Delegate to the Syro-Malabar Church. The curia of the major Archiepiscopal Church started functioning in the Archbishop’s house which was shifted to Mount St.Thomas, Kakkanad on May 27, 1995.

His Eminence Cardinal and Major Archbishop Antony Padiyara retired from his office on December 18, 1996 and Rev. Dr.Varkey Vithayathil C.Ss.R was nominated Titular Bishop of ‘Antinoe’ and the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese. He was consecrated Archbishop by Holy Father Pope John Paul II on January 6th 1997. On December 23, 1999, Pope John Paul II appointed Mar Varkey Vithayathil as the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church and as the Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly.

The present Archdiocese of Ernakulam is comprised of the talukas of Chertala, Kanayannor, Kunnathunad, Mukundapuram and Vaikom, spread out in the districts of Alleppey, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Trichur in Kerala State.

The Sisters engage themselves, apart from the education ministry, in Sunday Catechism which always ranks first in the diocese. They also attend B.C.C. meetings, and other parish activities.

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