Congregation of Daughters of Mary is a Missionary Congregation founded by late Monsignor Joseph Kuzhinjalil in the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, during the early days of the Re-union Movement in 1938 at Marthandom, Kanyakumari district, with three members, by the paternal blessing and consent of late Archbishop His Grace Mar Ivanios (Servant of God). Mother Mary Kallarackal was the Co-foundress and the first member of the Congregation.
The primary mission of the Congregation is to bring the Good News to the poor and neglected, concentrating in families for their integrated development. The Motto of our Congregation is “That all may be one.” The Congregation was bifurcated in 1987 and was raised to the pontifical status in 1988 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
St. Mary’s Province was bifurcated from the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary in the year 1987. The province comprises of forty three convents which are located in Kerala States in India and abroad. They set a rigorous standard and pace in the achievement of spirituality, social equality and human justice.
This province consists of two hundred and eighty two sisters and seventy five candidates. The sisters are engaged in active service within ten major Dioceses. The present Provincial Superior is Mother Lissue jose D.M.
Saint Mary’s province can be acknowledged for its services to the disadvantaged and marginalized. We strive to live the gospel by sharing our life together as a community. We are grateful for this community spirit which encourages us to love and serve generously and selflessly. We serve our communities through education, social welfare, pastoral care, social justice, spirituality and its value for human dignity. We provide an extensive support network which is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the Congregation, which is “To be pure and poor for the kingdom of God.”
St Mary’s Province is a community based province which bases its foundation on prayer, the Eucharist and love of Jesus Christ. It is administered by a governing body of professed sisters. It’s spiritual and missionary services, support and build up the Church and its values within the communities. We work to spread Christianity and the unity of all Christians, where the love of Christ becomes visible and shared.
Each DM Sister is called “to be Pure and Poor for the Kingdom of God, to live and proclaim the Word of God and abandon oneself to the Providential love to reach in perfect love.” (Our Charism)
Our values guide our mission statement which states “To be poor and pure for the kingdom of God.”
Our commitment to living the gospels, spreading God’s word, devotion to truth, poverty, and love of all persons.
Our commitment to respond to and serve in a dignified manner those in need.
Our commitment to serve God’s people with dignity, mercy and love.
Our commitment to manage and deliver quality services and resources.
Our commitment to value and respect the independence, inclusion and cultural diversity of all persons.
Our commitment to believe, act and work with integrity to ensure justice is delivered to all persons.
Our commitment to provide a service which shows reverence and respect for all persons
We aim to promote the love of God among the people we serve. Our services can be divided into four heads;
- Mission Apostolate
- Social Welfare
The missionary zeal in spreading the word of God by being pure and poor for the kingdom of God, is the dedication of our sisters in bearing witness to the gospel. Apostolic activities such as:
- Spreading the good news of the gospel
- Bringing people together in unity and a common bond.
- Integration, and
- Equity and social justice
The above mentioned apostolic activities are attained in communities through
- Spirituality – living the gospels to preach the world of Christ
- Integrity – being consistently committed and focused in our decision and activities.
- Respect – showing respect for self and others.
- Fairness to others – ensuring just decisions are made through open dialogue, empowerment, dignity and self decision making.
- Care – acting and committed to ensure the welfare of others.
- Values – sharing and proclaiming the teaching of Jesus through the value.
- Justice inclusion and equality, gospel values become a visible focus.
In order to carry out its apostolic mission the St. Joseph’s Province has taken the following steps. They are:
In order to foster the House visiting irrespective of caste or creed creating a rapport with people around and studying their situation, sisters are allotted different areas, so that all the possible physical & spiritual helps are made available for the people around.
The love and mercy of Jesus is witnessed here. Illiteracy and ignorance of the people are removed.
St. Mary’s Province is divided into three zones in order to inculcate, increase and strengthen the missionary zeal and motivate the missionary activities. Every zone has a selected zonal Animators and Secretary. Every 3 months zonal meetings will be held to evaluate and encourage the missionary activities of sisters. Each zone makes its own action plan and carries them out.
Catechism and Prayer meetings:-
Every Sunday in the parish level and every day in the school level Catechism is taught by the sisters. They prepare children and adults for Sacraments, visiting Houses and say Rosary and conduct prayer meetings.
Missionary Activities through Associations
Youth are guided and led through many associations like Malankara Catholic Association (MCA), Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM), Mathru Sangham, Mission league, Legion of Mary, Vincent De Paul etc. And children are guided through Bala sakhim, Children’s for Unity, Little way Association. Through association people join us to extend their helping hand.
Mobile Mission Team :
The purpose of this team is to serve God and to provide service for the poor. We offer support, affirmation and practical help to share the love of God with all those who have no opportunity to know God’s love. This team moves through villages and engages in active mission work. Currently we have sisters working in the following ministries:
Parish Chaplaincy, Parish visits and care of elderly people, Social work, health care in hospitals, nursing education, community outreach programs, prayer group meetings, counseling, sharing God’s word in public and Youth ministries.
Pradeksha Prayer and Counselling Centre and Missionary Orientation Course (Ayoor)
This training is specially meant to improve the spiritual well being of Sisters and thereby to make them dedicated in their mission work. To Prepare and equip religious sisters for dedicated Mission work incorporated with the principles of charism, family apostolate, evangelization set by the Congregation etc.
Mariasabdam is the publication for the sisters. It informs them of the changes which occur within the province. Articles of interest, which have been written by the sisters can also be read by clicking on the link below.
- Mother Mercy John DM : Mother Provincial
- Sr. Alex D.M : Asst. Provincial
- Sr. Naveena D.M : Councilor
- Sr. Mercy john D.M : Counsilor
- Sr. Anjali Therese D.M : Counsilor
- Sr. Noel D.MM : Treasurer
- Sr. Saphalya D.M : Secretary
The Formation house at Thiruvananthapuram is meant to train young girls who wish to become Nuns and function effectively within the community of the Daughters of Mary. The training period helps them to take an active role in their spiritual and social transformation. In addition to their spiritual and social development, provision is made for them to continue their academic studies.
The stages of formation for the sisters are:
- Second Year Novitiate
- First Commitment
- Final Commitment.
|Aspirant’s House is at Pongumoodu, Kerala State, this is an orientation period. Aspirants are those who have shown an interest to dedicate their lives to serve humanity. Only young girls who have passed their tenth standard at school are eligible and admitted as aspirants. Admission is open all year round. The syllabus focuses on spirituality, yoga, meditation, St.Theresa’s spirituality, liturgy, catechism, music, sociology, faith in God the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit, inner healing and sacred feast days.
Postulancy House is at Daughters of Mary convent in Thumbamon in Kerala State. It generally begins in September. It consolidates what the aspirant has learnt during their initial training. The candidates are trained in meditation, and spirituality.
Novitiate House is at Pongumoodu, Kerala State. During this period the novices learn the Constitution of the Congregation and they deeply evolve and develop prayer and meditation.
Second Year Novitiate
|At the end of the second year novitiate there will be an intense formation for four months. This time they will be given 40 days retreat and an intense study about vows and religious life. Those who have real commitment to surrender themselves to the eternal love, request to make vows. Then they are permitted to make the first profession. Every stage of initial formation there is specified syllabus and hand book which is given to each formation staff. To visit formation houses and to co-ordinate the formation programmes we have formation co-ordinators in general and provincial level.
||On agreeing to their first commitment the sister is immersed in the life, mission and spirit of the sisters. Through continued community involvement they are guided in areas of personal development, apostolic ministry, community living, spiritual life and personal development
|During this period the trainee sister’s role is as a junior to the sisters. On completion of four years of their first commitment they are sent to convents around India where they receive further training in theology, philosophy, sacred liturgy and are taught a deeper understanding of the gospels. They are actively engaged in community development services. Fifth year, juniors are called together for one year for the juniorate Course staying in a common house (Aluva) under the Generalate.
St Mary’s Province, is committed to the teachings of the gospels, which promotes Christian values and the development of the individual’s spiritual and intellectual growth. We provide an education for children and young adults who come from different religions, creeds, social and ethnic backgrounds.
Our schools and colleges are a reflection of the community’s needs and values. We promote growth of the whole person, through compassion, understanding, value, self respect and human justice in order to create a sense of responsibility and cater for the needs of the community.
St Mary’s Province has combined the congregation of sisters and the community through love of God and love for his people. It aims to be a living example of the teachings of the Scriptures.
The education programs hope to create a vibrant community which supports the beliefs, values and traditions of the people and the community.
It is the belief of our congregation that education is the only tool which will bring about a transformation in the lives of people. With this understanding in mind, our province has established academic institutions and trade skills centers which will help to bring about a transformation in the lives of people.
Karuniya Special School:
Our mission at this school is to include mentally challenged children into the education system. This is a free school for mentally disadvantaged children who come from marginalized families. It can accommodate up to 57 children.
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Daughters of Mary Swanthwana Progamme
Swanthwana is for mentally challenged children. This program is created specifically for educating children. For us this means enabling all children to reach the fullness of their potential as individuals created by God in His own image. This program supports one hundred and thirty five mentally challenged children.
Gandhi Industrial Training School:
The mission of Gandhi Industrial Training School is to enable disadvantaged, unemployed young women find work in a skills career. Our government certified courses enable young uneducated women to become independent, self sufficient young adults. They now have the potential for growth, independence and advancement. Thus creating a rewarding future for them and their families. More than one thousand two hundred and two students have benefited from this program.
|St. Mary’s Province health care programs provide a healing ministry for the community. We aim to follow the teachings and example of Christ through this ministry.
The congregation aims to provide:
- Healthcare which gives hope to all people with whom we interact.
- Developing an understanding of the importance of good health.
- Relating to and working with people who are neglected and abandoned by society.
- Managing our human and physical resources.
- Working towards equality and social justice.
St Mary’s Province is a witness to the healing touch and presence of God’s love within our communities. We have healing ministry and bring Christ’s love and hope to all those who seek our help. As part of promoting health awareness, health care and improving the general hygiene of the community, our province runs hospitals. Sister Felix is the Director of Health services.
St. Joseph Hospital is a Three hundred bed hospital. It is a specialty hospital which provides a range of radiotherapy, medical, surgical, maternity, gynecological, pediatric, oncology diagnostic, emergency and intensive care services. It also has a Nursing College attached to it. It is situated at Anchal, Kollam District in Kerala and provides a service to the surrounding regions.
Nirmala Hospital is a one hundred bed hospital, it is situated at Kalluvathukal in Kerala State. It provides specialized medical services to the community. The sisters also work at Government funded Tuberculosis Hospital and Medical College Hospital in Trivandrum. Here they nurse patients suffering from Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. We also provide mother and child care facilities, free medicines, vaccinations, nutrition, hygiene and infant care programs free of charge.
Good Samaritan and Santhinikethan are our community service centers, they take care of people who live in remote regions too far from hospitals. If patients require specialized treatment they are admitted to our Medical College Hospital in Trivandrum. This is a free service for the socially disadvantaged.
St Mary’s Province provides a healing ministry for the health and well being of the community. We follow the teachings of Jesus who showed care and social support for the welfare of those who are marginalized, disadvantaged, poor and powerless. As a focus of our healing ministry, we work towards bringing justice and inclusion into the community, so that self dignity and self worth are respected and supported.
Our programs support a range of welfare activities, because we believe that self dignity and self worth involves the whole person, their home, work and social standing within the community. We network with a number of government agencies to support those most in need.
|Snehalayam Balikabavan is a free boarding for children from disadvantaged and broken families. It is located at Kottarakkara, Kerala. This centre is funded by the Provincial House. It can accommodate up to one hundred and thirty four children.
Tailoring School:Young girls are given training in tailoring and dressmaking. These skills prepare them for future employment and enable them to become self sufficient.Karunalayam, Home for the Aged, PothencodeThis is a free home for senior citizens provide adequate spiritual, social support and are responsible for the welfare of senior citizens. This home in general provides accommodation, food, clothing, Medicare, recreation to all its participants. So far it has been a support to more than 100 senior citizens.Mar Gregorious Computer centre:This centre enables adolescents and young adults to develop their computer awareness, understanding and the application of technology. The skills they learn enable them to find employment and become fully functional in society. Several hundreds young adults have benefited from this programVocation Camp:Vocation classes provide special training in computer education, embroidery, and tailoring. They help young adults to improve their existing skills to prepare them for a future career.Tailoring School:Young girls are given training in tailoring and dressmaking. These skills prepare them for future employment and enable them to become self sufficient.Nava Jothi Centre:This centre prepares young girls to produce sacramental materials and handicrafts.Help Age India:This program provides financial assistance to senior citizens who have no means of supporting themselves financially. They live at home and the assistance they receive helps them to lead independent lives.Housing:Through this program, houses are constructed for the most disadvantaged people. Many of these people have lost their homes as a result of a natural disaster.Educational Assistance:This program provides education assistance to underprivileged children. So far thousands of children have benefited from this scheme.
Mary Matha Balabhavan:
This is a free child care centre of working parents. It is supported by the Provincial House. It can accommodate up to 40 young children. It is located at Vettithitta, Kerala.
This hostel is specifically meant for the welfare of young children. Children accommodated at this center are from broken and vulnerable families. They are provided with free food, accommodation, education, religious education and trade skills. Daughters of Mary integrated Child Development Programme: Children from economically disadvantaged families are assisted by this program. They are provided with monetary support to improve their education, nutrition and health.
Sanjo Book Binding Centre:
The Sanio Book Binding Centre employs uneducated, unemployed and underemployed young women. It is a rapidly growing small industry. Ten young girls are permanently employed at this centre. They bind text books and notes pads which are sold in our schools.
Mar Gregorious Tailoring & Embroidery School:
Mar Gregorious tailoring and Embroidery School believes that no young woman should have to forego an opportunity to be self sufficient and skilled because of her economic or education circumstances.
At this centre we seek to improve the self dignity, independence and well-being of young women. By teaching them a skill we enhance their quality of life and improve the living standards of the whole community. This training centre creates an awareness of the need to be self supporting and self sufficient
D.M. Home for the aged:
Senior citizens who have no one to take care for them are accommodated at this home. They are given free medical, social and spiritual needs are taken care of at the centre. It also doubles as a recreation centre for the community.
Financial assistance is provided to young couples who plan to marry. So far several hundreds who are economically disadvantaged have received assistance through this scheme.
St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Munnamoodu
This is a free boarding for girls from disadvantaged and broken families. This centre is founded by the French Family. It can accommodate up to 125 children.
Young girls are given training in tailoring and dressmaking. These skills prepare them for future employment and enable them to become self sufficient.
Karunalayam, Home for the Aged, Pothencode
This is a free home for senior citizens provide adequate spiritual, social support and are responsible for the welfare of senior citizens. This home in general provides accommodation, food, clothing, Medicare, recreation to all its participants. So far it has been a support to more than 100 senior citizens.
Mar Gregorious Computer centre:
This centre enables adolescents and young adults to develop their computer awareness, understanding and the application of technology. The skills they learn enable them to find employment and become fully functional in society. Several hundreds young adults have benefited from this program
Vocation classes provide special training in computer education, embroidery, and tailoring. They help young adults to improve their existing skills to prepare them for a future career.
Young girls are given training in tailoring and dressmaking. These skills prepare them for future employment and enable them to become self sufficient.
Nava Jothi Centre:
This centre prepares young girls to produce sacramental materials and handicrafts.
Help Age India:
This program provides financial assistance to senior citizens who have no means of supporting themselves financially. They live at home and the assistance they receive helps them to lead independent lives.
Through this program, houses are constructed for the most disadvantaged people. Many of these people have lost their homes as a result of a natural disaster.
This program provides education assistance to underprivileged children. So far thousands of children have benefited from this scheme.
All correspondence can be directed to:
THE PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR
Sister Lilly Thomas
Congregation of Daughters of Mary
Medical College (P.O Box.)
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 011
Phone: +91 471 2553173