The beginning of Carmel Mata province goes back to 1967.The superiors of Pavanathma province Kothamangalam, sent two pioneer missionaries to the state of Bihar in 1968 to proclaim the Good News of salvation and bring comfort to the sick and suffering. In the year 1967, a severe famine broke out in the state of Bihar, especially in Palamu District. There was a request from the Jesuit fathers of Hazaribag to help out in the relief work in Bihar, by sending personnel from our congregation. Two CMC sisters, Sr.Francina and Sr.Elise from Ernakulam province set out to Bihar, to render service to the famine victims of Palamu. They worked under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Des Purcell SJ, an Australian missionary, belonging to the Hazaribag Region. Our sisters dedication and hard work impressed the Jesuit fathers. After few months of service, these sisters went back.
In May 1968, Fr.Edmand O Connor of Hazaribag Jesuits sent Fr. Desmond Purcell S.J to Kerala to look for congregations, who could work in Holy Family hospital Koderma, then belonging to the medical Mission sisters, they approached the Hazaribag Jesuits to look for sisters to take over the Hospital. Fr. Purcell approached Mother Celine, the then Superior General of CMC. She responded positively to the request, and she directed Fr. Des Purcell to Mother Victima, the Provincial of Pavanathma Province as they were looking for a place to lounge in to the North for missionary work. After the discussion with Fr. Purcell, the Provincial agreed to send two sisters to work in Holy Family Hospital, Koderma. On 16th June 1968, two zealous nurses, Sr. Borgia and Sr.Bonosa reached in Koderma hospital. Our sisters along with two FCC sisters worked in Koderma Hospital for three months. After the three months of service, our sisters Borgia and Bonosa were given an option to select their mission field, as there was need of missionaries to do medical apostolate both in Mahuadanr and Koderma. When our sisters learned that there were no medical facilities in the range of hundred kilometers around Mahuadanr, and the problems faced by the people of Mahuadanr area, they felt that their service was needed more in Mahuadanr than in Koderma. Accordingly with the permission of our Provincial Superior, Mother Victima, necessary steps were taken to start our first mission station in Mahuadanr. The seed of Carmel Mata mission thus sown grew and spread out in five states, and nine dioceses. At present, Carmel Mata has19 houses - 17 in North India, one in Kerala and one in Germany. It was a beautiful unfolding of Gods plan, the mission stations begun in different states in different years, got organized into a province. The province is unique in many respects having its mission stations spread out in four north Indian states namely Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal. The fourth ordinary general synaxis held in 1986 had raised our mission to the status of a Region. On 15th February 1987 our mission was declared as Carmel Mata Region; Mother Harold, the then assistant Superior General, officially read the declaration letter during the Holy Mass. Sr.Symphoria was the first regional superior of Carmel Mata Region. The little mustard seed sown in 1968 grew up and was ready to become a province. The ordinary General Synaxis held in 1995 decided to raise Carmel Mata Region to the status of a Province. An interim provincial team was appointed to look after the new born province until its official erection. Sr.Rosalind was the interim provincial. Sr. Boniface, Sr.Celia, Sr.Josily and Sr.Shanta Maria were the provincial councillors.
A day of great joy:
On 25th October 1995 Mother Benicasia read out the official letter of erection of Carmel Mata Region to Carmel Mata Province.
Sr. Alenso our Provincial Superior, all the former provincials of our mother province, Mother Angelus, Sr. Victima, Sr. Edwina, Sr. Robert, and Sr. Sibia and our first Regional Superior, Sr.Symphoria, were present in the function., The houses in Gujarat once brought under Carmel Mata region were again kept under Pavanathma province as desired by the sisters working in that area, when Carmel Mata was made a province.
The first provincial synaxis held on 25th October 1995 elected Sr.Shanta Maria and her team members.
As Carmel Mata region came in to existence in 1987, we started to recruit candidates for the region.. In 1991, Carmel Mata started a recruiting house at Kuruppampady in Kerala.
We received local candidates for the first time in 1993. We began to have vestition and profession in our provincial House, Hazaribag from 1997 as we had three local novices in that batch of nine. . In the year 2006, we constructed a formation house in Sitagarha, Hazaribag, in the plot of land we received from the Jesuit fathers. We shifted the aspirancy and candidacy from the provincial house to the newly made formation House on 28th august 2006.
Carmel Mata Province has 130 sisters now