History of Carmel Matha Province
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your Father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you” (Gen. 12/1-2).
The Divine call from God to sow the first seed of Carmel Mata Province goes back to 1968. In May 1968, Fr. Desmond Purcell SJ from Hazaribag approached Mother Celine, the then Superior General of CMC. She responded positively to the request, and Mother Celine directed him to Mother Victima, the then Provincial of Pavanathma Province Kothamangalm. It was also the time when Pavanathma Province was looking for a location to reach out to the Mission in North India. Thus, by God's providence, the first house of our province was recorded in history on September 27, 1968, in Mahudanr, one of the beautiful and fertile locations of Jharkhand. Sr. Borgia and Sr. Bonosa were the first enthusiastic and energetic young missionaries.
In many ways, the Carmel Mata Province is special. It is remarkable in that it has mission stations in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal, all of which are located in North India. We are fortunate that as we progressed, we were able to extend our humble services to 11 Dioceses in North India and one in Kerala, and one in Germany. Another distinctive aspect of Carmel Mata Province is that the majority of its houses are located within tribal belts. Many of our sisters work with the native peoples. While working among the diverse populations, our sisters face numerous hurdles, including multiple cultures, customs, and traditions, as well as different languages, dialects, and new situations and backgrounds. It is praise worthy that our sisters marched forward with great trust in God and firm determination. In the context of our service among the local people, we work both in English and Hindi Medium Schools run by diocese/religious congregations. There are hostels for tribal girls attached to many of the schools we work. As they stay with us, we have great opportunity to give them Faith Formation and to foster all-around development. There are two Hospitals also owned by the Province, one in Mahuadanr and one in Godda. In addition to the Hospitals we also run Health Centres in village contexts. These Hospitals and Health Centres have village extension programmes aiming at women empowerment, health education, training for self employment through SHGS, tailoring centres etc. Province has taken up Jail Ministry in three centres like Latehar, Ambikapur and Godda. Sisters visit the prisoners and arrange Holy Mass and Sacrament of Reconciliation on important occasions like Christmas and Easter. For the inmates of the Juvenile Jail in Ambikapur, sisters and students of Carmel School give classes and help them to write the Board Exams. Every community in the Province take active part in Social work, parish activities, family apostolate, and youth ministry and in promoting Marian Devotion.