The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo

Kamba village, Varap post, shahad, Kalyan west,
Thane Dist, Maharashtra, India - 421103

WEZ Motherhouse Belgium

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo of Wez-Velvain was founded in 1684, by Fr. Adrien Bresy, parish priest of Wez in the diocese of Tournai, Belgium. Fr. Adrien Bresy chose St. Charles Borromeo as the patron of the Congregation because the First Death Centenary of St, Charles was celebrated in 1684, it coincided with the year of the Foundation. Besides St. Charles was a great pioneer of Christian Education in the diocese of Milan, and had a great love for the poor and the abandoned. Our Founder was inspired by this towering Saint of the Sixteenth Century.
This is the background which moved Fr. Adrien Bresy, to compassion; the people were like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. It is to reach out to these lost ones that the Congregation was founded on September 27, 1684. Our founder, Fr. Adrien Bresy permitted the co-foundresses to live in the presbytery and he moved his residence to the nearby castle which housed the seminarians of the diocese.

“Wez, became famous during the second half of the seventeenth century when a Community of Religious of St. Charles established themselves in order to give free education to the young girls of the commune and to look after female mental patients…The humble parish of Wez which counted about three hundred souls had the glory among all the neighbouring communes to open the first school.” (Records: Historique de Wez)

As St. Ignatius of Loyola and St, Charles Borromeo were contemporaries, our Founder and first Sisters were influenced by Ignatian Spirituality and followed the monastic and contemplative pattern of life of the seventeenth century. Sunday Schools were the popular means of education and parents willingly send their children to these schools where catechism and the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic were taught. We honour the ardent and humble Parish priest of Wez as our Founder.

He has left nothing behind except the EPITAPH on his tomb which speaks volume about this holy man who spent his entire life in pure love for God lived in noble service to humanity. He left for eternity on June1st, 1699and we commemorate it as our Founder’s Day. As a mark of great humility he asked to be buried at the portal of his church to be trodden by all the people.

The Congregation grew slowly but surely, the following events mark the development of the Congregation:

  • From 1684 to 1835 the number of sisters was limited to twenty. The Congregation consisted of only one house at Wez.
  • In 1835 Mother Catherine Henno, Superior in agreement with the ecclesial authority of the Bishop of Tournai admitted more than twenty religious. In 1849 the number of sisters rose to thirty-two and in 1858 there were forty sisters.