The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo

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


The story of the Ssisters of St.Charles Borromeo in India has for its beginning, the proclamation of pope Pius XI, made in the year 1927.He, by a decree declared, St.Therese, the Little Flower as the patroness of the missions and the Holy See made frequent appeals to the congregations in Europe to send labourers to the mission fields. This kindled a great desire in the hearts of the Sisters of St.Charles Borromeo Wez-Velvain, to go to distant lands to proclaim the good news to the poor.

Our merciful God wanted all his children to enjoy His heavenly riches specially His Indian children “to drink deeply from the delights.” The inustrument of Divine inspiration,Rev.Mother Josephine Allard, Superior General of the Sisters of St.Charles Borromeo, Wez ventured to start a new mission in India and thus the tiny little flower came to bloom at Ranipet in India.

The purpose of the new mission was to impart Christian education to the poor and the needy and to take care of the abandoned children. So, the four missionaries were welcomed with a grand reception and a Holy mass was celebrated in a modest Chapel by Msgr.Lordship.Mederley for our four missionaries Mother Marie Gerard, Mother Maria, Mother Marguerite Marie and Mother Virginy.

Education being the prime need of the hour Little Flower Convent Primary school was inaugurated on January 15, 1930 with 30 children by Mother Marie Gerard. It was a time when education had not reached the common people, especially girls. They began the school with a great deal of struggle and hard work, believing that only education can wipe away material and spiritual poverty. They had a broad vision about the future of the place and people. The Lord blessed the Sisters of St. Charles from its conception and in particular their mission in Indian soil. The tiny seeds of LFC burst forth into bloom, producing flowers, fruits and trees.

On December 31, 1929 with the blessing of Pope Pius XI and under the protection of St.Therese, the Little Flower Convent, Ranipet was opened. The historical facts that precede its beginning enforce one to exclaim, “Great are the works of God”.

The progress of our Mission had reached to the great heights due to the hard labour and struggle of our Sisters. The seed that was sown has grown into a huge tree having the strength of 1100 students in Primary section. A High school was started in 1940 and the Hr.Sec.Sections were added to it in 1978 and recognized by the government of Tamil Nadu. Today more than 4700 students study at Ranipet.

The closer you come to the heart of God, the louder you hear the cries of the poor. It was the need of the hour to have medical assistance to the people around. So, the dispensary was blessed on April 1st 1930 by Msgr.Despatures.

poverty entwined the lives of our missionaries and due to financial constrains they could afford to get the assistance of only a compounder and not a doctor for their medical aid. However with the establishment of a hospital by CSI brethren next door a dispensary with a doctor was not a big need.

The bond between the parish clergy and the parishioners is unique and remarkable. They took part in every parish activity with full dedication and commitment. They inculcated in them Christian values through Catechism, rectification of marriage and preparing the faithful for the reception of sacraments. The same mission is continued today and extended in the substations.

True to the words of our beloved pope Francis, “ Contemplate Jesus not only in paintings, or photographs or in videos but in many of our brothers and sisters … who are suffering. Jesus is in them, and with a disfigured face, with broken voice,” our sisters selflessly render their services to the people without any discrimination of caste or creed. They reach out to the families of stone cutters, lepers, gypsies and the abandoned. The neighborhood slum children are given free education and coaching classes in the evening hours. The needy, senior citizens and the deserved are provided with monthly provisions and timely help is given to them. Tailoring class facilities are provided for the poor women and widows.

God blessed Abraham saying,” I will make you a great nation, I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing”. (Gen2:2). The occasion of the of the seventy five years of the sisters of St. Charles’ mission in India celebrated in LFC in the year 2004 was a fitting moment for every member to recall the valuable services rendered by our four zealous missionaries to this soil, the abundant fruits their toil bore for the benefit of the world and the journey in faith pursued by our Sisters today.