The first convent of Thalassery province began on 9 July 1956 in Thomapuram. It was started with five members namely Sisters Felicitta, Jovan, Bambina, Rosemaria and Kochuthresia. They came from Palai, stopped at the Bishop’s House to get the blessing of Bishop Vallopilly and then proceeded to the remote area of Chttarickal with Fr. Thomas Pazheparambil and an early emigrant to the area, Mr.Thomas Adichilamackal. The new missionaries dealt with the challenge of living in very limited facilities and conveyance. The Vicar, Fr. Jose Mulavarickal all he could to help them settled. The presence of the sisters was very much appreciated by the people. More sisters came and they began to teach in the school. The convent made arrangements for girls to stay at the convent and get an education. Girls used to come far distance as that was the only High School available in the area. In 1974 they began nursery school there. To accommodate poor girls studying, a Balabhavan was started. Seeing the need, a school was started for the mentally challenged children. 1995-1998, the postulants of the province stayed in this convent. In 2005, the golden Jubilee of the province was inaugurated in Thomapuram Convent.
Palavayal is a fertile land about 40 Km away from Payyannoor. Since a lot of Catholic families migrated to this place from Pala it was called Palavayal. Their spiritual needs were fulfilled by Msgr. Jerome Dizusa who walked miles to reach the place. In 1957 it became a parish and the people requested the service of the SABS sisters who had a convent in Thomapuram, a neighbour parish. Sisters came to Palavayal on 15 July 1957. At first they stayed in a class room and then a small convent was built by the help of the Vicar and parishioners. The L.P. school Msgr. Jerome started became a U.P. school and the sisters were appointed as teachers in the school. In 1973, a nursery school, attached to the convent, was started. Sisters were very active in the parish activities and faith formation of the children. Inspired by the exemplary life of the sisters many girls from the parish has joined the Adoration Congregation.
Manikadave is situated in the remote area of Iritty, and there was no road. People had to walk more than 15 Km to reach the place. Sisters came here at the request of Rev. Fr. Jacob Nedumpilly and he helped the sisters to deal with the beginning problems of the community. Sisters taught in the school. In 1979 a nursery was started attached to the convent. In 2000, a social work centre was started to give job to the poor girls. They made host for the Holy Mass besides bouquet and crown for the First Holy Communion and wedding. The area has developed into a developed village with roads, schools and other facilities.
It was Rev. Fr. Francis Aruparayil who took the initiative to contact the superiors to start an Adoration convent in Kilianthara, about 10 Km from Iritty. Being on the way to Mysore, transportation to Kilianthara was easy. People of the parish welcomed the presence of the sisters. At first the sisters stayed in a rented house and later Fr. Francis Aruparayil bought some land and helped the sisters to have their own home. Some of the sisters taught in the school. A nursery was started in 1970 to educate the little ones. The head quarters of the Malabar region was moved to Kilianthara. It was also the formation house where the Aspirants, Postulants and Novices were accommodated. Later the provincial house was shifted to Thalasserry and the candidates in formation except the second year Novices, were shifted to other places. As English Medium Schools increased, the demand for a nursery school decreased and eventually it was stopped. However, Kilianthara continued to be an important house of the province. In 2014, a new Provincial house was built and the provincial house returned to Kilianthara. Today St. Xavier convent accommodates the Aspirants and continues to play an active role in the parish.
SABS that established its roots in the Malabar region desired to spread the Eucharistic devotion to the neighbouring states also. When the CMI Fathers who had started their mission in Coorg, Karnataka invited the SABS to work with them, then superiors took it as a God given opportunity and accepted the invitation. A property with a house was purchased about 2.5 Km away from Gonikopal. The house was repaired and made suitable for living and three sisters started to live there. But, for daily Mass they had to walk to Gonikopal which proved to be a real difficulty. With the help of the CMI Fathers a plot was bought near the monastery and built a house there for the sisters to live. The people in the area had no idea of education. Sisters decided to start a nursery school for the local children. They went from home to home and convinced the parents the need of education and encouraged them to send the children to the nursery school. In 1970, the CMI Fathers were started an English Medium School in Gonikopal and the sisters were asked to teach there. Sr. Therese Francis was made the principal of the new school and she continued in that post until 1999. A few sisters were given teaching post in the school. The nursery school continued to be part of the convent until 2014 when the CMI Fathers decided that they wanted the Nursery school as part of their Eng. Medium School. After much discussion and dialogue, the SABS decided to stop teaching in the nursery school. The nature of the house was changed to a prayer house. The superiors felt that the cool climate of Coorg would be Coorg would be conducive for prayer.
In response to the desire of Bishop Vallopilly, a convent was started in the hill country of Kozhichal. At first there was no Church rectory and the parish priest was staying in Rajagiri. Every morning sisters had to walk 1.5 Km uphill for daily Mass. Later the Church and rectory were built and the Vicar changed the residence to Kozhichal. In 1976, a nursery school was started and it is still functioning well. Additional building was constructed to accommodate the Aspirants. The land is fertile and the sisters grow their vegetables and fruits. Until Rajagiri became a separate parish, sisters used to go to Rajagiri to teach Catechism and to visit homes.
Kanichiar is a village situated 9 Km away from Peravoor, one of the first migration centres. The convent building was in a bad condition that during the rainy season, water leaked into the building. By 1980 the a new building was completed. Sisters were teaching in the school in Manjalampuram, 2.5 Km away from the convent. Since there was no bus at the convenient time most of the time, they had to walk. The sisters used to go to Chengome and Chettyaparamba parish stations to help with the Catechism and pastoral work, until they became parishes and sisters came there. Additional buildings were constructed, attached to the convent, when it became a formation house.
In accordance with the desire of our Bishop, Mar. Sebastian Vallopilly to start a hospital in Tellicherry, a big building and property belonged to Ayyanoth family was bought and started a convent. It was a royal house and during the Independence movement, Gandhi and Nehru stayed in this house and conducted Congress meetings. As the royal family suffered financial crisis, the owner approached the Bishop who considered the possibility of using the building to start a hospital. 1 May 1975, Josgiri hospital started to function in this building and continued to function there until 1980 when a new property was bought near the Bishop’s house and moved the hospital to the new location. In 1979, for convenience, the provincial house was shifted to Thalasserry and operated in the second floor of the above building. This was Josgiri Provincial House until it was shifted back to the newly built provincial house in Kilianthara in 2014. To make pious articles such as Vestments and other articles used for Holy Mass, in 1985 a centre was started in the ground floor and later it was moved to a new building, attached to the old house. To acquire the properties and to help with the spiritual and physical needs of the sisters, the Bishops and Fathers in the Bishop’s house, Sandesa Bhavan, and Seminary were always ready and willing.
The CMI Fathers started a Monastery and an English Medium School in N. Coorg, Sanivarachanda. When they could not find teachers in the school, they invited the SABS sisters and the superiors decided to accept the invitation, thinking the underdeveloped area would need the service of the sisters. 21 July 1975 three sisters reached the place and they were given a class room as their residence. There was a shed adjacent to the class room which they could use as a kitchen. For the next years the sisters stayed in this place. In August the sisters started a nursery school in the monastery building until a separate building was constructed. The living condition of the sisters was not at convenient and so some land was purchased and a convent was built. As the demand for a boarding emerged, a bigger building was constructed to use as convent and hostel. Sisters worked hard for the all around development of the students and their service was well appreciated by the parents. Things went on smoothly, until the CMI Fathers decided to take over the nursery school in 2015. The very existence of the sisters in Sanivarachanda was challenged.
Malom, a station of Thomapuram, was undeveloped area, 4 Km away from Thomapuram. When Malom became an independent parish, according to the desire of the Vicar and parishioners, a convent was started in Malom. In 1979, a convent was built in the two acre plot the parish gave for the convent. In 1978, a nursery school and L.P. school were started in the Church building. Later it was moved to a bigger building. Realizing the need for English, St. Savio English Medium School was started and it has grown into having students study there from LKG to STD X.
According to the request of the Vicar and parishioners, a house and property was bought in Manakadave and started a house there. A nursery school was started in the Church building until 1994 when a new building was constructed near the convent and moved the nursery to that building. In 2005 the nursery school building was again expanded. The Vicars were supportive and helpful in all the developmental activities of the sisters.
Since there was no property or building the two sisters went to start the convent on 17 November 1978, stayed in a room in the house of Punnakuzhy family. They stayed there for one and a half years. They prepared food in the kitchen of the rectory. A nursery school was started in the Church building. The sisters spent the day visiting homes and helping people. Soon after starting the convent, a Social Work Center to teach sawing to the poor girls was started by the Thalaserry Social Work Cener and the director of TSSS, Fr. Joseph Madakkaserry brought all the machines needed to start sawing lessons for the poor girls.
In order to make the higher education of the student sisters, in 1978 a property was bought and a building was constructed for the sisters to stay and study in Nirmalagiri college. 1 October 1979, the building was blessed and the sisters began to stay there. Later 3 sisters got lecture posts in the college and they also stay with the student sisters. In 2013 the study house was rebuilt with more convenience.
The hospital that started with 20 beds in Chettankunnu became a popular health care centre for the people of Thalasserry. But, the lack of space stifled its growth and a new property was bought near the Bishop’s house to make space available for expansion. The hospital grew to become a 250 bedded hospital with all necessary facilities such as Operation Theatre, NICU, ICU, Laboratory, Blood Bank, Causality, Pharmacy, that functions all 24 hours. In order to prepare efficient nursing personnel, a School of Nursing was started in the year 2000. Josgiri hospital provides excellent health care at an affordable rate. Periodically the hospital takes initiative in conducting free medical camp in the remote areas of the diocese.
As large number of Syro Malabar families migrated to Karnataka, they needed Churches and Schools to take care of their spiritual and educational needs. The Fathers working in the area requested our service and the superiors decided to start a convent in Gandibag. At first having so little facilities, the sisters went through hard times. At times they could not even get food. By 1985, a convent was constructed and eased the hardship of the sisters. Sisters became actively involved in the faith formation and education of the children. Aiming at the total development of Karnataka, Belthangady diocese was started and it further energized our mission in Karnataka.
Thabor is a hill place 13 Km away from the town of Cherupuzha. 29 April 1983 a dispensary was started there to make emergency medical help available for the people of the area and the SABS sisters were invited to serve there. In October a nursery school was started and it is still functioning well. To make the convent self sufficient, one of the sisters were given a post in the Church school.
At first the rectory was given to the sisters to stay as they reached there on 13 July 1983. Later Fr. Joseph Madakkaserry donated two acres of land where the convent was built. In 1997 Panathur was included in the Village Development program started from the Generalate. The water shed project executed with foreign aid helped 110 families. In 2004 the convent building was re built. The sisters are actively involved in the faith formation and other activities of the parish.
Nellippara is village between Alakode and Manakadave. Upon receiving the request of the Pastor and Parishioners, a property was bought and a convent was built by the help of the sisters in Manakadave. It was blessed on 19 August 1985 and the convent was started. The Sisters were active in the education ministry and parish activities. Inspired by the activities of the sisters who served there, more than 19 sisters have joined the Adoration congregation.
Though the land was bought in 1978, no activities started there until 1985 when Sr. Carmel Tresa, superior of Palavayal convent, took initiative to start a social work centre (Angel Villa) on 2 October 1985, in order to give job opportunities to poor girls. They make Eucharistic bread, bouquet and crowns for First Holy Communion and weddings.
A parish was established in Bangadi in 1984. SABS sisters from Gandibag came to help with the faith formation of the children. In 1989, with the help of Thalaserry Social Service Society, the construction of a convent in Bangadi was started and completed by 1990. With the blessing of the house on 26 April 1990, sisters began to stay there. Since there was no emergency medical care available in the area, a small clinic was started and sister Nurse came to join the community and to take care of the emergency medical problems of the people. The service of the Sisters have helped the all around development of the people of Bangadi.
Following the invitation and suggestion of Rev. Fr. Mathew Chalil, some land was purchased in the city of Kasargod and started a convent on 21 October 1991. Jaimatha English Medium nursery school was started on 15 June 1992. In 1994 the convent was re-built with hostel facilities.
Shanthal Nilayam is home for orphaned aged. It is a home that demonstrates the love of the Eucharistic Lord in action and stand as a living witness to the merciful love of God in the midst of non-Christian population. The property went through a long process of evolution to reach today’s condition. In 1965 5 acre land was purchased to start a Novitiate house but it was not suitable for that purpose. The cashew farm was rented out but seeing it was unproductive, sisters began to stay there in 1973. Life in this remote area was difficult and so in 1978, the property was given for rent again until 1995. Seeing that sisters needed to stay there to save the land, in 1995 began to stay there and started a nursery which was closed after a year as there were not enough students. Finally as the fulfilment of a long cherished dream, a home was started for the orphaned elderly. The home was started in the name of the first member of the SABS, Motehr Shanthal who was filled with compassion and loved the poor. Sr. Elseena Vettikattu volunteered to nurse the elderly and the home for the aged was started on 15 June 1996. Rev. Fr. Joseph Madakkaserry stayed there and gave the necessary directions to make the land fertile. As a special reward for serving the poor, the subsequent wells produced sufficient water. Appreciating the self-sacrifice of Sr. Elseena many organizations sought out and gave awards to Sr. Elseena for the excellent she is giving to the poor women. More than 35 residents are staying in this house.
As Thalaserry province was attaining total development, the superiors became aware of the need to have a place to conduct retreat and seminars and also the canonical year of Novitiate. While searching for a suitable location, with the help of the Capuchin Fathers, a place was found in Edattu, near the Capuchin formation house. In 1996, a temporary house was finished for the sisters to stay and to supervise the building of the Novitiate house. 3 May 1998, the new house was blessed and the first batch of Novitiate and perpetual adoration started there. The Fathers took great interest in providing spiritual assistance to the sisters as well as Novices. Various courses, seminars and retreats began to be conducted there. Until the new Provincial House was built, most of the programs were held in Edattu as there was no other house that could accommodate big numbers. Though close (3 Km) to the city of Payyannoor, Edattu has an atmosphere and so it is fit for solitude.
While searching for a suitable place to send the candidates studying for Plus Two, some well wishers and SDB Fathers suggested a house near the Don Bosco College in Angadikadave. Accordingly, a property with an old house was purchased in 1995. By the following year the house was fixed and the sisters began to stay there while the construction of the convent and hostel was going on. In 2001 the construction was finished and many college students were given accommodation there. Every First Friday they began to have night vigil and many lay people attended the Adoration.
Arkkalgud is not far from Sanivarachand and when the Fathers went to visit the villagers, they invited the sisters to go with them to conduct mobile clinics. Since there was no convent, the sisters took much difficulty to come and go from Sanivarachanda. Seeing their difficulty, the Fathers allowed them to stay in the building constructed for social service. The sisters stayed there until they purchased a property and built a convent. The sisters were given opportunity to teach in the nursery school the Fathers started.
Since there was not enough space to conduct an English Medium School, a plot was purchased about 4 Km away from the city of Kasargod to start the school. For a few years, the sisters stayed in Kottekani and commuted to Uliyathadukka to teach in the school. For the smooth running of the school and the safety of the building, it became necessary that the sisters stay in location. A convent was built for the sisters to stay and they began to stay on campus in the year 2000. In 2001 the school received approval. As the parents compelled Plus Two was started and today Jai Matha is one of the best schools in the area, obtaining full pass every year for STD X and Plus Two.
Aravanchal is a small village on the way from Payyanoor to Cherupuzha. In order to help the development of the place, the provincial team decided to start a convent in that area. A property was purchased and the sisters began to stay in a temporary house while the construction of the convent was going on. Someone had started LKG & UKG classes in the Church building. The parishioners with the support of the Vicar, decided to start and English Medium School of which the Pastor will be the Manager and one of the sisters could be the Principal. Accordingly Sisters began to teach and take over the responsibility of the school.
Devagiri is a parish that has more than 108 Christian families. On 23 May 2001, two sisters began to stay after the blessing of a house and property purchased by the sisters with the help of the Fathers. The sisters became actively involved in the activities of the parish and the faith formation of the children. Since the old convent was falling apart a new convent was built and blessed on 5 August 2005. People do come to participate in the adoration conducted in the chapel.
A convent was constructed and blessed on 28 November 2009, in the land the Bishop donated to the SABS to conduct perpetual adoration. On the same day the sisters began to stay there. Besides conducting perpetual adoration, sisters are managing a sawing centre in this convent, mainly to make cassocks for the priests.
Since prayer and night vigil would interfere with the operation of the hostel, another convent was started in Anapanthy. The construction of the convent was completed in 2011 and the perpetual adoration and Night vigil that used to be conducted in the hostel was moved to the new convent.
Not too far from Josgiri convent, when a house became available, it was bought and blessed in order to have more spaces for the sisters to sty while working in Josgiri Hospital. In 2012, six sisters from the hospital moved into this house and began to operate as a separate convent.