The origin of Thalasserry province is closely connected with the history of Kerala. During the years that followed the World War II, groups of Catholic families from Kottayam and Alappuzha Dts. migrated to Malabar, seeking virgin land for cultivation. As most of the families belonged to the Syro-Malabar Church, the authorities decided to have a Syro-Malabar Diocese for the Malabar region in 1953. Vatican appointed Bishop Sebastian Vallopilly from Palai as the first Bishop of the new diocese.
The new Bishop realized that for the all around development of the area and families the service of the Sisters would be needed. Hence he approached various congregations in Palai to send sisters to serve in Malabar. Malabar filled with hills and forests that inhabited wild animals was feared by all. First the major superiors refused to send sisters, fearing for their safety. However, then Mother General, Mother Celestina agreed to send four sisters to serve in Malabar. The Bishop sent them to Kaniyaram in Waynad. Rev. Fr. George Kazhikachalil did all he could to accommodate them.
The extreme cold climate with very little facilities for stay made the life of the first missionaries very hard. But, they were fired with mission spirit and encouraged the superiors to send more sisters. The next year more sisters came and more convents were started. The Fathers and Sisters worked together for the total development of the area, conducting schools and making roads. More parishes requested the service of the sisters and young sisters came with great zeal and enthusiasm. Some of them returned to the Mother provinces and majority of the sisters from Palai stayed, accepting the challenges of working with limited facilities and extreme poverty. Over the next few years, the number of sisters and convents increased in the Malabar area. Local vocation was encouraged and they went to Palai for formation and returned with renewed spirit. In 1964, combining all the convents in Malabar, a Region was formed and Sr. John Viany from Palai was appointed as Regional Superior. In 1965 it became a commissariat, making Kilianthara convent the head quartes. Mother Flavia from Changanacherry was appointed as the Commissary. The Malabar region was developing fast and the Church, priests and sisters, played a major role in its development.
Mother Imelda (1967-1970)
In 1967 Malabar became an independent province and Mother Imelda was elected as the first provincial of St. Joseph Province, Thalasserry. Then Mother General, Mother Espirit directed the growth of the new province with a maternal heart and filial love. Local vocation increased and the superiors decided to give formation to the candidates in Malabar itself. Sr. Rosebella was appointed as the directoress of formation and in 1965 the first batch of sisters made their first profession at the parish Church in Mananthavady. It was a turning point in the history of the province.
Mother Eucharist (1970-1972)
The provincial Synaxis met in 1970 under Mother Espirit elected Mother Eucharist as the second Provincial superior and Sr. Hosanna, Sr. Ligori and Sr. Peter Paschal as Councillors. Due to ill health, Mother Eucharist resigned in two years and Sr. Hosanna carried out the responsibilities of the provincial superior.
Mother Hosanna (1972 – 1979)
The provincial synaxis summoned under Mother Alphonsus Maria elected Mother Hosanna as provincial superior. With a loving heart, mother guided the sisters and the province developed. Seeing the future needs of the province, more sisters were sent to study in India as well as abroad. In 1976 Mother Hosanna was re-elected and Sisters Peter Paschal, Genevieve, Annie Macreena and Josilia were elected as Councillors. Wyanad area had developed to a point that it became an independent province in 1980 and Sr. Maribella became its first Provincial superior.
Mother Rosebella (1079-1985 and 1991–1994)
Between three (two + one) terms, Mother Rosebella guided the province to new horizons and growth. The knowledge and insights she gained from continuous reading was applied to the expansion of the province in accordance with the spirit and teachings of Vatican II. Sisters were sent to mission activities in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Spiritual growth of the sisters was a main concern for Mother Rosebella. She took initiative in starting more Social Work centres to give opportunity to the sisters to serve the poor and needy. Her gentle loving nature made her acceptable to all. While the Church invited the congregations to return to the roots, she helped the sisters to have a deeper awareness of the Charism and Spirit of the congregation. Having had the experience of being a General Councillor while the Charism study was going on, she directed the province in the original spirit of the Founder and co-founderess, Mother Chantal.
Mother Philo Maria (1985-1991)
Mother Philo Maria was elected as provincial superior in the provincial synaxis held in 1985 and again in 1988. She was like a breath of fresh air and helped the all around development of the sisters. She was a gentle but strong person and supported and protected sisters who faced any kind of crisis. Having had the experience of being in the Andhra Mission, she encouraged the sisters to have mission experience. Both AP and Gujarat missions as well as Tellicherry province ventured to new avenues of growth.
Mother Ann Grace (1994-2000 and 2006-2009)
Mother Ann Grace was elected as provincial superior in the provincial synaxis held in 1994 &1997 and again in 2006. It was a time when the congregation was giving great emphasis for the renewal programmes and Thalasserry province gave great importance for the spiritual renewal of the sisters. Being an excellent teacher, Mother Ann Grace fired the enthusiasm of the sisters in whatever field they were working. To promote the growth of the mission, formation houses were started in Andhra mission.
Mother Philo Pulickapadavil (2000-2006)
The provincial synaxis held in 2000 and 2003 elected Mother Philo as provincial superior. The physical growth of the province was somewhat achieved and so great importance was given to the spiritual growth especially in the devotion to the Holy Eucharist. During this time, the American mission was started and that was a new step in the process of growth of the province as well as congregation as a Pontifical Congregation.
Mother Rosily Jose Ozhukayil (2009 – 2015)
During the provincial synaxis held in 2009 and 2012 elected Mother Rosily Ozhukayil as provincial superior. The province took daring steps during these six years. For half a century, Thalasserry province struggled having not enough space in the provincial house to conduct seminars and retreats. Mother Rosily and team, trusting in the providence of God and intercession of the patron saint of the province, St. Joseph, the construction of the new provincial house was started and completed in Kilianthara. Since the land was not available in Thalasserry town, the provincial house was shifted to Kilianthara. It has given a new face for the province.
Mother Petit Tresa Vilangupara
The Provincial Synaxis held at Kilianthara Provincial House in January 2016 elected Sr. Petit Tresa Vilangupara as provincial superior. The new provincial team is in the process of creating a new enthusiasm in the province through spiritual renewal.