The Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had its foundation in Pudhucherry on 16th of October1844. The proud privilege of our Congregation is that, it is the First Indigenous Women Religious Congregation in the Continent of Asia. The founder of this Congregation is Rev. Fr. Louis Savinien Dupuis MEP, a French Missionary. The Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary is an outcome of the ‘felt need’ of the Fathers of the Diocesan Synod of Pudhucherry, as a result of their concern for the education of women. The Fathers of the Synod believed that the education of women would become instrumental in fostering true piety in families and generally in raising the quality of families.
During the Diocesan Synod held at Pudhucherry in 1844. The President Msgr. Clement Bonnard, the Vicar Apostolic of Pudhucherry, spoke emphatically about the necessity for the education of women. The Fathers proposed the idea that an Indian Sisters’ Congregation should be started and the sisters should be entrusted with the responsibility of teaching women, secular education together with religious and moral education. By the Grace of God, with the blessings and consent of His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI and His Grace Msgr. Clement Bonnand, the Vicar Apostolic of Pudhucherry, the seed for the new Congregation of the FRANCISCAN SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY was founded. The founding father, Fr. Louis Savenian Dupuis tirelessly worked for the growth of the Congregation till his death on the 4th of June 1874. Following the footsteps of our founder, the directors and the Superiors General paved the way for the growth of the Congregation.
The Congregation at present has 186 houses in four Provinces. Lourdes Province with its Provincialate at Koothapakkam covering the Pudhucherry and Cuddalore area; Infant Jesus Province with its Provincialte at Madurai covering the Madurai, Salem, Coimbatore, Kottar, Tuticorin and Sivagangai area; St. Joseph Province with its Provincialate at Trichy covering the Trichy and Vellore area and Assisi Province with its Provincialate at Keesara (Andhrapradesh) covering the Andhrapradesh, Chinglepet, Chennai and the North Indian area. There is a region covering the East African houses under the name Dupuis Region.
Empowering women through education has always been the most important apostolate of our Congregation. Through our educational institutions, we, the Immaculate Sisters, aim at imparting quality education and making women self - reliant. Our founder believed that by educating and empowering women, the families could be built up in piety and morality. He willed that the sisters should be entrusted with the responsibility of educating women together with secular education, religious and moral education. According to him “A woman is the light of the family”. True liberation for women is possible only through education.
Engineering College - 1
Arts & Science Colleges - 8
College of Education - 1
Teacher Training School - 2
FIHM - PUDHUCHERRY - ESTD 1844
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