Birth of St. Clare's Province

The first Provincial Chapter of St. Clare's Province was held from May 21-31, 1994 at St.Mary's Convent, Clement Town, presided over by Most Rev. Mother Emmanuel Falleira. Besides the 15 elected members, there were the Provincial Council of St. Francis Province (Sr.Gemma Kanipilly, the Provincial Superior, Srs. Gratia Noronha, Helen Mankanthanam, Benjamin Quadros and Laura Panachikavayalil), Sr. Adele Ciarlante, the General Councillor, Sr. Valeria Aikara from the Provisory Team and Sr. Teresina Athazhapadam, the Provincial Secretary - the last three with consultative votes. On May 28, the Chapter proceedings had to be suspended as Srs. Gemma and Helen left for Delhi on receiving the news that Sr. Sarita Sebastian – a junior who was on dialysis due to kidney failure - had become very critical. Within a few hours the Assembly was informed of her death. Sr. Benjamin too left for Delhi along with the tertians who desired to pay their last homage to their departed companion. On their return, the proceedings were resumed on 30th morning.

On June 2nd, the newly-elected Council headed by Rev. Sr. Karuna Kuruvanthanam, the Provincial Superior, was installed at St. Mary's Convent - the seat of St. Clare's Provincial Government. Thus on June 2, 1994 a new shoot sprouted on the tree of the CFMSS: a fine blossom shooting forth in the octaentenary of the birth of St. Clare of Assisi, its Patroness.

Guidelines for mutual collaboration between the two Provinces, especially in the sphere of formation of the members, were drawn up on the last day of the Chapter so that the bond of fraternal union could be strengthened among the sisters. Clara Sadan was to continue as the novitiate house in common till alternative arrangement was made by St. Francis Province. Besides organizing programmes for the juniors in common, the novices after their year of canonical novitiate were to be allotted to both the Provinces up to the year 1997.

Thus St. Clare’s Province began its journey with slow, but determined steps under the guidance of the enthusiastic Provincial Team: Sr. Karuna Kuruvanthanam, the Provincial Superior, Srs. Julia Kachappally, Rita Thazhathuveetil, Ferdinanda Ottaplackil and Teresa Vadakkedom (Provincial Bursar too) the Councillors and Sr. Nisha Lobo, the Provincial Secretary.

Today members of St. Clare’s Province serve 3 Archdioceses (Delhi, Kanjirapally Thalassery) and 12 dioceses (Simla- Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Meerut, Lucknow, Raigarh, Jashpur, Jhansi, Mumbai, Neyyatinkara, Alleppey, Vijayawada, Belthnagady) spread across 11 States. At present the Province has 30 houses of which 6 are exclusively at the service of the dioceses. In January 2014, the Indian provinces have opened an Inter-Province Mission in the diocese of Ambanja in Madagascar.