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History of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of St.Teresa(C.S.S.T)

CSST Global
The first community of sisters though grieved by the sudden death of their Foundress, Mother Teresa in 1902, continued their life of prayer and apostolic work. Sr. Beatrice wrote to Fr. Alphonsus on January 24, 1903 referring to Mother Teresa. "Though she is gone, most cruelly snatched from us, her spirit lives on and will ever live with us."
The Sisters at the death of our Foundress:
  1. Josephine D'Lima - Sr. Beatrice of the Sacred Heart of Mary
  2. Mary Stevenage - Sr. Mary Agnes of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  3. Caroline Jane - Sr. Leonora of St. Joseph
  4. Mary D'Costa - Sr. Ursula of Mary Help of Christians
  5. Catherine Gibson - Sr. Mary. Pierre of the Holy Family
  6. Anne Mclnerney - Sr. Veronica of the Blessed Sacrament
  7. Millicent Honey - Sr. Margaret Mary of the Sacred Heart
  8. Anne Elizabeth D'Lima - Sr. Josephine of the Blessed Sacrament.
  9. Mother Magdalen - A Carmelite Tertiary at St. Joseph's Convent, Kottayam joined St. Teresa's Convent, Ernakulam
The little community had grown in course of time into a large religious family that has spread throughout India and other countries. The sisters strive to live their religious consecration and fulfill their task in the Church for the building of the kingdom with the same religious spirit that animated Mother Teresa and the first community. Ready to answer the summons of the Church, they endeavoured to live their religious profession in Evangelical simplicity, mutual love and prayerful intimacy with Christ. This was possible because of the dynamic leadership of the Superiors.
Mother Margaret Mary Mother Vernoica1 Mother Pierre
1st Superior
2nd Superior
4th Superior
3rd Superior
At the General Chapter held at St. Teresa's convent, Ernakulam in 1922, Mother Veronica was elected as the First Superior General. This office she held for 12 years. The same year St. Teresa's Convent was raised to a Congregation.
Though not a native of the State, she identified herself with the people, learnt to speak and read Malayalam, co- operated with the Government and it schemes, and made Ernakulam her Home.
As she was naturally gifted with a broad vision and an ability to understand the other person's point of view, her policies were always far sighted.
Convents opened :
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Trissur - 1921
  • Infant Jesus Convent, Ochanthurth - 1923
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Kottayam - 1924
  • Little Flower Convent, Palliport - 1925
  • St. Antony's Convent, Ernakulam - 1928
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Kottayam - 1933

Superiors General

Mother Veronica

Mother Vernoica At the General Chapter held at St. Teresa's convent, Ernakulam in 1922, Mother Veronica was elected as the First Superior General. This office she held for 12 years. The same year St. Teresa's Convent was raised to a Congregation.
Though not a native of the State, she identified herself with the people, learnt to speak and read Malayalam, co- operated with the Government and it schemes, and made Ernakulam her Home.
As she was naturally gifted with a broad vision and an ability to understand the other person's point of view, her policies were always far sighted.
Convents opened :
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Trissur - 1921
  • Infant Jesus Convent, Ochanthurth - 1923
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Kottayam - 1924
  • Little Flower Convent, Palliport - 1925
  • St. Antony's Convent, Ernakulam - 1928
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Kottayam - 1933
1924 - St. Joseph's Convent, Kottayam, which hitherto had been an independent convent, was amalgamated with St. Teresa's Congregation
In 1924, St. Teresa's High School was raised to a second grade college - the dream of the Foundress was thus realized.
In 1926 St. Teresa's college was raised to a First grade college.

Mother Mary

other Mary At the General Chapter of 1934, Mother Mary of Jesus was elected as the 2nd Superior General.
During her period the congregation was raised to the status of Pontifical Rite ad experimentum on February 15, 1951. Mother Mary was a great Public Relations Officer for the Congregation. With her great charm and sensitive handling of potential vocations, she succeeded in getting a large number of young girls to join the Congregation and within the 18 years of her Generalship, the strength of the Congregation rose phenomenally.
In the General Elections held in 1952, Mother Mary, who had already been postulated once, was again postulated for a second term of six years. But the very night of the Postulation, April 26, 1952, the much loved Superior General suddenly and unexpectedly passed away leaving her religious family in profound bereavement.
During her 18 years of office as Superior General, the Congregation spread its branches even outside the boundaries of Kerala - Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Mount Carmel College which was started in Trissur was shifted to Bangalore.
Convents Opened:
  • Sacred Heart convent, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu - 1938
  • Immaculate Conception Convent, Mathilakam, Kerala - 1940
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Mundakayam, Kerala - 1941
  • Christ the King Convent, Mysore - Karnataka - 1944
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Mandya, Karnataka - 1944
  • St. Paul's Convent, Davangere, Karnataka - 1946
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Bangalore, Karnataka - 1947
  • Holy Family Convent, Mariapura, Karnataka - 1947
  • Our Lady Help of Christians Convent, Eravipuram, Kerala - 1947
  • Fatima Convent, Neendakara, Keralac - 1949

Mother Alphonsus

Mother Alphonsus Mother Alphonsus of the Mother of God was elected to fill the office of Superior General in 1952, and she held this office for 12 years. She, with her ability to take risks and boldness, launched out into new areas. It is during her term of office that our Congregation spread its branches in several States in North India. She dared to send sisters abroad for higher studies and a sister even for professional social work training, a thing unheard of in those days. Mother Alphonsus, following the policy of her predecessors was interested in higher education as well. As one who believed in the empowerment of women through education, she opened the Teresian College in Mysore and the Training College for Women in Kottayam.
Realizing that the busy environment of St. Teresa's Convent, Ernakulam was not conducive for silence, prayer and contemplation, so much needed for the formation of young sisters, Mother Alphonsus had our Novitiate shifted to Whitefield in Bangalore in 1956.
Convents opened:
  • Carmel Convent, Trivandrum, Kerala -------------------1954
  • Carmel Convent, Giridih, Eastern-----------------------1954
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Chinnakanal, Kerala -------------1955
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu --------------1955
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu----------1955
  • St. Teresa's Novitiate, Whitefield, Bangalore, Centre----1956
  • Incarnation Convent, Mysore, Karnataka---------------1956
  • St. Ann's Convent, Siddapur, Karnataka----------------1956
  • Our Lady of Victories Convent, Somwarpet, Kn. --------1956
  • Carmel Convent, Gwalior, Northern---------------------1957
  • Carmel Convent, Raigarh, Northern---------------------1957
  • St. Philomena's Convent, Chakkai, Eastern -------------1957
  • St. John the Baptist Convent, Kumta, Karnataka--------1959
  • Duruelo Convent, Mumbai, Northern--------------------1959
  • Carmel Convent, Madhupur, Eastern -------------------1959
  • Holy Rosary Convent, Honavar, Karnataka--------------1960
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Gulburga, Karnataka-------------1962
  • St. Teresa's Convent, Konniyoor, Kerala ---------------1962
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Kalamassery, Kerala -------------1963
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Valparai, Tamil Nadu------------1963
  • Teresian Convent, Mysore, Karnataka------------------1963
  • Carmel Convent, Bishrampur, Northern -----------------1963
  • Holy Angels' Convent, Muzaffarnagar, Eastern----------1963
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Shahabad, Karnataka-------------1964
  • Avila Convent, Mysore, Karnataka ---------------------1964

Mother Rita

Mother Rita In the General Chapter of 1964 Mother Rita of the Precious Blood was elected as the Superior General. She was re - elected for a second term in 1970. During this period convents were opened in India and abroad.
During her tenure of office our Constitutions were revised and Governmental structures re - organized in keeping with the directives of Vatican II. As a continued response to the same directives, the Congregation went back to re- discover it's roots and the charism of our Foundress. For this, 2 extraordinary General Chapters were convened. It was at this time that the book, 'Worthy daughter of St. Teresa' (Life of our Foundress) was written by Sr. Theodora CSST and the first modification of the traditional Habit was introduced in our Congregation.
Convents opened:
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Faridabad, Eastern------------1964
  • Carmel of St. Joseph, Mumbai, Northern -------------1967
  • Anugraha Convent, Ernakulam, Kerala ---------------1973
  • Holy Family Convent, New Jersey, Centre------------1973 (Closed)
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Abu Dhabi--------------------1973
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Aripalam, Kerala -------------1974
  • Mt. St. Joseph Convent, Thiruvannamalai, T.N. ------1974
  • Carmel Convent, Mandya, Karnataka --------------- 1970
  • Shanthipuram Convent, Kottayam-------------------1973
  • Lourdes Hill Convent, Pollibetta, Karnataka-----------1976

Mother Bernardine

Mother Bernardine At the General Chapter of 1976 Mother Bernardine was elected as the Superior General for the period 1976 - 1982. The task of implementing the newly approved Constitutions was the responsibility of Mother Bernardine.
Subsidiarity, collegiality, dialogue chapters and local assemblies were the new organs through which sisters had been given a share in the governing of their own lives. She started Social Service Centres, dispensaries and a Rehabilitation Centre, thus enlivening the social thrust envisaged by the Foundress.
During her tenure of office she was instrumental in building and shifting the Generalate to Bangalore.
Convents opened:
  • Holy Spirit Convent, Kushalnagar, Karnataka----------1976
  • Nirmala Social Institute, Kottayam, Kerala ------------1977
  • Sancta Maria Convent, Trivandrum, Kerala------------1978
  • St. Teresa's Convent, Pakkil, Kottayam, Kerala -------1978
  • St. Teresa's Mercy Home, Ernakulam, Kerala----------1978
  • Carmel Convent, Faridabad, Eastern------------------1978
  • Kristu Vikas Convent, Aluva, Kerala ------------------1979
  • Shanthi Nilayam, Vikravandy, Tamil Nadu -------------1979
  • St. Mary's Convent, Harihar, Karnataka---------------1979
  • Carmel Convent, Muthetheni, Kenya - Center---------1980
  • Sacred Heart Convent, Pratt, Kansas - Centre--------1980 (Closed)
  • Carmel Nivas, Indore --------------------------------1981 (Closed)
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Jammu -------------------------1981 (Closed)
  • Little Flower Convent, T. Narsipur, Karnataka---------1981
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Balliguda, Northern--------------1981
  • St. Teresa's Generalate, Bangalore -Centre-----------1981
  • Shanthipuram Convent, Kottayam - Kerala------------1982

Mother Digna

Mother Digna At the General Chapter of 1982 Mother Digna was elected as the Superior General for the period 1982 - 1988. In 1987 she was invited by the Holy Father to be an Observer in the Synod of the Laity.
The General Chapter of 1982 mandated two very important issues
1. Inculturation and simplicity of life to ensure greater involvement in the lives of the poor and
2. Identifying ourselves with the culture of the country. To achieve this end Mother Digna tried her best to expose every sister to an experience in Indian Spirituality and inculturataion and this at a great cost.
Four new houses especially designed for simplicity of life and an apostolate for the poor of the locality have been opened at Puduvype in Kerala, Goa, Balliguda and Bhalua.
To provide our sisters with a conducive atmosphere for prayer and reflection,'Sayujya' - Prayer House was built in Whitefield.
By this time the Congregation had branched out into different parts of India and abroad, for better administration. Hence there was a need to divide the Congregation into 4 Regions led by Regional Superiors who worked in collaboration with the Superior General.
During her well known dynamic leadership we had the privilege of celebrating the Centenary of our Congregation.
Convents opened:
  • Arpudha Matha Convent, Kilnathur, Tamil Nadu--------1984
  • Nallayan Convent, Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu ---------------1984
  • Pushpa Nilaya, Kumta, Karnataka---------------------1984 (Closed)
  • Anawim Convent, Puduvype, Kerala-------------------1985
  • Carmel Jwala, Xelim, Goa, Karnataka------------------1985 (Closed)
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Podanur, Tamil Nadu-------------1986
  • Carmel Convent, Anna Nagar,Chennai, Tamil Nadu-----1986
  • Infant Jesus Convent, Ambattur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu-1987
  • Carmel Convent, Bhalua, Eastern---------------------1987
  • Carmel Convent, Hathimara Eastern ------------------1987

Mother Yvonne Marie

Mother Yvonne Marie At the General Chapter of 1988 Mother Yvonne Marie was elected as theSuperior General for the period 1988 -1994. She was re - elected for a second term, 1994 - 2000.
The General Chapter of 1988 raised the existing four Regions into four Provinces. Consequently the Constitutions and Directives had to be modified and changed. It was her Missionary spirit that enabled her to launch out into theArgentinean Mission where there was a dearth of priests to administer Sacraments, and this at our own expense, since these missions were economically backward, unlike other countries abroad.
At the General Chapter of 1994 the sisters were given the option to wear the sari habit. During the Great Jubilee Year - Kristu Jayanthi, as a gesture of love she decided with her Council to waive the loans taken by our Convent children - some 100% and some 50%. She had a far sighted vision of the needs of the elderly sisters and this is seen in the set up of Villa St. Joseph - her brain child.
Convents opened:
  • St. Teresa's Convent, Ranchi, Eastern----------------1988
  • Altenheim, St. Anton, Germany - Centre--------------1988 (Closed)
  • Convento de San Jose, Weisburd, Argentina - Centre -1990
  • Carmel Convent, Lemoore, California - Centre---------1991
  • Virgen Del Carmel, Matara, Argentina - Centre--------1992 (Closed)
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Rushwood, Wichita - Centre----1993
  • Villa St. Joseph, Jettihundi, Mysore - Centre----------1994
  • Suvidya Nilaya, Jettihundi, Mysore - Centre-----------1995
  • St. Joseph's Convent, Firebaugh, California, - Centre--1995 (Closed)
  • The new Generalate on the same premises - Centre---1998
  • Carmel Convent, Machakos, Kenya - Centre ----------1999 (Closed)

Sister Victorine

Sr. Victorine At the General Chapter of 2000, Sr. Victorine was elected as the Superior General for the period 2000 - 2006. She was Postulated for a second term,2006 - 2012.
The year 2000 saw the celebration of Krist Jayanthi - the 2000th year of Christ's birth, celebrated on a grand scale at the Generalate amidst a large gathering of CSSTs.
The convent, Krist Prabha, Geddalahalli was opened to commemorate this great Jubilee. Here unemployed young women were trained for domestic work and thereafter were employed by reliable families who were in touch with the Superior of the convent. After a few years the girls were not interested to take up this training. Now the house is utilized to accommodate and send to school a few children who are unable to attend school since their homes are distanced from the school.
Sr. Victorine meticulously carried out the decision of the General Chapter - 2000 to open a convent at Mangapatnam, the death place of our Foundress during the Death Centenary year - 2002. Not only did she open the house, but organised the Death Centenary celebration which was inaugurated in the Kerala Province in the year 2001 and concluded in Mangapatnam in 2002.. In order to enable the sisters to revitalize and renew their life and ministry, aScientific Evaluation was conducted during this period. Another glorious event was the celebration of the Sesquicentennial -150th Birthday of our Foundress. It was inaugurated in St. Mary's Co - Cathedral, Chennai, the church where she was baptized and concluded in Bangalore.
It was the decision of the General Chapter - 2006 to bifurcate the Northern Province into 2 Provinces, Northern and Eastern for the sake of better administration. The Northern and Eastern Provinces have 13 communities each including the Provincial House. At the same Chapter it was passed that thesisters are permitted to wear printed sari / skirt and blouse for daily use and salwar kameez for travel, home wear and when needed for the apostolate.
She was able to carry out all the above mandates of the General Chapter with ease because of her total dependence on God, her spirit of discernment and her commitment and determination to do whatever the Spirit moves her to do.
Convents opened
  • Villa Teresita, Tucuman, Argentina - Centre--------2000
  • Convento Teresa D'Lima, Salta - Centre -----------2001
  • Krist Prabha, Geddalahalli - Centre-----------------2002
  • Teresa D'Lima Convent, Kyumbi, Africa, - Centre----2002
  • Teresa D'Lima Niketan, Mangapatnam, - Centre- ---2002

(Handed over to Karnataka)

  • St. Teresa's Convent, Baja, Wichita - Centre-------2002 - (Closed)
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Sudan - Centre---------------2006 - (Closed)
  • St. Teresa's Convent, Marial Lou - Sudan - Centre -2007 - (Closed)
  • Convento Sta. Teresita, Arias, Argentina - Centre--2008
  • Mt. Carmel Convent, Bungoma, Kenya - Centre-----2010

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