Mission in the North
At the invitation of the late Bishop Leonard Raymond of Allahabad, the sisters came to the north in 1953 and established themselves in Kanpur. The late Bishop Conrad de Vito OFM Cap., of Lucknow invited the Congregation to work in his diocese and in 1964 sisters came to this diocese beginning their apostolic work at Bazpur, Kathgodam and other places. With the division of the diocese of Lucknow, all the foundations became part of the diocese of Bareilly.
In 1988, the Indian Province of the Congregation erected three provinces. This necessitated a permanent headquarters for the province of the North. Thus on March 25th, 1993 the new Provincialate was blessed and inaugurated at Kalli-Paschim, Lucknow.
North Province of the UMIs continued its journey spreading far and wide. In 2004 a Vice province was formulated under North Province (Nirmala Vice Province) and again in 2010 this North Province was organized into two Provinces – Vimala Province and Nirmala Province.
Nirmala Province – Its origin and Growth
Having felt the need, the General Chapter 2003 of the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate had decided that part of the Northern Province be formed as a Vice Province in order to make the administration more effective and relevant as the area is vast and reaching out was difficult since the then Northern Province had 31 communities with 235 members spread out in 14 Dioceses in 7 states in India. Accordingly Vice – Province was formed on 3rd December 2004 and the official erection of Nirmala Vice Province took place on 13th December 2004 at Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam, being it the headquarters of the Vice Province. “Lord Lead us on” was the theme of the Eucharist officiated by Most. Rev. Antony Fernandes, the then Bishop of Bareilly and concelebrated by ten priests from the neighbouring parishes and mission stations. During the Holy Mass in which, the main celebrant lighted the lamp representing Christ’s presence. Sr. Tecla Nellanikat, the then Provincial Superior of North Province took the light from the Divine light and gave to Sr. Carol Thundathil the newly assigned Superior of the Vice-Province and to Sr. Cleopha Thuppalangiyil and to Sr. Rittie Mattathil, the Councilors. At the time of its erection it had ten communities and fifty six members.
Thus the journey of the newly erected NirmalaVice Province as the offshoot of North Province began smoothly under the guiding hands of God, dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary our Patroness, and Blessed Brigida, our Foundress. In 2006 the illness of the first councilor, Sr. Cleopha, and her sudden demise shocked the Vice Province. She had great plans for the Vice Province and her sudden departure created a vacuum that can never be filled again. We recall her remarkable contributions and hard toil to bring up the budding vice province. In place of Sr. Cleopha, Sr. Yvette was appointed as the first councilor of the Vice Province. In May 2007, Sr. Carol Thundathil was appointed as the new Provincial Superior of the Northern Province and Sr. Mabel Kaithavelil was appointed as the Superior of the Vice Province for a term of three years. On 21st April 2007, Sr. Mabel was installed as the Superior of the Vice Province, Sr. Yvette and Sr. Rittie Mattathil as Councilors and Sr. Rani Jose as treasurer. A meaningful liturgy was organized on this occasion to implore God’s blessings upon Sr. Mabel and her team.
September 8th 2007 was the inauguration and blessing of the newly constructed convent and the Regional House of Nirmala Vice-Province, Greater Noida. Sr. Carol Thundathil, the then Provincial Superior of UMI Northern Province and the 1st Regional Superior of Nirmala Vice – Province from 2004 to 2007, cut the ribbon and inaugurated the house. His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra Archdiocese, blessed the house and officiated the Holy Eucharist. Up to then Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam functioned as the temporary headquarters of the Vice Province. The regional house
Formulation of Nirmala Province
3rd December 2010 was a red letter day in the history and life of the Institute. Northern Province was reorganized into two Provinces – Lucknow Province and Nirmala Province. The birth of Nirmala Province and the installation of the Provincial Team took place on Friday, 3rd December 2010 at 11. A. M. at Ursuline convent, Greater Noida, the Provincialate of the new Province. The members in the Provincial Team were -Sr. Rittie Mattathil Provincial Superior, Sr. Nirupa, Sr. Daisy Kallarackal, Sr. Benette, Sr. Thelma & Sr. Rani. Superior General, Sr. Elvira Mattappally, inaugurated the opening of the new Province with 14 communities in the presence of the Provincials of Amala Province, Sacred Heart Province and Vimala Province, and a good number of priests, sisters and well-wishers. The solemn Eucharistic celebration was officiated by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra. Fulfillment of a long awaited dream filled our hearts with joy and gratitude to God our Father and to all who helped us realize this.
The First Provincial Team of Nirmala Province (2010 – 2014)
New Provincial Team took Charge (2014 – )
12th May 2014 was a significant day in the history of the Ursulines of Nirmala Province, Greater Noida, as the New Provincial Team took charge of the Province. The members in the team are – Sr. Rittie Mattathil, Provincial Superior, Sr. Nirupa, Vice Provincial, Sr. Archana, Sr. Anu George – Provincial Councilors, Sr. Anjali Jacob – Provincial Treasurer & Sr. Daisy George – Provincial Secretary. The New Team offered themselves to the Lord to take the Province forward, pledging to act in accordance with the designs of God, seeking always His will. It was a grace filled moment as they surrendered to God’s nourishing love, constant support and assuring presence to be their sole strength on their path of accomplishing His mission.