Organization of the Vice-Province into Province & the Installation of the New Provincial Team
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.
Celebration of Province Assembly
The first Province Assembly of Nirmala Province after it is being organized into a New Province was celebrated in two batches. First one from 23rd to 26th Sept. 2011 at Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam and the second one from 13th to 16th Oct. 2011 at Ursuline Convent, Greater Noida, the Provincialate.
We were specially privileged to have Sr. Elvira Mattappally, superior General with us for the second assembly at Ursuline Convent, Greater Noida. Her presence and guidance were of immense help to us. We had Fr. Joe Arimpoor SDB, Director of Don Bosco Animation and Research Kendra, (DB ARK) New Delhi, as the resource person for a day.
Blessing of the convent – St. Patrick’s Convent, Jaunpur
On 19th March, 2012 the new convent building was blessed by Rt. Rev. Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Varanasi in the presence of Sr. Carol, Provincial Superior of Vimala Province and Sr. Rittie Mattathil, Provincial Superior of Nirmala Province.
New Opening – Mission at Barwadih in Jharkhand
Our new mission at Barwadih in Jharkhand was opened on Sunday – 22nd June 2014. It comes under Daltonganj Diocese. It is a mission with lot of possibilities for development and vast scope for vocations. There is a school and hostel run by Claritian Missionary Fathers (CMF). We landed there accepting their invitation to look after the boarding house and to teach in the school which has reached up to 8th standard. It is an English Medium School and we work in collaboration with them. At present there are twenty one boarders including seven girls and fourteen boys. The hostel started in April 2014. Evening classes are conducted there from Monday to Saturday for the poor students of the nearby villages. About two hundred students of class I to X go there to study. This new venture gives ample scope to spread the Good News in the state of Jharkhand. Srs. Rita John & Usha Peter, are the pioneering members. At present sisters are staying in the hostel with the boarders. Later on we need to build the Convent and the hostel for girls separately. May the seed that is sown in the land of Barwadih be sprouted and grown gradually and steadily to yield abundant fruit in the due course of time.
Golden and Silver Jubilee Celebrations
We solemnly celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Srs. Vianney and Alice on 23rd November 2013 at Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam. The celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Srs. Rani Jose and Sandhya Mathew was at Nirmala Provincialate, Greater Noida on 15th May 2013. On 30th April 2014. Sr. Manju Kerketta celebrated her silver Jubilee at Ursuline Convent, Greater Noida.
Appointment of the new Provincial Superior and Councilors
Superior General Sr. Elvira Mattappally with the consent of her council appointed the Provincial Superior and the Council for a term of three years from April 2014 to April 2017. The Team consists of Sr. Rittie, Provincial Superior, Sr. Nirupa –Vice Provincial, Srs. Benette, Archana and Anu George as Provincial Councilors. The appointment was announced on 16th January 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. There was an orientation program prior to that on the 10th and 11th by Fr. Joe Arimpoor SDB preparing them for this great responsibility of animating the Province. On 11th evening special Mass was offered for the New Team by Fr. Joe. On the following day, 12th May a prayer service was conducted to welcome the incoming members, 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.
Pre-Chapter Assembly 2014
The 1st Pre-chapter Assembly of Nirmala Province was conducted in two batches – one at Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam and the other at Nirmala Provincialate, Greater Noida from 10th July to 13th July 2014 and 17th July to 20th July 2014 respectively. Out of 96 sisters 77 of them attended the same. There were input sessions on the theme, “With Eyes Fixed on Jesus Crucified and Risen We Strive to Build a World of love and Peace” , Consecrated Life and Reforms of Pope Francis, Spirituality, Community Life, Governance, and on each ministry separately followed by group discussions and general sessions. In this significant gathering postulates for the Provincial Chapter 2014 was discussed and noted down.
1st Provincial Chapter 2014
Ursulines of Mary Immaculate of Nirmala Province celebrated its First Provincial Chapter from 12th to 18th of October 2014 in its Provincial House, Greater Noida with twenty five participants. The graciousness of the Almighty blessed the entire congregation present with the outpour of His infinite blessings as this great event in the Province began with the theme, “With Eyes Fixed on Jesus Crucified and Risen, We Strive to Build a World of Love and Peace.”
Provincial Superior, Sr. Rittie Mattathil, in her keynote address invited the gathering for a little soul searching from the depth to see the central reality – Christ – to whom we commit, who taught the language of love and peace that our sole purpose to grow in the radiance of His light and to radiate Him become true. She concluded her address quoting Pope Francis, “The great changes in history were realized when reality was seen from the periphery, rather than from the centre.” She stressed that the invitation of Pope Francis in this third millennium could be taken as to each of us UMIs, as we fix our eyes on the Crucified and Risen Lord, to reach out to the marginalized, the suffering humanity in various strata of life, the peripheries where no one goes.
The Province was honoured to have Sr. Berchmans, the Assistant General, to join them in the Chapter. Her presence and guidance enhanced the elegance and the quality of its celebration. Fr. P.T. Mathew S.J, the Chapter Facilitator, enriched the Chapter delegates with his inspiring sessions and animation. His competent and gorgeous presentation of the Chapter theme, quoting Church Documents and connecting it with appropriate Bible passages in the context of today, enlightened the participants to widen the horizon of outlook. His sessions on ‘New Challenges to Religious Life’, “Ministries in General” and “Future Orientation” motivated the gathering, to think differently, to plan out innovatively and to act suitably when time emerges.
The participants examined closely the life and mission of the Province within the church with the consciousness of the call to become the messengers of peace and love in the fragmented world of today. The time of grace calls for a transformation, aligning to the designs of God, trusting in His providence and determining to act as the Spirit inspires.
Golden Jubilee Celebration of St. Mary’s Sr. Sec. School, Bazpur
Half a century of illumining the minds and nurturing the souls…
The UMI Mission at Bazpur, in the state of Uttarakhand celebrated its golden jubilee on 5th November 2014. Bazpur, is a densely populated remote village of Udham Singh Nagar District and a predominantly agricultural centre where farmers own several acres of land. The Capuchin missionary fathers were the pioneers who sowed the seed of Christianity here. To cater to the educational needs of the local people of this remote village, at the repeated requests of Bishop Adrian Conrad De Vito, the then Bishop of Lucknow, Mother Stefania Murelli, the delegate of the mission took the decision to open a convent and a school here. In December 1964, the new community was set up with Sr. Tomasina, Sr.Josefa, Sr. Claudia, Sr.Esther, and Sr. Giovanina as the pioneers. Today we have an English medium Sr. Sec. School, a Hindi medium High school, and a hospital in the place.
The golden jubilee year was inaugurated on 21st December 2013 by Rev. Sr. Theophane, the 4th and one of the most enterprising Principals of the school. The Agenda of the jubilee year was ‘Quality enhancement in the lives of all’. Throughout the year, various welfare programs were organized like raising funds to help the poor, and the sick, and conducting seminars for various groups of people and helping them re-orient their lives towards more blissful and purposeful living based on eternal values.
The Golden jubilee celebration function began on 5th Nov.2014 at 10.30 am, with a solemn thanksgiving Mass and the chief celebrant was Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza, the Archbishop of Agra, and the con-celebrants were Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius D’Souza, the Bishop of Bareilly, Rev. Fr. Salvadore D’Souza, Rev. Fr. Richard Lobo, the Parish priest of St. Mary’s Church, Bazpur, along with various other priests of the diocese. In his homily, Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius D’Souza stressed on the need to depend on God for the fruitfulness of the mission and also to have an introspection from time to time to evaluate the impact of our missionary presence in the place. After the Mass, Rev. Sr. Rittie, the provincial Superior of the Nirmala province of the UMIs, felicitated the sisters and the Fathers who have toiled in the mission over the years. It was followed by a fellowship meal.
In the evening at 4.30 pm, there was a cultural programme ‘Najaat – The Liberation’ staged by the students of St. Mary’s Sr. sec. School, Bazpur. His Lordship, Most Rev. Ignatius D’Souza, Bishop of Bareilly presided over the function. His grace, Most Rev. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra was the Chief Guest of the function. Sr. Rittie Mattathil (Provincial Superior), Mr. Yashpal Arya (Cabinet Minister Uttarakhand), and Mr. Rana Gurjeet Singh (MLA, Kapoorthala) were the Guests of Honour. Sr. Yvette, the Principal of the school formally welcomed the gathering. The Managers, Principals, retired teachers, a few ex-students and some of the benefactors were honoured for their valuable contribution.
A dance drama that depicted the glorious past of the 5 decades of the UMI Mission in Bazpur was beautifully staged by the students. It was an awe inspiring and enchanting performance. The programme concluded with the Chief Guest’s address and the vote of thanks.
Welcome extended to Sr. Xavier and Sr. Celine Mathew
Sr. Xavier Urumbil landed India on the 7th of January 2015 after completing 32 years of her dedicated service in Italy and Sr. Celine Mathew who returned from Rome on the 5th of March 2015 after having completed successfully her licentiate in Spirituality (two years) from the Pontifical University of Teresianam, Rome, were joyfully welcomed back to the Province.
Program for the Senior Sisters of the Province above 67 years of Age
There was a program organized for the senior sisters, above 67 years of age, of Nirmala Province, Greater Noida of the UMIs from the 20th P.M to 24th noon of March 2015 at Nirmala Convent, Kathgodam. There were 14 participants.
The first session started on 20th at 3.00 P.M by Sr. Anu George, the coordinator and resource person for the program. She tried to communicate to the senior sisters through her beautiful presentation how to age gracefully and be happy. She quoted something which is useful to the old and young, more to the young perhaps than to the old. “A life well lived is the best preparation for a happy old age and death. If instead, we treat people cruelly or arrogantly when we are in power, or hard to live with, we are preparing for a lonely and sad old age”. – Fr. Joe Mannath.
There was time for sharing their rich experiences of the past in smaller groups of three. Sr. Anu continued with her sessions stating that these experiences can make one either sad or serene. Some may nurture the attitude of the fighting spirit and come out hard hearted with no warm feelings. Then only bitterness remains. The opposite is what we need to become – sensitive, joyful, caring and sharing persons. Thus we make the world around us happy and joyful witness to all around. She concluded her session saying, there are three ‘urges’ in every human being – self-realization, self-stabilization and self-expression.
On the following day Sr. Rekha addressed the gathering with valuable inputs on integration of life. One needs to find time for exercises as she finds time for prayer and rest. She further said – as one grows old practicing to speak less, and to speak slowly and sweetly, will help her to integrate life. One needs to pay attention to her thought patterns. One’s desire to control others and situations saying, “You are wrong” will deplete one’s energy. As week and negative thoughts bringing to one’s mind past hurts, negative criticism of oneself and others, negative self-talk would deplete one’s energy. It would do her more harm than the one who inflicted it on her in the past. But the good news is that one can reverse it even in one’s old age. Changing the negative thoughts into positive ones is in one’s power. One can keep oneself away from blaming others for her moods, anger, actions and reactions.
Changing our religiosity into spirituality is essential. Spirituality is one’s being, is an attitude that permeates every aspect of life as one grows in prayer, the relationship with God. The need to speak becomes less when one comes to the moment of stillness, then her soul rests in God. “You have made us for yourself O God, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine.
The program was concluded on the 24th of March 2015 by noon.
Silver jubilee of the Religious Profession of Sr. Celine Mathew Poonatt and Sr. Deepa Ekka – 18th April 2015
Sr. Celine Mathew and Sr. Deepa Ekka completed 25 years of their vowed life on the 18th of April 2015. Lord’s faithfulness to them and their response to the Divine promptings through their dedicated service was celebrated meaningfully in their respective places. The silver jubilee of the religious profession of Sr. Celine Mathew was celebrated at Nirmala Provincialate, Greater Noida on the 5th of April 2015. The meaningful liturgy organized on this occasion highlighted God’s faithfulness and human response. Sr. Deepa Ekka celebrated this great day on the 18th of April 2015 at St. Mary’s Convent, Bazpur. We praise and thank the Lord for His steadfast love and abundant blessings poured down up on Srs. Celine and Deepa and recommend them to the loving care of the Lord as they continue journeying forward with faith and trust in his promises.
Program for the Silver Jubilerians – Inter Province level
10th to 20th of May 2015 at Nivedita, T.C. Palaya, Bangalore
A program for the Silver Jubilerians in Inter Province level was organized at Nivedita, Bangalore for the professed sisters of the year 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 batches and for those of the year 1988 batch who could not attend their silver jubilee programme which was conducted at Nivedita in the year 2012, from the 10th to 20th of May 2015. From Nirmala Province Srs. Manju Kerketta, Celine Mathew, Deepa Ekka, Joyce Antony and Daisy George attended the same.
The programme began on 10th May at 5. 45 p. m. with a short prayer and introduction to the program. The resource person for the Rev. Fr. Joe Kootinal S.J. from Atma Darshan, Patna. Fr. Joe dealt with the topic ‘Life Transition – an exploration of the various stages of transition in the journey of life’. It was six days’ Programme.
The following two days Rev. Sr. Gaudenzia, the former Provincial Superior, Sacred Heart Province, guided the group with her sharing of enriching experiences and valuable inputs. In her session, Rev. Sr. Gaudenzia led the group to have a flashback of the life of UMIs for the past 15 years of religious life.
19th May was another land mark of coming together as each batch gathered to share the faith journey of the last 25 years as religious in the Ursuline family. It was a grace filled and faith led journey indeed.
As the culmination of the Programme on 2oth May, the Nivedita community celebrated the jubilee event with a meaningful and joyful celebration of the Holy Eucharist. At the session at 8.30 a.m. the participants thanked and congratulated Rev. Sr. Gaudenzia, as she enters into her 5oth year of consecrated life.
The concluding address by Rev. Sr. Ruzaria, Vice Provincial – Sacred Heart Province, Davis Road, was inspiring and enlightening. The core of her message was ‘Faithfulness’, ‘life lived forward and understood backward’. The entire program was concluded at 10.30 a.m.
Program for the Junior Sisters of the Province
Rosary Villa, Bhowali – 5th to 16th June 2015
A program for the junior sisters of our Province was organized at Rosary Villa, Bhowali from the 5th to 16th of June 2015 by the junior directress Sr. Anu George. The program began at 6.00 p.m. on the 5th with a prayer service and details of the program introduced to the junior sisters. On the following two days sessions were conducted by Sr. Rekha Punia on ‘Power living’ in which she helped the junior sisters to orient their lives towards true happiness and God’s positioning system of gyan, pyar and shakti.
Next two days were days of recollection guided by Sr. Carol, the former Provincial Superior of Vimala Province. She guided them to reflect up on vocation and the fruitfulness of mission by being authentic and faithful. The sharing followed enabled one to deepen one’s awareness and to assess the faith dimension. On the following day Fr. Bosco of Bareilly diocese conducted sessions for them on how one can become a self-manager of stress and ten tips for happy life. There after Sr. Carol took sessions for them on Consecrated Life, explaining to them the essence of it and how one can become a Christ witnessing religious in this modern world.
The remaining days were the days of reflective studies and self-discovery. Sr. Anu George, the junior directress, through her classes led them to realize one’s true identity as the beloved daughter of God. She said that at times one is prompted to think ‘she is what she does’ or what she ‘has’ or what ‘others say about her’. What is more important is to experience one’s belovedness in the sight of God. She further explained to them what it means to be a prophet in the light of the study of the book of Amos from the Old Testament. There was a quiz on Prophet Amos conducted for them. Sr. Anu then moved to the topic’ Self Leadership. She concluded her sessions ensuring them the fact that to improve the world one needs to begin with oneself because one sees the world not as it is but as she is.
Next in the program was a day of outing to the Nainital hills. The beauty of nature captured everyone and all were refreshed and reinvigorated after a day’s program to the lush green mountains of Nainital and to the lake over there.
On 15th, Sr. Rittie, Provincial superior, Nirmala Province, addressed the junior sisters. Her inspiring talk and valuable sharing on mission and community life enlightened the group.
On 16th June 2015 by noon the entire program was concluded with a thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration and a fellowship meal thereafter.
Provincial Team Meet at Rosary Villa, Bhowali
– 16th to 20th of June 2015
The Provincial Team of Nirmala Province gathered at Rosary Villa, Bhowali for their annual meeting scheduled from 16th p.m. to 20th noon. A day of recollection from 19th p.m. to 20th noon was part of this program. Most Rev. Ignatius D’Souza, Bishop of Bareilly Diocese, was the resource person for the recollection talk. His Lordship spoke on Consecrated Life quoting various examples from the Pauline letters and Acts of the Apostles.
The entire program of Provincial Team meet was concluded at 2.00 p.m. on the 20th of June with the Holy Mass offered by His Lordship.
Welcome to Sr. Alex from Brazil
We warmly welcomed Sr. Alex Embrayil who came from Brazil for the General Chapter and landed India at Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi, on the 21st of July 2015. She was with us for a couple of days and left for Kerala on the 23rd.
Warm Welcome to Sr. Rosalina
We warmly welcomed Sr. Rosalina of Italian Province who landed at Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi on the 24th of July 2015. The purpose of her arrival to India was to attend the 65th General Chapter of the Congregation as she is one of the delegates for the General Chapter from the Italian Province. She visited our Province and some of the communities in Nainital region. There after she proceeded to Vimala Province and then to Nivedita, the Common House of the UMIs of Indian Provinces in Bangalore where the General Chapter was scheduled to be held from the 6th to 23rd of August 2015.
Sr. Elvira Mattappally, reelected as the Superior General of the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate (UMI) (18th August 2015)
The 65th General Chapter of the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate was held at Nivedita, Bangalore from the 7th to 23rd of August 2015. The theme of the General Chapter “With Eyes Fixed on Jesus Crucified and Risen, We Strive to Build a World of Love and Peace” was looked into its core. The Chapter reelected Sr. Elvira Mattappally as its Superior General for a tenure of six years.
The General Chapter called the following Sisters into Leadership along with
Sr. Elvira on 19th August 2015.
Sr. Vandana Fernandes – Assistant General
Sr. Elena Scotti – Councilor General
Sr. Philo George – Councilor General
Sr. Mabel Kaithavelil – Councilor General
Accepting the plan of God at this moment of the life of the Congregation, they took the solemn oath to commit themselves to the mission for which they are chosen.May God be praised and may the light of His countenance continue to shine on all their endeavors. May they walk day after day in the footsteps of the Lord, bringing glory to Him.