A Brief History Of Pavanatma Province
In 1976, a special General Synaxis was convened from 12 to 14 February at the Holy Family Generalate, Mannuthy, which discussed the possibilities of dividing the Congregation into Provinces. In the second session of the Special General Synaxis convened on 3rd April 1976, it was decided to make the division based on geographical areas - South, Centre and North. The First Regional Assembly of the Southern Region was held at Holy Family Convent Kuzhikkattussery on 26th September, 1976, presided over by Mother Anasthasia, the Superior General of CHF. In the assembly Sr. Beatrice was elected Regional Superior of the Southern Region.
The division of CHF into 3 Provinces – Pavanatma, Navajyothi and Marian was in 1978. Rev. Sr. Beatice, the Regional Superior became the first Provincial of Pavanatma Province. The Headquarters of the Southern Province namely ‘Pavanatma’ coming under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Irinjalakuda was at St. Paul’s Convent, Kallettumkara, situated about 8 km from Irinjalakuda town and 1 km from the Railway Station of Irinjalakuda. Holy Spirit is the Heavenly Patron of Pavanatma Province and the feast falls on ‘Pentecost’.
During the time of the division of the Province, North Indian Mission Convents in U.P. and M.P. became part of Pavanatma Province. The Mission Sunday of 20th October 1985 was a Red Letter Day in the annals of Pavanatma Province. It was on that day that Sr. Mary Franco, the Provincial Superior of Pavanatma Province informed the decision of Pavanatma Provincial Synaxis to raise Pavanatma Mission as a Region and declared the same. The 5th Renewal Synaxis of Pavanatma Province (21, 22, September, 1991) made the decision to raise Pavanatma Mission Region to the Status of a Vice Province – Shantidhara Vice Province. The official erection and inauguration of Shantidhara Vice Province was held on 11th February, 1992.
According to the direction given in the General Synaxis of 1979 Pavanatma Province paid more attention to Direct Family Apostolate. In the same year, the Province extended its apostolate activities to the Archdiocese of Ernakulam by starting the first house for Direct Family Apostolate at Koovappadam, Kochi. In the year 1998, a Region was formed in Ernakulam with its headquarters situated in Aluva. Rev. Sr. Marietta was appointed as the Regional Superior. By 1999, Pavanatma Province had 10 convents in the Archdiocese. The General Synaxis, 2000, raised Ernakulam Region to the status of a Province with the name ‘Jeevodaya’. The official erection of Jeevodaya Province was conducted at Jeevodaya Provincial House, Aluva on 28th November 2000. Pavanatma Province feels ecstatic joy when she thinks of her two beloved daughters – Shantidhara & Jeevodaya – two full-fledged provinces which were born from her in the fullness of time and we are indeed grateful to God for His Providence.
In response to the invitation of Bishop James Pazhayattil, Pavanatma Province took the challenge of entering into the new Chennai Mission in 1987, in a rented building at Aynavaram and founded Holy Family Convent, Keelkattalai in 1989. Subsequently in 1990, an English Medium School – Holy family Convent Matriculation School- was started in response to the felt need of the locality. Giving thrust to the felt need of the society, another convent was started in Gourivakkom, Chennai in the year 2002. In 2004, Mariam Thresia Illam, Home for the Aged to care for the old abandoned women was established there. To follow more deeply the radical life of St. Mariam Thresia an Insertion community was formed in Velachery in 2011. At present, there are three convents in Hosur Diocese, Chennai, involved in family apostolate activities, parish work, works of mercy and education apostolate.
After that Pavanatma North Indian Mission Region became Shantidhara Province. Pavanatma stepped anew with missionary zeal to the Diocese of Indore in 1996 as invited by Mar George Anathil, Bishop of the Diocese of Indore and started two communities, one in Prerna Sadan, Indore and the other in Bajna, Ratlam District which at present is part of the newly formed Jhabuva Diocese .At present we have 2 communities in Indore Diocese and 2 communities in Jhabuva Diocese.
It was in 2000, the ‘Mahajubilee’ year that Pavanatma turned its attention to the Diocese of Pala and now we have three convents there – Monippally, Shanthipuram & Kondadu - doing Direct Family Apostolate, Diocesan Pastoral work, parish activities and running one home for abandoned old women – ‘Mariam Thresia Bhavan’.
All the family apostolate activities of Pavanatma Province are co-ordinated and directed by IFDF at Chalakudy. In the field of education and that of health care Pavanatma Province had made two memorable advances – St. Joseph’s College, Irinjalakuda and Maria Theresa Hospital, Kuzhikkattussery. The dream of St. Mariam Thresia for creating ideal families has been taken up by the CHF in the field of higher education by founding a college for women in the year 1964. Today, the Institution has soared to envious heights of eminence and has been accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) at A Grade. In 2016, it is raised to the status of Autonomous and the College with Potential for Excellence. Life is a gift of God and in the world of ‘death culture’, Maria Theresa Hospital stands today as a beacon of light by promoting ‘pro –life culture’.
At Present Pavanatma Province have 392 sisters (374 Senior sisters and 18 Junior sisters), 37 convents including 8 DFA houses. Our sisters are rendering help in a number of diocesan centres - Bishop’s House-Irinjalakuda, AVARD-Chalakudy, Navachaithanya- Aloor, Sanjo Sadan - Anandapuram, PACS- Kallettumkara and also in the Pastoral Centres in the dioceses of Indore and Pala. It is a matter of immense joy and bliss to Pavanatma Province that the Holy Tombs of St. Mariam Thresia and the Venerable Fr. Joseph Vithayathil are situated in the geographical areas under Pavanatma Province and we, Pavanatma sisters bow our heads in deep reverence and love to the Holy presence of our Foundress and Co-founder here.
The present Provincial superior is Sr.Ranjana. Vicar Provincial Sr. Elsy Kokkatt, Councillors Sr. Udaya Grace, Sr. Christy, and Sr. Agnes Jose. Sr. Geena Davis is the Auditor. Sr. Navya Catherin the Treasurer and Sr. Angelin, the Secretary.