Phase 1 (1952-1973)

Phase 1 (1952-1973)

In the village of Pattarvilai of Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, on the 15th October 1917 a girl was born as the Fourth child to the devoted Catholic couple named Savarimuthu and Savariyayi. This girl received the baptismal name of Yesuadiyal and was brought up and educated with deep faith and great earnestness.

Motivated by an ardent desire to commit herself to service of God and people, Yesuadiyal listened to the invitation of Christ to leave everything and follow Him in the Religious Life. Accordingly she made her Profession in the Congregation of the Augustinians in the year 1935 at Mulagumoodu with a new Religious name of Sr. Scholastica and worked as a teacher for 17 years. She was a model Religious and a source of inspiration to all her companions.

While making her Retreat in the year 1951 Sr. Scholastica heard a special inner call of Christ inviting her to devote herself to Catechetical and charitable apostolate among the poor and downtrodden and to start a new Congregation of Sisters for this purpose. This invitation of Christ continued to urge her, though at first she tried to discard it. She then consulted her spiritual Director Rev. Fr. S. T. Mathias encouraged her to start a new Congregation of Sisters. Most Rev. Agnisamy was the Bishop of Kottar at that time. Fr. Mathias himself approached Bishop Agnisamy and told him about this proposal. Bishop Agnisamy expressed his approval of starting a new congregation but he could not find a priest to help Sr. Scholastica to realize her desire. Sr. Scholastica did not get discouraged but approached Rev. Fr. Novamony parish priest of Azhagappapuram of Tuticorin Diocese through her own sister Margeret with the desire of starting a new Congregation of sisters. Fr. Novamony was a very spiritual and zealous priest and he asked Sr. Scholastica to make a Novena to St. Joseph while he would approach the Bishop of Tuticorin, Most Rev. Roche, for getting permission.

Accordingly in the year 1952, on the 21st of June, with the permission and blessing of Most Rev. Roche, Bishop of Tuticorin, a new society of sisters, by name Little Sisters of Jesus, was started in Azhagappapuram with Rev. Fr. Novamony as the Director. Sr. Scholastica and her own younger sister Sr. Margaret and three other sisters who were previously member of the Augustinian Congregation along with two other candidates totaling seven persons formed the first community. Rev. Mother Scholastica took responsibility of the Congregation. Sr. Margaret helped her in everything. They engaged themselves in teaching, medical service, and catechetical work. They started an orphanage and taught handicrafts to poor children. Rev. Fr. Novamony helped them in all matters, spiritually and materially.

After the retirement of Bishop Roche, Most Rev. Thomas Fernando became the Bishop of Tuticorin. During this period, the sisters had to face a lot of difficulties and problems. Rev. Fr. Novamony helped them and supported them in all possible ways. In the year 1965 a property was bought for the support of the orphan children in Anakarai, of Tuticorin Diocese with the help of one of the sisters of Mother Scholastica. Because of difficulties which arose in Tuticorin Diocese, the sisters approached Rev. Fr. R. Anthonimuthu who was the parish priest of Kurusady parish of Kottar Diocese, requesting his help and guidance. After consulting Most Rev. Agnisamy his Bishop, Rev. Fr. R. Anthonimuthu gave a place in Kurusady parish for the Little Sisters of Jesus. On 28th October, 1967 a convent was opened there and the sisters did teaching and catechetical work and started an orphanage there.

In the year 1971, Rev. Fr. R. Anthonimuthu was appointed as a Bishop of Vellore, and he came away to Vellore. Rev. Fr. S. T. Mathias was then appointed, by the Bishop as the Director of the sisters.