Phase 2 (1973-1986)

Phase 2 (1973-1986)

The sisters continued their good apostolate in Azhagappapuram and Kurusady until the year 1977. His Excellency Rt. Rev. Msgr. R. Anthonimuthu, Bishop of Vellore Diocese, in the year 1977, invited the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to come and work in Vellore Diocese among the Hill-tribe people of Javathu Hills, North Arcot District. The sisters were expected to work for the educational, cultural, economical and social development of the Hill-tribe people. With the help of Rev. Bro. A. Thomas SHJ, a convent building was constructed in Athipet. Most. Rev. Luciano storrero, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in India, blessed and opened this convent on 11th October 1977. Very Rev. Fr. Navomani, the first director of this Congregation also was present for this function. The sisters continue their work of education, evangelization and social development in Athipet among the Hill-tribe people ever since.

The Constitution of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, were first briefly drafted by Mother Scholastica right at the beginning of our Pious Union. But in 1977, by the effort of the retired Archbishop of Madurai, Most Rev. Leonard SJ, and with the help of Bro. Thomas SHJ, the Constitutional frame was given to it.

In Azhagappapuram of Tuticorin Diocese a new convent building was urgently needed for the sisters. This building was constructed in 1977 as a souvenir of the Silver Jubilee of the society which had its beginning in the year 1952. Due to lack of funds, the sisters themselves had to do most of the unskilled work for this building like carrying building materials and helping the masons. “Trust in God” was the motto of the Mother General, Rev. Mother Scholastica, and relying of this Trust in God, the sisters started the convent building with only the pension money of Mother Scholastica and the salary of two sisters. No foreign help was received for this building. Seeing the poverty and selfless service of the sisters a certain Doctor Jesupatham of the neighbouring village volunteered to help the construction work by giving materials in loan basis. The younger sister of Mother Scholastica helped the building work by supplying sand, stones etc. in her own lorry free of charge. In spite of several difficulties and problems, the building work continued and was completed in 1978. Most Rev. Ambrose, Bishop of Tuticorin blessed and opened this convent building in 1978.

Another new convent building and a school named Nirmala Matha Girls Middle School were built in Susainagar, Pathiavaram village of Vellore Diocese and opened on 18th August 1978, for the purpose of educating the rural people and spreading the Gospel message among them. Rev. Bro. A. Thomas SHJ, took great interest in the establishment of this Institution and he acted as Correspondent of this school and due to this persevering efforts the two Institutions at Suasinager and Athipet grew and developed fast. The sisters are continuing their educational, catechetical and medical service in Susainagar successfully.

The congregation was originally known as Little Sisters of Jesus but on 3rd December 1978 the name of the society was changed into Pious Union of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Rev. Fr. S. T. Mathias of Kottar Diocese has been the Spiritual Director of the Pious union and he passed away on 3rd March 1979 at Kurusady. During his time as Director at Kurusady a chapel was built and Tailoring and weaving Institutes were started there. He worked hard even in his old age for the spiritual and temporal growth of the Pious Union.

On 18th September 1979, a new convent was opened in Pandravedu village of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore at the request of the Archbishop Most Rev. R. Arulappa and the sisters are working there for Adult education, social, health and economic development of the people.

Another new convent was opened in the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore by Archbishop Most Rev. R. Arulappa in Paramankeni village of 21st March, 1980. Here the sisters are engaged in evangelization work, adult education, medical service etc.

In the same year 1980 a small house was blessed and given to the sisters in Anakarai village of Tuticorin Diocese by the then parish priest Rev. Fr. Cedric Perez for starting a charitable institution for caring for orphans, handicapped and the aged. The sisters are conducting these activities there, especially for handicapped, and also doing Evangelization work.

Most Rev. R. Anthonimuthu, Bishop of Vellore, expired on 19th December 1980. After him the Pious Union of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus continues to grow under the loving care and guidance of the Bishop of Vellore, Most Rev. S. Micheal Augustine. The Pious union was in need of a Novitiate. He felt the need and sent a sister for the formation course at Pune.

The Pious Union lost another great benefactor and supporter, when Rev. Bro. A. Thomas SSJ passed away on 25th November 1981. He worked a lot for the growth of the Pious Union especially at Vellore. Rev. Bro. Arulraj SHJ continued to help the Congregation especially at Susainagar and Athipet till his death. The Management of the St. Joseph’s English Medium School was entrusted to the Sisters at Susainagar by Bro. Arulraj.

A General Chapter Meeting of the Pious Union was held in the month of May 1982. In that meeting several decisions for the growth of the Pious Union were taken. It was decided to vacate and shift the Azhagappapuram convent and Institutions and handover the property and building to the Diocese of Tuticorin. In order to house the orphan children and the sisters from Azhagappapuram, it was decided to purchase a house and start a school at Patterivilai of Kottar Diocese. Most Rev. Arockiasamy Bishop of Kottar also accepted this proposal. As a result, a house and school were bought at Patterivilai. Then all the furniture and equipments were shifted from Azhagappapuram to Patterivilai. Most. Rev. Arockiasamy Bishop of Kottar blessed this new House and school on 12th May 1982 at Pattarivilai which is now known as Nevisnagar. Meanwhile, the parish priest of Azhagappapuram realized that the shifting of the convent from there to Nevisnagar would affect the strength of St. Joseph’s High School at Azhagappapuram and St. George’s Elementary School at Thirumoolanagar and he requested the Bishop of Tuticorin to allow the sisters to continue their stay and work in Azhagappapuram. Accordingly the things taken to Nevisnagar were brought back to Azhagappapuram. By the grace of God the convents both at Azhagappapuram and at Navisnagar are doing good service. Nevisnagar has a school and orphanage.

In the year 1982 the creche which was conducted in Azhagappapuram was shifted to Kurusady. This crèche was named Mathias Home. Most Rev. Arockiasamy, Bishop of Kottar Blessed this House.

On June 2nd 1982, a new convent was blessed and opened by Most Rev. Arockiasamy, Bishop of Kottar in Mukkalampadu village of Alenvilai Parish of Kottar Diocese. Education of children and Catechetical works are conducted by the sisters there.

A Novitiate House for the sisters was started on 10th May, 1983 at Susainagar of Vellore Diocese. Most Rev. S. Micheal Augustine, Bishop of Vellore came and inaugurated the Novitiate and blessed it. The first batch of 15 sisters started the Novitiate under the guidance of the Novice-Mistress Sr. Philomin Mary, who had taken training in Pune in Spiritual and Religious formation. Some priests appointed by the Bishop also took classes of various subjects for the Novices.

On 19th May 1984 a General Chapter Meeting of the Pious Union was conducted. In this meeting four councilors, one General Secretary and one General Treasurer were elected by vote. In the same year 1984, a new Novitiate building at Rangapuram of Sathuacharry Parish, Vellore, was constructed by the Most Rev. S. Michael Augustine with the help of Rev. Fr. Xavier Paitutharayil, parish priest of Sathuacharry. The paternal concern of our Bishop and the hard work of Rev. Fr. Xavier paitutharayil will ever be remembered by all the sisters. This new Novitiate House was blessed and opened on 13th December 1984 by the Bishop of Vellore.

In the year 1985, the sisters were happy to accept back in to the Pious Union Sr. Veronicam who was one of the first members of the Pious Union but later lived separately her religious life at Azhagappapuram. It was a happy re-union in the Pious Union.

The temporary vows were taken every year since 1985 at Rangapuram with the permission of Most Rev. S. Michael Augustine, Bishop of Vellore, in the presence of Rev. Fr. A. Nambikairaj, Vicar General. On this occasion, Rev. Mother Scholastica, Councilors, Novice-Mistress and 15 Novices, totaling 22 sisters made their profession. It was a very happy day for the Pious Union. Next year, 1986, the Sisters who had been in the Pious Union for a long time were given intensive training for three months. They too made their profession together with 7 Novices.

For the training of the Novices and for many needs of the sisters, Rev. Fr. K. M. Sebastian of Vellore Diocese had been very helpful.

The Nirmala Matha Girls Middle School at Susainagar, Vellore Diocese was raised to a High School in the year 1985. In Tutucorin Diocese at Azhagappapuram an English Medium School was opened thanks to the efforts of the sisters and the encouragement of the parish priest. His Excellency Most. Rev. Amalanathan, Bishop of Tuticorin blessed and opened this new English Medium School at Azhagappapuram.

On 6th August 1986, Rev. Sr. Margaret, the Assistant Mother of the society was suddenly stock with illness and was paralyzed. The whole Congregation was stunned for a while. But she spends her time joyfully in prayer inspite of her inability to speak or move about.

Thank God for all His blessings in abundance. His guidance and protection in all the troubles and tribulations were excellent. We are so grateful for everything.