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About Us

St. Francis Province Jalandhar is an offshoot of Alphonsa Province Pala of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation. Sisters from Pala province started missionary activities in the Syro Malabar diocese of Ujjain in 1970 and in the Latin diocese of Jalandhar in 1972 having been invited by the respective bishops, bishop John Perumattam and bishop SymphorianKeeprath. The first station in Ujjain was Shujalpur and the first in Jalandhar was Dhariwal. Understanding the need, the sisters started working in the field of education. Along with education, health ministry, pastoral work and social apostolate were taken up. Though missionary work was started in Ujjain first the religio-socio and cultural background in Jalandhar was more conducive to missionary work, and so more stations were opened in Jalandhar-at Gurdaspur in 1973, at Abohar in 1974 at Ajnala in 1975 at Nakodar in 1976 at Dinanagar in 1985 at Danewala in 1985 at Kartarpur in 1991, at Karyal in 1992 at Raekot in 1998, at Gaggal in Himachal Pradesh in 2000, in Delhi in 2002 and at Choggitti in 2006.

In Ujjain, the growth was slow; still the service of the FCC sisters was extended to Khadi in 1980, to Jamner in 1987 to Akodia in 1996 and to Pawasa in 2007. There are only very few Catholics in Ujjain. Through the apostolate of education the sisters try to inculcate Gospel values in the children which in turn may transform the society.

Where as, in the diocese of Jalandhar, which consists of the districts of Amritsar, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Mogha, Muksar and Nawansher in Punjab and the districts-Chamba, Hamirpur, Kangra and Una in Himachal Pradesh the growth was steady. The prominent religion is Sikh. Christian missionaries started coming to Punjab along with the British rule.  They were mostly Protestants. Later the Capuchin missionaries started mission work. Jalandhar was part of Lahore diocese. After the formation of India and Pakistan, a separate prefecture was created in Jalandhar in 1952. It became a diocese in 1971 and Rt. Rev. Dr. SymphorianKeeprath OFM Cap. became the first bishop. Since then, many of the Protestants mostly Dalits who were like sheep with out a Shepherd were embracing catholic faith. Now the number of Catholics has reached 1 Lakh 12 thousand. The people, especially the Sikh are very understanding and co-operative. There is a steady growth of the church qualitatively and quantitatively. Besides education, there is much scope for parish and village work. In every station, sisters collaborate with the parish priest in all the activities of the parish -teaching Catechism, preparing the children and adult for receiving sacraments, preparing hosts and looking after the altar linen and the sacristy, leading pious organizations, visiting houses and arranging for mass and prayer meetings in the villages. Various social and economic uplifting programmes are worked out for the poor villagers especially the women. Remarkable change is visible in the life of the people of the areas where our sisters work, in spiritual, moral, educational, social and financial situations. Under the tender care of PalaProvince and the efficient guidance of the Mission Superiors, the mission developed into a region. The first mission superior was Rev. Mother Symbrose.

In order to give sound faith formation to the Catholic children, sisters help the running of boarding for poor catholic children. Two hostels for Catholic girls and one orphanage are run by the sisters. Sisters teach in English medium schools as well as vernacular schools. In the villages the poor ignorant people are not even aware of the need of education. The children prefer to go after buffaloes or play around. They are to be coerced to attend school.

St. Francis Region Jalandhar came into existence comprising 10 convents in Jalandhar and 4 convents in Ujjain in 2001. Rev. Sr. Celine Olayam was appointed as the first Regional Superior and St. Francis Convent Kartarpur became the Regional house. St. Francis province was erected on 1st January 2004 with 90 sisters and 16 convents. Rev. Sr. Celine Maria was elected as the first Provincial Superior. Presently the Province is led by Rev. Sr. Celine Olayam. At present the province has 95 members and 19 convents. St. Clare's convent at Dinanagar is the formation house. At present there are 6 novices, 3 postulants, and 11 pre-postulants (in first and second year). All the formees except one Novice are from Punjab.  While there is a decline in vocation from Kerala, the number of vocation from Punjab is on the increase. Already there are 9 Non-Malayalee sisters from Punjab in the Province.