The Sacred Heart Province, Ernakulam had its humble beginning at Koratty on 6 May 1930 by the late Archbishop Mar Augustine Kandathil. His close friendship with our Founder and the privilege he got to be at his death-bed gave him the inspiration to start a unit of the Adoration congregation in his Archdiocese too. In this new venture, Fr. Ittoop Panikulam, the parish priest of Koratty, helped the Archbishop in executing the plan. Changanacherry unit gave its full support and encouragement and Mother Philomina, the then Mother General sent 5 sisters – Sr. Kochuthresia, Sr. Seera, Sr. Damianose, Sr. Felix and Sr. Lucina to Koratty. Their dedication and selfless sacrifice was a strong support to us and after 10 years of service they returned to Changanacherry.
Sr. Tharseena is the first member of our unit. Her initial religious formation was in Changnanacherry and she came to Koratty after receiving the veil. Then Sr. Patience, Sr. Padua and Sr. Cordona joined Koratty as aspirants. After the initial formation, they were sent to Changanacherry for their Novitiate. Their Vestition was on 8 September 1932. Sr. Tharseena made her First Profession on 8 November 1934 and the other three sisters on 8 May 1935. Sr. Padua fell ill and passed away on 27 November 1935. On 10 December 1940 the three pioneering sisters of Ernakulam unit made their Perpetual Profession. In 1948 Mother Mary Cruz was appointed as the first Superior General of the unit and Mother Sienna became her successor in 1954.
Following the erection of Kothamangalam diocese, the convents in that diocese was formed into an independent unit in 1961. Mother Jane Mary became the Mother Commissary of Ernakulam unit in 1964 and she was followed by Mother Grace as the first Mother Provincial. The Provincial house was shifted from Koratty to Kalamassery in 1974 and the province celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1980 and the Platinum Jubilee in 2005. The starting of Perpetual Adoration in our convent at Ernakulam in 1966 was really a hand mark in the history of our unit. It is a privilege to take charge of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in Adoration Chapel, St. Mary’s Basilica, Ernakulam, Holy Family Hospital, Delhi and also abroad in Cicily, Italy.
The Province became missionary oriented in 1968 by starting our first mission house at Demdima, a tribal area in West Bengal. In the coming years a new zeal and vigour was seen in the missionary work. As a result, the Christhu Jyothi Region was erected in 1986. With the constant care and support from the Mother Province it became a Vice Province in 1998 with its Provincial house at Pateri, Satna. It became a Province in 2003.
A long cherished dream was realized when we could step into the diocese of Thrissur. The first house there was opened in 1986 at Palayoor, a pilgrim centre blessed by the footsteps of the Apostole, St. Thomas. Happy to state that we could start our Home Mission in the diocese of Palakkad at Chittoor, which is situated in Attappady tribal belt. Eventually in 1999, Nirmal Rani Region, Thrissur was erected and Vimal Rani Region, Palakkad in 2000. In 2001 Nirmal Rani Region, Thrissur became an independent Vice Province and it was raised to the status of Province in 2003. So also, Vimal Rani Region, Palakkad was raised to the position of a Province in 2004.
As a response to our Lord’s call to spread the Kingdom we have reached out to the different parts of the world. We began witnessing the Eucharistic Lord in the European countries like Germany from 1965 onwards and Italy from 1984. After a long hesitant waiting, we dared to step into African Continent in 1996 where we have at present 13 sisters rendering valuable service in African Mission.
By the very charism we have received, it has become an insistent urge for us to share the Eucharistic Devotion with the people by committing ourselves to the apostolic ministries like teaching, healing, social apostolate, pastoral work, mass media, care for the aged and orphans and so on. Till 1955 our main thrust was in the field of education. Responding to the signs of the times, we extended our apostolic activities to other fields like jail ministry, protection of street children, rehabilitation of HIV/ AIDS patients with a view to share the Eucharistic love even with those uncared and neglected.
‘Pranidhan’, SABS Centenary Memorial Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Kalamassery, where we have day and night adoration was blessed on 2 May 2011. This centre remains to be a powerful spiritual source for our sisters as well as the people in and around Kalamassery.
As a whole we have 47 houses in the Province, spread out in Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, Delhi, Germany and USA. Now sisters are earnestly responding to the call of the Eucharistic Lord by committing themselves in various apostolic activities of the Province, in serving the Church.