Province at a Glance

At the Provincial Chapter of the Northern Province held in Calcutta in 1983, with Sister Freda as the then Provincial Superior, the difficulties of administration, due to geographical vastness of the Province, the inconvenience and hardships of travelling, the uncertainty and delay in communication, and the differences in the educational set-up of the various educational boards in the different States covered by the Province, were discussed. It was felt that some sort of division of the Province, like setting up of a region was necessary, in solving the difficulties of the Provincial administration, but nothing definite was settled.

The next Provincial Chapter of the Northern Province was held in February, 1996, due to the untimely death of Sister Freda. Again, at this Chapter, the topic of finding a solution for the difficulties in the administration of the Province came up. It was thought that the six convents of the North East could be constituted as a region. But this was still not found feasible and a solution had yet to be found.

Finally, at the Provincial Chapter held in 1989, in preparation for the General Chapter, it was decided to recommend to the General Chapter, the division of the Northern Province into two Provinces, keeping in mind our goal in our apostolate and whatever would help in its advancement.

The General Chapter of April-May, 1990, approved this recommendation and passed a resolution accepting the proposed division and a decree was promulgated by Sister Mariella, the then Superior General, by Circular No.1/90 dated 19.6.1990. The decree took effect on 16.7.1990, to bifurcate the existing Northern Province into two Provinces - the New Northern Province and the New North Eastern Province. From this date, the fifteen convents of Bihar and U.P. formed the new Northern Province, while the convents of West Bengal, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Assam and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands came under the jurisdiction of the latter. In November, 1990, the convent at Samastipur was closed down. Sister Mariella appointed Sister M. Blanda A.C. to act as Provincial Superior of this new Northern Province and she was given the powers of the Provincial Superior, till the next election chapter.

Under these circumstances there were no councilors officially appointed to assist Sister Blanda during this interim period. She was asked to seek the necessary advice from the Superior General in more important matters. She was also asked to continue to be the Local Superior of Carmel Convent, Patna, and Sister Marie Ange was sent to help her.

On the day, the decree took effect, that is, on 16 July, 1990, the Feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a short prayer service was held at midnight at Carmel Convent Chapel. The new Northern Province was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its members and its mission. Some of the sisters of Avila convent had joined the prayer service. Again, at 11.30 morning of the next day, Sister Agnes conducted a meaningful prayer service, for all three communities on the campus, followed by a fellowship meal.

The Provincial Superiors of each Province notified the sisters of the date when they would move to their respective provinces. Altogether 172 Sisters opted for the Northern Province. At the First Provincial Chapter of the New Northern Province, Patna, held in February – March, 1991, Sister Mena D’Silva was elected as the Provincial Superior. The other members of the Provincial administration were: Sisters Blanda 1st Councillor, Teresita Mary 2nd Councillor and Secretary, Margaret Mary 3rd Councillor, Marie Isabel 4th Councillor, and Sister Hilda Crasta Provincial Bursar.

The first priority of the Provincial Administration was the building of the Provincial House, which was named Carmel Jwala – “Flame of Carmel”. It was declared open on 4 October, 1992. On 1 December, 1992, the candidates moved from Avila Convent, Patna, into the new quarters of Carmel Jwala. On 16 July, 1993, 14 postulants were received at the initiation ceremony. On 31 May, 1994, the novitiate house was re-opened in St. Joseph’s Convent, Hazaribag, with 12 Postulants entering the Novitiate under the direction of the new Novice Mistress, Sister Serena A.C. The first group of novices made their First Profession on 21 April, 1996, which was a historical landmark for the Northern Province.

At present, there are 20 convents, spread over 10 Dioceses, four in the Archdiocese of Patna, two in Lucknow Diocese, five in Jamshedpur Diocese, two in Hazaribag Diocese, two in Ranchi Archdiocese, one in Gorakhpur Diocese, one in Buxar Diocese, one in Varanasi Diocese, one in Bhopal Diocese, and one in Udipi Diocese

The apostolate of the Province is mainly Education. The Educational Institutions comprise the following:

Patna Women’s College, a constituent College of Patna University, having regular courses at the Post Graduate and Under Graduate level, vocational courses and add-on courses

B.Ed. College (P.W.C.), Patna 3 Hindi Medium Schools, 11 schools affiliated to ICSE /ISC Council, New Delhi 5 Schools under the State Boards 1 School affiliated to CBSE Board 4 Parish schools

The Special School at Bal Vihar, Jamshedpur, caters to the Hearing Impaired children. There are 5 community colleges where courses are designed through linkages with placement cells and the students after completing their respective courses are absorbed immediately through campus recruitment.

There is one hostel for the college students and 3 boarding houses where the sisters see to the welfare of the students, giving them a home away from home, and instilling in them values to make better citizens of God and the country.