At a glance

“I have called you by name and you are mine”( Is:43/1).God so loved us that from the fullness of love He has poured out His saving Grace on us. God’s mission of love for man is continued through His chosen ones in all the ages. God in His plan and providence called the Fr. Joseph Kandathil a priest of the Arch Diocese of Ernakulam- Angamaly to found the congregation of “Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate”, in order to continue His saving mission through loving service to the sick ,the needy, the poor and the rejected specially the leprosy patients.

         Those were the days Leprosy was considered a horrible disease. Fr. Joseph’s attention was drawn to these uncared and rejected brethren who suffered physically from foul – smelling ulcers and much more psychologically from the feeling of being isolated and rejected by the society. He was deeply touched by this situation and the words of Our Lord “As you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me “ (Mt:25/40) .This prompted him to do something for this unfortunate brethren. He was a man of courage and he had to face frequent and strong oppositions in founding the institute. But relying totally on the Providence of God he could start a home for the leprosy stricken brethren on 2nd February 1942. As He was unable to care for them by himself he was thinking of starting a congregation. As he was not sure of the nature of the congregation he had a vision of Crucified Christ embracing St.Francis of Assisi . By this vision He was convinced that the religious community which the Lord wanted him to found should be guided by the spirit of St.Francis and its main objective should be to serve the leapers and the out castes in the society.

         Thus on 2ndApril 1949 the congregation of “Assisi Sisters Of Mary Immaculate” was founded by Msgr.Joseph K.W Thomas Kandathil at GreenGardens , Cherthala, Kerala , India with the oral permission of Arch Bishop Mar. Augustine Kandathil. Sr.Teresitta Mary ,the first member of the congregation , played a mysterious role in getting the formal ecclesiastical sanction for the congregation with her death on 7th June 1950.

         After that on 16th February 1954 the Arch bishop gave the written order of approval for the congregation(sp.no.6 Es no 6553).His eminence Cardinal Tissernt the then Prefect of the Sacred Oriental Congregation Rome visited the motherhouse and he took the initiative to send the French Salesian sisters for the formation of the first members.

         On 3rd November 1956 the congregation was legally aggregated to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins (No.163/56 E.O.) Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate have chosen the rule of the Third Order Regular of St.Francis approved by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII. Supported by the charism of St.Francis the congregation grew fast into almost all the states of India within a couple of years. With the recommendations of His Eminence Cardinal Lourdsami, the Prefect of the Oriental Congregation Rome and the Pronuncio, His grace Most Rev. Augustino Cacciavillan, this congregation had been raised to the status of Pontifical Right on 28th April 1986, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. In the year 1987 two provinces namely sacred Heart Province and St Joseph Province were formed.

         St.Joseph province with its provincial house at Neerpara came into existence on 30th October 1987. German mission has started on 14th October 1989.The provincialate was shifted to the, Golden street, Vaduthala, Kochi- 23 on 30th may 1996. At that time St Joseph province had its convents in three states Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu and in Germany. Our African mission started on 30th September 2003. Houses under German mission were raised to St.Francis Region Germany on 14th September 2008. Two more regions were established under this province with the names Mary Matha Region Tamilnadu on 16thJuly 2009 and St.Alphonsa region Karnataka on 6thAugust 2009. At present there are 16 houses in Kerala , 11 houses in Tamilnadu ,8 houses in Karnataka , 6 houses in Germany and 4 houses in Africa.

         There are 327 professed sisters and 4 novices as members of the province. Year 2019 was a memorable year in the history of the congregation. Our beloved Father Founder was declared as Servant of God by the Holy See on 24thOctober 2019 . Our ministry comprises of general hospitals, schools for the deaf and blind, old age homes, HIV-AIDS caring centers, Leprosy clinics, T.B clinics, CBR projects, Rehabilitation centers for the disabled, schools for the poor children, social work and parish ministry.Our Father Founder Servant of God Msgr.Joseph K W Thomas Kandathil has instilled in us the love for the Crucified Christ and exhorted us to go in search of the most rejected ones of the society and to do whole hearted service to them irrespective of caste ,colour and nationality. Overwhelmed by the compassionate love of Jesus we the Assisi sisters are eagerly involved in the mission of spreading this love crossing even the remotest continents.