Fatima Provincialate, Hoskote (1997)

Spreading the Love of God and Meeting Human Needs

At the VII General Chapter in May 1995, the decision for creating Regions was passed, hence in June 1996; two Regions were created on the basis of geographical boundaries, for better administration and for the promotion of vocations. They were the Southern Region and the Western Region. Sr. Florence Fernandez was appointed the first Regional Superior of the Southern Region with Sr. Stephana Chavanattu and Sr. Maria Amalados as regional Councillors. The Regional office was temporarily based at St. Francis Xavier Convent, Bellary. The Southern Region comprised of 151 Sisters and 18 communities then.

The Regional Superior, the General Council members and others travelled several times to different locations to get a place suited for the purpose. After many days and months of repeated search by the Regional Superior finally, the search halted at a rural area in the district of Bangalore at Hoskote, 28 kms away from Bangalore city on the National highway (NH-4).

A 2 1/2 -acre plot was purchased with some additional karab land on which there was also a farm house with few small rooms. After necessary repairs of the house, the pioneering community, Sr Florence, (Regional Superior), Sr. Zelia Tuscano, (Superior), Sr. Anna Kalathil, and Sr. Lilly Divyanathan started staying there from 21 September 1997 adjusting themselves in the available spaces. This was called Fatima Convent, Regional House.

At Hoskote or in the vicinity of the area there was no parish. The people of the area were a mixed population of migrants who spoke Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Most of them were poor, uneducated and lacked proper accommodation. For a few Catholics the Holy Eucharist was celebrated in a small house by priests coming from a good distance away. After, Sisters occupied the farm house; the Sisters converted the major portion of the house which was a cowshed into Chapel to celebrate Holy Mass. The Catholics of the locality participated in the Eucharist along with Sisters on Sundays.

Besides administration, the Sisters were involved in various activities that were needed for the people of the place. They visited families, instructed them on health and hygiene, taught catechism to the Catholics and prayed with them. For a few years a Sister-nurse was in charge of a project for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of HIV/AIDs patients.

Sensing the people's need for good education, kindergarten classes were begun with 11 on 1 October 1997. In June 1999, Sr. Florence was re-appointed as the Regional Superior. The new Regional House was blessed and inaugurated on 26 March 2001 by Archbishop Ignatius Pinto of Bangalore. Since then the big convent chapel has been used for Sunday Masses in which all Catholics of the area participate especially on Sundays up to the year 2016. The VIII General Chapter of May 2001 decided to elevate the Regions to Provinces and the Bangalore Region (the name from Southern to Bangalore was changed at the mid-term Chapter in 1998) was called Bangalore Province. The first Province Chapter was held at Hoskote in April 2002 where Sr Archangela Cheeran was elected the first Provincial, Sr Florence, Sr Cecilia P and Sr Irene T as Councillors.

The community at Hoskote is engaged in the school ministry with Kroot Memorial School (ICSE) with over 1,200 students. The Sisters visit near-by families and conduct prayers for them in the houses and at the convent.

At the Provincialate campus, we have the Initial Formation House (Come and See). We also take care of two foster homes each consisting of eight children. The children who are the poorest of the poor are given a homely atmosphere and good education at our ICSE School.