About us > Origin of Institute

The Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Sts.Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa(SCCG) also known as the Sisters of Maria Bambina had its origin in Lovere, Italy. It was founded by a young girl of 26 named Bartolomea Capitanio in 1832. Bartolomea’s inspiration to found an Institute took shape because of her deep love for God and through her involvement in the actual situation of the people of Lovere – her native town.

Having studied in the boarding school of the Poor Clares, she acquired a deep piety under the ever vigilant Mother Francesca Parpani. “I want to be a Saint, a great saint and a saint soon” were the words she uttered at the age of 7 at the ‘Game of Straws’. Her spiritual Director Don Angelo Bosio sensed the working of the Spirit in her and guided her in her spiritual Journey. He urged her to note down all the inspirations she received. This resulted in the inspired document we now call ‘the Foundation Document” which forms the basis of our present Rule of Life. She wrote: “The Institute which will be founded in Lovere is be totally founded on charity and this must be its principle aim…should have as its aim the education of poor young girls…devote itself to the relief of the sick..” In this way she outlined a MISSION which, though starting as a personal response to the needs of her environment was deeply rooted in charity and as such destined to be kept up and to spread beyond the bounds of Lovere.

Bartolomea was helped in her project by Catherine Gerosa, a simple, rich, charitable lady of Lovere. Together they consecrated themselves to God in a simple ceremony on 21 November 1832 at Casa Gaia. Thus began the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity. Bartolomea was called to her eternal reward on 26 July 1833 eight months after founding the Congregation. It was left to Catherine Gerosa, under the able guidance of Don Angelo Bosio to carry on the work begun.

The Institute spread rapidly in many Provinces of Italy. In 1860, Mother Theresa Bosio the first Superior General answered the call of the missions of India and sent four sisters to work in Bengal -India. Thus began the mission of the sisters in India.

About us > The Province Of Calicut

The Province of Calicut was born on 8th January 1979, from the Province of Mangalore. Mother Angela Maria Campanile was the one who initiated and completed this process. Sr. Gerosa Albert was the first Provincial Superior, and the Province had 17 communities and 266 sisters. The sisters residing in the States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala came under the Province of Calicut.

Holy Infant Mary Convent, Vayithiri, hosted the Provincial and her team for the first 3 years till it was shifted to “SELLERE “at Malaparamba, Calicut, on 21st Nov. 1982, the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of the Institute.

The Province continued its formation of novices at the novitiate of Mangalore Novitiate until 1985. In 1985 Sellere hosted the Novitiate with Sr. Mariella Joseph as Novice Mistress. After 6 years, the novitiate was shifted to Shanthi Nilayam, Peruvayal.

Within the first 10 years, the number of communities rose to 24 and sisters, 324. In January 2004, Calicut Province was bifurcated to form the new Province of South East India.

On 21st November 2007, the Province opened its first house in Ethiopia. At present, 11 sisters work there, in 4 communities.

At present, after 44 years, the Province has spread into 31 communities and one offshoot, with 298 sisters engaged in spreading the compassionate love of Jesus, reaching even as far as Ethiopia. Sisters Graziella Ambooken, Cicily Augustine, Pauline Joseph,Mercy Varghese,Geetha Chaneparambil were subsequent Provincials while Sr.Philo Joseph presently heads the Province.

Sr Gerosa Albert (1979 - 1988)

The first provincial of Calicut Province, Sr. Gerosa Albert put the foundation for the new Province. She was a person of vision and courage and planned every thing with precision and intuition. She built the provincial house for the new province with the assistance of the Generalate. She sought ways and means to strengthen the fraternal bond in the Province, with the motto, “Let fraternal communion flourish: United we Stand”. The province stood by her to tide over the initial struggles, including that of finance. During this period of 9 years, the number of communities increased from 17 to 24 and the sisters, from 266 to 324. Mother Angela Maria Companile accompanied the new born baby with much predilection.

Sr Graziella Ambooken ( 1988 - 1996)

Mother Costantina Kersbamer conferred on Sr.Graziella Ambooken, the mandate of Provincial superor. Very simple and ordinary, Sr.Graziella relied on God in humble trust for the strength to carry on the mission and invited the sisters to do the same. Since the initial struggles of consolidation as a new province was over, she could give more attention to the formation of the sisters. She also opened 7 communities of 3-4 sisters, in rural areas, to evangelize the poor and the needy. The number of sisters increased from 324 to 382 in 8 years.

Sr Cicily Augustine (1996 - 1999)

The mandate of the Provincial superior was conferred on Sr. Cicily Augustine by Mother Constantina Kersbamer. Drawing inspiration for the Good shepherd, she trued her best to help the sisters deepen the awareness of their being called to become the true Sisters of Charity. In 1997, after a long period of prayerful discernment the community at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Manjummel, was closed down. During her 3 years of governance, the number of communities rose from 30 to 33 and the sisters, 382 to 397. In the General Chapter of 1999, Sr. Cicily was chosen Assistant General and shifted to the Mother House in Milan.

Sr Pauline Joseph (2000-2007)

Mother Costantina Kersbamer entrusted the mandate to Sr. Pauline Joseph. She invited the sisters to greater spiritual discipline. During this time the Ethiopian mission was entrusted to the province. The Province celebrated its Silver Jubilee on 21st November 2004 and special programmes for the deepening of the Charism and renewal were arranged. The Home for Elderly Sisters -- Pratheeksha Bhavan (Home of Hope) -- at Kakkanad became functional. With the bifurcation of the Province, South East India Province was born. 13 communities and 86 sisters became its part. She completed her mandate in 2007with 27 communities and 310 sisters.

Sr Mercy Varghese (2007- 2015)

Sr. Mercy Varghese received the mandate of Provincial superior from Mother Piercarla Mauri. She urged the sisters to continue their journey anchoring on the power and grace of Jesus the Redeemer, giving prophetic vigour to their consecrated life. She intensified the missionary urge and sent more missionaries to Ethiopia. Our first community at Fullasa was officially inaugurated on 21st November 2007 and two others followed at Modjo, in 2009 and Dadhim in October 2010 engaging 12 sisters. A community building programme (CBP) was introduced and effectively implemented in the communities of the province. She completed her mandate in the year 2015.

Sr Geetha Chaneparambil (2015-2023 )

Sr Geetha Chaneparambil, the Provincial Superior was conferred with the mandate to animate the province by Mother Annamaria Vigano on 11th October 2015. She is the reason to power up the 6 core groups of various sectors of mission in the province such as Education Sector, Health Sector, Media Commission, Counseling Sector, Social Work Sector and PCYV (Pastoral Care of Youth Vocation). A gentle, simple and prayerful soul, guided the province to journey together on the path of charity.Through her inimitable style, extraordinary insight, profound wisdom and guidance Sr Geetha Chaneparambil animated the province for eight years and she completed her mandate in the year 2023

Sr Philo Joseph (2023- )

Sr Philo Joseph is a visionary and a missionary, very zealous for the kingdom of God.She started anchoring the province, receiving the mandate from Mother General Venita Fernandez in the year 2023. She has proved her excellence as a teacher, as head of the institutions,as superior in several communities, as Co-operative manager and as provincial councillor. The province with high expectations and appreciation looks forward to her new venture.