The root of Udaya mission lies in Nirmala Province Thrissur which was started at Chanda and Sirpur Kaghaznagar at Andrapradesh . When Nirmala Province was trifurcated in 1977, six mission houses in Maharashtra and AndraPradesh came under Udaya Province Irinjalakuda.When Carmalodaya Province was started on 1995,all the nine mission houses under Udaya Province except one house at IAF Avadi,Chennai were included in the mission Province.
Evangelic Activities at Chennai Mission by CMC Udaya Province Irinjalakuda
The history of Evangelization at Chennai begins with St. Thomas the Apostle of India , whose personal encounter with the Risen Lord (Jn 20:28) empowered him to come to India and die here . Being a martyr after Jesus our Lord St. Thomas opened the way , the truth and the life for us . We the CMC sisters taking inspiration from St. Thomas, started our mission at Chennai with a new venture and zeal .
With a vision to proclaim the good news to the poor and downtrodden by uplifting the mentally retarded children who are neglected in the society and help them to be more human and make them more fruitful people, a decision was taken in the provincial Synaxis during the year 1991 to start a new Convent at Madras. At that time, Mother Osmund was the Provincial Superior. Under her leadership we began the procedures. As Madras Mission is under the jurisdiction of Irinjalakuda Diocese and Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese with the permission of the two Bishops of those dioceses, Bp. Mar James Pazhayattil and Arch Bishop Casimir Gnanadickam and the support of Rev. Fr. Jose Kavungal , the Chaplain of St.Thomas Pastoral Centre, was started on 15 th October 1991, in a rented house at IAF Avadi in Muthapudhupat village. The first three members were Sr. Arnalda (Sister in charge), Sr. Rupert and Sr. Joel.
On 15th March 1992, blessing of foundation stone for the convent was done by Bp.Mar James Pazhayattil. After the completion of the construction work the convent was blessed by Rev.Fr. Joy Alappat, the Chaplain of Syro-Malabar Mission at Madras on 14th November 1992 and Sr. Rupert was appointed as the superior of Carmel convent, Avadi. The dream of the Province to begin a special school for mentally retarded children was realized on 14th June 1993 in the Verandah of our convent under the leadership of Sr.Delphina the Director and Sr.Lucy was appointed as the first principal of the school. At present this school functions in full fledged form in an independent building in same campus with financial assistance of various benefactors from within and outside the country. Now there are 125 students and 25 staff members. Physiotherapy centre and daycare centre also function with the support and co-operation of Udaya Province, well-wishers and local people.
Carmel tailoring unit was also started in the year 1998 to provide self employment opportunities for the poor women and help them be self sufficient . Every year more than a dozen women attend this course and this unit became a centre for women empowerment in that locality .
Beginning of Carmel Public School Veppumpet is the second venture of CMC sisters to spread Gospel values at Chennai . It was started on 15th August 2005. At present it has a strength of 500 students and 15 teachers.
According to the advice of the Bishop Mar James Pazhayattil, Udaya Province started a third convent with the purpose of doing pastoral service at Ayanavaram on June 2006 . In the beginning sisters were staying in a rented house . On 19th June 2011 we realized the dream of our own building for the convent . There we take part in the daily parish activities of the St. Thomas Pastoral Centre and also we help our brothers and sisters to know Jesus better. Other apostolates are providing, Liturgical assistance, leading the doing family apostolate work , spending time for counseling, leading the prayer group and conducting family unit , prayer units, etc .
With the intention to proclaim Good news to the parishners and to deepen their Christian faith , all the CMC Sisters at Chennai Mission under the diocese of Irinjalakuda are actively participating and giving guidance to some organizations and associations as follows:-
- Pithruvedi :- The members are heads of the families who shoulder the burden of upbringing their children in Christian values and also reach out for the service of the society at large. We lead them to take part in seminars and discussions of the parishes and strengthen the family bonding and faster Christian faith formations. Reaching out to the society we inspires them to visit destitute patients and offer financial assistance to the poor students and distribute Christmas kits to all without any discrimination. They raise fund for their activities through kits other imaginative programmes.
- Mathrujyothis :- Mothers being the backbone of the family they devote their time for the physical, mental and spiritual well being of their beloved ones. We guide them to take up many other activities like cleaning and beautification of the church, help to leading the Rosary and adorations, and functioning as facilitators for teaming up with Pithruvedi and Youth forum for the success of special celebrations in the church . Moreover they smooth functioning of the feasts, etc. distribute Catholic publications and train them to make support in catechism classes. Seminars are arranging at the unit level and at the centre for the awareness and orientation of the mothers . Under the guidance of the Parish Priest and animator sister these mothers finds time to offer their love and support to ailing and needy brethren by visiting hospitals and orphanages, entertaining the terminally ill-cancer patients, collecting and distributing rice and grains to the poor during Lent seasons, etc at the unit level. It is highly appreciate that they raise funds through chits, lucky tips, preparing and selling delicious foods during mission Sundays, etc and utilize this money to help the poor and needy and even contribute substantially for the development of the churches.
- Catholic Youth Movement :- As a result of contineous animation by our sisters the selfless service by a handful of committed youth with clear vision has immensely helped to speed up the progress of the mission under the guidance of Priest and sister in charge of CYM has organizing Eye- care camp, Blood donation camp, Quizes, Seminars, Onam celebrations and have also introduced Phone directories to foster real catholic spirit and social commitment
- Mission League :- ML is organized in the parishes along with Catechism classes to foster good vocations and cultivates missionary zeal. The members are grouped in such a way to perform different activities, cultural programmes and prayers under the leadership of Rev.Sisters.
- Choir :- As Syro -Malabar Chennai Mission grew with intensive Christian formation through the service of our sisters in many churches and units, the involvement of the faithful in spiritual and other liturgical activities has been quiet remarkable with energetic choirs which is with faith vision.
- Alter boysAssosiation :- Each church has developed a core group of alter boys and girls to have shown great commitment catholic spirit to actively participate in the Holy Qurbana under the leadership of sisters in each unit.
- Dukrana :- Dukrana of St.Thomas at Santhome Cathedral is being celebrated by Syro-Malabar Christmas assisted by sisters.
- Christmas celebrations :- Mission celebrates Christmas with pomp and slender with the active participation of the whole Syro-Malabar Christian families at Chennai.
- Parish feasts :- When the Parishes celebrate the feast of their Patron saints in a solemn way, sisters are leading them to participate in all the Evangelic and Faith formation activities such as Holy Mass , Novenas , Adoration , Bible Vigil , Procession etc .
- Family fest :- with the inspiration and service of our sisters the mission organizes a multicultural extravaganza every year with active participation of the young and grown-up grooming and displaying their talents.
- Catechism :- In all units, the sisters and proclaim the Good news among the children and youth by teaching catechism.
- Youth class :- Classes are arranged for the youth in all the Parishes so as to maintain continuity in faith formation and empower them to face challenges of life while upholding Christian values.
- House visiting and prayer meeting :- Sisters are visiting the houses of 8 Parishes & leading 10 family prayer meeting groups by gathering once in a month.
- Distibution of books and periodicals :- as a part of faith formation of parish community we are Purchasing and distributing Bible, Other religious books and periodicals to inspire them through Evangelistic messages
- Ministry among I.A.F and C.R.P.F : We the sisters are giving Gospel message in the prohibited area of I.A.F and C.R.P.F Campus , by conducting Sunday Catechism , preparing them to take part in Holy mass , leading them to pray Rosary , prayer meetings and visiting their houses etc .
In short we are going forward with firm belief that Lord Jesus is sending us to proclaim the Gospel to all the people of God especially at Chennai Mission. Today Udaya Province is rendering her missionary services not only in India but also on the continent of Africa , America & Europe.
In Africa our sisters are actively serving in fieds of both education and social service to make free the people from all kinds of servitude and enabling persons and communities. In America three of our sisters are doing both pastoral and healing ministry.Sisters are also rendering their services in Medical field at Germany and Italy .
Mean while Thousands and thousands of people have received the light of knowledge, love and service. But there are still many more rungs of the ladder to be climbed. Udaya family is confident that our Divine Patroness will keep us under her mantle and will make the star of Udaya shine ever light. We hope that by the Grace of God we can offer more authentic missionary service to the Nation .