A Glimpse into the History of Holy Queen’s Province, Changanacherry

The history of CMC Holy Queen’s Province, Changanacherry dates back to the year 1888 when the delegated sisters from Koonammavu Convent (TOCD) opened a branch convent at Mutholy in the then Apostolic Vicariate of Kottayam. Started in the year 1893, CMC Sisters had their second house at Changanacherry by the name Mount Carmel Convent, commonly known as Valiamadom because of her presence in the vicinity of the Cathedral Church, Changanacherry, and also because of her unique privilege of having been the Aramana of Bp. Charles Lavinge for a particular period of time. Commissioned by the Local Hierarch and wholeheartedly invited by the Parishners, Mother Treasa Catherine Thoppil had the good fortune to be the foundress of this convent. With the advance of years, other houses were established in various parishes of the Archdiocese; and from the year 1948 CMC Noviciate was conducted at St. John of the Cross Convent, Arpookara.

On July 25, 1950, however, the Eparchy of Changanacherry was bifurcated by the Bull Quo Ecclesiarum of Pope Pius X11 and the new diocese of Pala was created. Consequently all the convents within the territory of Pala Diocese came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Pala; and the CMC Noviciate was shifted from Arpookara to Lissieux Carmel, Ithithanam, in the period of a decade, in 1960.

The Unification of the CMC Congregation took place after three years in 1963, giving birth to different provinces and Provincial Houses. Consisting of the CMC Convents in the Archeparchy of Changanacherry, CMC Holy Queen’s Province came into being, with the Holy Queen’s Provincial House as its headquarters and Rev. Mother Treasa Margaret Kalathil, the first provincial Superior.

The Changanacherry Archeparchy was again divided on February 26, 1977 by the Bull Nos Beati Petri of Pope Paul V1and the new Diocese of Kanjirappally was set up. Accordingly in the same year, CMC Amala Region Kanjirappally was separated from the Holy Queen’s Province and later in 1980 it was raised to the status of a Province of the Congregation.

In accordance with the General Synaxis decision of 1988, Mount Carmel Mission Region was formed in May 1988, bringing together the then existing six mission stations in MP, UP and Orissa, under the newly appointed Regional Superior Rev. Sr. Pius, declaring Carmel Convent, Bhopal to be the Regional House. In about a decade, in 1997, the present Region was declared Mount Carmel Province, in appreciation of the wonderful progress achieved by the Mission Region.

The Archeparchy was again divided when its Kanyakumari Mission was elevated to the status of a new diocese by the Bull Apud Indorum Gentes of Pope John Paul 11, dated December 18, 1996. With the formal inauguration of the new eparchy of Thuckalay with Mar George Alencherry as its first Bishop, Holy Queen’s Kanyakumari Mission also had attained deep roots in the Chavara Region, our ‘Thekkan Mission’. As a result, on April 28, 2015 Chavara Region, Kanyakumari was elevated to the position of a Vice Province, viz., Chavara Vice Province, Thuckalay, comprising of 11convents and 52 members. At present the CMC Holy Queen’s Province has 420 members residing in 40 houses and 5 residences, trying to witness to the merciful love of Christ within the Motherland and abroad.