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Presence of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour in India: 1973-2023

Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! (Psalm 117)

Yes, full of joy we praised God when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of our Congregation in India with our Sisters of the Province of India on 4 November. What a great adventure these years have been! How much courage and trust in God!

From 1962 onwards young Indian women had come to Germany and France. After a difficult period of adaptation to a completely different culture, living conditions, language... and after years of religious and professional formation, they returned to India in 1973 as Sisters of the Divine Saviour to bear witness to God's love and fulfill works of mercy in the spirit of the charism of our foundress, Blessed Mother Alphons Mary. Again they had to adapt to different conditions and language in the state of Tamil Nadu and later in other Indian states where communities were gradually established. But their apostolic zeal, their young age, their trust in the Divine Providence and the need they saw around them helped them to move forward and overcome countless difficulties. From the very beginning, they received great support from the General Counsil of that time in Oberbronn. The delegation founded in 1973 became the Province of India in 2000, after the community had gradually grown and young interested women had already entered the congregation in India. Today, there are 85 Indian sisters in four Indian states and some also live and work in other provinces or delegations of the congregation.

On 4 November, a grand jubilee celebration was held in Manjalamoodu, the first community to be opened after the sisters returned from Europe, to thank God for all that the sisters have been able to experience and accomplish with His help over the past 50 years. The solemn Mass in the Syro-Malabar rite and the subsequent programme were attended by two bishops, many priests, sisters from all communities, many religious from other congregations, the faithful, employees, people from the surrounding area and people whom the sisters help, as well as many others. In several speeches, the simple way of life of the sisters was emphasised, which was no different from the life of the local people, and at the same time the sisters were and are an example and a help to strengthen people in their dignity.

May the Lord continue to bless and accompany this work!