Daughters of Charity celebrate 75 years in India

Four Spanish nuns began working in Odisha in 1940

Gopalpur-on-Sea: Daughters of Charity (DC) celebrated the platinum jubilee of their presence in India with a glittering ceremony on Feb 12 in Odisha.

“We are grateful to God the Almighty in thanking Him for our 75 years of missionary service in 15 states of India,” said Sister Christo Kumari Singh, Provincial superior of North India of the congregation founded by Saint Vincent de Paul, a 17th century saint.

She said they paid tributes to their pioneer Sisters, benefactors, bishops, priests and people who helped us in our missionary work serving the poor.

The platinum jubilee (1940-2015) Eucharist was officiated by Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, Vincentian Fr. G. Gregory Gay. The theme of the celebration was “Presence and service in India.”

Hundreds of Sisters from across the country, their family members, friends, bishops and priests and nuns from other religious orders joined at the celebration.

“It has been a fulfilling journey for every DC Sister in serving the lord and the poor,” said Sister Rose K, provincial superior of South India.

“We have experienced the presence and power of the Lord in our work in these 75 years of serving the God and people, and transforming societies through education, pastoral work, and healthcare,” she added.

The congregation, also known as “company of the Daughters of Charity,” was founded in 1633 in France by St. Vincent de Paul, patron of all works of charity, and St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), patroness of Christian social workers.

Its charism is “service of Christ in the persons who are poor.”

At present, it has 60 provinces with 16,701 members in 95 countries. They arrived in India on February 12, 1940. The first house (Sacred Heart House) was opened at Gopalpur-on-Sea, in the diocese of Berhampur, Odisha, eastern India with four Spanish nuns of the Indian Mission—Sr. Paz Garcia, Sr. Adelaida Biada, Sr. Angelina Beramendi and Sr. Milagros del Vall.

Later in 1952, India became vice-province and an Indian province in 1965. It was bifurcated in 2000 as north and south Indian provinces. The North India province has 41 centers in nine states and the south 26 houses in six states.

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