A Convent for Fransiscan Clarist Sisters in India
In northeast India, the Catholic Church is still relatively young. It was not until 1890 that the first missionaries arrived in the region. Today there are a total of 15 dioceses in northeast India. Yet wide swathes of the region are still relatively inaccessible to this day. Many villages lie in the mountains, in the dense rainforest, and in many places there are no roads but simply narrow, muddy walking tracks.
Many of the rivers, which swell to raging torrents when it rains, can be crossed only by rickety and often rotten bridges. Wild animals further complicate life for the people living here, to say nothing of the torrential rainfall, landslides and even earthquakes. The great majority of the population, meanwhile, belongs to one or other of the many different ethnic minorities, and so they speak many different languages and have a wide range of differing traditions and cultures.
It was not until 1984 that the Clarist missionaries first came to northeast India. Today, however, there are already 13 different Clarist communities here. They minister to 304 villages, working in 42 different schools, and have established 14 boarding homes for students who live in the remotest villages where there are no schools. On top of this they have set up five medical aid centers.
Since 2004 a community of Fransiscan Clarist Sisters has also been present in Ziro in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. They teach at the St. Claret’s College there, caring for 80 female students in the girls' hostel and also caring for the sick, for children and young people and above all for those women who have the lowest status in society and suffer disadvantage as a consequence of this.
During the early years of their ministry, the Sisters lived together with their charges in the girls' boarding hostel. But they needed to have a convent of their own, where they could organize their conventual life in a manner appropriate to their religious vocation. They also needed space for prayer, for study, for the exercise of their communal life and to accommodate guests. Additionally, their intention was to use the convent in Ziro to train the young women who wished to join the community as new vocations.
ACN helped them with a contribution of $26,800. Now they have written to thank all our generous benefactors for the help received: “We humbly beg the Lord to bless you and to reward all who have contributed to the building of this convent. On behalf of all the Fransiscan Clarist Sisters of the St. Claret’s College and all the Clarist Sisters, we thank you for your generous help and support.”
This now completed project is an example of our work. If you would like to support a similar project, then please indicate the reference code below when making your donation. Thank you.
Project Code: 317-05-19