Sr M Sangeetha BS

Members of the Community

Convent building

Sr Christita pastoral ministry in kolkata

Sr Julian teaching the street children

 Sr Sangeetha administering the first aid

A long cherished dream of the Bethany sisters working in North East India came true on 27 May 1980 when a new community was erected at Kolkata under the patronage of His Eminence Cardinal L. T. Picachy SJ.

Sisters working in North East India had to pass through Calcutta and halt there to get their onward train reservations.   Groups of sisters were often stranded at Howrah station for several days with no place to stay. They usually spent their time at the railway station or sought accommodation in some Convent far away.  It was under such circumstances that the then Superior General Mother Gemma approached Cardinal Picachy in September 1979 with the request to permit Bethany to open a house at Calcutta. The Cardinal was happy to welcome the Bethany Congregation and suggested that Bethany run a boarding house for sisters travelling through Calcutta. Hence the Bethany Convent was opened for this purpose and also for any other work according to the needs of the place. 

Sr Agnella was shown the Cathedral Campus, where a building was identified by the Archdiocesan representative as Bethany’s future Convent. The building was used earlier for press and go-down purposes. This was renovated to suit the needs of the Sisters and their apostolate and named ‘Bethany’ at the suggestion of Cardinal Picachy. Thus Bethany at the Cathedral campus was opened on 27 May 1980. The pioneers of the convent were Sr Eva the Superior and  Sr Generosa and Sr Immacula as members of this community.

True to its name and faithful to the original purpose of its existence, Bethany Calcutta over the years has become a home away from home for many priests and religious passing through the city and in need of a place to rest. The inmates have tried to replicate the hospitality of the original Bethany in their life and services.  In the beginning the sisters assisted in the parish activities like catechism, liturgical instruction and club for the children.  They also prayed the Rosary with the Hindi speaking community.

At the request of late Archbishop Henry D’ Souza in the year 1987, the sisters got involved in  diocesan school’s  administration, supervision and teaching in Loyola School, Kidderpore  belonging to the diocese.  In 1998 Sr Aquiline, the then Superior of the Convent, served as the Archdiocesan directress of Holy Childhood Society.  In the year 1989 the education apostolate was extended to St Berchman’s School Moulali, which discontinued in 1993. Sisters then began to give their services to St Aloysius Orphanage Day school Howrah. In the same year Sr Dulcis joined the Diocesan Seva Kendra as a programme Coordinator. Sr Eva served as directress of the Diocesan Family Commission from 1996 – 2002.

In 1988 under the inspiration of Sr Lillis, the then Provincial Superior, evening classes for school going students were started and conducted regularly. Literacy classes to the street children and slum children were also initiated. Late Monsignor John D’ Souza supported the venture whole heartedly, helping the cause even financially.  The literacy classes for the children in the slums were later organized in 1992 with the acquisition of 2 classrooms for about 100 children through the efforts of Sr Clara and Sr Christine. Students were prepared to get admission in formal schools for Class I-IV by way of awarding Promotion Certificates. Fr Hansel D’ Souza, the then Parish Priest, who had a kind heart for the poor, was supportive of this task and so were most of his successors. It was in 2004, as per the wishes of the parish priest the slum students’ classes and evening classes were discontinued.

At present the sisters are actively involved in faith formation, teaching catechism, pastoral work and continue their services in St Aloysius Orphanage Day school Howrah. They give religious instruction to people of different age groups and prepare children and adults to receive the sacraments. Sisters also help in maintaining the Church linens and look after the cleanliness of the church.

Year of establishment: 18.06.1980


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