Sr M Rosalia BS


 Bethany Home, Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu:2021-2022

2018 - 2021




Sr M Smitha Thomas BS

 Members of  the Community

 Convent building

Hospital Staff- Idintakarai

Nursing care- Idintakarai

Bethany Home is situated in the village of Idinthakarai of Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu state.  Ecclesiastically it belongs to the Our Lady of Lourd  Parish of Idinthakarai in the diocese of Tutucorin.  It is  on the eastern coast of the southernmost end of the Southern Indian peninsula. It has the Bay of Bengal as its border on the eastern side and it is about 32 kms away from Kanyakumari.

The population of this village is around 15,000, majority being Roman Catholics, whose ancestors were converted by St. Francis Xavier in the 16th century, of Dravidian origin, belonging to most backward cast.  They are socially, economically and educationally poor.   Majority of the people make their living by fishing in the sea in small boats. Although they have great interest in religious observations they are prone to alcoholism and frequent disputes.

But the condition was really pathetic 40 years back. Conveyance facilities were poor and medical amenities were inaccessible. They were plagued by frequent attacks of Cholera. About 400 of people seek medical assistance daily in the far away hospitals. Death at the time of delivery was common among women as they were unable to get proper medical care. In this situation the Parish Priest Fr. Robinson & Fr. L. Miranda made a request to the then Superior General Mother Macrina to open a house along with a clinic. Mother Macrina responded to the request very positively and decided to open a house at Idinthakarai.  It was memorable day in the history of the Congregation that a 2nd house officially opened in Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin Diocese, Idinthakarai on 18th June 1974 with 4 members. Namely Sr. Paulette as Superior, the other pioneering sisters being Sr. Marisa, Sr. Lima & Sr. Vinod. They lived in a rented house in the beginning & later Bp. Ambrose offered 98 cents of land to Bethany to erect the building. The primary service of the sisters in the area was to offer medical care and assistance. From the rented house they carried out the ministry of visiting the sick, home visit & pastoral assistance.

The newly built convent & the clinic were blessed by Bp. Ambrose on May 26th 1976. It was with great joy that the sisters changed their abode from the rented house to Bethany home, our own building on July 16th 1976. Under the leadership of the following Superiors Srs. Jonita, Hope, Osburga, Marisa, Poma, Ann Amria, Therese A.P, Philothea, Daya, Rosalia, Merlyn & Beena Aplhonsa different developmental works were undertaken, the clinic had more rooms including a labour room. Apart from these infrastructural developments, more medical equipments, medicines & other essential requirements were added in the clinic. The medical service of the Bethany sisters now assumed more credibly & the people were really satisfied with the amenities proved.  The simple life style of the sisters, their readiness to offer services at any time, their concern for the people, & their frequent family visits made them loved & appreciated. People still recall with profuse gratitude the assistance offered by the sisters to the cholera victims. In 1980 the native who were satisfied with the services of the  sisters wanted to extend their presence to a village called Kuthankully about 5 kms away from Bethany Home. Heeding to their request the sisters opened a clinic at Kuthenkuly in 1982. Each sisters were especially interested in the uplift of the hospital following the charism of the Congregation, offering the people the best of help possible.

It was 2004 that a dreadful natural calamity struck the village in the form of Tsunami bringing unfold miseries to the people. Loss of lives, property, houses & the spread of infectious diseases paralyzed the normal life of people in the village. The Bethany Home at this time undertook a ceaseless efforts to rehabilitate the victims by providing them food, clothing, & medication. Community Health programme was the another mission we undertook to reach out to the poorest villages of the Diocese.  Karunnya Dhara Charitable Trust joyfuuly & willingly took over Lourdes Hospital, Idinthakarai which was owned by the Congregation on 1st April 2012.

Bethany Home in  Idinthakarai has now completed 42 years of enviable presence & service amidst trials & tribulations. Through our presence we get vocations from our Parish three sisters, one novice, two candidates in Bethany. The Community Members are now Sr. Smitha Thomas as its 12th Superior, Sr. Philothea, Sr. Merlyn & Sr. Shincy Therese. The community here today is a blessing for the natives of this village & a replica of the charism of the Congregation deeply rooted in the spirituality & the foresightedness of our Father Founder. The fervour that the sisters had in offering social services, medical care, pastoral assistance & Palliative care has not diminished in any way & the community is very keen to offer the same with added enthusiasm firmly trusting in the divine assurance of the Great Master, “ Even if a mother forgets her own child, I will not forget you”.

Year of establishment -18.06.1974

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