St. Teresa’s Convent, Jalgaon

History of Avila mission starts when the Mother Province of congregation of Mother of Carmel C.M.C. has given birth to three mission daughters Dehradun, Africa and Andhra Pradesh (at present under Marymatha). Dehradun became the first Independent Mission Province of CMC. But after the bifurcation of Ernakulam province into Vimala (EKM) and Marymatha (Ankamaly) Vimala was left without any mission stations of her own. It’s at this juncture the general council requested Ernakulam Vimala Province to take up the services at the remote areas of newly erected Kalyan Diocese, which once she had handed over to Irinjalakkuda Province at the decision of General Council in her fully flourished mission days, that’s even before the arrival Syro- Malabar missionaries over there.

After the general chapter’s decision of 1988 the Provincial synaxis conducted on the month of December of the same year made this matter a subject of deep study and discussion and the special invitation of Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapilly compelled us to respond to this new call. With a daring heart the Provincial superior Mother Januarius and the Councilor Sr. Bibiana started their journey from Kerala on 3rd July, 1989 in search of this new pasture. On July 5th, 1989 they reached Kalyan and they were received with much warmth and love by Fr. Sebastian Vazhapilly and the Sacred Heart Sisters of Nasik. The next day when they moved to Jalgaon the Parish Priest of Latin Church Fr. Joseph Malayil M.S.F.S. and Sisters of St. Joseph Convent at Jalgaon gave a hearty welcome to all. On 10th they met Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapilly and he affirmed that the place allotted for Ernakulam Vimala Province is Jalgaon.

The word, “For God nothing is impossible” became flesh when at last overcoming so many challenges and difficulties three specially chosen ones late Sr. Bibiana, Sr. Thaddeus and girl named Rosily started their historical journey on 19th September 1989. When they reached Jalgaon they were received with great enthusiasm by the Malayalees and St. Joseph’s sisters.

A person to be noted well was Fr. Joseph M.S. F.S, the priest in Charge of Latin Christians of Jalgaon. From 1989 July 5th to Sep 21st he was there as a sure support for Fr. Sebastian Vazhapilly for arranging everything for us. Sr. Mona and Sr. Reena and all the sisters of St. Joseph Convent deserve our special mentioning.

From the very day of its conception this abode of God was blessed by the caring touch of others especially our malayalee families. Whenever there was anything lacking for us they were there at anytime for anything and everything.

Though our Sisters began their mission at Jalgaon in a rented building, on 15th Oct. 1989, we were blessed with a house of our own in the presence of His Excellency Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapilly, Parish priests, religious friends and associates. And from that day onwards the Convent Chapel became St. Thomas church Jalgaon. From the beginning itself Sisters were ready to be involved in the spiritual nourishment of the people of God. They shuttled from Jalgaon to different mission stations like Dhule, Bhusawal together with the fathers for offering Holy Masses. Time and circumstances demanded us to begin a school which later grew up into today’s St. Teresa’s Higher Secondary School, Jalgaon.

From there began the history. The scattered Malayalee Christians of this area were brought together under the roof of this convent chapel by the able leadership of Fr. Sebastian. Sisters were always ready to render their selfless services.

It was God’s Special Providence that our own brothers, CMI Fathers took up these mission areas from the Diocese and thus we too became a part of Chavara Mission, Dhule. The concern and interest they have taken in our growth and their timely assistance boosted our growth and the hardships they have taken for us cannot be expressed in words.

As we re-journey through the pages of history we are grateful to God for His Providence and care and the generous love of people irrespective of their caste, creed and language. And we pray may God bless and reward all those who walked with us over the past 25 years. As the St. Teresa’s Convent and School celebrated the Silver Jubilee it was a year to reminisce the past with gratitude to God’s faithfulness and showers of blessings. The year was filled with festive celebrations and amazing activities. Our joy was shared by offering High mass thanking almighty God for His mercy, Hospital visits, remand home visits, village visits, blood donation camp, donation to dialysis patients, etc. For extending God’s Mercy, this year we have also taken a project of “5 homes for 5 homeless poor”. A grand and colourful Silver Jubilee day Programme marked the end of the Silver Jubilee year.

Now as we embarked on the Golden years ahead we invoke God’s special blessings. Though we the Sisters of St. Teresa Convent, Jalgaon are few in numbers we are blessed by the gracious Lord, who makes us to work wonders among the people to spread the sweet fragrance of Love of Christ. Resonant with psalmist we give Glory to God by proclaiming that “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115.1)