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Goa

St. Rita’s Convent, Maina, Goa – 1966

                                                                                                                                        

A mission in Goa was the distant dream of the Delegate Superior, Mother Stefania, which was materialised when the Parish Priest Fr. Viegas and the parishioners of Maina accorded a warm welcome to the Ursulines.

A band of three sisters landed in Goa on 2nd June 1966. They were put up in a small rented house until the new convent was constructed in 1967.
In the beginning there were lots of inconveniences which offered a real challenge to the pioneer’s generosity as the house was lacking even the basic necessities. Three more newly professed sisters joined the pioneers to work in the land of Goa, on 28th June 1966.

The parishioners of Maina were delighted to have the presence of the sisters in their village and the sisters too found ample opportunity for various apostolates. They engaged themselves teaching in the parochial school, accommodated a few young girls in the boarding house, began embroidery and cutting classes, assisted in the local parish dispensary, taught catechism, organised parish choir and the sacristy work. They also found great joy and fulfilment in visiting the poor, sick and the aged in their homes.
13th August 1966, was a red letter day as the foundation stone was laid for the first convent in Goa. The construction duly began and was making steady progress. However, some unfortunate happenings hampered the construction work.
The feast of St. Joseph the Worker on 1st May 1967, the sisters took a decision to move out from Maina and stayed in Mary Immaculate Convent, Panjim that belonged to the Congregation of Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters. After about a week’s stay at Panjim, they stayed in Mater Dei Institute. After about two weeks of stay in this institute they were asked by the Patriarch-Bishop to return to Maina.

Once again the sisters moved back to their rented house and they braved the difficulties that they encountered in order to survive. The land lady asked them to vacate the house within a short span of time and thus they were forced to live in the new building which was not yet habitable. Moreover, they had to accommodate about ten boarders along with them.
However, the providential care of the Lord never ceased. God blessed the new foundation abundantly. On 11th June 1967, the new house was inaugurated and blessed and the sisters continued their mission that God had entrusted to them. Their missionary zeal and untiring efforts have reaped plentiful harvest.
Over the years the boarding has become a cradle for vocations, who are an asset to the Province.

The present day, three sisters are engaged in the apostolate of education in the Goa Diocesan School. We accommodate the school-going girls in the boarding house. Besides, the sisters provide vital assistance to the parish in diverse ways. They instruct the students coming from poor and broken backgrounds and are actively involved in teaching catechism, training the Altar Servers, animating the youth, distributing communion to the sick and visiting the families.

 

St. Xavier’s Convent, Loutolim, Goa – 1972

The long cherished dream of Ursuline Sisters at St. Rita’s Convent, who felt the need of having a sister house in Goa, was realized six years later in 1972.
The Parish priest and Principal of ‘Xavier of the World Church and School’, Rev. Fr. Macedone and the members of the village committee of Loutolim made requests to Mother Aloysia Vaz, the Delegate Superior of the Indian Missions to take up the school.

On 20th May, 1972, the feast of Pentecost was the significant day in the history of the Ursuline Institute with the opening of a new house at Loutolim, named after the great Apostle, “St. Francis Xavier”.
Initially the Sisters lived in a rented house. Two years later, providence provided with an old house. With the renovation and maintenance of this house, on 19th March 1974, the sisters were privileged to have a house adjacent to the Parish and the parochial school. A portion of the house was allotted for the boarding for girls who would attend the parochial school.
The number of boarders kept increasing and the need was to accommodate them. Hence, on 15th October 1975, a new plot of land was purchased and the blessing of the new convent was on 11th February 1980.

Gradually, as the years rolled by, the number of boarders decreased considerably. Hence in 1996, to cater to the needs of the poor school going girls, the boarding was started. The boarders were mainly from the locality and the sisters were attending to their spiritual and moral growth besides their academic studies in the school.

Apart from the teaching apostolate, our mission in Loutolim continues with the same initial objective of serving the Parish and running a free boarding for the poor girls. The sisters are actively involved in the socio-cultural, spiritual, catechetical programs, taking care of the Parish sacristy, visiting the sick and lonely in their homes and attending the SCC meetings.

 

Our Lady of Desterro Convent, Vasco-Da-Gama, Goa – 1984

The lovely place, Vasco, drew the attention of our Sisters in Goa and a new branch was added to the Ursuline tree with the official blessing of the initial house on 14th June 1984.

Our Lady of Desterro Convent was opened in answer to the repeated requests made by Fr. Elisea Barretto, the chaplain of Our Lady of Desterro Church, Vasco. The pioneers of this venture rented a former Sports Club atop Desterro Hill, a poor, thickly populated and unhygienic area at that time. The sisters had to face many hardships and trials but God sent His angles to guide and support them inspite of all odds.

The newly built convent was blessed and inaugurated on 29th November 1990, by His grace Rt. Rev. Dr. Raul Gonsalves, Patriarch of Goa, Daman and Diu.

The sisters besides teaching the school, also took the responsibility as the headmistress in the initial years. It is to their credit that they have worked very hard and imparted value based education to assure good future to the students. Through their commitment and dedication they had the joy of seeing the increase in the number of students as well as the school achieving good results. As the time went ahead the sisters were no more taking up the administration of the school. 

Inspite of all the hardships, non-acceptance at times, the sisters braved through storm and tide with God’s help and the protection of our patroness Our Lady of Desterro and they render their service to the people of the locality.

Our mission in Vasco continues with our sisters actively involved in teaching in the school, organizing the liturgy, distributing Holy Communion, conducting Catechism classes, visiting the families, helping in the Parish sacristy, taking remedial classes for the weaker students.