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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 lettered 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. On this day 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.