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Pioneers and Visionaries


We, the Ursulines in India look to you as the ‘Mission Foundress’

For, you actualized the Founderss’ vision of an ‘overseas mission.’

You, visualized the possibility of pursuing an untrodden path

Until then by women of ancient days!

You belonged to a family of reform, of Swiss origin,

Like your brother Bishop, a reformer of his Archdiocese,

You let God draw the design for newness and growth

Through years of search in intense prayer.

Mother, the band of five you chose to plant the seeds

Of love and mercy, with valuable exhortations

Keep growing in our hearts with passionate love

That bind us to Jesus and one another.

Intercede for us: that we hold on to the Crucified of today

And journey the way of prophets

With lamps trimmed and burning bright with zeal

To empower others in faith, hope and love

Pioneers to the Indian Soil

The Institute was named as “House of St. Ursula” at the foundation. The “House of St. Ursula”, had to wait almost 300 years to obtain Ecclesial approbation. It was in 1936 it became an Institute of Pontifical Right with the title of “Ursulines of Mary Immaculate of Piacenza”. Launching out and opening a foreign mission was the burning desire/dream of Mother Maria Felice Radini Tedeschi, the Superior General who led the Institute for 29 years, from 1908 to 1937. She had imbibed the spirit and zeal of the Foundress and found ways and means of carrying the missionary flame to India, to kindle the fire of Divine Love in the hearts of the Indian people. To this end, she chose, prepared and sent a band of five brave and generous Pioneers, Maria Annunciata Rossetti, Maria Saveria Sabbadini, Maria Elena Valsecchi, Maria Margherita Benocci and Maria Assunta Lusardi. They landed in India on the shore of the Arabian sea, at Calicut, Kerala, on 12th Nov. 1934.

The Pioneers faced trials and difficulties of all sorts, in their early life in India, especially during the Second World War which had isolated them. However, their courage and trust in God’s Providence, were the seeds that made the Institute grow steadily in various parts of India, through the leadership of Mother Margaret Benocci, Mother Stefania Murelli, Mother Aloysia Vaz, Mother Giovanna Alberoni and the other Superiors and Provincials who followed them and other daring and courageous Italian Sisters who rendered their services in India.

Mother Stefania Murelli

Mother Stefania Murelli was born on 23rd May 1914, in the province of Piacenza. Anna was the 9th of 12 children, of Francesco Murelli and Francesca Mazzocchi. Anna had many special concerns in her home especially assisting her mother in the household chores. She was studious and a great help to her brothers and sisters too. 

She joined the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate after she attended a retreat at the center for youth, run by the Ursulines at Rezzanello. After successfully completing her novitiate, she made her first vows on the feast of St. Ursula, 21st October 1936 and her final vows on 21st October 1939. Her zealous and enthusiastic life urged her to accept the opportunity offered to join the pioneering missionaries in India and she reached Kannur in 1948.

Life in the mission in the post war days posed many a hardships but she braved it all with great courage and fortitude. The responsibility of a novice directress were entrusted to her. She fixed her heart and mind on the most Holy Trinity and began with dynamism to form the future Ursulines. Devotion to the Trinity penetrated her whole being so much so that all her exhortations to the formees and her work with them were directed to the glory of the Holy Trinity.

Another task more responsible and demanding was added to the one already held that of the Delegate Superior of the Indian Mission from May 1952 – 1971 March. She was a formator, animator at the community at Kannur and Delegate Superior of the growing Indian Mission.   

Mother Stefania guided and directed the junior sisters of the mission to their ‘final commitment’ at Ursuline Convent, 26 Davis road, Bangalore from 1975 – 1979. 

In the General Chapter held in 1979, God’s work proved that she would be a prophetess of her days to lead the Congregation. Prompted by the Spirit the Chapter elected her to the helm of authority – Superior General for six years.

Her faith journey of life on this earth came to its completion on 5th August 2012, when God called her to Himself.

The Indian Mission she helped to grow and spread had  permanent place in her heart from 1948 – 2012, her last days on earth.

And so our gratitude towards her in life and in death is beyond words. 

Thank you Mother Stefania !!!

Mother Aloysia Vaz

A LOVING TRIBUTE TO BELOVED MOTHER ALOYSIA VAZ                          “Because she loves me, I will rescue her; I will make her great because she trusts in my name. When she calls I shall answer, I will be with her in trouble and rescue her …

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Mother Giovanna Alberoni

Mother Giovanna Alberoni, is blessed with enthusiastic approach to life, sunshine smile, goodness, kindness, deep faith, understanding and optimism. She is generous in going out of her way to help others and is exemplary in living out her vocation as an enthusiastic follower of Christ. Giovanna was born on 1st October 1926, in a little, …

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