Our Foundress

Mary Grace D’Lima (Sr. Teresa of St. Rose of Lima) was born on 29 January 1859, in Madras, South India. Parents were proud of their daughter’s achievements, but little did they anticipate the impact their daughter would have on thousands of lives. She was an extraordinary human being whose vision of empowering women has shaped and moulded many in future.

After her Matriculation and Teacher’s Higher Grade Examination, she joined St. Joseph’s School for girls in Allepey. While working under the guidance of the Carmelite Missionaries, she felt, she was called to dedicate her life at the service of the poor and the marginalised. She became a Carmelite sister, taking the name of Sr. Teresa of St. Rose of Lima and was asked to start a Convent and an English Medium School for girls at the age of 29. Thus was born the Institute of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa (C.S.S.T.) in 1887 at Ernakulam, in Kerala. Within a span of fifteen years Mother Teresa had taken enormous strides towards fulfilling her goals. Besides founding a community of sisters, she started three schools, including an industrial school for orphaned children. She cared for the destitute and abandoned children in the orphanage she founded. Sheltered wayward women and initiated a well planned programme to rehabilitate them with respect and dignity. She found the time to care for the aged, the destitute, the unwed and unwanted women at her Institute. She started a dispensary with a qualified doctor to take care of the medical needs of the people around, helped the Government during the famine, in relief Programmes, in Ernakulam in 1897, and catered to the needs of the prisoners.

Mother Teresa met with a tragic and untimely death in a train accident on September 12, 1902, leaving behind a community of 12 sisters. Despite their bereavement, the sisters kept the spirit of Mother. Thus varied ministries empowering the young women from all strata of society were started.

The Institute began to expand to other parts of India, and overseas. Today there are Colleges and Training Institutions, several higher secondary, higher primary and nursery schools, homes for the aged, children homes, dispensaries, crèches, rehabilitation centres and hospices for the terminally ill. Mother Teresa had unbounded energy and a single minded dedication. Today, her ‘SPIRIT’ lives on through her sisters who carry the Good News of Hope through their multifarious services.