About us > Origin of the Institute

The Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Sts.Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa(SCCG) also known as the Sisters of Maria Bambina had its origin in Lovere, Italy. It was founded by a young girl of 26 named Bartolomea Capitanio in 1832. Bartolomea’s inspiration to found an Institute took shape because of her deep love for God and through her involvement in the actual situation of the people of Lovere – her native town.

Having studied in the boarding school of the Poor Clares, she acquired a deep piety under the ever vigilant Mother Francesca Parpani. “I want to be a Saint, a great saint and a saint soon” were the words she uttered at the age of 7 at the ‘Game of Straws’. Her spiritual Director Don Angelo Bosio sensed the working of the Spirit in her and guided her in her spiritual Journey. He urged her to note down all the inspirations she received. This resulted in the inspired document we now call ‘the Foundation Document” which forms the basis of our present Rule of Life. She wrote: “The Institute which will be founded in Lovere is be totally founded on charity and this must be its principle aim…should have as its aim the education of poor young girls…devote itself to the relief of the sick..” In this way she outlined a MISSION which, though starting as a personal response to the needs of her environment was deeply rooted in charity and as such destined to be kept up and to spread beyond the bounds of Lovere.

Bartolomea was helped in her project by Catherine Gerosa, a simple, rich, charitable lady of Lovere. Together they consecrated themselves to God in a simple ceremony on 21 November 1832 at Casa Gaia. Thus began the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity. Bartolomea was called to her eternal reward on 26 July 1833 eight months after founding the Congregation. It was left to Catherine Gerosa, under the able guidance of Don Angelo Bosio to carry on the work begun.

The Institute spread rapidly in many Provinces of Italy. In 1860, Mother Theresa Bosio the first Superior General answered the call of the missions of India and sent four sisters to work in Bengal -India. Thus began the mission of the sisters in India.

About us > History of Mangalore Province

The year 1898 was a year of grace when four courageous missionaries set foot on the soil of Mangalore and planted the precious sapling of the Institute in its fertile soil, whose presence was already existing since 1860 in West Bengal. The famous Fr. Muller Hospital is known all over India and also in various parts of the world and its founder Fr. Augustus Muller S.J. felt the need of qualified and reliable personnel to work in this newly opened hospital. Mother Angela Ghezzi, then Superior General complied with the Bishop’s request and sent four generous Italian sisters. The pioneering group was received with a warm welcome by Fr. Muller and the staff. Though the sisters nursed the leprosy patients and others with much love and care, they had difficulty in speaking English and Konkani. Therefore Fr. A. Muller sent them away from the hospital. God in His providence was following them and inspired them to follow another way. The sisters in their suffering found the strength to stay on and overcome all obstacles. They moved to the orphanage at Jeppu and started their apostolate and in this way laid the solid foundation of the Mangalore Mission. In 1899 the first Indian Novitiate was opened in Jeppu where the Institute’s missionary vocation found an excellent nourishing ground and as a matter of fact, like a healthy tree it flourished and bore new shoots.

The sisters, who were always cheerful and gentle, reserved and affable, conquered the hearts of the children and their families. In 1912, the sisters were called back to Father Muller’s Hospital at Kankanady. The patients received a lot of maternal love, tender care, affection and comfort. They experienced physical as well as spiritual healing from the enthusiastic sisters. Besides assisting patients the sisters undertook the responsible task of training nurses for the healing ministry.

Struck with admiration by the selfless, dedicated services of the sisters coupled with refined Christ-like charity, they were requested to open houses in different parts of India. The ever increasing number of communities and developmental works and the great distance between the communities proved a big disadvantage for the provincial superiors to visit the sisters. Therefore, in 1932 the communities were formed into two provinces: the Province of Mangalore in South Canara, with its provincial head quarters in Mangalore and Sr. Ester Picciali as its provincial superior and the Province of Bengal with its provincial head quarters in Krishnagar and Sr. Davidica Acquistapace as its provincial superior.

In 1936 the already existing novitiate at Jeppu was shifted to Holy Angels’ Convent, Belvedere - Angelore. Inspired by the loving and selfless service of the sisters many young girls joined the congregation and the number of the sisters increased and hence the number of communities. Therefore in 1962 the Mangalore Province was bifurcated into Mangalore and Secunderabad Provinces. Again in 1978 Mangalore Province was further bifurcated into Mangalore and Calicut provinces and in 1998 some of the communities of Mangalore province formed part of the new province of Dharwad. In 2010 the communities present in Nepal became part of the New Delhi province. In 2007 Mangalore and Dharwad Interprovincial Novitiate was started at Belvedere in Mangalore.

Today Mangalore province has 38 communities, 5 off-shoots and 390 sisters present in the states of Karnataka and Kerala. It has sent many missionary sisters to mission lands. At present they render their service in Italy, Africa, Japan, London, California, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand. They are present in the Dioceses of Mangalore, Archdiocese of Bangalore, Chikmagalure, Udupi, Shimoga, Mysore, Gulbarga and Karvar. Sr. Matilda Monteiro is the present Provincial Superior.