Generalate


Mother Benjamin SIC

Bethany Sisters' Generalate, Kottayam
 

Introduction

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ(SIC) has the unique background of being the integral part of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of Kerala founded in 1925 as part of a renewal movement called “ Bethany”( hence the name Bethany sisters) by its founder Bishop Mar Ivanios. The entire group of ten members, along with the founder got reunited with Rome in September1932 and became the first members of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church. When the Syro Malankara hierarchy was established in 1933 with two dioceses, the sisters were sent to serve the two dioceses (Trivandrum Arch Diocese and Thiruvalla Diocese). By the grace of God Almighty and the benevolence of His Excellency Cardinal EugineTisserant, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Oriental Rites the SIC Congregation was raised to the Pontifical Status on the 6th of August 1956 by the “Decretum Laudis”. It was implemented through Very. Rev. Fr. Placid CMI the Apostolic Visitor on 19th August 1956. The two Diocesan Congregations were unified under one Mother General, and they were made provinces of the unified congregation. The General Body as well as the two Provincial Bodies were elected, the Generalate was established at Thirumoolapuram and Noviciate at Nalanchira. The implementation was to come in force on the 21st of August 1956.

The building set apart for the first Generalate was the guest house at Thirumoolapuram Convent used by Mar Ivanios while he came to see the first 10 members from 1920 onwards. It was in the chapel of this building, that the first three members made their profession on 21st September in 1925.

Governing Body

Mother General
  • Mother Benjamin SIC
Councilors
  • Rev. Sr. Little Flower SIC
  • Rev. Sr. Thejus SIC
  • Rev. Sr. Lumina SIC
  • Rev. Sr. Lumina SIC
Secretary
  • Rev. Sr. Vineetha SIC
Procurator General
  • Rev. Sr. Treesa SIC

The first General Body consisted of:

Mother Maxa SIC (TVM)
Mother General
Mother Rose SIC (TVLA)
Assistant General (1st Councillor)
Mother SalgaSIC (TVM)
2nd Councillor & Secretary
Mother Agnes SIC (TVLA)
3rd Councillor
Mother Semaha SIC (TVM)
4th Councillor
Sr. Mary Gertrude SIC (TVLA)
Procurator General

Rev. Fr. Placid CMI helped the team to establish the generalate and with the preparation of the first Constitution/Holy rule, which was ready by 14-5-1959, and approved by the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Rites.

Shifting of the generalate to kottayam

After two terms of Mother Maxa as Superior General Sr. Philomena SIC (TVLA) was chosen Superior General in April 1968. Though the construction of the Generalate was started at a site at Kalathipady Kottayam on July 29th 1972, the building could only be blessed on 31st March 1975, during the term of Mother Semaha (TVM) 1974_ 1980. Mar Athanasios Bishop of Thiruvalla blessed the Generalate, and Generalate team moved to the house on the same day.

Experimentation Period 1968- 1977

Pope John 23rd inaugurated the 2nd Vatican Council on 1962 October 11th with theme “aggiornamento” which lasted till 1965 December 8th. Pope Paul VI had succeeded him after demise of Pope John 23rd on June 3rd 1963.

The whole Catholic Church was subjected to a renewal in the light of the Vatican Council Documents. Accordingly, the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ Congregation held the period from 1968-1977 reviewing and renovating the congregations aim, outlook and its role in the universal Church. With the help of resource persons like Rev. fr. Cyril OIC, Rev. Fr. Pathiparambil, Rev.Fr. Geevarghese Panicker and other team of religious priests involved in “Renewal programmes”. The constitution was rewritten in 1968 and in 1974 general synaxis session, finalized in a special session in 1977 and submitted for the approval to the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Rites. Mother Semaha was the superior General. The generalate undertook the heavy burden, was successful in getting the final Constitution sanctioned in 1980. (Prot. No322/70).

Expansion of the generalate

The generalate was the venue for the formation of the juniors specially before the final profession, for the secular studies and courses in and around Kottayam. The celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the congregation (1925- 1975) was celebrated at Kottayam.

The generalate opened in 1984-85 two German settlements in stuttgart in the Dioces of the Rottenburg by sending sisters to care for the aged. This made the generalate financially in a position to manage praiseworthy vengures. However the opening of a prayer House at Kurisumala, Vagamon at a site adjacent to the Ashram donated by the great Abbot, francis Acharya of Kurisumala Ashram was appreciated by all. The building was blessed in Dec.1992.

Houses Under the Generalate

Bethany Dhyana Mandiram
Kurisumala, Vagamon P.O
Kottayam - 686 503
Tel. 0482 2289276, 9447546107

H.A.M Gutten Brunn
Auricher Strasse - 42
70437 - Stuttgart, Germany
Tel. 0049 711-841585

Haus Martinus
Olga Strasse-93 A
70180 - Stuttgart, Germany
Tel. 0049 711 6492902

Ethiopia
Sr. Superior and Sisters SIC
C/o His Excellency Abune Musie Ghebreghiorgis
Catholic Eparchy of Emdibir
P.O Box 23, Emdibir West Soa, Ethiopia
Tel. 00251911953286

South Africa
Little Eden, CNR Harris Ave, Wagnar Rd.
Eden glen, Eden vale, Gauting,
P.O. Box 121, Edenvale - 1610, South Africa
Tel. 0027714848899

Mohringer
Bethany Sisters
Liesching Str. 56
70567 - Stuttgart, Mohringer, Germany
Tel. 0049 71190784511