History of Cluny in India

The French Authorities in India were desperately looking for some religious Congregation to take up the task of educating girls in French India. It was at this juncture that the then French Governor Viscount Desbassyns de Richemont, who was also the Governor of Pondicherry, sent an invitation to Mother Rosalie Javouhey, Superior in Bourbon, requesting her to take up education in Pondicherry.

Mother Rosalie welcomed the chance offered to her and sent a team of three Sisters consisting of Sr. Xavier Tronchain, Sr. Seraphine Ducordeau and Sr. Dorothy Chevrier. They set sail from Bourbon on 28th December 1826 with 110 'Piastres' in their purse. The Sisters landed in Pondicherry on 10th February 1827.

Background History:

In 1977, the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in India, Pondicherry, was celebrated with due solemnity.

This same year, 1977, will carry an added significance since it also commemorates a historic event that has its place in our Indian Annals, namely, the establishment of three Independent Provinces, on 2nd February.  Whereas formerly the Indian mission was divided into the South India Province and the North India Vice-Province, with one Provincial Superior.  There are now three Provinces as follows:

            The Province of North India, with Provincial House in Darjeeling,

            The Province of South East India, with Provincial House in Pondicherry, and

            The Province of South West India, with Provincial House in Bangalore.


v  The Province of South India, with Provincial House in Trichy, bifurcated from the Province of South East India, was erected on 11th November 1995. Sr. Marc Jamalcantar was its first Provincial.

v  The Province of North Indian Plains was established on 15th July 2007 with Provincial House in Kolkata, bifurcated from Province of North India. Sr. Nirmala Kattakkayath was nominated as its first Provincial.  From then on the North India Province is known as North East India and Nepal.  Asha Deep is the New Provincialate from 18th August 2005.

v  The Province of South Central India came into existence, with Provincial House in Salem, bifurcated from South West India.  It was erected on 15th July 2009 with Sr. Jocelyn Karyapurayidathil as its first Provincial.

Thus at present there are 6 Cluny Provinces in India.