History of the Congregation

As an ardent devotee of St. Therese of Lisieux, Rt. Rev. Dominic Kokkat felt that a congregation of sisters who would follow Jesus in the footsteps of St. Therese could be an effective means in carrying out his missionary tasks in the new diocese, Gorakhpur in north India. With a determined will he was ready to face the challenges and hurdles on the way, and accepted 15 sisters from the congregation of Missionary Sisters of St. Therese, Kollam in Kerala as its first members. The first batch of members entered into novitiate in St. Joseph’s Convent, Gorakhpur on 30th September 1989 under Rev. Sr. Constance AC. She was an able and experienced sister of the Apostolic Carmel and thus the pious union called Little Sisters of St. Therese came into existence. The charism of the Little sisters of St. Therese is to embody in their individual and community life, the spirit and attitude of St. Therese of Lisieux, and to work among the poor and the downtrodden for their social and economic development and spiritual enlightenment.

On the first of October 1990, the centenary year of the profession of St. Therese of Lisieux, the first batch with 15 members offered themselves to God in the pious union of Little Sisters of St. Therese. The budding congregation got a cultural color to it when Sr. Rita from Varanasi diocese joined it and after her formation she made her vows in the congregation in 1991. A constitution prepared by a team of sisters in collaboration with the founder on 3rd July 1990. The very same constitution was revised by him in July 2005 to be sent Rome for getting permission for erecting into a congregation. It was in the year 1990 a fresh batch of five young girls from Kerala joined as new candidates and after going through the formation they made their first vows on 1st October, 1994.

Rev Sr. Benigna Kochupurackal, the senior most member of the congregation was appointed its first superior general and she continued the responsibility until 1993 and from 2003 to 2006. Rev. Srs. Cicily(1999-2002), Elsy(1996-1999), Lissa(2006-2009) and Annie (1993-1996,2009-2019) were the other sisters who shouldered the responsibility of the congregation as its superior generals, whose contribution towards the growth of it cannot be forgotten. The congregation that took roots in Gorakhpur spread its wings far and wide. The fist community in Kerala was opened at Thrikkakara in 1990. The Growth of the congregation was marked by the inauguration of both the formation house and the Generalate at Hatta in 1991. We gratefully acknowledge the hard work and sincere efforts of Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Parathazham CST and gratefully remember him with gratitude for all that he has done for us.

In 2006 this humble pious union was raised to the status of an eparchial congregation. Thereafter, the first general synaxis took place on 18th May 2009. Meanwhile, the sisters of the congregation were sent to various educational institutions India and abroad for higher studies so that the missionary work could be made much more effective. The congregation today has a proud bunch of qualified personnel. In the year 2009 the congregation sought vocations and had the privilege of getting a good number of girls from North East and Punjab.

Right from the initial years, the administration of the congregation was carried out by the directors under the astute guidance of our founder. Here we remember with gratitude our former directors who have contributed a lot for our spiritual growth and well being of all of us, namely Rev Fr. Emmmanual Arackathottam CST, who has been called for his eternal reward, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Puthenchirayil CST the former provincial of Little Flower Congregation and Rev Fr. John Vadakkel CST. Our beloved founder has been with us as a loving father in leading and guiding us at every step we take towards growth. Countless and innumerable are the ways by which God has been leading us throughout these 25 years by the inspiring guidance and support of many specially our Diocesan family and our Local Ordinary Rt. Rev. Thomas Thuruthimattam CST.

Today the small seed sowed years before has germinated, grown and born fruits which are disseminated all over India. At present the congregation is blessed with 72 perpetually professed sisters, 29 temporary professed sisters in 23 communities with 20 novices, 6 postulants, and 15 candidates. We have taken up various ministries in 9 dioceses in different parts of the country and some are rendering their services in the Overseas especially in Germany. We move with our charism of compassion, spirit of humility and life of simplicity to wherever the Church calls for our services. We have taken up various apostolic ministries which are relevant and meaningful, responding to the needs and signs of the time, in the spirit of our heavenly patroness under the guidance of our founder. Our services are spread to the fields of social, pastoral and educational fields. Our option is for the lowly placed and the marginalized in the society with a special preference for the girl child and poorer sections in the society. Besides the fields of health ministry and parish apostolate, we take effort to look after the mentally challenged girl child, and Child line children. Trusting in God and ever following the “Little way” of our Patroness, we hopefully try “to be love in the heart of the Church and the world.”