Syro Malabar Religious Congregations

Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church are popularly known as Religious Congregations. These Institutes are divided in the Eastern Catholic Church Law (Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches - CCEO) as Monasteries, Hermitages, Orders, Congregations, Societies of Common Life in the Manner of Religious, Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life. The difference between these Institutes and Societies is mainly on the basis of the nature of the vow they profess and the rigorousness of their life-style. The Church Law envisages also the emergence of new forms of consecrated life.

All these Institutes and Societies are further divided into three categories, namely of Pontifical, Patriarchal/Major Archiepiscopal or Eparchial Right. An Institute of consecrated life canonically erected or approved by the Pope is known as Pontifical. Similarly those erected or approved by a patriarch is known as Patriarchal and those by a major archbishop is known as major archiepiscopal. On the other hand Institutes canonically erected or approved by eparchial bishops are known as eparchial Institutes. In an Institute of Pontifical Right normally permissions etc. are to be obtained from the Pope except a few instances where the Patriarch or the Major Archbishop can grant them. In other two cases they are to be obtained from the Patriarch/Major Archbishop or the eparchial bishop as the case may be.

In each of the Churches that make up the Catholic Communion there have come into existence various types and categories of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life according to the needs of time and place. The institutes for men are divided into clerical and non-clerical. Clerical comes from the word clergy. If the members of a given Institute or Society are priests then it is called clerical. In some Institutes where the members are not priests, they are known as brothers. Such institutes are called non-clerical.

There is no clear evidence for the existence of Institutes of Consecrated Life in the Syro-Malabar Church before the arrival of the missionaries from the Latin Church under the Portuguese Padroado regime that was introduced in India in the 16th century. The reason could have been the place given in the Indian tradition for individual ascetical life. There is little evidence for any attempt on the part of the East Syrian Bishops who governed the Indian Church until the end of the 16th century to found any Institute of Consecrated Life here. With the arrival of the Portuguese there were some attempts here and there to begin some form of organized religious life. Finally the first Indian Institute of Consecrate Life for men came into existence under the initiatives of Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Thomas Porukara and Thomas Palackal. The first Institute for women, Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC) was started on 13 February 1866 by Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Fr. Leopold OCD. The first Institute with exclusively non-clerical members, Congregation of St. Therese of Child Jesus (CST) was founded at Mookannur in 1931.

Ever since the first Institute of Consecrated Life was founded by Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara a number of Institutes and Societies both for men and women took origin in the Syro-Malabar Church. There are also some Institutes, though their members imitate the life of Religious, are not canonically erected as a Religious Institute. They are called Societies of Common Life in the Manner of Religious.

At the same time many young men and women from the Syro-Malabar Church joined Institutes of Consecrated Life belonging to the Latin and Malankara Churches as well. In some of them, there is considerable number of Syro-Malabarians. Following the teaching of the Church in the Second Vatican Council some of them started their Syro-Malabar provinces or regions.

About the middle of the 20th century Institutes of Consecrated Life of the Latin Church of mainly European origin began to recruit candidates from India when they had a steep fall in the number of vocations in Europe. Many of these Institutes eventually established in India their own houses, some of them in the Latin Church and some others in the Syro-Malabar Church. In the course of time the foundations of some in the Syro-Malabar Church became Syro-Malabar regions or provinces of those Latin Congregations. Yet some others who do not have the system of provinces started entirely independent branches in the Syro-Malabar Church.

The Institutes of Consecrated Life that exist in the Syro-Malabar Church currently can be put into one or other of the categories mentioned above

Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Benedictine (Annunciation) Order OSB
Carmelites of Mary Immaculate CMI Kochi
Eparchial Society of the Oblate of Sacred Heart OSH Kottayam
Little Flower Congregation CST Thrikkakara
Mar Thoma Sliha Monastery MTSM Murinjapuzha
Missionary Congregation for the Blessed Sacrament MCBS Chunangamvely
Missionary Society of Priests MSP Kottayam
Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle MST Melampara
Norbertines O.Praem
OCD(Syro Malabr Province)-North Malabar Regional Vicari Peravoor
The Society of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart OSH Kottayam
Vallambrosian Benedictine Order OSB S.H.Mount
Vincentian Congregation VC Edappally
Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Apostolic Sisters of Mary Immaculate ASMI Amboori
Assisi Sisters of Mary Immaculate (Greengarden Sisters) ASMI Cherthala
Congregation of Holy Family CHF Mannuthy
Congregation of Mother of Carmel CMC Aluva
Congregation of Preshitharam Sisters Kalady
Congregation of Samaritan Sisters CSS Mannuthy
Congregation of Sisters of Charity CSC Kolazhy
Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth CSN Choondy
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha CSM Mannampetta
Daivadan Sisters DDS
Deen Bandhu Samaj DBS Perumanoor
Deena Sevana Sabha DSS Pattuvam
Dominican Sisters of the Holy Trinity O.P. Perimbadari
Fervent Daughters of Sacred Heart of Jesus FDSHJ Punnavely
Franciscan Clarist Congregation FCC Aluva
Josephine Sisters JS Arpookara
Little Servants of the Divine Providence LSDP Kunnamthanam
Little Sisters of Christ LSC Manganam
Little Sisters of St Therese of Lisieux LST Hata
Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts LSWSH Panayampala
Medical Sisters of St Joseph MSJ Kozhippilly
Missionary Congregation of the Daughters of St. Thomas DST Bharananganam
Missionary Sisters of Little Flower MLF Changanacherry
Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate MSMI Kulathuvayal
Missionary Society of Disciple Sisters of Christ DSC Kalapipal
Nazareth Sisters NS Kunnoth
Sadhu Sevana Sabha SSS Mallussery
Sister Disciples of the Divine Master PDDM Rossetti
Sisters of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament SABS Aluva
Sisters of Charity of St. John of God SCJG Kattappana
Sisters of Jesus SJ Sager Cantt
Sisters of Our Lady Of Providence Njaliyakuzhy
Sisters of Sacred Heart Congregation SH Manganam
Sisters of St Joseph Congregation SJC Kottayam
Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker SSJW Peechi
Sisters of St. Thomas SST Manganam
Sisters of the Charity of St. Vincent De Paul SCV Mananthavady
Sisters of the Destitute SD Thottumugham
Sisters of the Destitute Santhinivas Bikaner
Sisters of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary SVM Kottayam
Snehagiri Missionary Sisters SMS Vellapadu
Society of Deva Priya Sisters DP Rajkot
Society of Kristu Dasis SKD Thonichal
Society of Ladies of Mary Immaculate SLMI Trichur
Society of Nirmala Dasi Sisters SND Mulayam
Society of the Sisters of St. Alphonsa SBA Rajkot
St. Martha's Congregation SMC Vallichira
Women's Initiatives Network of Jeusus (WIN - Centre) Eramalloor
Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Congregation of St Therese of Lisieux CST Brothe Angamaly South
Malabar Missionary Brothers MMB Thrissur
Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Caritas Secular Institute (Women) CS
Catholic Congregation of the Blind CCB Muringoor
Mary Immaculate Secular Institute (Women) MISI Pala
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Convent Edakunnu
Servants of our Immaculate Lady (Women) SOIL
Sreeniketan Nanikathechi
St. Pius X Missionary Society (Men) MSP Kottayam
Win Society of Jesus (Women)

Monasteries/Contemplative orders in the Syro-malabar Church

Monasteries/Contemplative orders for Men

Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Benedictine (Annunciation) Order OSB Kappadu
Divyakarunyamatha Ashram Divyakarunyamatha Ashram Perumthotty
Mar Thoma Sleeha Monastery MTSM Nallathanny

Monasteries/Contemplative orders for Women

Congregation Name Short Name Generalate
Dayara d' mma d' Mshiha (Daivamatha Ashram) DEM Mankadavu
Navajyothi Benedictine Monastery OSB Nallathanny
Order of Discalced Carmelites OCD Malayattoor

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