Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King

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The Franciscan Missionaries Sisters of Christ the King (F.M.C.K.) is a Roman Catholic religious congregation for women that originated in what is now Pakistan and founded schools, orphanages, homes for the aged and disabled[1] and hospitals throughout the country. (Not to be confused with the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King in the United States.)[2]

History[edit]

The congregation was founded in 1937 by Mother Bridget Sequeira (a native of Saligao, North Goa, then part of Portuguese India) in Karachi, which was a part of British India.[3]

The congregation chose a white sari with a border of three red lines printed along the edge. The three border lines represented the 3 vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that the Religious make.[4]

A prospectus of the congregation was published by the Rotti Press in 1948.[5]

The congregation celebrated its platinum jubilee on July 28, 2012, when Joseph Coutts, the Archbishop of Karachi presided at a Mass for the Sisters. The congregation has grown to around 300 sisters.[6]

Apostolate[edit]

The Sisters are engaged in educational, pastoral, health and social work. Concern for the rights of the poor will be their main thrust.

Pakistan[edit]

The Sisters played an important role in the formation of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, Karachi in 1936.[7]

Darul Sukun in Karachi, a home for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, was founded and is run by the Sisters.[8] On March 23, 1989 Sister Gertrude Lemmens, F.M.C.K., received the Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam award in recognition of her work at Darul Sukun and for founding other homes for the physically and mentally handicapped, the aged and homeless.[9]

The congregation is also active within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad where Sister Nasreen Daniel, F.M.C.K., serves on the Justice and Peace Commission.[10]

In 2010 in Pakistan there were 61 sisters still working in their various homes and ministries.[11] For the last fifty years they have also been managing the St. Vincent's Home for the Aged in Karachi, built by the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

The congregation also has a school near the tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. Sister Catherine Wilson, F.M.C.K., is the principal.

India[edit]

Shortly after its founding, Mother Bridget traveled back to her native region with some companions from her new congregation, and established the congregation there.[12] It has since spread to various remote parts of India. The congregation also helped to train the first of the Poor Sisters of Our Lady, a congregation founded in Mumbai, India, in 1939.

Sri Lanka[edit]

In 2006, 4 sisters started working in Sri Lanka.[11]

Administration[edit]

Due to the increasing numbers of members and apostolates spread through various regions of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a need was felt to decentralize the administration for better efficiency and organization. During its 10th General Chapter held in 2005, the congregation decided to divide its administration into two provinces: the Province of St Francis of Assisi in Pakistan and St. Clare's Province in India. The Province in India consists of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Archdiocese of Mumbai, Dioceses of Vasai and Pune.

Sister Pushpa Abraham, F.M.K.C., was elected as the new Superior General of the congregation on June 6, 2010, at their Generalate in Old Goa. There are 174 sisters working in remote areas all over India.[11]

A Formation House (a centre of learning for women who wish to enter the congregation) and Generalate (centre of administration) for the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King was constructed in Old Goa in 2005. It consists of classrooms, dormitories, refectory with kitchen and a chapel in a two-story building.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UCANews.com August 10, 2007". 
  2. ^ "Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King". 
  3. ^ "Founders Goan Origin". 
  4. ^ Sister Ursula, F.M.C.K. Foot Prints On The Sands Of Time. Lourdes Convent, Saligao, India
  5. ^ Prospectus of the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ King, Karachi. Rotti Press, 1948
  6. ^ Express Tribune August 5, 2012
  7. ^ UCANews November 7, 2011
  8. ^ "UCANews.com 9 June 2001". 
  9. ^ "German, Dutch Sisters Get Pakistan National Day Awards UCANews.com April 4, 1989". 
  10. ^ "UCANews April 10, 1996". 
  11. ^ a b c The Navhind Times, July 17, 2010
  12. ^ Mascarenhas, Nascimento, Rev. "Historical view of education and schools in Saligao: St. Mary's Girls' School". Saligao Serenade. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Architizer LLC website, New York

External links[edit]

News article from 2010 on the election of a new Superior General[1]