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“The Need of the Time is the Will of God.”


The congregn was founded in Menzingen- a scenically beautiful village in Canton Zug in Switzerland in 1844 by Fr Theodosius Florentini a dynamic Capuchin priest and Anna Maria Heimgartner
( later Mother Bernarda Heimgartner), a silent but courageous young girl with a great dream.

Anna Maria Heimgartner was the first young girl to join Fr Theodosius OFM Cap to help him realize his dream of establishing a congregation of teaching sisters who would work in primary

schools and empower the women. This she did at a time when convents were being suppressed by the radical Swiss Govt. In the face of great obstacles and problems she continued to cherish the dream of working in the public schools to educate the rural girl children and she continued to believe in the realization of this dream.


From Menzingen village the congregation grew fast and  spread   mainly to the poorer central parts of Switzerland in a very short span of time. Mother Bernarda’s life was very short, just 19 years as head of the congregation and at the time of her death  on Dec. 13, 1863, there were  59 poor Public schools  where our sisters teaching  communities mostly spread out in poorer parts of Switzerland. There was also a teacher training institute which trained committed quality teachers.

Today we are spread out in 4 continents  with 14 provinces.


In India

The first group of missionaries from Europe landed in India in 1906 at Trivandrum. It was a humble beginning. The pioneer sisters started working in the various Govt hospitals of Kerala and improved the standards of Nursing and initiated Nursing education in Kerala. They did not own any house as their own till 1950 when they started their first house in Kottiyam, Quilon district.

Sister's Quarteres - General Hospital
The First House of Holy Cross Sisters in India
Sisters' Quarters Quilon
First Provincial house of Indian Mission

Holy Cross sisters  because of their commitment and hard working nature are known as excellent health care providers from the time they started their work in Kerala.

From Kerala the congregation spread to other parts of India and Sri Lanka.  In India there are 3 provinces today:

Indian Provinces

3 provinces-

South Indian province present in Kerala & Tamil Nadu

Central Indian province present in Karnataka, Andhra, Orissa & Goa

North Indian Province present in UP, MP, Jammu Kashmir,Maharashtra, Meghalaya & Assam. .
  Central Indian Province  

The first house was opened in Kamagere village in Karnataka in 1970 and thereafter many houses in Karnataka were started in rural areas with community health as their main focus.

In 1990 on October 17th, the Central Indian Province was officially erected comprising of communities in Karnataka & Andhra.

Th first group of Pioneers - 1906

Leadership Team

Province Leadership Team Congregational Leadership Team
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