God prepares a blue print for every action, or event that takes place on this earth. When He creates us he gives us grace to discover his purpose. He leads us gently to the fulfillment of His plan. The Ursuline Franciscan Congregation is one such blue print prepared by God and in the process of the implementation of His master plan he made use of instruments carefully selected and chosen. These were the Charismatic people who recognized the need of the time and were prompted to find ways and means to fulfill God’s plan. Hence, the birth of a Congregation in the year 1887.

We are grateful to these people for their potential in capturing the will of God for them. United with them we remain in God’s presence and wish to thank God for the marvels he has worked in the Ursuline Franciscan Congregation. In a very special way we remember Fr. Urban Stein S.J our Founder, a visionary, Mother Nympha Fernandes and the other pioneers who worked hand in hand with her and gave themselves to the service of the humanity; and Fr Pacificus Menezes ofm Cap who introduced us to the Franciscan Spirit and Charism.

In the years that followed there was a continuous process of development which has taken a two-fold form: one, the physical spreading out of Mangalore to different Dioceses of India and abroad; second, the diversification of the activities, beginning with evangelizing, catechizing, secular teaching, health care, rural construction and just about any perceived need, which evoked our loving response in the places where we work. Coming, not always from very culturally advanced homes; often working in areas which to them are as outlandish as the moon, in terms of language, manners, customs, the Sisters have still managed to leave their impact in many parts of the country, the proof of our success, being the number of convents in different dioceses.

The Physical and numerical expansion created a need for decentralization of the administration. The decision to branch out into Regions and Provinces was welcomed and Mysore Province took its shape and form officially in the year 1998. At present we have 248 Sisters working in 13 Dioceses, 21 formees under different stages of formation, 210 Lay associates and 460 Ursuline Franciscan Blooms all remain open to the message of the Master as and when it comes, doing their work as they see it, one day, one step, at a time; leaving the Master to decide when, where, and how they fit into his plan, that His Kingdom may become reality on earth as it is in heaven.

The VIII Province Chapter of the Mysore Province held from December 28, 2018 to January 1, 2019 has given a challenging Mandate; a mandate to delve deep in our relationship with God and at His Word to harness and mobilize our resourcefulness in the service of the humanity. With the Chapter theme,’ Ursuline Franciscan Sisters Commissioned to Launch into the Deep’ we are challenged to leave the shallow waters of spiritual complacency, lack of sacrificial commitment and comfortable lukewarmness and launch out for a sublime mission. While countless millions continue to drift with the tide of moral laxity, and spiritual bankruptcy today, when multitudes look desperately for way to escape from escalating political unrest, ruthless bloodshed, economic chaos, injustice and social oppression God commands us to ‘Launch out into the deep’ with all embracing, all –sufficient good news of deliverance.

Let us keep the fire burning, a fire that was lit by our Patrons St Angela, St Francis and St Ursula, a fire that urged our Founder Fr Urban Stein SJ, Mother Nympha Fernandez our First Superior and our Pioneers to move forward to action. And may Mary the Mother of God, the Patroness of our Province, woman of listening and action help us to open our ears to the words of her Son Jesus, listen to the reality in which we live and move our hands and feet ‘with haste’ to bring the light of the Gospel to the world.

Rev. Sr Lily Fernandes