Assisi Province - Thrissur
St. Francis of Assisi who renounced all worldly pleasures for Christ and proclaimed "My God My All" is an inspiration to all men and women of all times. He and his followers spread their way of Gospel life throughout the world. Towards the end of 19th century, the fragrance of Franciscan spirit diffused in Kerala and the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (F.C.C.) was formed on 14th Dec. 1888 at Changanassery as a fulfillment of the ardent desire of eight pious women to lead a genuine Franciscan life. Then F.C.C. slowly flourished and developed as independent Diocesan Religious Communities in the various dioceses of Kerala.In Thrissur diocese, F.C.C originated in 1910, the graceful year of the birth of St. Alphonsa.The congregation was raised to pontifical status on first March 1973. The unification of congregation was achieved by sincere efforts of our first Superior General Rev. Mother Maurus & very Rev. Fr. Hippolytus Knnungal OFM. Cap.After unification, we had our provincial house at Thrissur.
Rev. Dr. John Menachery, the first vicar Apostolic of Thrissur was inspired to create a house for religious women, with a real Franciscan spirit. With the co-operation of Fr. Antony Kavungal, he, decided to build a convent at Karuvannur. By the grace of God, many people responded generously and first house of Assisi Province was completed in 1910.
Before that, two devoted women, Anna Keetikal and Anna Pandaravalappil had been sent by Rev. Dr. John Menachery from Thrissur diocese to the Clarists at Changanssery for getting religious formation. After their first commitment of vowed life, they received religious names as Sr. Clara and Sr. Louisa. Then they returned to Thrissur and became the foundresses of F.C.C. of Thrissur Province. The new convent built at Karuvannur was blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. John Menachery on 26th July 1910, the two sisters pronounced their perpetual vows and the Bishop presented the constitution to them.Franciscan Clarist Congregation thus came into existence in the Diocese of Thrissur and by the grace of Almighty God, new buds came forth and little F.C.C. plant was soon growing into a huge tree. In 1980's Thrissur-Assisi province gave birth to two provinces. The newly born provinces are Irinjalakuda and Palakkad. After division, Thrissur - province flourished fast and its mission spirit increased. Assisi province was blessed to have the first zealous missionaries of our congregation, who took the risk to go to North India and spread the Good News. In 1986, our mission apostolate declared as a Region with Sr. Diana as Regional superior. On 4th December 1997, the General Synaxis declared San Damiano as a province.
The Missionary zeal took our sisters to foreign countries as well. Now our mission services are rendered in Germany, Italy, and Africa too. At present our African mission have 4 stations in Kenya. In India already we have two mission houses in Puduchery. Besides this, we started a new mission centre in the North-East, Mizoram as a centenary memorial.
The history of past 109 years has seen the tremendous growth of Assisi province.2010 was our centenary year. Centenary celebrations were inaugurated on 26th July 2007 at St. Joseph's convent, Karuvannur by Mar Andrews Thazhath, Arch Bishop of Thrissur. From 25th July 2007 to 26th July 2010, the whole days of these blissful years, we spiritually prepared to receive the abundant centenary blessings from the Almighty one. Looking in retrospect at the life of the province for the past 109 years, we have every reason to be grateful to God for His infinite mercy & bounty which have brought in such progressive & constructive achievements in the province. May Christ our Lord enable us to lead a more fervent religious life, so that we may be able to build a better world of true Love, Joy & Peace