The year 1981 was a year of grace in the history of the Sisters of Charity of Sts Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa. It was the year, the Sisters of charity were invited to Udyavar Parish by the then Parish Priest, late Rev. Fr Thomas D’souza. It was also the desire of the late Bishop Basil D’souza to start a community in the village of Udyavar. As per the kind request of the ecclesial authority and with the Superior General’s assent, the province of Mangalore launched out on the project of St Francis Xavier convent, Udyavar, on April 5, 1981, with four pioneering sisters – Sr Virginia Mathias, Sr Theodora Cardoza, Sr Cesira D’Silva and Sr Iris Rodrigues who began their mission with the aim of strengthening the faith of the Christian community through education and socio-pastoral activities as well as promoting women’s dignity and making them aware of their feminine role in the family, church and society. Visiting the sick, the aged and the lonely regularly, brought relief to the sufferers and an encouragement to the old and the young. The sisters enthusiastically participated in parochial work, took care of the decorum of the altar, involved themselves in teaching Sunday Catechism, preparation of children for the First Holy Communion and also conducted congregational singing in the church.
On May 22 1982, Sr Iris was appointed as the Headmistress of the higher primary school and also nominated as the first Superior of the convent. The catholic community greatly desired to have a catholic high school in Udyavar. On June 1 1982 with 130 students on roll, the high school was opened. Sr Jasmine Correa as the first headmistress of the high school. Over the years, many sisters have contributed their mite and added to its glory. At present, the community of St Francis continues the service of teaching, pastoral work, animating various associations in the Parosh and visiting families regularly. In 2015, Sr Wilma Pinto was appointed as the animator of the community and the headmistress of the high school.
Let the prayer today be – May the Lord who has called them to continue His mission of love strengthen them to render their service of charity with zeal and with enthusiasm to reach out to the needy brethren and be witness to God’s compassionate love and mercy to them.