St Vincent Pallotti was a native of Rome and was born on 21st April 1795 and ordained for the city of Rome, the heart of the Church, in 1818. He lived in turbulent times when the lives and the faith of the people were sorely tested by hardships of war, the effects of the Enlightenment on ordinary people and the poverty of the clergy itself. Vincent, the zealous apostle and mystic, came to know God as Infinite Love and Mercy in a very personal way. His contemplation on God’s love and mercy led him to a deep experience of God and the ways of God. No wonder that his life was one of apostolic zeal and contemplative prayer.
In 1835, he founded the Union of the Catholic Apostolate and the religious communities that flowed from the initial work including the Pallotine Sisters’ community, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate with the motto “To review the faith and rekindle the charity” for two reasons; one missionary, the other social and charitable, especially for poor abandoned girls, to give a uniform and solid education to the inmates. For his promotion of the role of the laity in the mission of the Church, he has been called the forerunner of Catholic Action, and the Patron of the Second Vatican Council because of his prophetic understanding of the Church as the People of God and the role of the laity in the apostolate.
He was canonized by Pope John XXIII on January 20, 1963 who later declared him the Principal Patron of the Pontifical Missionary Union of the Clergy. St Vincent Pallotti in Rome began to accept exactly the poorest girls, to whom he wanted to give love, education, shelter and everything that a child in her family could have.
In 1984 this congregation embarked their apostolate in India, Kerala and then spread to the other states. They carried out their apostolate such as, education, health ministry, AIDS centre, orphanage, pastoral work, social work etc.
Our Mission in Snehalaya: “Children’s home”
The Pallottine Sisters began their mission at Udyavar in 2003 to take care of poor and orphan children. They give them education and meet their basic needs freely, with the help of other Sisters, benefactors and the well wishers. They are very attentive in listening to these children and dedicate their maximum time with them. The sisters help and encourage them to grow in different environment and then accompany them to realize their dream. These children are mostly in need of love, trust, and to believe that the life is more beautiful when they face challenges and fight against weaknesses.
These children stay at Snehalaya till their PUC and then they go back to continue their further studies. Quite a few have accomplished their studies like BBM, BSc, BSc Nursing, General Nursing, LLB, etc. with the help of the Sisters. All those who have passed from this house cherish their loving memories; often they visit Snehalaya to share their life experiences. All this really encourages the Sisters to continue their mission and to serve the Lord. Presently, Sr Clara D’Almeida is the Superior and she needs much support as this house is independant of Italian support.