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“People with pure love can experience God”

Men and women with pure love and generosity witness the God and service to the humankind is indeed the best service to God said the Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Rev. Fr. Salvatore Pennacchio. Felicitating the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), Madurai, on its centenary here at Nirmala Girls’ Higher Secondary School on Wednesday, he turned the pages of history and talked about the various missionary activities that went on in the historic city of Madurai which had established the Tamil Sangam to promote Tamil Literature.

He talked about Joseph Constantius Beschi (also called as Veeramamunivar) who authored many works in Tamil which helped in spreading the exceptional qualities of the language. He referred to Robert De Nobili, a Jesuit, who during his time had engaged in discussions with heads of other religions in Madurai.

Earlier in the day, Rev. Fr. Dr. Pennacchio released the centenary souvenir and the first copy was received by Archbishop of Madras, Rev. Fr. A.M. Chinnappa, Mylapore.

The CIC had its inception in a small famine stricken village called Panjampatti near Dindigul in the year 1899. Fr. Julius Larmey, S.J., Fr.Augustine Pereira and Fr. Eugene Nespoulous, S.J., were the founders of the CIC and they tried their best and worked among the villagers who suffered in famine. However, the congregation was later shifted to Madurai on July 2, 1911.

Since then CIC has flourished and have set their foot in Zambia, South Africa, Italy, and Sri Lanka during this one hundred years of service to the society.

Kundrakudi Ponnambala Adigalar, in his felicitation, appreciated the work of CIC in the areas of knowledge production and highlighted that it was the Christian missionaries which took education to the unreached spaces and among the dispossessed. He recalled the contributions of Mother Teresa.

A. Syed Khaja Mueenudeen, Government Chief Kazi, Madurai, in his address, stated that to take care of the common man’s problems and work towards providing them a dignified life is the sign of real service.

Rev. Sr. Agnes Xavier delivered the welcome address, Rev.Fr. Peter Fernando, Archbishop Madurai presented the Papal Blessing. Books and compact discs carrying the history of CIC were released.

Others who offered their felicitations include, Rev. Fr. M. Devadoss S.J. Provincial Dindigul, Rev. Sr. Lily Thockanattu, Provincial Bangalore, Rev. Fr. Eugene, Director, pastoral Centre, Zambia, White Chisi, Zambia, Manik Pereira, Madurai Corporation Deputy Mayor, P.M. Mannan, and Commissioner S. Sebastine.

Welcome to CIC Madurai

Our Congregation of the Immaculate conception was born in a small village of Panjampatti, about 20 kms from Dindigul. But today its members are spread and the carry out the apostolate in the length and breadth of Tamilnadu and in North India, in Zambia in South Africa and in Italy crossing, Srilanka crossing oceans. The Genesis and the Growth of the Congregation Nunc at turpis quis augue interdum aliquam et vitae magna. Maecenas augue quam, placerat ac dolor ac, hendrerit condimentum purus. Ut convallis mauris sed molestie ultricies…

Congregation marks its centenary

To mark their centennial celebrations, the Congregation of Immaculate Conception (CIC) today officially opened Marian World, a museum which encapsulates their 100-year-old ministry.

The new building in the southern city of Madurai was opened by chief guest and Nuncio to India Salvatore Pennacchio.

Dedicated to Mother Mary, Marian World, with winding pathways showcases the history, development and activities of the congregation in pictures, models and on film.

After the official opening, the Nuncio joined scores of bishops and priests to celebrate Mass at the Nirmala school campus in the city.

In a traditional greeting, 100 students studying a B. Ed course run by the nuns welcomed the celebrants to the altar on a specially-erected stage.

Later, centenary souvenir, books and CDs were also released.

During the celebrations, 25 lay people, who have worked with the nuns for over 25 years, were handed keys to new houses. Senior teachers were also honored.

Over 600 CIC nuns attended the event. Also present were guests from Zambia and Sri Lanka where members of the congregation are working.

Among the special guests were the Periera Family, who trace their roots to the family of Father Augustine Pereira, one of the founders of the congregation.

The CIC was founded in a village in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district by three priests – Fathers Eugene, Julius and Augustine, the first two being Jesuits.

Four young women joined the priests in serving the local community there during the 1899 famine.

Later, the women became “Beates” and started their own community which was under the Madurai Mission. The congregation was started in July 1911.

Today, CIC has over 1,000 nuns working mostly in Tamil Nadu and other southern states as well as in Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharastra. They also have a presence in South Africa and Italy besides Sri Lanka and Zambia.

The congregation also has 164 convents, and administers schools and colleges, hospitals, as well as medical and counseling centers.

Sister Agnes Xavier is the Superior-General.