As the Golden Jubilee Year gets underway we remember here the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who were also among the pioneers of the school in its foundational years.
Sr Ann Palatty has very kindly given us this brief summary of the work of the sisters in our school in the early years.
To start with, our Sisters started teaching at SAS in 1972. The pioneers were Sister Mary Scaria Menonparambil and late Sister Teresita Theruvankunnel. Sister Mary Scaria was an MSc with Biology as her major subject. So she taught in the high school from the beginning. Sister Teresita had Montessori training and was teaching in the primary section of the school The sisters who followed were all B.Ed trained teachers.
The reason our congregation, with Sister Teresa Rose as Provincial then, agreed to collaborate with all an boys’ school was the assurance that our presence in the school would be a foothold for us to slowly enter into contact with families, and of course with girls. To a great extent this hope remained true.
Although we were already wearing the saree at that time, to accommodate to the sensibilities of the traditional catholic population of Vasai, the sisters wore a modified habit to be identified as nuns.They joined the school when the then Irish Christian Brothers were taking charge of the English section of Thomas Baptista High School in Papdy. Father John Rumao was Principal and Mgr. Andrew Dias, Manager. Brother Murphy and Brother Whiting were your pioneers there. Brother Finn joined them later.
The sisters used to live in a one room apartment in Mr. Poshan D’Mello’s house in Big Carpentry in Papady Parish.
Sister Roselyn Karackattu joined the first two in the second year, and they then moved to the second floor of late Miss Irene Pereira’s house which had a bit more space and facilities. Sr Teresita left SAS in a year or two after that to take up formation work in Mokama, Patna. Sr Mary Thomas joined the community then to teach in SAS.
Sr Teresita left for her heavenly abode in 1992 – a victim of cerebral malaria,tragic and die so young.Sr Mary Thomas left the congregation in 1978. Sr Josita Eniakattu joined the community when Sr Roselyn left there in 1975 or 76. All of them were teaching at SAS. I joined the community in 1997 but I taught in TB Junior College.
The first pioneer left SAS in 1978. After that there were many SCN sisters who were assigned there.
We continued to live in Big Carpentry, renting several houses, changing them almost every year. Finally in 1979 we moved to our present house to be close to the school. Even then starting our own school was far from our dreams and plans.
But in 1992, we did start the then Nazareth Girls’ School, yet continued to teach in SAS.
The last ones to teach in SAS were Sr Janice Rathappallil and Sr Stella Kaiprampatt. They said final good byes to SAS in May 2000, the year I went back to Vasai as Principal of the primary school, which in my time was upgraded to Nazareth Convent High School.
It is interesting to note although we started our own girls’ school in 1992, our sisters, mostly two at a time, continued to teach in SAS till May, 2000, although we were always short of personnel to run our own institutions.
Our role in SAS was as members of the staff and had nothing to do with the management. And to my understanding and memory, they fulfilled that role responsibly and happily.
The Brothers we worked with were also numerous. Initially, of course, Brothers Murphy, Whiting and Finn, later followed by Brother Gregory Fernandes, Brother Gomes, Martin Fernades twice, Br Miles…..and many more. They were always very good and cooperative with us.
Sister Mary Scaria is retired and stays in Mokama. She may be able to give much more information, but only over the phone as she is nearly blind. Her mind is still active. Sr Roselyn is fully active in Gaya, at our school Nazareth Academy. She also will have an abundance of information. If you wish, you can get their numbers from our sisters in Vasai.
Thanks to Sr Ann for the writeup . Thanks also to Sr Jayarani for the photographs of the sisters who served in St Augustine’s School.
Thanks Bro. Anish and all in the golden jubilee committee for remembering us. Congratulations on the ocassion of the golden jubilee. Teaching at St. Augustines was my first mission as a young sister and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Brothers and staff were most cordial and friendly and I loved my students, the 1976 batch.. Still in touch with many of them, including Bro. Solomon Morris.
Apart from the Nazareth sisters, there were also sisters from other convent from Giriz who taught us. One sister I remember is Sr Magdalen who used to come from Giriz