KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Superior General of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) Sister Lisette Thuruthimattam cut the ribbon and inaugurated a new building in Kolkata, 11 April. Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Kolkata blessed the new building and presided at the solemn Eucharistic celebration with 24 priests. Some 200 Sisters and faithful participated in the well-ordered liturgy accompanied by excellent singing. The new chapel also has a balcony to facilitate participation of larger number of faithful
The three storey building besides being a study house for junior Sisters attending various Colleges and Universities in Kolkata can also host some 50 girls in its third storey hostel facility.
The SMI founder father Bishop Louis Morrow SDB (1892-1987) of Krishnagar bought the SMI congregation’s first property and building in Kolkata with monies provided by a legacy left by Miss Natividad Marcus, a great friend and benefactor of Bishop Morrow from his days as Secretary to the Papal Nuncio in the Philippines. It was Bishop Morrow who named the property at15 Gurusaday Road– Nati House in memory of Miss Natividad a PhD in Philosophy from University of Manila and sponsor of Bishop Morrow’s catechetical publishing ventures. Miss Natividad died at SMI Mother House at Krishnagar in 1956.
The old house bought in 1957 was pulled down after 53 years and Archbishop Lucas Sirkar, SDB of Kolkata blessed the foundation stone for the new building, 4 December 2010.
The work started under architect Krishnendu Ghosh and his team was follwed up by Sisters Regis and Daisy under the supervision of SMI Kolkata provincial Sr Lorraine and the local superior Sr. Janice.
Don Bosco Technical School Krishnagar prepared and supplied the iron grills, doors and windows of the new building under supervision of its director Fr Mani Kariapuram.
The first group of eight novices received their religious habit of white sari with three stripes on Sunday 20 April 1952 . Today, 60 years later, there are 625 Sisters working in 77 institutions in 5 provinces and one delegation inIndia, Africa andEurope. This year the congregation has over 30 novices and some 130 pre-novices.