Canossa Convent, Cherukunnu


Canossian Daughters of Charity

The flame of charity of which St. Magdalene of Canossa was ardent about embraced the southern states of India as the Province of Mary Immaculate was formed in the year 1988. In the year 2015, an offshoot of the Province took its form as a separate Delegation South – East India Delegation of St. Josephine Bakhita.

In the Province 213 sisters serve in the states of South Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Canossian Sisters-South India
House: Kerala

Canossa Convent, Cherukunnu

Cherukunnu is an inconspicuous village in Kannur District. Rev. Fr. Peter Caironi, an Italian by birth, a Jesuit by vocation, a missionary by choice, an Indian by adoption can rightly be called the founder of the mission in Cherukkunnu. Three Canossians Srs. Margaret Cambiaghi, Carolina Roncalli and MargeretLonanreached Cherukkunnu on 25th January 1946. The inaugural mass was on 27th January 1946, in the presence of about 700 people. From the very next day they found themselves in the boiling pot of caste discrimination, poverty, ignorance and irreligion. There were the sick to be cared for, children to be educated, young girls and boys to be prepared for the sacraments, mothers to be instructed about house-keeping, child rearing and cleanliness and family health.

A dispensary with very modest equipments and infrastructure was the first to see the light of day. An orphanage, a home for the unwed mothers, a creche for destitute babies and a school to teach tailoring and weaving were also started. A miniature version of the present Martin de Porres Hospital was blessed by H. E. Rt. Rev. Dr. MariaPatroni, the Bishop of Calicut in 1961. Today the hospital boasts of 300 beds and 14 departments.

At a time when the lepers were considered the untouchables of the society and leprosy a sign of God’s disfavor, an Italian missionary, M. Antonietta Sala, who is otherwise known as M. Teresa of Cherukunnu surrendered herself to God for the sake of the lepers and started a 90bed hospital for them in Cherukkunnu in 1968 in a campus a little away from the main building. It was named ‘Fr. Caironi Memorial Leprosy Hospital’ where free accommodation, treatment and food were given to all the leprosy patients.

The Nursing School, which was started in 1983, is celebrating its silver jubilee in this bicentenary year of the Congregation. So again, under the

inspiration and sure guidance of M. Antonietta Sala, Bakhita English Medium School was started in 2001 which was followed by a College of Nursing in 2004.

Recently there started a Paliative Care Centre where old and sick are taken care with much diligence.