Carmelite Sisters of St Teresa



From the ash heap of Mother Teresa of St. Rose of Lima there arose a flame which would radiate the light of Christ to those sit in the valley of darkness. More than a century has elapsed since a fatal accident snatched away our saintly Mother from our midst on September 12, 1902. Born on January 29, 1858 in Georgetown, Madras (Chennai) the baby was named Mary Grace at Baptism. Her parents Mr. Peter D‟Lima and Ms. Mary D‟Lima were devout Catholics of Portuguese descent. Mr. Peter D‟Lima was the Head Master of the Catholic Free School in the town. Even though she had the joy of belonging to a loving family, misfortune struck her at a very early age with the loss of her mother. It was too much to bear, but her father saw to it that young Grace was provided with the best that he could do for her holistic development. In his second marriage Mr. Peter D‟Lima had two girls and a boy. Mary Grace loved her siblings dearly and they too responded to her love in like manner. The children grew up in the religious atmosphere of the devout Catholic family. Indeed the „Grace‟ in her cooperated with all the circumstances. She was evidently a loving sister to her step sisters Josphine and Ann. Grace was a perfect blend of the theological virtues- faith, hope and love. She practiced them even from a very early stage. Just as St. Paul says „Love surpasses all things... Endures all things...‟ It was the love of God that permeated her life and work. It was simply an experiential dimension of God‟s love that made her His instrument. A young Indian Lady, Miss Grace D‟Lima, was the providential instrument in founding the CSST Congregation in the Church. Grace D‟Lima came to Alleppey at the request of Fr. Alphonsus OCD to establish a school in his parish. While there Grace was impressed by the exemplary and self- sacrificing life of the Carmelite fathers. The zeal with which they worked for the spread of the Kingdom of God found an echo in her heart. She felt that she could work more effectively for the people as a Carmelite Religious. So she expressed her desire to be a Carmelite to Fr. Candidus OCD. Seeing her dedication to her work and selfless service he found her a fertile soil in which the seed of Carmelite Charism would take deep roots, grow and blossom. After a period of instruction and guidance first as a Postulant, then as a novice she made her Profession as a Carmelite Tertiary on 25th May, 1885 in the hands of Fr. Candidus OCD delegated by the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly. Cochin which was then under Verapoly was revived and reconstituted as a Diocese with Alleppey as part of it. As per the new developments, St. Joseph‟s School for girls of which Sr. Teresa was the Headmistress was to be handed over to the Canossians from Italy. The Carmelite Missionaries also experienced the deeper love of God, which prompted them to lead a life for God and His people. They were immensely in tune with the needs of the time and found resources to build up God‟s Kingdom.. St. Teresa‟s Convent, the cradle of CSST Institute, facing the beautiful backwaters of Ernakulam and the magnificent harbor of Cochin has had a humble beginning and it spread out its through the magnificent and multi-tasking capacity of Mother Teresa. The convent was established in 1887 as a branch of the Tertiary Carmelite Congregation known as the Third order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Teresa. God‟s choices are unique. From all eternity He has a plan for each person. A young girl from Madras, Miss Grace D‟Lima walked on the path of God that He destined for her. It was but the humble beginning of a new Religious institute, Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa. As we fondly call her as our „Mother‟ we, her daughters imbibe the virtues she has passed on to us. In her, we see a heart that longed to eradicate ignorance, poverty, injustice and all the different forms of inequalities that prevailed at the time. Mother accomplished various acts of charity like education to the poor, shelter to the homeless, care and love to unwed mothers, comfort to those in prisons, equipping the poor in technical training, medicines through dispensaries and these were too many for a single person to administer. Poverty was yet another cross that prevailed throughout her life. She was continuously in acquaintance with the missionaries and had built up a strong bond of spiritual relationship with them. The virtue of humility stands out in her life and this enabled her to work for God and His kingdom. The Lord was greatly made flesh in her that she considered the mission for God above everything else. The scripture says, „No one can come to me unless drawn by the father.‟ Indeed, all her activities were an outcome of her deeper experience of God in prayer. She spent hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament pouring out all that she was and all that she had been doing. It was a „mountain to valley‟ experience. Not satisfied with just accomplishing the task entrusted to her, in just fifteen years time she not only founded a community of fervent Carmelite Religious, but also fighting against heavy odds started three schools, including an industrial school; cared for destitute and abandoned, sheltered fallen women thus enabling them to start life anew with respectability. Even the criminals in prison were not excluded from her love. Eagerly, she seized the opportunity to bring them the joy and blessing of God by securing the necessary sanction and getting Holy Mass said in the sub jail for the first time. Thus did she fulfill her duty to her fellow humans, actively sharing in the joys and sorrows, fears and anxieties of those in whose midst God‟s saving love placed her. Mother Teresa shared with the missionaries their undying zeal and ardor for evangelization. The missionary spirit runs like a golden thread through all her activities and is evident from her works of charity and letters. The evangelical mission of Mother Teresa was thus a true reflection of that of her Divine Master who “went about doing good.” Now the Church recognizing her saintly life, call her “Servant of God” and we await to raise her to the Altar of God

Province image

Province Team






Sr.Shine Brijit



  • St. Teresa's Provincial House
  • Attipetti Nagar, Chempumukku,B.M.C.,
  • Post. Thrikkakara,Kochi, Kerala
  • Email :
  • Tel. No.: 0484-2422651,2981020