Teresian Carmelites begin mission in U.S.
The sisters have come in place of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, whose numbers at the school have been declining.
Teresian Carmelites from India have dispatched four nuns of the congregation to serve in the United States. This is the first mission of the congregation in the West.
Teresian Carmelites order based in the southern Indian state of Kerala was founded in 1866 by Servant of God Mother Eliswa and is the first indigenous Catholic religious order in India.
The four nuns are adjusting to their new life in the Diocese of Bismarck in North Dakota, helping out the Catholic Indian Mission and teaching at St. Bernard Mission School in Fort Yates.
The sisters have come in place of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, whose numbers at the school have been declining. Feeling that they would not be able to adequately maintain staff, the School Sisters had put in a year's notice.
Father Biju Chitteth, an Indian priest in western North Dakota, contacted Mother Liza of the Congregation of Teresian Carmelites, while looking for replacements. On being informed about the positive response from Indian nuns, Bishop David D. Kagan of Bismarck invited them to serve in the U.S.
"It's a great encouragement to the Catholic people that we're able to have religious women in the diocese who are active in the apostolate of Catholic school education," said Bishop Kagan. "I can see many good things coming from their presence here."
There are five parishes in the Catholic Indian Mission, Bishop Kagan explained. The sisters' main duty will be to teach at St. Bernard Mission School, but they will also assist priests from these five parishes in pastoral work.
Mother Liza officially established the order's U.S. presence during a February 22 Mass at the Church of St. Peter in Chains in Fort Yates. The sisters moved into St. Bernard's Carmel Convent, situated on church property.