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First Missionary Journey to Agra – 1842

In February 1841, Monsignor Borghi, Bishop of Agra, India, asked Monsignor Rossat, Vicar General of Gap, to find him six European Religious from an Order dedicated to the education of youth.

The Bishop of Gap, brother of the Vicar General, had been at Bourg with Fr. Coindre, and afterwards became archdeacon of the Primatial See of Lyon, which explains how Monsignor Borghi’s request reached Fourviere. His purpose was the same as that of Mother Foundress and her first companions, and was expressed in almost identical terms. Mother St. Andre called her council together and put before them the request she had received. They were given nine days to pray, reflect and discern the will of God through this appeal. The mission of Agra was accepted unanimously on 15 August 1841. The thought of becoming missionaries overseas roused great enthusiasm among the Religious and many offered themselves for it. Six were chosen, their ages ranging from twenty to forty five years.

The departure of the missionaries was fixed for 27 January, 1842. Monsignor Rossat agreed to allow Fr. Caffarel, one of his priests who had insistently requested this favour, to travel with them. The journey seemed endless and was filled with adventures, setbacks and risks: dangers from the desert, from the climate and from bad weather, dangers from the means of travel, by horse, on the backs of donkeys and in palanquins.

But apart from these dangers, they met people of all kinds with whom they established ties of friendship and found help and strength in their fraternal union and shared faith in the future mission. They also had the joy of witnessing some noteworthy conversions. The missionaries arrived in Agra on 11 November 1842, where they installed themselves as quickly as possible and opened an orphanage for little native girls and a boarding school for young Europeans.

A second group left France on 4 October, 1844. Seven professed Religious, five novices and four postulants embarked at Marseille with Monsignore Borghi himself. The arrival of this group made it possible to establish a new foundation in the Himalayas. In all, sixty seven French Religious have left for India since 1842, the last three in 1904. India also attracted the Sisters from other Provinces making possible a big expansion of the Congregation in that land.

HOUSES IN PROVINCE OF DELHI
1. ST. PATRICK’S, AGRA 1842
2. WAVERLEY, MUSSOORIE 1845
3. SARDHANA 1848
4. CHELSEA, SIMLA 1864
5. ST. ANTHONY’S, AGRA 1876
6. DEHRADUN 1880
7. AMBALA, HARYANA 1908
8. NEW DELHI 1919
9. HAMPTON COURT, MUSSOORIE 1922
10. JESUS AND MARY COLLEGE, NEW DELHI 1968
11. ST. BEDE’S, SIMLA 1970
12. CHALIL, KERALA 1982
13. JAITH, AGRA DT. 1988
14. ST. AGNES’ DEHRADUN 1990
15. BHUREWALA, HARYANA 1991
16. RANAGHAT, WEST BENGAL 1996
17. MANGALORE, KARNATAKA 1997
18. TILINGA, CHHATTISGARH 2005
19. DAVAO, PHILIPPINES 2006