Thursday, May 10, 2012

181st Anniversary of the Founding of the CMI Congregation

It was on May 11, 1831 that the foundation stone of our first Monastery at Mannanam was laid by Malpan Thomas Porukara, in the presence of Monsignor Mourelius Stabilini, the local ordinary, Malpan Thomas Palackal and Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. In 1838, Fr Geevarghese Thoppil joined the new religious movement and it attracted several priests and young men of that time, from then on. After several attempts, the community was canonically erected on December 8, 1855 when eleven priests under the leadership of Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara made their religious profession. The name of the new movement was Servants of Mary Immaculate. The strength of the community grew larger and larger and six more monasteries were established within a decade. Till 1885, there was as only one Prior and all the monasteries were headed by his vicars. From 1885 to 1902, the congregation was ruled by Prior Generals chosen from outside of the Congregation and their delegates from among the members of the Congregation. Moreover, head of each monastery was called Prior, from then. From 1902 to 1952, an elected member of the Congregation headed it with the title Prior General, with the approval of the new set of rules. In 1953, it was divided into three provinces. In 1958, it received its current name Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. Currently the Congregation has 14 Provinces, with around 3000 members working and studying in all the continents in all arenas of the Christian apostolate.  The Congregation has well defined identity and triple roots viz., Indian, Eastern and Carmelite.