A Humble Beginning
Como, a pleasant little town in North Italy was the birth place of our Congregation. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, Francesca Butti (1812-1874) and Maria Rossi (1812-1874) two young friends and neighbours, grew up in a simple, humble and profound atmosphere in the suburb of S. Vitale, located outside the city walls of Como. Belonging to the parish of S. Agata, trained in the Association of Pia Opera di S. Dorotea, the desire to consecrate their entire life to the Lord matured in them at the age of twenty. They opened their hearts to their spiritual director, Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Cavadini, who directed them to join other young women of Como to live in communion and to assist the orphaned and abandoned girls in their education. On Easter Sunday 7th April 1833, Francesca Butti and Maria Rossi began a life of communion and mutual edification. They responded to the Divine call to dedicate their lives for the young girls and women. It was a time when Italy was beset with many problems due to the effect of French Revolution, Industrial revolution, economic and political upheaval. Many young girls were victims of forced labour, exploitation and prostitution; they lived out their youthful years in misery, ignorance and religious indifference. Living in a rented house at St. Vitale Como, our venerable Founders offered spiritual and material assistance sustained by the work of their hands in the practice of the art of making silk and embroidery.
Presentation of Mary, Our Model of Consecration
Led by the wonderful ways of God, they lived as sisters in the House of the Lord. On 3rd May 1858, the gracious day of the blessing of their first chapel, they placed a beautiful painting of the Presentation of Mary as the altar piece. Francesca and Maria recognised in the Virgin Presented in the Temple, a sublime model of perfect consecration. Hence the proper name of the institute became “The Daughters of Presentation of Mary in the Temple” (DPMT). It unveiled the identity and spirituality of our Congregation. The Founders and the many joined later taught the young girls to read, write and basic skills to earn a living for their lives. They worked in the parish, taught catechism for the children and in all their educational endeavours they took great care for the formation of the heart of everyone.
The First Constitution of the DPMT was Ecclesiastically approved in 1874 and it was raised to the status of Religious congregation in 1895. Pope Pious XII approved the Constitution and it became one of Pontifical Right in 1941.
To India- Mission Ad Gentes
Jesus’ missionary mandate to go all over the world and proclaim the Kingdom of God was emphasized by the Second Vatican Council. The then Superior General Mother Teodolinda Venegoni was moved by this invitation. She met late Mar Sebastian Valloppilly, the Bishop of Tellichery and this meeting paved the way for realizing her dream. Consequently, 8 candidates were selected from the Diocese and they were sent to Italy after a few months’ preparation and training.
In December 1968, the Diocese of Tellichery opened the door to the Congregation of the Daughters of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. So on 9th December Sr. Lucina Carimali and Sr. Lorenza Bietti from Italy and Sr. Agnes Elevungal, Sr. Leticia Chirayil and Sr. Alessia who are Indians came as the team of Pioneers of Indian Mission. They served the people of God through health ministry in a hospital run by the Diocese at Vellad for few months. Later they shifted to the newly built house at Perumpunna. On 16th July 1969, their house was blessed and they began their pastoral ministry and in December they started health ministry in the new dispensary under the leadership of Sr. Lucina Carimali.
Meanwhile, many girls joined aspiring to become a member of Presentation. Being the cradle of Indian Mission, Perumpunna became the nurturer of Religious formation too. As the number of girls increased, the formation house was shifted to Chevayur, Calicut. This change of place also brought about the change of jurisdiction from Tellichery Diocese to Calicut Diocese. This had caused issues later.