Foundation
Sacred Heart Congregation is a religious congregation for women which took its origin in the Syro Malabar Church in Kerala. The founder Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil was an ardent devotee of Sacred Heart of Jesus and a man of compassionate Heart. His concern for the weaker section, the poor, the old, the destitute, the orphans and widows was quite remarkable. Ten years of pastoral experience brought him into contact with many young fervent women longing for religious life for which the doors were closed for many reasons. He was deeply concerned with the situation of those women.
 
At the same time he was on the lookout to find persons who would take care of the destitute and the poor. He would spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament, praying for light for what he could do in this situation. During one such prayer vigils he was inspired to start a religious institute of women desirous of leading a life of devotion to the Sacred Heart and at the same time eager to bring the compassionate love to the poor. He consulted with the other priests, prayed over it and presented his plan to the Bishop.
Having obtained the written permission of the Bishop, a temporary house was got ready at Palai and a few members were received on January 1, 1911 to constitute the first community. They followed a rule of life written by Fr.Mathew and did Manuel labour of all sorts. Within a few months they were able to accommodate and maintain a few orphans and old people in the same house. In 1914 Fr. Mathew built a better house for them and applied for official recognition of the community as a religious congregation. This was not immediately granted for. The Bishop would approve the new community as a branch of the Clarist congregation. This was a quite different proposal. He was asked to reflect over it and give his reply the next morning. After long hours of internal struggle and intense pain he felt calm and he blindly and unconditionally submitted himself the decision of the Bishop as the will of God.
Two Clarist sisters were assigned to train the candidates for the new community. After eighteen months of training ten of the postulants were given religious habit on Sept. 21, 1918 and two among them were admitted to Religious profession on June 11, 1920. They were entrusted with the administration and formation of the community, thus enabling them to manage the community affairs themselves. The simplicity and poverty of their lives and their loving care and concern towards the destitute, attracted many generous young women to the new community and they came in
considerable numbers from different places to join the Congregation, the growth of which continued steadily. The house built for the community proved insufficient as the number grew and the construction of more spacious two storeyed building started in 1926 but could be completed only in 1929.
The community grew in vigour and number a second house was opened at Punnathura in 1926 and another at Ramapuram in 1929. On June 24, 1931 Bishop James Kalacherry was pleased to grant the sisters their original identity as sisters of the Sacred Heart. He introduced some minor changes in their religious habit and approved the rules provisionally with some modifications. In September 1934 Fr. Mathew submitted an application for due approval by the Holy see. Patiently, prayerfully, hopefully, confidently he waited for the day. On May 23, 1935, Pope Pius XI during an audience granted to Bishop Kalacherry, authorized him to give the final ecclesiastical approval to the Congregation. That this happened on the day Father Mathew was called to his final rest was considered by all a miraculous arrangement of the Divine Providence.
Sacred Heart Congregation today
   
During his last illness Fr. Mathew had said “ The congregation will flourish after my death ”. This prophecy of the founder began to be realized steadily ever since. The congregation received its own constitution drawn up for them taking in to account all relevant factors.
A branch convent was established at Mylakompu then in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam and at present in the diocese of Kothamangalam on June 24, 1938. They grew in number in that region which later came under the diocese of Kothamangalam. In 1950 when the diocese of Palai was separated from Changanacherry there were houses in both dioceses. The first Sacred Heart convent was opened at Mariapuram in the diocese of Tellicherry on May 31, 1955 from the diocese of Palai. Later sisters from the three dioceses extended their houses to other dioceses.
In all these years the sisters were following the same constitution. The communities also considered themselves autonomous units in each of the three dioceses. But the call of the second Vatican Council urged the sisters to think of unification. In answer to a petition for union into one family, Rev. Fr. Canisius CMI was appointed by Rome as delegate to unify the three units. By August 15, 1974 the proclamation of unification was made. On March 11, 1976 by order Prot. No 25774 from the Holy See, the congregation was raised to the status of ‘Juris Pontificies’.
The service of the Sacred Heart Sisters have spread not only in Kerala and India but also in foreign countries too. Today the Congregation have 11 Provinces and a Region. There are about 3600 professed sisters and 440 houses for the Congregation. Their apostolate now covers care of the destitute, health care, education, social service, evangelization, press and publications. They run houses for the aged and the children, training centers for physically handicapped, mentally challenged and insane' rehabilitation centers, hospitals, mobile dispensaries, social service centers for women and other centers of humanitarian activities.
They are also helping in parish work like catechising, home mission and liturgical training.
IIn all fields of their activities they try to uphold and display their special charism of the overflowing Compassionate Love of the sacred Heart. The Congregation has celebrated the centenary of its foundation in 2011 (1911-2011).
 
       
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