St Joseph’s Convent Coonoor
In the year 1899, the then Bishop of Coimbatore, Msgr. Louis Bardou and the Parish Priest of Coonoor, Fr. Dennis Peyramale approached Mother Marie Flavie in Bangalore to resolve a major problem faced by the European Planters in Coonoor, with regard to the Education of their children. They requested the Congregation to open a Convent and an English Medium School. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mother Marie Flavie graciously accepted the offer.
Riding through the narrow, hilly mountain roads in a jutka, she arrived in Coonoor, accompanied by Sr. Margaret Mary. On the 9th of February 1900, the sisters took possession of Dublin Castle donated by Sir Lawrence O’Reilley to the Coimbatore Mission.
By 1910, the ever growing school witnessed the opening of St Gabriel’s Boarding. The strength of the school gradually increased as admission both of boarders and day scholars began to pour in. It was found necessary to erect a double story building to house the increasing number of students- that stands firm and tall till date. In the year 1936, a spacious Chapel was built above the school hall. Within a span of two decades, the Institution made significant strides in every field. The Senior Cambridge Syllabus was streamlined into the Anglo- Indian Board of Education.
Mother General- Sr Genevieve PONNAU and Provincial Superior Sr Assunta Alvares
Visit to the community in 1987
The statue of our Lady of Lourdes brought from France in 1923
100 years of service in Coonoor
15th Feb, 2000 was a red -letter day in the history of the school. The Centenary Year Celebrations marked the beginning of the next 100 years of service, of kindling the light of knowledge and learning in young minds. If St. Joseph’s Convent has stood the test of time, it was only because of God’s goodness and mercy.
Rightly, the school decided on an apt theme for the Centenary programme “To God be the Glory”. The three- day celebration began with a concelebration of the Holy Eucharist with Rt. Rev. Dr. Anthony Anandarayar D.D., Bishop of Ootacamund as the Chief Celebrant, with many priests too. The service was attended by many sisters of our Congregation and the religious of the Congregations in and around Nilgiris, besides parents, friends, well-wishers, past students, and our own students. The beautifully trained school choir did indeed help to lift our hearts heavenwards. Thus began a pattern of prayer and outreach to all.
The specially planned events that soon followed were an Exhibition of the School down the hundred years, a colourful Cultural Programme, a captivating Magic Show, a Recollection Programme by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran, V.C. of the Divine Retreat Centre, Chalakudy, an Inter -School Cultural Festival and one day seminar for the teachers of English speaking schools, Nilgiris by Rev. Fr. Dr. Joe Mannath, an internationally reputed psychologist and counselor, and writer. The First Holy Communion and Parents Day Celebrations marked the closing of the Centenary Year. A souvenir was published to mark this momentous event.
Centenary celebration 2000
New Community 2012 – A home of love
When the sun was setting
And the birds were moving to their nests,
The Sisters of St Joseph’s Convent Community,
Joyfully entered the new house
A house of blessing, a home of love
Singing “How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord!”
19th March 2012, Feast of St Joseph, beloved patron became a golden letter day at Coonoor, because it was a day of blessing and inauguration of the new community building. Dublin Castle where the early sisters lived since 1900 had been transformed into new St Joseph’s Convent. It was a day to remember with gratitude all the sisters who lived and rendered their services, with the spirit of sacrifice, simplicity and courage.
The formal function took place in front of the new building during which Sr Maria Goretti Martis, the Provincial unveiled the plaque. Sr Mercy Jacob, Superior General inaugurated the new community building. The lamp was lit to symbolize the presence of Jesus the great Light in the new house. Bishop Rt. Rev. Amalraj blessed the house. The Sisters gathered in the new Chapel while the Bishop blessed the Tabernacle and Crucifix and the choir sang showers of blessings. It was a great moment of deep joy and communion with all the SJT sisters.
Special mention should be made of Fr. Divakar OFM Cap. who designed the new Chapel. The tabernacle was gifted by the staff.
175 years of our SJT presence in the world
To mark the 175 years of the SJT presence in the world and the free gift of the Charism of communion received by our Foundresses, a celebration was organized to express our fidelity of God down the ages of the history of the Institute.
“Till now, we have given from our abundance, today, we give from our poverty”…
Celebrating 175 years the Nilgiri St Josephs Sisters Society helped 25 children for their education for 3 consecutive years and a house was built for a catholic lady in Mahindi.
The present Community
Srs Josephine, Irudaya Mary, Lourdu Pouline, Arockia Selva Rani, Margaret Anthony, Santhiyagammal, Sahaya rani, Nilima, Alphonsa KC, Nithya, Janet Lobo.
They are the close associates and are the extended members of St Joseph’s Convent. Their Prayers and Adorations as one group and charity to the needy has kept them as collaborators in spreading the Communion in the locality.
Lay Associates of St Joseph’s Convent Coonoor -2020
St Josephs Convent Anglo Indian Girls Higher Secondary School
St Joseph’s Convent saw its humble beginnings in the year 1900 to resolve the problem faced by the European Planters with regard to the Education of their children. The school which was started by the missionary sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes with 15 students on the roll, continued to grow steadily. Within a span of two decades the Institution made significant strides in every field. Today S.J.C. has a strength of 1500 students and enjoys a reputation for excellence. It is one of the premier schools for the girls in the Nilgiris and is partially aided by the State Government.
The school caters to all categories of students irrespective of caste and creed. The school aims at making quality education available for all, especially for the marginalized sections of the society, thus making every young girl intellectually enlightened, spiritually inspired, socially committed and emotionally balanced to serve the society.
The school has produced many great women to serve the nation internally and externally as Women Parliamentarians, Foreign Secretaries and Ambassadors, Administrators and Entrepreneurs, Doctors, IAS Officers and other Professionals.
The school focuses on an all-round development of the students and they are the best of the best wherever they go and in whatever they do. The grandeur of this Institution lies in its simplicity and dedicated service. It aims at making good human beings and worthy citizens for the country.
1973 staff at the visit of Superior General Sr Genevieve Yrondy
Sitting left to Right: Mrs Dorothy Pereira, Mrs U. Sweeney, Mrs Pushparaj, Mr. A Joseph, Mrs Joyce Mathew, Mrs. Philo James.
Standing left to right: Mrs.Chrystelle Croning, Miss Gillian Ellis, Mrs.Mimi D’Sylva, Mrs. Irene Bose, Miss Peggy Nicholas, Mrs.Vimala Nambiar, Miss Audrey John, Miss Shamrock Mendonce, Miss Annamma Mathews, Mrs. Joyce Nayagam, Mrs.Addie Dougherty, Miss Rukumani Seethasingh.
Sisters: Sr John de Britto, Sr Jane De Chantal, Sr Pauline Lopez, Sr Genevieve YRONDY( Superior General), Sr Rose Marie, Sr Aurelian, Sr Magdelene, Sr Louisa Marie, Sr Miriam.
St Joseph’s Convent Boarding – A home away from home
The two boardings – St Michaels and St Gabriel’s amalgamated in 1973 by Sr Rosemarie Pinto and thereafter it was known as St Joseph’s Convent Boarding. The boys boarding was discontinued in 1978.
At present the boarders take active part in the School activities, academics, sports and cultural. Their presence is a blessing to the Convent and School.
The extended project of St Joseph’s Convent – CIHDSA (CENTRE FOR INTEGRATED HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL ACTION) was inaugurated in the year 1996 by the founder Rev. Sr Anne Pamplany SJT.
Programmes of CIHDSA
• Women Sangams- They are given training like leadership, capacity building, legal, awareness programmes and entrepreneurship training.
• Counseling for men, women and families was done by Sr Anne because they were alcoholic and drug addicts. The patients were admitted as in-patients and they had classes, yoga, meditation, counseling and AA meetings.
• In the year 2002 CIHDSA got approval in Mahalir Thittam to form Self Help Groups.
• Best NGO Award was given to CIHDSA in the year 2004 from Mahalir Thittam for forming Self Help Groups and executing the schemes.
• Self Help Groups increased and training was given.
• Care was given to Tribals, Dalits and grass root level people.
• Tribal school dropout children were identified and admitted in schools and hostels.
• Collaboration with other De-addiction Centers to form a AA Network
• Awarded by Merchants Association, Coonoor for Social Activities for Self Help Groups in Nilgiris District
The Sisters who worked in CIHDSA are:
Sr Anne Pamplany
Sr Jacintha Kumari
Sr Anita Eranimos
Sr Nirmala P.
Sr Latha V
Sr Nithya Sri
July 27th 2021 was the commencement of the Silver Jubilee Celebration.
ST JOSEPH’S CONVENT SCHOOL (ICSE)
With God’s intervention and blessings the long awaited dream to start the ICSE School came true. During the academic year 2020-2021 we launched into the online classes. The Headmistress and staff explore innovative methods of teaching and enthusiastic to give an all-round Education for the students.