India Education Ministry


The School Sisters of St. Francis in India hope to bring God’s kingdom to the people they serve so that the will of God may be realized here on Earth.  More than 180 sisters work with those who are poor, cast out from society, and in need of care.  We have two provinces of sisters working in different areas of the country; together, they minister to people in five states in central and southern India, in primarily rural and impoverished areas.

In 1936, sisters from the European province began missionary work in India, and young women from India began to enter the convent in Germany.  Today, young Indian women continue to be attracted to the work of our sisters, and the two provinces in India are the fastest-growing provinces in our worldwide congregation.

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The School Sisters of St. Francis believe that every child has a right to an education, regardless of gender, class, or religion. We promote holistic development by encouraging students to grow in knowledge, self-reliance, social sensitivity, and ecological awareness, while also Chayyothdeveloping a growing consciousness of human dignity. Through education, students become ambassadors of social and ecological justice and can live in mutual friendship.

Our sisters minister through education in this part of South India through the English Medium School. They also serve in the local parish, and their presence here has attracted young women interested in joining the community.

Healthcare and Healing

Usri Health ClinicFollowing the compassionate example of Jesus, the School Sisters of St. Francis offer health care services that are people oriented and holistic.  We seek to provide healing in all spheres—physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional—by serving as doctors, nurses, counselors, and health educators.

Usri Village Dispensary and Clinic
Usri, Madhya Pradesh
In Madhya Pradesh, the sisters at the Usri village dispensary and clinic serve about 8,000 villagers from 10 surrounding communities. Utilizing a combination of traditional herbal remedies and modern Western medicine, the sisters also conduct classes on health and nutrition.

Goreghat Health ClinicHealth Clinic
Goreghat, Madhya Pradesh
In Goreghat, Madhya Pradesh, the sisters operate a clinic that serves impoverished tribal people, many of whom come on foot from great distances to be treated.  The dispensary provides critical health services to people who do not have another option for medical care, including those suffering from malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, snake bites, and bone fractures.

assisi-clinicAssisi Nikethan Clinic
Kanjikode, Kerala
At Assisi Nikethan Clinic in Kanjikode, sisters provide nursing care for low-income workers from the area’s steel companies.  These patients come from many different states within India and so speak a variety of languages. The sisters work to overcome these boundaries, providing primary health care for these workers.

Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual Growth

Pastoral Ministry and Spiritual GrowthIn the diverse culture of India, the School Sisters of St. Francis play a vital role in pastoral care as we build communities through dialogue and friendship.  Spiritual support strengthens the bonds of love among cultures, and we foster this love through retreats, liturgical preparation, collaboration with neighborhood ministries, and inter-religious dialogues.  We encourage people to use their faith to help them respond to their hardships, and help to form young people into future community leaders.

Sisters also work throughout India visiting local families to provide guidance, prayer and fellowship wherever it is needed.

Social Justice

The School Sisters of St. Francis strive to bring justice, equality, dignity and harmony to all people, especially those who are marginalized and oppressed.  Through outreach and assistance, we help people to increase their self-esteem and receive the tools they need to become self-sufficient.  We respond to social issues through compassion, love, and friendship and act as instruments of peace and justice in our diverse society.

Asha BhavanAsha Bhavan
Our sisters operate this home to provide shelter and care for destitute elderly women who have been abandoned by their families. The sisters provide help and hope, enabling the residents to regain their sense of self-worth and self-respect, while restoring their physical and mental health.

Caring for Our Sisters

Formation of our sisters, especially for young girls who join us immediately after high school, is a continuous process of personal growth. It empowers them to be effective and affirmative ministers of God’s kingdom.  Formation embraces a harmonious development of body, mind and soul.

The heart of our formation process lies in the heritage of our foundresses and in Franciscan spirituality; in an extensive study of theology, Scripture, spirituality, psychology, missiology, yoga practices, art and music; and in a variety of ministry experiences, especially among physically and psychologically marginalized people.  The entire process of formation at all stages of life enables each member of our community to communicate the meaning of vowed life in today’s world and gives evidence of God’s presence in our midst.

St. Francis ConventSt. Francis Convent
Koramangala, Bangalore
This mission in the City of Bangalore is home to sisters who are engaged in professional studies, young women preparing to be received into the novitiate, and sisters working in nearby Catholic schools and hospitals. On weekends, these women take part in the pastoral ministry of the Church.

TanzaniaMission in Songea, Tanzania

The School Sisters of St. Francis’ Assisi Province in southern India launched a new mission to Tanzania in 2014. Three sisters have responded to an invitation from the Vincentian Congregation for Mission to teach the elementary grades at the DePaul English Medium School Msamal in the Songea region, and to minister in the thriving parish in Makambako in the neighboring region of Iranga, in the Diocese of Djombe.

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Province Leadership

South India Leadership Team 2021-2025 North India Team

Assisi Province –
South India Leadership Team

From left: Sisters Rosebell Ponthakkan (First Councilor),
Rose Poonelil (Third Councilor),
Ann Celine Alapattukunnel (Provincial),
Mercitta Arimpour (Second Councilor)

Click here for province leadership contact information

St. Francis Province –
North India Leadership Team

Left to right: Sister Navya Thattil (3rd Councilor),
Sister Lucy Arackal (Provincial Coordinator),

Sister Udaya Puthur (1st Councilor),
Sister Archana Akkarappatiekkal (2nd Councilor)

Click here for province leadership contact information