The seven sister States
Treading into the land of varied ethnic tribes and groups of North East India is always an enigma, for it means different things to different people at different times. Its a land that offers such opportunity for an anthropologist, a land of colorful race and culture to a visitor, a land where the `tower of Babel` was razed, a landscape of kinds from hills to valleys, plateau to lakes, mountains to rivers to an on-looker, a land that houses `overground ` and `underground`, a land ready for harvest to an earnest missionary. Call it anything, term it anything, that is what constitutes the North Eastern States, popularly known as the `seven sister states`.
A Bold Step
In to this colourful land of North East, CMC set foot on 28th January 1966 when the zealous band of missionaries, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Jerome, Sr. Bernard and Sr. Grace Maria landed at Imphal , the capital of Manipur. The then Provincial Superior Mother Ursula of Pala Province, in her enthusiasm and missionary zeal boldly accepted the challenge extended by the late Bishop Hubert Rosario, the then Bishop of Dibrugarh, who was instrumental in this new venture of CMC in the North East.
Under the shadow of the most high
Inspite of the numerous tales of woes arising from encounters with new culture, languages, and climatic conditions and inspite of the times when the Lord seem `sound sleep in the boat`, the joys and rewards of a missionary was never wanting. The Lord, the foremost missionary knew how to spray occasionally thrills, tangible results, surprises that warm the heart and cheers the spirit. His kingdom is being extended and greater and greater avenues lie open before you. And one cannot but put the foot forward and forward.
Birth and Growth
The growth of the CMC mission in the North East area was immense and it was planned to raise it up to a Mission Region. Therefore a new region - Sanjoe under the patronship of St.Joseph was formed on 19th March 1982. Mother Stella Maria, the then Superior General officially inaugurated the erection of Sanjoe Region in the presence of Mother Harold, the then Provincial Superior of Jayamata Province. Sr. Edwin was appointed as the first Regional Superior. It was a red-letter day in the annals of the history of Sanjoe. On the 14th of September 1995 Sanjo was raised to the status of Vice Province by Superior General Mother Benicasia. Sr.Jenette was the first Vice Provincial. The day marked the beginning of yet another era in the history of Sanjoe
Seeing the sufficient growth of the Vice Province, it was raised to the status of a province on 12th April, 1998 as the Superior General Sr.Fidelis sanctioned the request of the Sanjonians, with Sr.Cecil as the provincial.
The provincial house was shifted from Imphal to Dimapur on 25th of November2006.
So long Thy power hath blest me; sure it will still lead me on. One after another the Lord added to the number of houses and members. In the very next year of her arrival, in February 1967, a team ventured in to the land of Maos at Punnanamei ,Manipur. Steady upward journey could be noticed as the third convent opened at Tamenglong, Manipur in 1975.The fourth was at Keihao in 1977 which eventually was closed in due to ethinic violence, it was in 1980,that CMC spread its tiny wings to the neighboring state Nagaland at Paren ,Carmelaram ,Tungjoy Manipur saw its birth in 1982,followed by Carmel Sadan Yaripok, Manipur in 1983.The second house in Nagaland ,Carmel Bhavan Dimapur came in to being in 1985,the third in Nagaland being at Tenning in 1987.The very next year in 1988,the first house in Assam was opened at Jerikending in the diocese of Diphu. It took just another three years,1991,for Nirmal Nivas to be inaugurated at Diphu proper itself .The diocese of Tezpurs invitation was paid heed to when Carmel Convent ,Rowtas door was thrown open wide to all. The other convents that came up later are the following. Avila Convent Vallichira ( 1996), Carmel Study house, Jakhama ( 1997), Carmel Convent, Razeba ( 1997), Carmel Convent ,B. Chariali ( 1999), Carmel Convent Ziro ( 1999), Carmel Convent Telem ( 2002), Carmel Convent, Khonoma (2003), Carmel Jyothi, Luwangsangbam, (2004), Carmel Convent, Matia - Majerburi (2004), Carmel Convent, Kasom Khullen ( 2005) and Carmel Novitiate, Chumukedima (2007).
At present Sanjoe has 22 houses with 129 sisters, and is blessed with many vocations from North East itself.
About seventy percent of the sisters are engaged in the apostolate of education. The rest are busy with apostolates ranging from cateshesis in villages, homes, boardings to care of the sick in dispensaries and care and support centres. A courageous and daring step Sanjoe has stepped into in February 2007 i.e. taking up of Chavara Home, a Care and Support centre for people living with HIV/AIDS at Dimapur, Nagaland. In February 2008 saw yet another line towards similar direction when Carmel Jyoti, Luwasangbam, Manipur opened its portals to HIV/AIDS infected orphans.
Marching forward with trust and confidence
With almost ninety percent of the sisters working in rural and semi-rural setups, they get ample opportunities to be one with the people to make the compassionate Christ known far and near through humanitarian works of love. Sanjoe looks forward with hope trusting in Gods almighty hands to guide and protect it and make herself a useful instrument to spread the good news in this land.