The Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary (I.C.M.) was started by Mother Marie Lousise De Meester in the year 1897 in Mulagamooodu in Kaniyakumari district, Tamil Nadu. Mother Marie Lousise De Meester was born at Roselare in Belgium in 1857, and grew up in aristocratic family background. Though her family’s social, economic and political status provided her a rich and affluent life style, she searched for a more meaningful way of living her life. As she grew up, she nurtures the desire to go as a missionary to a foreign country where Christ in not known, and spend her life in saving souls. However, she could not realize her dreams at that time, for it was not easy for women to undertake such challenging and adventurous tasks. So Marie entered the Canaanites of St. Augustine at Lepers in Belgium where she cherished her religious vocation. One fine day she saw her dream coming true, whem Fr. Victor from Mulagamooodu in Kaniyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India invited her to work among the poor, especially those who were left without parents. She wasted no time in obtaining the permission of her superior and the Bishop of Lepers (Belgium) and reached Mulagamooodu with a novice, Ursula.
She found the need to educate the children through non-formal education and to work for the empowerment of women through embroidery. She also started a home to look after the orphan children. She felt the need to spread the mission among the children and women to other places. After initiating a few missions in Tamil Nadu, she started housed in Philippines, South Africa and West Indies. The congregation today is spread out in 8 states in India and in 13 countries.
The mission of I.C.M. is “Preferential love for the poor” realized through education, healing mission, service to the differently able, technical education, pastoral and social action. The testimony of her life invites us to strive for the kind of holiness which combines a deep interior life with undaunted apostolic zeal. She left the example of an intensely active life in which presence to Goa and presence to people draw to each other. Her missionary vocation laid the foundation for ours and her charism a living gift of God’s spirit to the universal church.
Like her, we are seized by the love God and of our brothers and sisters to dedicate our lives for the poor and needy. Listening to the signs of the times, three I.C.M sisters (Escaline, Maggie and Orpha) landed in Porvorim, Goa to work among the Migrant and domestic workers on 18th June 2011. The parish of Holy Family Church at Porvorim gladly welcomed us in the parish. Our house “Maria Sadan” at Porvorim was blessed by His grace Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao. The Arch Bishop of Goa on 2nd July 2011 on the feast of Immaculate Heart of Mary in the presence of Rev. Sr. Rachel, the Provincial Superior of I.C.M., the provincial team, formation community, Mumbai community, local religious, Fr. Tomas Lobo, the parish priest, parishioners and west coast residency friends. We are grateful to all. May the good Lord bless our mission.