The CMI Congregation
In 1829, Fr. Thomas Palackal and Fr. Thomas Porukara had the great desire to spend the rest of their lives in prayer and meditation. They sought permission from their Ordinary, Bishop Maurillius Stabilini of the Vicariate Apostolic of Verapoly in Kerala to retire to a quiet place. But their bishop had something else in mind. He advised them to found a religious house so that they could do some necessary work for the Church in Kerala. Both Fr. Palackal and Fr. Porukara thought it was a great idea. In their zeal, the two priests then formed a challenging vision of providing spiritual leadership and fostering unity and growth in the Kerala Church. Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who was a disciple of both, shared in their enthusiasm for starting a religious community. Other priests and clerics joined the Founding Fathers, and thus a small religious community took shape.On May 11th 1831, their cherished dream of a religious house was actualized. A small religious community was founded on the beautiful hill of Mannanam, near Kottayam, in Kerala State, India. On 8th December 1855, the religious Congregation was canonically approved and the first eleven fathers made their religious profession. Blessed Chavara, the only surviving founder, was appointed the first superior of the Congregation.
From the very beginning, the religious life in the congregation was rooted in the Indian, Oriental and Carmelite spiritual traditions. Being contemplatives in action, the Congregation engaged itself in activities the Church in Kerala needed at that particular time. It made great strides in the spiritual renovation of the Syro-Malabar Church. Under Fr. Kuriakose Elias’ leadership, it preached retreats for priests and people, established seminaries for the formation of the clergy, educated the youth, built a publishing house for disseminating Christian literature; laboured for the conversion of non-Christians and for the reunion of separated brethren; and engaged in works of mercy and started charitable institutions like a house for the dying and destitute.
In the course of time, the C.M.I Congregation opened itself up to a higher dimension of work as local churches in Malabar and beyond the boundaries of Kerala were entrusted to its care. In 1962 Chanda was handed over to the Congregation and since then New Mission Dioceses and Regions were erected in Central and North India. There are now five dioceses in North India entrusted to the Congregation namely: Viz, Chanda, Jagdalpur, Bijnor, Rajkot and Adilabad. These five dioceses are headed by CMI Bishops. This was indeed a milestone in the progress of the CMI Missions and an abiding evidence of recognition by the Apostolic See.Since the C.M.I. community has grown tremendously, for the sake of administration, the congregation has divided itself into Provinces that function under the guidance of a Provincial and councillors. At present there are more than two thousand and five hundred members in the Congregation including priests, brothers and seminarians. While most of the members minister to the needs of the people in India, there are some who serve in different countries of Africa, Europe, South America, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, the United States, Canada and Australia.
Prestigious CMI Institutions
Through the years, the efforts of the CMI congregation have resulted to the establishment of a large network of 520 educational institutions raging from play school to a full-fledged university, spread across different countries and continents. Here are some of the prestigious CMI Institutions in the country.
Christ University, Bangalore
Christ University was formerly Christ College (Autonomous) affiliated to Bangalore University. Established in July 1969, Christ College became the most preferred educational institution in the city of Bangalore.
Kristhu Jayanti College, Bangalore
Kristu Jayanti College, the place where an educational legacy of more than a century meets modernity, is a unique entity in the fabric of Higher Education in India. The educational philosophy of the academe envisions to weld academic excellence with holistic development of the individual.
Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology, Kakkanad
Established in 2001 by the Sacred Heart Province of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate(CMI) Congregation, Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology(RSET) is a premier professional college striving for holistic excellence in education to mould young, vibrant engineers. RSET is affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, and approved by All India Council for Technical Education.
Christ College, Rajkot, Gujarat
The inception of Christ College is the realization of the longing of the people of Saurashtra and Kutch,for an efficacious centre for Higher Learning. Christ College, started in 1998,has the distinction of being the first multi-faculty co-ed English medium college in Arts,Science and Commerce in Saurashtra and Kutch region of Gujarat and it provides quality education to the youth so as to enable them to take up the challenges of the morrow.
Sacred Heart College, Thevara
Sacred Heart College, also referred to as Thevara College, is an Arts and Science College in Kerala, India run by the Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.It is a constituent first grade college of Mahatma Gandhi University,Kottayam and accredited with FIVE STAR status by the NAAC.It was established in 1944 by the Sacred Heart Monastery,Thevara, Cochin, a unit of the CMI (Carmelites of Mary Immaculate) Congregation.
K.E. College, Mannanam
The College was established in June 1964 as a Junior College with four batches of pre-degree consisting of 292 students. It is named after our heavenly Patron, Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Co-founder of the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), who is our source of inspiration.
Central Institute of Mental Retardation, Thiruvananthapuram
The Central Institute on Mental Retardation (CIMR) is located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India. Established in 1980 as the Executive Wing of the All Kerala Association for the Mentally Retardarded, it is a non-profit social organization functioning as the nerve centre of various co-related activities; focusing on the development, education, training and rehabilitation of the mentally challenged.
Chetana Media Institute,Thrissur
In a time when the whole world is centered on the digital axis, Chetana Media Institute, offers different and versatile streams of courses in Digital Filmmaking, through a scientific training package called Instruction Production and Interaction.
Chavara Cultural Centre, Ernakulam
Established in 1971, by the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.Chavara Cultural Centre-Kochi, a voluntary, non-sectarian, non political institution for study and service, is devoted to the synthesis and development of art and culture and promotion of faith in God and human brotherhood. This organization has always been in the forefront, organizing programs to prepare the youth to face the challenges of life boldly.
Christ Nagar Group of Schools, Thiruvananthapuram
Christ Nagar Group of Schools of three unaided, recognized schools under three different Boards of Education. They are, Christ Nagar Higher Secondary School, Christ Nagar English Higher Secondary School, Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School located at Thiruvallam, on the suburbs of Trivandrum.
Viswajyothi CMI Public School, Angamaly
The school is owned by Sacred Heart, Rajagiri Province of CMI Congregation, and is managed by Viswajyothi Educational and Charitable Trust (VECT). Viswajyothi is named after Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World and is committed to the vision of Enlightenment through excellence in education, through genuine academic quest.
Rajagiri Public School, Kalamassery
The Rajagiri Public School was started in 1994 by the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) of the Sacred Heart Province, Rajagiri, Kalamassery. Rajagiri Public School stands as yet another landmark in the’ abode of learning’ that is the Rajagiri campus.
Rajagiri Christu Jayanthi Public School, Kakkanad
RCJPS is ideally located in an extravagant ambience of natural beauty amidst hills and fields that can rejuvenate even the idle minds. The school campus is blessed with fine weather and a natural, pollution-free atmosphere satisfying a crucial need in today’s world for students to be able to learn, observe, introspect and contemplate in a most desirable environment.
Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kalamassery
Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (Rajagiri) was established as a result of the indefatigable industry and foresight of the CMI. The School of Social Work is one of the pioneering institutions in South India, establishing programmes and setting the standards for the field. Rajagiri College of Social Sciences (RCSS), Kochi was granted academic autonomy by University Grants Commission, New Delhi on 13th June 2014.
Rajagiri College of Management & Applied Sciences, Kakkanad
Rajagiri College of Management & Applied Sciences together with its sister educational institutions, owes its existence to the CMI (Carmelites of Mary Immaculate). Rajagiri College of Management and Applied Sciences is the latest addition to the Rajagiri group of institutions. It is an affiliated college offering undergraduate degrees conferred by Mahatma Gandhi University.
Rajagiri Centre for Business Studies, Kakkanad
To meet the growing demand for quality management education in Kerala the College offered Master of Business Administration (MBA), with affiliation to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam in 1995. From the Hill Campus in Kalamassery the Departments of Human Resource Management and Business Administration of RCSS was shifted to the sprawling and picturesque Valley Campus in Kakkanad in 2001.