New Tasks: 1964 - 1994

All religious congregations have been suffering from a lack of new members since the mid-sixties. Since then, vocations to a spiritual way of life have decreased greatly. Due to this result, the Cellitinnen were also forced to close step by step numerous houses and to discontinue many of their activities.

At the beginning of the seventies, reforms in German hospital management - particularly affecting the financing of the hospitals - meant that the congregation had to face new problems. These reforms made it necessary to intensively restructure the activities . The goals of the congregation were not changed; these continued to be social welfare, caring for the elderly and the sick, and for all those in need.

The practical implications of this restructuring were a concentration on specific houses and core areas of work. For example, many homes for the elderly had other institutions attached, such as holiday -homes, home science schools, agricultural institutes etc. These additional institutions were closed down in favour of the core task: care of the elderly. Additionally, an increasing number of lay people took over the management, which until then had been performed by our sisters.

From Cologne to Kerala

While the community in Germany was taking measures as a reaction to the fraught personnel situation, a future was opening up on another continent.

May 1964. Cologne-Bonn airport. Auxiliary bishop Cleven, Sr. Wilma and Mother Cleta receive the first Indian candidates.

May 1964. Cologne-Bonn airport. Auxiliary bishop Cleven, Sr. Wilma and Mother Cleta receive the first Indian candidates.

In 1962, the Second Vatican Council declared missions and Christian aid to be the task of the entire church and appealed to all religious communities to help in this task. Following a recommendation by Matthew Kavukattu, the Archbishop of Changanacherry (Diocese in Kerala, a state in south-west India), the Cologne congregation began to take a closer look at India. The result: as early as 1964, 16 Indian candidates were received in the convent Heisterbach in Königswinter. The aim of the initiative was for the sisters to found something in their mother country, and this became reality within the next three years with the founding of a hospital in Kumuly/Kerala.

This development showed a huge dynamic. In 1981, the Mother Superior of the Cellites, Mother M. Nikodema Rützenhoff, elevated the Indian branch to a region with its seat in Bangalore.

The sisters in the Cellite community in India are generally called "Augustinian Sisters". The reason for this: in India the name Cellite elicits no associations whilst the rules of Saint Augustine, thanks to their current relevance, are highly thought of in India.

Patients' rooms in St. Augustine's Hospital, Kumily

Patients' rooms in St. Augustine's Hospital, Kumily

The main activity of the Augustinian sisters is nursing in communal hospitals, in rural clinics and in leprosy villages, as well as teaching in schools.

Together with all Augustinian communities we are part of a federation which has been part of the globally operating Augustinian order since 1951. This has meant that since 1987 our name now has the addendum OSA (Ordo Sancti Augustini).

Foundation of Branches in India

1967: St. Augustine Hospital, Kumily

1972: Nirmala Boarding, Sendhwa

1977: St. Augustine Nivas, Bangalore
Elisabeth Sadan, Sendhwa

1979: St. Josepf Convent,
Anavilasam, Pushpa Nivas

1980: Karuna Hospital, Sendhwa

1982: Augustine Bhavan, Amaravathi

1983: St. Augustine Convent, Adackathode

1989: Augustine Sadan, Pedapadu

1992: Keerthi Nilaya, Pansemal
Mahila Vidyashram Vihar, Khandwa
St. Augustine Convent, Punasa

1993: Mahila Vidyashram Vihar, Khandwa
St. Augustine Convent, Punasa

Time Line


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