History Of SD

Each religious congregation is a gift of God to the Church, to the people of God and will have its own history to cherish.

As the Father anointed and sent His Son to the world, the Risen Lord anointed and commissioned His disciples to proclaim the Good News and baptize all who believed in Him. Charged with the love of Christ, St.Thomas the Apostle landed at Kodungalloor, Kerala in A.D 52. He proclaimed what he had heard and seen and touched with his hands so that we might have fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ. St.Thomas brought us into the Christian faith through baptism. Drawn by the love of the father we responded through His call by consecrating ourselves completely through the public vows of obedience, chastity and poverty in the Congregation of the 'Sisters of The Destitute' The present form of religious life, particularly for women, took root here only towards the end of nineteenth century. Together with the growth of religious life in Kerala, it also attained the height and firm foundation spiritually, educationally and socially. We need to be proud of the various religious communities becoming an integral part of the Church as well as the society in Kerala.

The inner dynamism of the vocation of the SD congregation founded in 1927 was unique, to descend to the level of the destitute, unloved and tormented, with the compassionate love of jesus, providing support and solace. The inspiration gained through the meditation on the merciful love of Jesus gave expression to the charism and spirituality of the congregation. The efforts in integrating the ministry of compassion and the contemplation made the life of the SD very adventurous. Thus, the SD entered into diverse areas of service, responding to the signs of the time. Depending on the requirements of time and place, home for the aged, centre for the terminally ill, priest home, rehabilitation centre for the differently able, vocational training centre, slum ministry, family apostolate, healthcare, education ministry, etc. became the areas of the activities of the SD. The congregation developed gradually by finding its own goal and manner in religious formation, consecrated life and the areas of apostolate. The determination and consciousness to have her own spirituality makes the SD more and more prepared for a life of consecration and service.


Venerable .Fr. Varghese Payappilly was chosen and anointed to continue the Christ’s mission of manifesting the redemptive love of the Heavenly Father. The words of the Gospel “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”(Mt.25:40) inspired him, to found a religious Institute to this end.

Fr. Varghese Payappilly, has a compassionate heart from his childhood and it was widened with the close relationship Jesus when he committed his life as a priest of Jesus. From his formation period itself he has special concern for the poor. He had a dream to serve the­ poor destitute from the period he studied in Candy Papal Seminary. After he was ordained as a priest on December 21st1907, he was appointed as parish priest and the manager of St.Marys School Aluva. Though he was assigned to different ministry, the spark for helping the poor people was glowing day by day. He opened his heart desire to Mar Augustine Kandathil,Arch bishop. According to his words, the founder waited for years in prayer to fulfill his desire with obedience. Last, in 1926, he was allowed to found a congregation. The Arch Bishop Mar Augustine Kandathil gave him the permission and authorization to found the congregation ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ later known as Sisters of the Destitute.

After two years he was called to eternal life surrendering the newly founded congregation and the institution in God’s providential hands. He was a man of prayer and compassion, a seeker of God’s will, good educator, formator and a good shepherd. He was a humble meek and a man of prophetic vision.

Foundation of the Congregation

The foundation of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute occurred subsequent to a providential encounter of five like-minded young women of Kizhakkambalam . Their plan to lead a religious life matched the project of the Venerable Fr. Varghese Payapplilly to render organized service to the poor on an institutional level. It is reported that the Servant of God used to share his vision already during his priestly formation at Kandy with the other seminarians and the priests.

Humble beginning

Venerable Fr. Varghese Payappilly shared his desire to serve the poor with the Arch Bishop of Ernakulam,Mar Augustine Kandathil. In 1924, The Arch Bishop permitted him to buy seventy-five acres of aried land called ‘Kurukkanakunnu’ (Hill of Jackals)at Chunangamvely in the outskits of Aluva. He built a ‘guard house in the land bought at Chunangamvely with a single hall and varanda.

It so happened that five young women belonging to the parish of Kizhakkambalam near Chunangamveli started to meet together to share their dream of leading a religious life in convent.They requested their parish priest of Kizhakkambalam to build them a convent. When their demand became insistenthe asked them to speak to the Arch Bishop,who was due to come to Kizhakkambalam from parish visitation. The Arch Bishop listened to them but did not give them reply. So they started to treck on foot to Errnakulam and pester the Arch Bishop with their request like the widow in the Gospel Parable. Finally the Arch Bishop asked them if they were ready to lead a convent life serving the poor and the needy.They answered ‘Yes’. There upon the Arch Bishop directed them to Fr. Varghses Payappilly the manager of St.Marys School Aluva.

The Servant of God listened to the young women and ascertained that they were genuinely interested in serving the poor He encouraged them but told them to ‘wait prayerfully’.He himself prayed to discern the will of God. Was it perhaps the beginning of the realization of his long-cherished dream of a home for the aged and the infirm and a congregation to care for them? In 1926, he divided the hall in the guard house into four small rooms and lodged the five young women there temporarily till a proper convent building could be got ready. The five were: Thresia Mathew Kalaparambilof Kizhakkambalam,Thresia Ouseph Kuppiyil Edakkala of Kizhakkambalam, and Eliswa Anthony Mazhavancherry of Kizhakkambalam Pazhanganad, Rosa Anthony Mazhuvancherry of Kizhakkambalam and Thresia Anthony Oottancherry of Chunangamvely. A sixth candidate joined the group later,but one of the original five left the group and returned home. These young women worked hard on the soil of ‘Kurukkankunnu’ which however did not yield much produce. To make them earn their livelihood Venerable Fr.Varghese Payappilly gave them the work of husking rice for the boarding house of St.Marys School. With patrimony of these candidates Venerable Fr.Varghese Payappilly bought four acres of land he considered more suitable for the construction of a prospective convent. Being a visionary, it became clear to the Arch Bishop that the 75 acre plot would be more suited to realize the future of the congregation, the Mother House of the Sisters of The Destitute, Chunangamvely and to establish a Home for the aged and infirm’ He initially housed the pioneer aspirants to religious life in the little ‘guard –house’.Without much ado, their life of commitment took its origin there on February 2,1926.

Formation of the First members

The founder himself instructed the pioneer members on the basics of consecrated life, and the particular charism of the newly founded religious community. He introduced them to a lifestyle resulting from God-Orientation rooted in meditation and the other -orientation. Soon after they began their convent life they were initiated into the apostolate of caring for the sick and the needy founder himself set the example, inspiring and encouraging them to visit families and search out the destitute. In the beginning the sisters attended the Holy Mass in the parish church at Chunangamvely. On their way back after the Mass they would visit the nearby families. The Founder taught the candidates the importance of family apostolate which strengthened their life of faith as it made them share in the mercy and love of Jesus for the poor, the needy, the suffering and the Destitute.

Beginning of the Home for the Aged

The candidates under the direction of the Founder started caring for the sick and the poor in the families around. The compassionate love of Christ urged the Venerable to go out to help people in their needs. A home for the aged was a novelty in Kerala in the 1920’s.Several old people were abandoned by their family and uncared for by the society. Some of these people were thrown on the streets by their own children. Others left home owing to the cruel treatment by their family members. Some had no kith and kin. The number of such people was on the increase year by year. The fate of these people had begun to move of the venerable.

The small guard house which accommodated the first candidates of the newly founded congregation soon turned out to be the first ‘Home for the Aged’ also. During their family visits the candidates happened to see a poor paralyzed man called Vareed and his aged mother in a hut. Since they could not take proper care of him, with the permission of the Founder they brought him to the farmhouse. As there was no separate house to accommodate him, the Venerable.Fr.Varghese Payappilly put him up in a room of the ‘guard house’. Thus the guard house served both as a convent and the Home fopr the aged. After a week the mother of Vareed also was brought to the Home. The formal inauguration of the Home for the Aged took place on 8th September1926.

With the permission of the ArchBishop Augustine Kandathil he brought two Sisters, Anna and Mariam, of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel(CMC), to teach the fundamentals of religious life on 19th March 1927. On that day Venerable Varghese Payappilly offered Holy Mass in one of the small rooms of the small rooms converted as chapel thus formally inaugurating the new religious congregation which he called the ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’. Later on 31st January 19533, Most Rev Leo Peter Cierkels, the Apostolic Delegate of India, visited the aged home and the convent at Chunangamvely. He then asked to change the name of the Congregation since there was another Congregation having the same name. The new name suggested was ‘Sisters of The Destitute’, by which it has been called ever since. With the assistance of Srs.Anna and Mariam, proximate preparations were made for vestition of the candidates. Fr.Joseph Panjikkaran M.A. directed, a seven days retreat for the candidates staying at Chunangamvely. The venue for the vestition was St Mary’s School. The ArchBishop Mar Augustine Kandathil officiated at the vestition ceremony in the presence of the Vicar General, Msgr.Thomas Nedumallel,the Founder, Priests and Sisters on March 19,1929,on the feast day of St Joseph. The newly vested Sisters were Sr.Josephina, Sr. Cicily, Sr,Gertrude, Sr.Kochuthresis, Sr. Ursula, Sr. Mary Agnes. Srs..Anna and Mariam returned their convent on August 29, 1929.

Founder himself was the first formator in taking care of the aged destitute. The words abd deeds of the Founder in the service of the poor will ever remain as an inspiration for all the Sisters of SD. He used to exhort the sisters that we experience Jesus in Parayer and meditation, and we encounter the same Jesus in the service to the Destitute. ‘Serve this poor man as though he was Jesus’. He was very zealous to impart this divine spirit by melting into the bones and marrows, flesh and mind of each member ofS.D. He taught the inmates of the ashram how to care for the dying when Vareed the first member of the Home for the Aged was on his deathbed.

The First Community

In order to administer the community smoothly, the founder appointed its first member Sr.Josephina as its first superior, with the unanimous consent of the other members. Gradually, the lifestyle and fervor for service began to draw the attention of the public.

The Fiat

The Founder was called to his eternal reward even while his community was in infancy.He contracted a cold on September 9,1929.He became very weak. Sisters visted him and he consoled them with the words of his strong trust in God,Boloved little children,whatever may happen surrender to the will of God.Do not pray for anything else.Pray only that the will of God be done” Soon after he was diagnosed with typhoid virus,he was transferred to the GeneralHospital at Ernakulam. On 24th September and on October 5th,at 10.30 am in the morning the lamp that was glowing sibsided forever.

The Director- Msgr.George Valliarumpeth

The untimely death of the Founder left the religious congregation and the home for the aged orphaned. The ArchBishop Mar Augustine Kandathil took keen interest to fill the vacuum thus created. Without mush delay, His Grace appointed Fr.George VAlliarumpeth as the Director of the religious community and the institute. Fr.George Valliarumpeth, the new captain destined to steer the SD congregation was endowed with the spirit and magnanimity of its Founder Fr.Varghese Payappilly.In submission to the will of God, he took charge of the newly assigned responsibility on October 28.1929 Msgr.George Valliarumpeth enabled the congregation to plump the depths of its founding charism and communal fraternity for 41 years through his holistic training. . On 31st July 1968, Msgr.George Valliarumpeth was diagnosed as a cancer patient. After two years treatment, he surrendered his spirit to God on 11May 1970, at the age 79.. His spiritual vision will always be an inspiration and a source of guidance to the congregation.

The Congregation on the Path of Growth

Growth is the sign of life and with the power of the Holy Spirit, SD has grown with new shoots and branches. The leaders who take upon themselves the responsibility of guiding the congregation will take every measure to make it self-sufficient. Administrative independence is an factor for any institute to attain its growth and stability. Msgr George Valliarumbpeth in his foresight strove from its very beginning to guide the SD Sisters to self-governace. The growth of the SD since 1940 was towards this maturity. Along with this she spread her branches to the various parts of the country, adopting various apostolates. The flame kindled from the pioneers today shines with brilliant rays all over the country and even abroad.



     Sr.RoseMary Manjooran



         Sr Agnes Neerakkal


       Sr Catherine Perumalil        



         Sr Savio Neerakal   



       Sr Stella Vettikkappilly



        Sr James Pulickal   



   Sr Amabilis Pudusserry 



   Sr Benedict Pittappilly



    Sr Bastin Puthenangady



      Sr Judit Murickan



       Sr Smitha Vembilly   



         Sr Raisy Thaliyan


General Councils

On 1st January 1940 Msgr. Valliarumpeth with the consultation of Mar Augustine Kandathil ,appointed the first General Council. This event was a turning point in the life of the S .D.

First General council(1940-1943)

Mother General-Sr Rose Mary Manjooran


Sr Agnes Nerackal

Sr.Regina Ervimangalam

Sr. Elizabeth Pulickal

Sr.Ctherine Perumalil

General Secretary-Sr Lousia

Second General Council(1943-1946)

Mother General- Sr Agnes Neerackal


Sr RoseMary Manjooran

Sr. Regina Eravimangalam

Sr Elizabeth Pulickal

Sr Catherine Perumalil

Third General Council(1946-1949)

Mother General Sr Catherine Perumalil

Councillors Sr Thomasina Manipadam

Sr. Teresa Mary Kochikunnel

Sr. Celine Thattezhathu

Sr. Philomina Kadavil

General Secretary- Sr Antonia Vechurettu

Fourth General Council(1949-1952)

Mother General- Sr Agnes Neerackal

Councillors- Sr RoseMAry MAnjooran

Sr. Regina Eravimangalam

Geenral Traesurer – Sr Elizabeth

General Secretary- Sr Antonia

Fifth General Council(1952-1955)

Mother General- Sr RoseMary Manjooran

Councillors- Sr Agnes Neerackal

Sr. Catherine Perumalil

General Treasurer – Sr. Elizabeth

General Secretary -Sr. Immaculate

Sixth General Council(1955-1958)

Superior General- Sr Catherine Perumali/Sr Rose Mary Manjooran


Sr Rose Mary Manjooran

Sr Agnes Neerackal

Sr Regina Eravimangalam

Sr Elizabeth Pulickal/Sr Piusa Kottoor

General Treasurer Sr Elizabeth Kottoor

GeneralSecretary Sr Marietta

Seventh General Council(1958-1961)

MotherGeneral Sr RoseMary Manjooran


Sr Agnes Neerackal

Sr Piusa Kottoor

Sr Regina Eravimangalam

Sr.James Pulickal

General Treasurer Sr Elizabeth

GeneralSecretary Sr Gemma

Eighth General Council(1961-1964)

MotherGeneral Sr Agnes Neerackal


Sr RoseMary Manjooran

Sr Piusa Kottoor

Sr Elizabeth Pulickal

Sr Savio Neerackal

GeneralSecretary Sr Amabilis

Ninth General Council(1964-1967)

MotherGeneral Sr RoseMary Manjooran

Councillors Sr Savio Neerackal

Sr Gemma Thuruthel

Sr Jerosa Pittapillil

Sr Antonia Vechurettu

GeneralSecretary Sr Amabilis

Tenth General Council(1967-1970)

MotherGeneral Sr Savio Neerackal

Councillors Sr RoseMary Manjooran

Sr.James Pulickal

Sr Jerosa Pittapillil

Sr Antonia Vechurettu

General Secretary Sr Amabilis

Eleventh General Council(1970-1973)

Superior General - Sr Savio Neerackal

Councillors Sr. Stella Vettickappilly

Sr.Catherine Perumalil

Sr Marceline Pannivelil

Sr. Amabilis Pudusserry

General Secretary- Sr.Judit Murickan


Twelfth General Council(1973-1976)

Superior General- Sr Savio Neerackal

Councillors Sr James Pulickal

Sr Antonia Vechurettu

Sr Marceline Pannivalil

Sr JohnMary Moonjeli

General Secretary- Sr Veronica

Thirteenth General Council(1976-1979)

Superior General- Sr Stella Vettickappilly


Sr Antonia Vechurettu

Sr Carmaleena Kallarackal

Sr. Petite Therese Kizhakethalackal

Sr Amabilis Pudusserry

Fourteenth GeneralCouncil(1979-1982)

Superior General- Sr Stella Vettickappilly


Sr Savio Neerackal

Sr. Leoni Vadakumcherry

Sr Mary Fatima Vadakumchery

Sr.Carmaleena Kallarackal

General Secretary  Sr Karuna Ellathukudy

Fifteenth General Council(1982-1985)

Superior General-Sr James Pulickal


Vicar Genearal&Finance-Sr Leoni Vadakumchary

Medical-Sr Sales Vadakumchery

Social-Sr Petite Therese Kizhakethalackal

Education-Sr Annunciata Thekinadath

General Auditor-Sr Andrews Vattakanayil

General Secretary-Sr Karuna

Sixteenth General Council(1985-1991)

Superior General-Sr Amabilis Pudusserry


Vice General&Finance-Sr Antonia Vechurettu

Social-Sr Benedict Pittapillil

Medical-Sr Judit Murickan

Education-Sr Kusumam Vadkumchery

General Auditor-Sr Andrews Vattakanayil

General Secretary-Sr Augusta,Sr Anmy Kochikunnel

Seventeenth General Council(1991-1997)

Superior General- Sr Benedict Pittappillil


Vicar General& Finance- Sr Leonie Vadakumchery

Medical Sr Mercitta Chelekad

Social Sr. Queency Oliapuram

Education Sr. Lydia Kizhakekara

General Auditor -Sr Majella Kalaparambath

Genaral Secretary -Sr Jenis

Eighteenth General Council(1997-2003)

Superior General- Sr.Bastin Puthenangady

Vicar General -Sr Petite Therese Kizhakethalackal


Social Apostolate- Sr Petite Therese Kizhakethalackal

Medical Apostolate- Sr Carmaleena Kallarackal

Education- Sr Karuna Ellathukudy

Finance- Sr Majella Kalaparambath

Auditor General- Sr Andrews Vattakanayil

General Secretary -Sr Linet Chakiath

Nineteenth General Council(2003-2009)

Superior General- Sr.Judit Murickan

Vicar General –Sr Kusumam Vadakumcherry


Education- Sr Kusumam Vadakumcherry

Medical Apostolate- Sr Pancratia Thadikaran

Finance- Sr.Litty Pattarumadathil

Social Apostolate- Sr Smitha Vembilly

Auditor General- Sr Manonja Kanikathottu

General Secretary -Sr.Dennis,Sr Sachidha

Twentieth General Council(2009-2015)

Superior General-- Sr Smitha Vembilly

Vicar General –Sr Rancy Kidangen


Education - Sr Rancy Kidangen

Finance- Sr LisTherese Neeriankal

Social Apostolate –Sr Linet Chakiath

Medical Apostolate- Sr Carmaletha Mattathil

Auditor General – Sr .Lea Chakiath

General Secretary -Sr Delphy, Sr Divya Rose

Twenty first General Council(20015-2021)

Superior General-- Sr Raisy Thaliyan

Vicar General –Sr Preethy Vallopurackal


Social Apostolate- Sr Preethy Vallopurackal

Medical Apostolate – Sr Christel Panackal

Education –Sr Gracelet Pullanthani

Finance- –Sr Ansilin Lanithottathil

Auditor General – Sr .Anna Maria Varickanickal

General Secretary -Sr Renjitha Arackal