Salesian Family Gains New Addition

“Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix” Founded to Aid Poor Indian Girls

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ROME, JULY 29, 2009 ( A new congregation dedicated to helping poor and abandoned girls in India has been welcomed as part of the Salesian Family.

The Salesian rector major and his council accepted this request of the Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix Tuesday, a press release on the Salesian Info Agency Web site announced today.

The new congregation began under the guidance of Salesian Father M.C. Antony, who set up a pious union, the first step toward official recognition as a religious institute, with four girls on May 13, 1976.

They defined their charism through the motto: “to look after the poor and the abandoned young girls.”

They set up a rehabilitation center at Vyasarpadi in southern India, for impoverished and abandoned girls.

In 1999, Archbishop James Masilamony Arul Das, then head of the Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore, approved the Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix as a congregation of diocesan right.

Archbishop Malayappan Chinnappa, his successor, approved the constitutions on Dec. 15, 2005.

The sisters, who number around 110, work throughout seven Indian dioceses.

Their ministry focuses on education for poor girls, evangelization, and running orphanages and day centers.

The sisters are the 27th group to join the Salesian Family.

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