Sisters of Mercy of Holy Cross

Holy Cross Convent, Bhayandar

Purpose
The Holy cross sisters were invited by Fr. Bhandari in the year 1985 to start a separate girl`s school, but when sisters met Fr.Bhandari they came to know that Bishop did not want a separate school. He wanted co-education and Bishop’s proposal was two sisters to teach in the parish school. And we began our mission in Bhayandar. The foundation stone was blessed on 7th may 1990 and the Convent and Social Service Centre building was completed within a year. On 1st June 1991 sisters shifted their residence to the new convent.

Socio-cultural background
Bhayandar parish consisted mostly of people who have been original inhabitants of the place. They lived in close proximity with each other in joint families. Hence celebrations such as baptism, first holy communion, marriage etc. were village celebrations. Similarly sad events were observed by all - a death meant all were in mourning, goods were exchanged and shared. Proximity brought about relationships and intimacy. Hence many marriages took place among neighbours. Religious devotions such as cross feast, rosary, novena etc. were observed very devoutly. Education was at a very elementary level and in the beginning in the vernacular. It was only later that the parish started English medium school.The main source of livelihood was farming. In 1980 Mumbai experienced an exodus from the city and suburbs to the Dharavi islands. Builders started buying lands for development. Suddenly many started selling their lands as the temptation to acquire money was too difficult to resist. Bhayandar has a different look today. Lifestyles have changed - modern housing, new amenities, change in eating habits, break up of joint families into nuclear families has become the order of the day. Buildings, towers and shopping malls are erected everywhere. Schools, hospitals, post offices, gardens, cinema halls etc. are rising in number day after day. Small Scale industries have also increased in number. People of different faiths have settled in Bhayandar. Communal clashes between the natives and outsiders started as the locals got outnumbered by the outsiders.

Community and areas of apostolate Apostolate:

Teaching in Parish school, Creche, Pre-Primary, Pastoral work, Counseling

There are 6 sisters in the community. One of them runs the counseling center, one takes care of the Pre- Primary School with 210 children from Play group to senior kindergarten. One is the headmistress and another teacher in the parish school. One is studying and the other teaches in preprimary. Sisters are involved in the pastoral work such as Catechism teaching, Communion distribution, SCC (small Christian communities) meetings, visiting the families, and sick and old.