The Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany (B.S.)
The Congregation (Pontifical rite) of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany (Bethany Sisters) was founded in Mangalore on July 16, 1921 by the late Msgr. Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas, with four members viz. Srs Martha, Clare, Lourdes and Gertrude to participate in the mission of the Church by responding to the prevailing needs of the times.
The Congregation was founded chiefly for the Catholic education of the rural poor, specially girls, teaching of Catechism in parish communities and schools, instruction of catechumens and neophytes, care of the children, the sick and the elderly. The Sisters are involved in pastoral, educational, social and medical apostolates according to the needs of the place.The Congregation started with 4 Sisters has at present 1288 members serving in 169 Convents all over India and Europe and Africa.
Like most of the Congregations, Bethany had a very simple beginning; however, it had noble ideals rooted in Indian philosophy. Self reliance, dignity of labour, simplicity of life, education in the vernacular and vocationalisation of education, focus on primary education and adult education, development of villages for the progress of the country and emancipation of women were some of the ideals that our Founder and the founding members upheld.
Charism: To have the Gospel preached to the poor concretized in the compassionate love for the poor, especially the rural poor, the girls and the women, the neglected and the deprived masses. By living radically the motto of the Congregation, “Behold the hand maid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word,” Bethany continues to incarnate Jesus in contemplation and service. With child-like trust in God and missionary spirit like that of St Therese of Lisieux the Sisters strive to make this world, the Kingdom of God.