A Short History of the Congregation of Helpers of Mount Rosary
Mount Rosary was founded on June 27, 1937 by a holy priest of the diocese of Mangalore, the Very Rev. Msgr. Francis Elias D’ Souza. The first institution he founded was a 50-bed tuberculosis sanatorium, serving both men and women. Later, care for the aged and the dying, especially for those who had no family or children to care for them in the last days of their lives, was added by Msgr. D’ Souza.
After his death Fr. John Menezes, known in the diocese of Mangalore for his Marian devotion, became director of Mount Rosary and he started a home for the destitute and unwanted, especially single mothers. The next three directors at Mount Rosary continued and improved facilities in agriculture and health and by providing infrastructure.
Sisters, Helpers of Mount Rosary
When Fr. Edwin C. Pinto became the sixth director of Mount Rosary in 1989, he recognized the need for a group of trained and committed sisters to serve at Mount Rosary and be witnesses of Jesus through works of charity in the surrounding villages of Alangar and Moodbidri, not only among Christians but also Hindus, Muslims, and Jains. With the permission of the Church, he founded the Pious Association of Sisters, Helpers of Mount Rosary in 1990. Currently there are sixty five professed sisters and twenty trainees. In addition, there are four students studying in high school and pre-university who desire to become sisters. The sisters pray daily for religious vocations, not so much for numbers but for sisters with fervour.
Fr. Pinto was called by the Bishop of Mangalore, the Most Rev. Aloysius D’ Souza, to be the first Vicar General of the diocese for the New Bishop of Mangalore after the death of Bishop Basil D’Souza. Soon after this in 1997, Sr. Prescilla D’Mello was made the Administrator of Mount Rosary Charitable Institutions. After serving five years as the Vicar General, Msgr. Pinto has come back to Mount Rosary as the Spiritual Director of the sisters and residents at the institutions, and the sisters will handle the administration. With the permission of the Holy See, the Helpers of Mount Rosary became a Religious Congregation of the Diocesan Right on September 15, 2005.
Msgr. Edwin C. Pinto, founder of Helpers of Mount Rosary, has envisioned a life of holiness and charity for our sisters through these sevenfold visions. He says:
- I would like to see Helpers of Mount Rosary become holy through the daily understanding of the message of Jesus Christ from the Gospel and the Eucharist, and live it in their daily lives, and thus daily becoming more like Christ, helping them to teach the practical living of holiness to people with whom they work.
- I would like to see Helpers of Mount Rosary learn faith and human and Christian values, then teach them to the people in the villages and to every family member so they can uplift people, using simple communication and teaching methods.
- I would like to see Helpers of Mount Rosary going from Mount Rosary to visit parishes in the Moodbidri Varado, meeting with people in villages and families, both for care of the sick health education and disease prevention.
- I would like Helpers of Mount Rosary not only to take care of the old, lonely, and disabled in our facilities but also in villages and in the family context to awaken and support the family members’ responsibility towards the aged
- I would like to see Helpers of Mount Rosary love the poor, especially agricultural labourers and marginal farmers by not only learning agriculture and animal husbandry for themselves but by themselves cultivating the land and teaching it to men in the villages, thus helping raise the quality of life of his family and of himself.
- I would like to see Helpers of Mount Rosary less interested in establishing their own institutions but partnering with existing diocesan institutions, in line with their rule of life.
- I would like Helpers of Mount Rosary to live in rented homes in parishes, missions, or in the vados and serve people in the name of the Lord, staying there as long their services are needed, and to move on to another work place in the parish, mission, or vado to further the work of the Church and of Jesus Christ.