About Us

The Society of Kristudasis (SKD) Handmaids of Christ) is founded by His Grace, Emaritus Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy in 1977, the then Bishop of the Diocese of Mananthavady.   It was a response to the pressing pastoral and missionary needs of the Diocese of Mananthavady that came into existence on 1st March 1973. Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Thoomkuzhy was appointed as the first Bishop of the Diocese. He took upon himself all the travails “until Christ be formed” (Gal 4: 9) in the lives of the people of God entrusted to his pastoral care.

The Diocese of Mananthavady was erected for the migrated people from the central Kerala. As the people continued to migrate, the Diocese felt the need to have a “group of dedicated women who will be directly at the service of the people in local parish communities.” This idea was expressed by many people especially the priests. Convinced of this need and discerning the will of God in the voice of so many people and encouraged and confirmed by the then pastoral Council of the Diocese, Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy, Bishop of the Diocese of Mananthavady started the Kristudasi Society as pious association on 19 May, 1977. 

The visualized plan was realized on the day of Ascension of Our Lord Jesus on 19 May 1977 when the first batch of 18 candidates reached Seminary Villa, Nedumpoil which is the cradle of Kristudasis. In the same year on 1 November, all Saints Day, the Pious Association was given the name ‘Kristudasikal’ (Handmaids of Christ) with its titular feast as ‘the Annunciation of Bl. Virgin Mary’ and her response, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk 1: 38), as our motto. May I, 1981, the day when 15 of the first batch made their First Profession, is specially remembered gratefully.

As per the order of the Apostolic See, His Excellency Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy elevated the Pious Association to the status of ‘Society of women living after the manner religious’ in accordance with Canons of the ‘Motu Proprio’ “Postquam Apostolicis Litteris.” This decree came into effect on 8th September 1986, on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother.

The SKD is a community of sisters who are called upon to humble service in the pastoral, liturgical, catechetical, spiritual and social lives of the people of God. The special aspect of the SKD is that it was originated in the heart of the local Church, founded as such by the local hierarch, nourished and patronized by the same and its existence is extended for the needs and requirements of the Church and the people of God.

Considering its growth and varied apostolic activities and the increasing possibility of rendering apostolic services in different Dioceses in and outside India and the need for better co-ordination and more effective organization of our pastoral activities, His Beatitude Late Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church has elevated the Society of Kristudasis into Major Archiepiscopal Status on 25th March 2006.

In these past 37 years the Society has been blessed with flourishing vocations and at present, there are 304 professed sisters and 41 candidates in different stages of formation. At present the SKD sisters are engaged in apostolate like pastoral activities, faith formation, education, health care, social service and caring for the poor and the destitute especially women and children, according to the needs of the Church and of the people irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The SKD has established three regions for administrative purposes: St. Mary’s Region Thrissur, St. Joseph’s Region Thalassery and Mary Matha Region Mananthavady. St. Mary’s Region has two mission stations in the diocese of Ramanathapuram, and St. Joseph’s Region has two mission stations in the diocese of Mandya and there are two mission stations under Generalate: one in the Archdiocese of Bangalore and another one in the diocese of Miao. We are happy to say that through 66 convents, 304 sisters are dedicated to ‘proclaim the Good News of Our Lord by working in 10 Dioceses in and outside India.

The Heavenly Patroness

The ‘Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation’ is the heavenly patroness of the Society of Kristudasis and the feast of Annunciation shall be observed as the Titular feast of the Society. The response of Blessed Virgin Mary at the Annunciation’ “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1: 38) is the motto of the Society.

Our Founder Father

 

Jacob Thoomkuzhy

Emaritus Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy is the Founder Father of the Society of Kristudasis. Archbishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy was born at Vilakkumadam in the diocese of Palai on December 13, 1930. His parents were Kurian and Rosa and he had a brother and 6 sisters. He had his seminary studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva and at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. He was ordained priest on December 22, 1956 in Rome. After the ordination he continued his studies there and took doctorate in Canon Law and Civil Law in the Lateran University. On coming back he was appointed secretary to Mar Sebastian Valloppilly, the then Bishop of Talassery, and Chancellor of the eparchy, later he was appointed Rector of the diocesan Minor Seminary, Thalassery and worked there till his nomination as the first Bishop of the newly erected eparchy of Mananthavady in 1973. Late Joseph cardinal Parekattil assisted by late Mar Sebastian Vayalil and Mar Sebastian Vallopilly consecrated him on May 1, 1973 and Bishop Jacob Thoomkuzhy took charge of the eparchy on the same day. He served the eparchy of Mananthavady for 22 years. On 7th June, 1995 he was appointed Bishop of the diocese of Thamarassery and took charge his office on 28th July, on the feast of Bl. Alphonsa, the patroness of the Diocese. On 11 November, 1996 he was nominated Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Thrissur and was consecrated on 18th December, 1996. He retired as Metropolitan of the Archeparchy of Thrissur on 18th March 2007. Now he resides at the Minor Seminary of the Archdiocese of Thrissur at Nadathara continuing his ministry without boundaries.

Administration

Sister General                       – Sr. Alice Palackal SKD

Asst. General                        – Sr. MerlySKD

Councillor                              – Sr. Celeena Kattikoottil SKD

Councillor                              –  Sr. Lissy Manjappallil SKD

Councillor                              – Sr. Jessy Madathilparambil SKD

General Procurator             –  Sr. Elsy Kalliyattu SKD

General Secretary               –  Sr. Lismaria Nelliyaniyil SKD