The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

» And offer ourselves in challenging services

In Memory

Josephine Elizabeth Chinnappa


                                                                                  Josephine Elizabeth Chinnappa

In 1903 MP wrote every day we are preparing for and every moment we are working for this first glance of Jesus upon our soul. Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly and even long for it in the face of great suffering. This has been the case of our dear sister. Calmly and bravely Josephine Elizabeth a wonderful human being and a great missionary responded to the summons of her master after slipping into a coma for a few days.

Josephine Elizabeth aged 68 was born on 13th Jan 1948 as the 9th child of Mr. Chinnappa and Mrs Rajamma. Josephine entered the fmm congregation in 1972 in Ketti and after her   first profession in 1975 she rendered a few months’ service in Kotagiri and later in St. Francis and in Immaculate. During these years she was very active both in Youth and formation ministry. Our chapter Document says “to be a Franciscan Missionary of Mary is a gift from God. It is a call to announce the good news and be ready to go anywhere we are sent.” This readiness was shown by Josephine when she said her ‘Yes’ to be sent to a very difficult and challenging mission in Papua New Guinea in 1991 and where she worked as the animator of the community as well as the spiritual director and counselor to the lay people. When our mission in PNG was closed in 1995 she was sent to Ghana-Liberia province where she was, almost for 20 years until she returned to India for medical reasons in the month of June 2015. Of her 43 years of religious life, 26 years were spent in African mission bringing Good News to the people over there. Josephine was a true reflection of Jesus’ love and compassion and she endeared herself to the sisters in Community, to the students she taught and to the people she served in Africa in various capacities. A tangible proof of it is the presence with us today of Sr. Juli from Liberia. Josephine emerged as the best teacher at national level and was given an award for the same by the country said her provincial. Her life in Ghana Liberia- province has been very eventful. As a true missionary she was always ready to take risks and face the many challenges. She has had the taste of civil wars, life of poverty, suffering and sickness as well as the satisfaction of preaching the Good News.  

Today we are overwhelmed by the experience of the death of dear Josephine a zealous and committed fmm. For us this is a moment to look at the beautiful life Josephine lived. By nature she was calm and serene and always acted as an instrument of peace and reconciliation. She has been a great source of inspiration for all of us especially during the past 8 months since her return form Liberia. She came to India mainly for treatment with the full hope of returning to her beloved mission land. God had different plans for her. She was diagnosed for Lung cancer. In spite of the many medical interventions her health deteriorated steadily causing her a lot of pain and discomfort. But she endured everything with courage and never once did she complain about it.  Her sense of call and missionary zeal were so great and even from her sick bed she would advise the young sisters to face the hard realities of missionary life and not to choose easy path .She has always been very proud of her niece Lilly fmm who along with her sister and sister-in-law Emilda were a constant support to her during the past few weeks specially when she slipped into a coma. Today our special prayers are with Anand, Regina, Basil and all her dear ones who mourn the departure of their dear one. . At this moment we also recall to our mind her fmm Sister Alburga who died in 1965 at the age of 28 in an accident at Mylapore. May their souls rest in peace.

As we say good bye to you dear Josephine  we thank God for the beautiful gift that you have been to each and every one of us .We, your fmm family and all those who are gathered  here join your dear ones to wish you a glorious  entry into  your  new Home, the Heavenly mansion. May you enjoy eternal bliss in the presence of Jesus your Master whom you served for 43 years. Dear Josephine, we will miss you but we know that one day we shall meet you face to face. …Until then Good bye.