Caritas secular Institute was founded in 1961 in the Archdiocese of Kottayam by Mar Thomas Tharayil, the then Bishop of Kottayam. His love and concern for the poor and the sick prompted him to found an Institute dedicated to the apostolate in the Medico-social field, rendering dedicated service in health care and social work. His visit and contact with the European countries where secular institutes were already in existence, had sown his mind the desire to start one in his diocese. He had in mind the young women who were aspiring to dedicate themselves to the call of the Lord, to work for His Kingdom without separating themselves from the real life situation of their fellow beings. The permission for starting the institute was granted by the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Rome in 1957 and it was formally erected in 1961. This is the first of its kind in Kerala.
The Institute is consecrated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the plenitude of God’s love and humanity. The general aim of the Institute is the greater glory of God and continuation of the apostolate among the poor and the needy by being present in their midst. The particular “Charism” of the Institute is “to help towards the realizarion of the Kingdom of God in this world, especially by working for the sick, the poor and the needy with Christian love and compassion”. Its “Motto” is “to follow the truth in a spirit of charity”(Eph. 4:15).
According to the vision and mandate of the Founder, our members are serving the people, especially, in the fields like Care of the sick, Social Development Programmes, Education, Hostels, Parish Ministry, Care of the Old, Orphanages etc. At present the Institute has 130 members working in Kerala, Karnataka and Germany.