humble beginnings of the above educational institute by Franciscan
Hospitallers Sisters go back to 56 AD when Saint Thomas one of
the disciples of Jesus came to India and landed on the Coromandal
Coast of South India and Later met by a martyr’s death.
14th Century, 1321 marks the arrival of four Franciscan fathers
– father Jordan of France accompanied by three Italians
fathers – Thomas of Tolentino, James of Paddua, and Peter
of Vienna, and a lay person from Georgia (Russia) at Thane in
Mumbai. They were invited to Bharuch Gujarat, (the only sea port
known as Bary – gaza to Europeans ) all of them later became
of Vasco – de – Gama on May 20, 1498 brought Portuguese
influence on Gujarat coast especially Daman and Diu. In 1542 Dominican
and Franciscan missionaries began work in “Bombay Province.”
It was Father Xavier who began the educational work in May 1542
and later Canonized in 1622 as Saint Francis Xavier after his
death in 1552.
Mumbai became the main station for Franciscans and the railway
system operated by steam engines then, played an important role
for Valsad. Surrounded by two rivers Auranga to North and Wanki
to the South made Valsad the main watering station with a locomotive
workshop. This brought families of Anglo Indians and Zoroastrian
locomotives drivers, technicians, foremens and others who needed
quality education in English though there were schools in Valsad
teaching in local languages.
1936 the Franciscan Sisters began a small Convent School in the
Old Telephone Exchange building under the spiritual leadership
of Mother Superior Chagas and Principal Sister Maria da Graca
(1936) assisted by Sister Innocence and Sister Claudia. Sr. Fatima
( 1936 – 1948 ) , Mother Bemvinda ( 1948 – 51 ) ,
Mother Benigna ( 1951 – 53 ) , Sr. Alice ( 1955 –
56 ) , Mother Amata D’cruz ( 1956 – 68 ) saw to the
academic side as Principals at the old building.
During 1956 – 68 a visionary Principal, Mother Amata envisioned
an English Teaching High School for the whole of Valsad. A small
home was rented behind the present Police Station and qualified
staff was hired from all faiths.
The First SSC batch was presented in 1958 and the result was
100%. The High School took part in several community activities
and sports. Students came from Atul, Pardi, Udwada, Vapi, Bilimora
and Navsari by trains/buses and several others from Surat, Ankleshwar,
etc. and resided in the Convent Hostel.
Mother Amata and the staff had no way to keep up with the enrolment
but to build a new building. With faith in God, hard work and
whole-hearted dedication Mother Amata and staff, raised funds
penny by penny. The land was purchased in 1956 and within two
years the new building was constructed.