Founding Bishop

Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Charles Lavigne SJ.

Founding Bishop

Charles Lavigne was born at Maruvajols in France on 6th January1840. He was ordained a priest on 17th December 1864. Later he joined the Society of Jesus and made profession on 27th December 1866. He had served as Professor in the Seminary at Monban, college at Kausa and at Euclis in Spain and also Secretary to the Superior General of Jesuits.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Charles Lavigne S.J. was appointed the Vicar Apostolic of Kottayam and reached India along with Fr. Richard on 15th March 1888. FCC is the first Syrian Christian Womens Congregation of Kottayam Vicariate established by Bishop Charles Lavigne. The great desire of our Pioneer Mothers together with the vision of Bishop Charles Lavigne, led to the foundation of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation. A new branch of the Franciscan Order F.C.C. came into existence at Changanassery in the Kottayam Vicariate on 14th December 1888 which had already spread worldwide. .

On 4 October 1890, Bp. Lavignetogether with Rev. Fr. Richard laid the foundation stone for a new convent named St. Germaines Convent. On 15 June 1891, the feast day of St. Germane, the new convent was blessed and inaugurated. 

In the beginning, for three years Bishop Lavigne carried on his services at his headquarters at Mannanam and Edaikkattu Church. But in 1890 with the permission of the Holy See, his seat was shifted to Changanassery. The Church at Changanassery was much bigger and it had a large number of Catholics under it. Without delay he started a school for boys. It was named St. Berchmans School and it was housed in the St. Germanes convent built for the FCC sisters. 

After the profession of the sisters, His Lordship made a plan to go to Rome to meet the Pope. He informed the sisters that he would try to get the Popes blessings and recognition for their Rules and Directory of life. He asked them to recite the
Memorare until he returned from Rome. Bishop Lavigne left for Rome on 15 September 1895. In his absence Rev. Fr. Richard took charge of the affairs of the sisters. By now it was decided from Rome to appoint local Bishops. So it was clear that Bishop Lavigne wouldnt be coming back to India. he was appointed Bishop of Trincomali. He was called for eternal rest on July 11th 1913.

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