St. Mary's Pre-University College
The Congregation of the Apostolic Carmel
The seed of the Apostolic Carmel was sown in the heart of a woman who little realized the greatness of the mission God was entrusting to her. Born as Sophie Leeves, the daughter of an Anglican Minister, she was led by God first to the Catholic faith in 1850 and then to the religious life as a sister of St. Joseph of the Apparition in the following year, where she took the name of Sister Mary Veronica of the Passion. Being sent to India in 1861 felt an interior call to Carmel, not understanding where it would lead her. The Apostolic Carmel was founded by Mother Veronica at Bayonne in 1868, and established at Mangalore, India, in 1870, by Bishop Marie Ephrem O.C.D. Prevailing circumstances resulted in the closure of the novitiate house at Bayonne in 1873. The Foundress then entered the Carmel of Pau where she died in 1906.
The work begun by Mother Veronica was not to die, however, for it was the work of Divine Providence. It was kept alive through the instrumentality of Mother Marie Des Anges, the first Superior General, who was one of the pioneers from Bayonne. In course of time, the little congregation grew in numbers and in stability as a teaching institute of active Carmelites and was subsequently aggregated to the order of Discalced Carmelites. Under Mother Aloysia, who succeeded Mother Marie des Anges, the congregation was further stabilized and became one of pontifical right in 1925. The little seed sown in the heart of Mother Veronica over a hundred and fifty two years ago has now grown into a mighty tree, its branches spreading over the length and breadth of India and Sri Lanka, and reaching even to Pakistan, Kuwait, Kenya, Italy, Bahrain, Tanzania and France. Rooted in the contemplative spirit of Carmel, and nourished by its life of prayer and missionary zeal, the Apostolic Carmel expresses the vitality of the Church through its fruitfulness in the active apostolate of education and other apostolic ministries.
While fulfilling our objectives as a Christian Minority for the education of this minority, our institutions are also open to all, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. However, in keeping with the aims and philosophy of a Catholic Institution and the Charism of our Foundress, Mother Veronica who cared for the poor and the orphaned, we have a special concern for the disadvantaged and the marginalized sections of the society through our education. The Coat of arms speaks of the ideals St Mary's Institutions stand for. The Lily (purity) and the palm (victory) embrace the cross-topped mountain of Carmel (prayer) and a lighted lamp (education). A crown proclaims the queenship of Mary, the patroness of our College and the motto "Pure and True" urges all those who enter the portals to be always faithful to the twin ideals of innocence of life and a search for truth.