The long cherished dream of our founders was realised in India in 1894, with the arrival of four Holy Cross Sisters as the first missionaries in Bettiah, North Bihar. 18th November 1894 was a mile stone to mark the opening of a new chapter. On this day our first missionaries Sr. Lamberta Flamm, Sr. Patrona Bichler, Sr. Michelina Schrott and Sr.Chrysogona Thoma landed in Bombay and travelled farther to Northeast and arrived at Bettiah on 22nd November 1894. They were invited by The Tyrolian Capuchins to take care of an orphanage in Bettiah.
Unfortunately in July 1896, cholera broke out in Bettiah. In spite of the intense care given by the sisters to the orphans, fifteen children died in a couple of weeks. Then the tragedy struck the sisters. Within four days, three sisters one after another died by the killer disease. Sr. Chrysogona the youngest among them was the only survivor! If she had returned to Europe with a broken spirit probably there would not have been any Holy Cross Sister in India today!
Her health might have been weak but not her spirit! With fervent missionary zeal she went back to Europe and brought five more missionaries in 1896 to continue the Indian mission. Since then the missionaries played a pivotal role in establishing the congregation not only in North Bihar but also in South Bihar (present Jharkhand), in the remote tribal belts of Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana. Later on their involvement expanded to Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and to the southern states of India.
It is true that: "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains a single grain." We gratefully remember all the missionaries who enduring many hardships sacrificed their lives on Indian soil, without counting the cost for the cause of our mission In India.
Living closely with the sisters, one of the local girls from Bettiah, Francisca Thakur, expressed her desire to become a Holy Cross Sister. After her novitiate in Ingenbohl, she returned to Bettiah in 1902 as "Sr. Theodosia Thakur" the first Indian Holy cross Sister. She died in 1936.