The ‘Apostolic Carmel’ is an Indian Congregation of Sisters which was established in India on 19th November, 1870. It was founded in Bayonne, France on 16th July, 1868 by Venerable Mother Veronica. She was a holy and dedicated woman who was inspired by God to start a congregation devoted mainly to the education of youth.
Mother Veronica, nee Sophie Leeves, was born in 1823 in a, cultured, English family. She was gifted with singular talents of mind and heart so powerfully, that she first broke of her engagement to a marine officer whom she loved, and then responded generously to the call to Religious life.
Mother Veronica was open and generous in responding to Gods will, and after much struggle, she finally founded the Congregation of the Apostolic Carmel in Bayonne, France in 1867. From this time forth, her sisters across the globe would work enthusiastically for the upliftment of women through all round education.
The first group of Apostolic Carmelites arrived in India in 1870. The first Convent was established at St. Ann’s Convent, in the diocese of Mangalore, Karnataka.
Its is 150 Years since the Apostolic Carmel Congregation began in India; today it has spread its branches in countries including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain and Italy. We now have over 3000 sisters working in Degree and Postgraduate Colleges, B. Ed. & M. Ed. Colleges D. Ed. Colleges, Higher Secondary Schools, Special Schools, Nursery schools, Play Schools, Technical Schools, Women’s Welfare Centres, Crèches, Healthcare Centres, Hostels and Boarding Houses and Children’s Homes.
Besides the above we also have a number of Literacy Centres and National Open Schools. We also have scores of our sisters working for the training and rehabilitation of women and children in prison as well as for the integral development of the poor and needy in rural and tribal areas.
Apostolic Carmel High School and Junior College, Bandra, Mumbai founded in June 1953, is one of the institutions conducted by the Apostolic Carmel Sisters. The School was once a part of St. Andrew’s High School. The idea to have an independent girl’s school was discussed by Archbishop, Valerian Cardinal Gracias and Sr. Theodosia.
Once the formalities were completed, work on a new building commenced on 25th January 1955 and a small band of sisters came to Bombay to begin this new project under the guidance of the Superior and Principal, Mother Celine. The Sisters brought a new approach to a girl’s education. Our first academic year took off in June 1953 with 6 classes and 625 students. Our first six classes stood where the present primary now stands. She was followed by Sr. Aimee who retired in 1968. By 1962 the High School Classes were shifted to the new building block and in 1971 a new floor was added above the hall, part of which was the iconic library space, still existing today.
As admissions increased so did the need for space and hence floors were added to the existing structure. After a brief struggle with educational policies and the medium of instruction our school was finally affiliated to the SSC Board. In 1956, three years after its inception, Apostolic Carmel High School sent up its first batch of 24 students for the Board Exam.
Subsequently, students poured in. The school expanded with a Chemistry Laboratory and a Mini Auditorium, the Home Science section and a Staircase. At the administrative level, in 1968, Sr. Maria Rosa was appointed as Principal and in 1974 Sr. Maria Rosa took over as Superior as well and interestingly a Higher Secondary Section was opened. Sports have always ranked high on the Carmel agenda. Students were trained for Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball and athletics and represented the school at State and National Level.
With the advancement of technology, computers become a necessity and it was Sr. Theodomira who took the lead in building the first Computer Lab on the first floor.
Sr. Muriel Rita took over from Sr. Theodomira and it was during her tenure that the cramped space of the Pre-Primary was replaced by the new building to the west. This two story structure now housed the Canteen, Pre-Primary classes and an Open Hall.
Sr. Muriel Rita was succeeded by Sr. Pearl Anne who added the Art Room on the Ground floor and renovated the Staff Room. The investment in the overhead LCD projector was a boost to teaching. A gift of fifty computers from Priya Dutt enhanced the teaching of I.T. and enabled students from Class 1 to 10 to have hands on access.
The General Assemblies now boast of high-end technological features with colourful Power Point Presentations exhibited on a large screen, many of them created by students themselves. But perhaps the most vibrant addition to the school has been the introduction of a thirty three piece brass band, the only one of its kind in Mumbai to boast of such a large number of instruments.
We draw our inspiration from Christ, who willed the total development of every person as also from our Foundress, Mother Veronica.
While our education is directed towards the total development of the person, we are primarily concerned with instilling spiritual values in those who come under our care. Thus, we help them to take their rightful place as responsible citizens in society.
Mary, Queen of Carmel is our Patroness who inspires us to live up to the motto of our school “GOD IS MY STRENGTH”.
Apostolic Carmel High School has spacious, well planned buildings and a playground. It is recognized by the Directorate of Education of Maharashtra. We strive to implement the National aims and objectives of education through the goals our school has discovered and which must be realized and propagated by our staff and students.
Mother Veronica’s heroic obedience to the will of God, her life of faith and prayer, her wholehearted commitment, her outstanding humility and courage, remain an inspiration to all, who seek to dedicated themselves to the transformation of Society, through the loving service of humanity, especially the less privileged.
Following in her footsteps, we continue the work of education through our various Institutions from the Nursery to the Collegiate level.