The Institute of Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa (CSST) was founded in 1887 by Mother Teresa of St. Rose of Lima (a resident of Chennai) in the town Ernakulum (Kochi) in Kerala. It was a time when the vast majorities of people were living in poverty and were compelled to beg on the streets to earn a living. A caste-ridden society was the order of the day. Mother Teresa our Foundress, an educationist with a spiritual and social thrust and great zeal, was convinced that all human beings are children of God with a right to live in dignity.
With the first Foundation, St. Teresa’s Convent Ernakulum, she started a school where all types of students, irrespective of their social and financial status were admitted. In the short span of her life as Foundress (1887-1902) she also set up an orphanage for the poor, whom society had discarded. A dispensary, Industrial School for the poor and a Home for the aged poor were also started. She was a pacesetter. Imbued with her spirit, the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa serve in the field of education, social and health action.