Historical Development : St. Joseph’s Church, Dharenda was founded in 1913 by Most Rev. Bishop Crowley, csc, the Bishop of Dhaka and Fr. Hennessey, csc was the parish priest at that time. Afterwards Archbishop Graner put the foundation stone of St. Cecilia’s convent in 1953. The SMRA Sisters were sent there in 9th July, 1954 by Archbishop Grainer to serve the people of Dharenda, Savar. Sisters started to teach in the primary school and gave the children catechism class and prepared for taking Sacraments.
Sisters started two kinds of ministry: Education and nursing. In 1960 the chapel and in 1961 the dispensary was founded by Archbishop Graner. In 1969 Most Rev. Archbishop Ganguly, csc with Fr. Sallivan, csc the parish priest established St. Joseph’s High School. In 2013 the old house of the convent was demolished and new house was constructed by the financial help of the Archdiocese. In 2015 the High School upgraded into College, inaugurated by Archbishop Patrick D’ Rozario, csc.
After the arrival of the SMRA Sisters in 1954, one of the nurse Sisters started to serve the sick people in front of their living room. Later a small tin shed dispensary was built. The pregnant mothers came to get medication from the Sisters. In 2004 by the permission of Archbishop Michael Rozario, the Sisters built the new two storied building by the help of a donor. It was developed into Pathology and Mother and Child Care Center.
Apostolate : There are three primary schools and one KG. School run by SMRA Sisters.
- Primary School: SMRA Sisters have been the headmistress from the beginning upto 2019. Because of Gov. policy Sisters discontinued teaching in the school.
- Francis Xavier’sSchool :This school was started in Kamalapur village by Catholic Christian villagers and they invited the Sisters to take the leadership responsibility in 2004. From then until today Two Sistershave been teaching in that School.
- Dharenda Catholic K.G. School : It was started in 1988 by the parish priest and one of the Sisters was given responsibility to be the incharge. Until now one Sister is carrying out this apostolate.
- Joseph’s High School and College : Three Sisters teach there. In 2016 it has started college section.
- Joseph’s Girls’ Hostel: Archbishop Cardinal Patrick built the hostel building this year (2020) and entrusted to the Sisters to be the incharge of the hostel girls.
Pastoral Services :Sisters are involved in the parish pastoral work. They prepare altar and help in liturgical service, take care of Shishu Mongol, YCS, Marian Songha, MonicaSongha, teach catechism to the children, altar boys and prepare for the Sacraments. They visit families, care the poor, look after the sick and pray with them.