The Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King
By Goretti Ali
The FMCK (Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King) Order was founded in 
Karachi on 
10 August 1937 by Mother Bridget Sequeira , along with Monsignor Salesius 
Lemmens, OFM (Order of Friars Minor), a Dutch missionary who was the 
Ecclesiastical Superior of Sindh and Baluchistan.  This was done in direct 
compliance with the appeal issued by Rome urging mission territories to found 
indigenous congregations.  T his is the only Roman Catholic religious order  
originating in what is today Pakistan, actually predating the better known 
Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata, India, in 1950. 
The Order chose a white sari with a border of three red stripes. The sari was 
selected as it is a dress worn by the women of the Sub-continent.  The three 
stripes represent the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that the 
Franciscans make. 
Bridget Sequeira was born in Bushehr, Iran in 1905, but her family originated 
from Saligao, Goa.  In 1913 she was sent to Karachi to study at St. Joseph’s 
Convent School.  She passed her Senior Cambridge and Secondary Teacher’s 
Training. She went on to a teaching post at the same school. 
A few years after founding the FMCK order, she travelled to Saligao, Goa in 
1946 and established the congregation there.  It then spread to Mumbai and 
throughout India.  In 2006, four sisters started working in Sri Lanka. The 
sisters are engaged in educational, pastoral, health and social work. Concern 
for the rights of the poor is their main thrust. The congregation has 
constructed schools, orphanages, hospitals and homes for the aged and disabled. 
Today they oversee several institutions throughout Pakistan.  The mother house 
is at Christ the King Convent (originally known as St. Philomena’s Convent) 
which is part of the school and Church building in Catholic Colony No.2, 
Sr. Catherine Wilson is the current Provincial.  Mother Bridget died in the 
novitiate house, Rosary Convent Malir, Karachi in 1987.
In 1939, Gertrude Lemmens travelled to Karachi to visit her brother Msgr. 
Salesius Lemmens.   S he accompanied him for a month on his rounds of social 
work in under-privileged communities and was moved by how poor and needy the 
people were. She returned to Karachi and joined the FMCK order devoting her 
life to the care of children with disabilities.    She opened Dar-ul-Sukun 
(Home of Peace) on 17 Feb. 1969.  Sr. Gertrude received the 
Sitara-i-Quaid-e-Azam one of the highest honours given to foreign nationals on 
23 Mar. 1989.  Sr. Gertrude Lemmens passed away in Karachi in Oct. 2000.  The 
Lemmens family in Holland continue to render their support to the various 
causes Sr. Gertrude was involved in.
Due to increasing members of the order in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka , a 
need was felt to decentralise the administration for better efficiency and 
organisation. During its 10th General Chapterheld in 2005, the congregation 
decided to divide its administration into two provinces : St. Francis of Assisi 
in Pakistan and St. Clare 's in India and to move the mother house from Karachi 
to Old Goa.
I would like to add here that Mother Andrew Sequeira, RJM (Religious of Jesus 
and Mary) and Sr. Dolores Anne Pinto, FC (Daughters of the Cross) are Mother 
Bridget Sequeira’s nieces.  Mother Andrew’s father and Sr. Dolores Anne’s 
mother were Mother Bridget’s siblings.  Mother Andrew is presently at Toba Tek 
Singh and Sr. Dolores Anne at St. Joseph’s Convent, Karachi. 
A Home for Socially Displaced Girls - The Children of Dar-ul-Sukun
The home for socially displaced girls is at Wedderburn Road, Catholic Colony 
No.2, Karachi. It is a renovated double-storey building and was blessed by His 
Grace, Archbishop Joseph Coutts on 23 Apr. 2012.  The children are from the 
original Lemmens Home (opened in 1972) and Janiville (opened in 1981).  There 
are around 50 girls aged 5 – 15 and above.  Some are special children and all 
are either orphans or whose families are unable to look after them.  The home 
provides them with all the necessities of life and is run solely on donations. 
Sr. Zita D’Cunha, FMCK is in charge and is assisted by four nuns.  After 
completing their education, some undertake nurses or teachers training to 
secure employment.  The girls who have homes to return to, do so.  But those 
who have nowhere to go stay back.  Presently there are a couple of older 
children as well.

The home for socially displaced girls is under the patronage of Dar-ul-Sukun 
which also runs a home for socially displaced boys in Quetta, a home for senior 
citizens opp. Quaid-e-Azam’s Mazar and a rehabilitation centre in Tando 
Allahyar.  Community development projects include women’s empowerment project 
and I-Learn girls’ education in Quetta, a disability self-employment and a 
training & development programme.

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