Who We Are?

Our Founders

The beginning of the Mission Sisters of Ajmer MSA) Education System was laid first in 1913 in a school, in the city of Ajmer for the poor street children and orphans. It was known as St. Imelda’s school. In 1919 the Rt. Rev. Henry Fortunatus Caumont our Founder, established the first Sophia School in Ajmer for the education of disadvantaged girls. He was the first Bishop of the Ajmer Diocese which covered then, practically the whole of Rajputana (the present Rajasthan). Hailing from the beautiful land of France, Rev. Fr. Fortunatus Caumont O.F.M. Cap, came to India as a young missionary priest in 1897. Being a man of vision and foresight he realized that the extreme backwardness and illiteracy of the people especially in the rural areas could be eliminated only if the women were given basic education. This was particularly the case of Rajput women. While the men enjoyed the rights of a princely feudal system and the best of education in the ‘Princes’ College of Mayo at Ajmer, woman’s education was neglected.

Bishop Caumont saw the prime need of uplifting the women. So he took up this gigantic task in 1911, with the help of his sister Mother Mary Matilda, he founded an indigenous Congregation, the Mission Sisters of Ajmer (MSA) to serve the needs of the people of Rajputana. To them, his Mission Sisters, he entrusted the task of educating the girls and in 1919, he started the first school for them in Ajmer, Rajasthan (Rajputana). The name he gave the school and the motto he framed are both significant for the educational ideal he had in mind. ‘Sophia’ in Greek means WISDOM, and Wisdom is summed up in ‘VACHAN’ the Eternal Word, the source of true wisdom. We as educationalists, are to give true wisdom to the children in our schools and colleges. In 1930, Bishop Henry Fortunatus Caumont passed away. In him, Mother Mary Matilda lost a staunch supporter and adviser. Over the years, Mother Matilda saw the Sophia School in Ajmer take deep roots, turn into a High School. Through her dedicated workers of the Mission Sisters of Ajmer, she was able to establish such schools in other parts of the country, mainly in the major cities of Rajasthan.


Way Back in 1919, the far-sightedness of Our Founders- Rt. Rev. Henri Caumont and his enthusiastic sister Rev. Mother Mary Matilda worked earnestly for Women’s Education. In the 19th century and early 20th century, Indian women, specially in Rajasthan, had a glorious past. In spite of it, they were kept behind the purdah. They were married off as children and relegated to the background. Society can never be normal unless men and women play a complimentary role. The labours of our two pioneers laid the foundation of ‘SOPHIA’. It was born on June 29, 1919 and cradled in the present St. Francis Hospital on Beawar road, Ajmer.


A well-to-do lady living in the vicinity of the Sisters’ Convent, was fascinated by the Sisters’ devotion to work and requested Rev. Mother Mary Matilda to educate her daughter. Rev. Mother Mary Matilda together with her brother – The Rt. Rev. Henri Caumont planned the starting of a school for the elite, Indian girls of Ajmer of that time.


Through the Word ‘VACHAN’ the goal was to impart wisdom to little ones – Hence the motto chosen was’ …………………’ ‘Giving wisdom to little ones’



1919. Regular teaching started on June29, 1919. The first pupils were Kusum Khandwala and Mehru Contractor nee Ghadialli. Kusum was so tiny that she had to be brought in a perarnbulator. All was not smooth sailing. The problem of winning over the public and breaking the traditional customs proved a hurdle. To illustrate this-two girls aged 9 and 4 after two months of registration withdrawn and married off.


1920: ln 192O the strength was 19. Ala Sethna was the first residential pupil. A boarding House was started for out station girls. Another boarder, Mary Stafford, the Late’ Sr. Matilda also served the Congregation after completing her studies. The aim of Sophia was to give all-round education to the pupils. A Girl Guide company was formed in 1923 Rev. Mother Matilda was the first lady commissioner of Ajmer. Cooking, Loundry, Embroidery, Cutting and music were made part of the syllabus. Sophia worked as a private institution till 1926 when the Education Department of Ajmer-Merwara was pleased to recognize it and classed it as a special English public school for Indian Girls. The curriculum was that of the Cambridge Examination – the preliminary – the junior and the senior Cambridge Certificate Examination.


1930 dealt a heavy blow on the Congregation and school, nay even on Ajmer. Rt. Rev. Henri Coumont went to his eternal reward on April 4, 1930. We lost in him a valuable friend, a noble guide, a loving father and an enterprising pioneer.


1934. Sophia, what you see today, moved into Mirshali, a spacious area near the foot-hills of the Aravallis, where the present institution has grown and made vast strides in the field of Education. The number of boarders ranged between 30-40 in the senior classes. They came from all walks of society. Even in those days the Sophia Hostel was a vital part of the school.


The high school classes were formerly established and Sophia School was affiliated to the Rajputana Board of High School and Intermediate Education Ajmer


The Intermediate classes commenced and Sophia became the first Woman’s Intermediate College in Ajmer


A year of great significance as it marked the completion of 25 years of its existence. Silver bells pealed and Sophia was at its highest glory in the education field


Independence made a great impact on Sophia. Mother Mary Matilda laid strong emphasis on learning of Hindi and made an effort to make Hindi the medium of instruction in the Primary section. The opinion of the parents and public was different and within 3 years the medium was reverted to English.

5 TH SEP. 1949

A big blow to the Sophia community Mother Tarcissius left for her heavenly abode.

JULY 1950

A glorious event in the history of Sophia, the Golden Jubilee celebration of Mother Mary Matilda’s 50 years of religious life.

19TH AUG. 1950

Another heavy blow to Sophia Mother Mary Matilda left for her heavenly abode. Sister Catherine took over as the new Principal. Science stream was introduced to pave way for young Sophians to enter the medical field. Value Education as a subject was introduced to inculcate self-discipline and respect for others. Games and Sports were standardized; coaches were engaged to train the students in Table Tennis, Badminton, Basketball, Hockey and Athletics with students participating in tournaments at District, State and National levels, bringing laurels to Sophia. The junior NCC wing was introduced with ample scope for students in Rifle Shooting, Rope Climbing, National Camps and even participation in Republic Day parades. According to the new education scheme Rajasthan Board did away with the intermediate examination introducing the Higher Secondary with Class XI the final class at the school level.

8TH JULY 1959

The First year degree class, commenced in a separate wing of the School campus. The college was affiliated to the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur.

JULY 1962

The Degree College shifted to the present campus.


Another milestone for Sophia, heralding the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

APRIL 1975

As Sophia began to expand Sister Catherine planned, designed and got constructed the Primary school building, the Jubilee block of the High School and the Home Science Department.


The new scheme of 10+2 was introduced thus making Sophia a Senior Secondary School equivalent to a full-fledged Junior College.


Sophia completed 75 brilliant years of its journey.


In its vision to impart education to the poorest of the poor Sophia opened its gates to the less fortunate and marginalized sections of the society. 20% seats were reserved for them with the institution incurring all expenses of these underprivileged students. To cater to their needs Sophia switched over to Hindi as the medium of instruction.


Keeping abreast with the changing times and with the growing demand and popularity in computers, a computer laboratory was set up and Information Technology was introduced in the secondary section and Informatic Practices was introduced as an optional subject for classes XI and XII.


A new auditorium was constructed and inaugurated, serving multipurpose, holding school assembly, cultural activities , seminars , workshops etc.


Economics as an optional subject was introduced to help the students widen their choice of subjects at the Sr. Sec. Level


The Physical Education subject was introduced as an optional subject, to help in boosting student’s physical fitness. The congregation MISSION SISTERS of AJMER completed hundred years of their existence. They have toiled and laboured in Rajasthan and expanded to all corners of India touching the lives of people through the Teaching, Healing and the Social Apostolate. CBSE introduced a new system of Evaluation CCE Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. Teachers were briefed and the new method was adopted in the Teaching Curriculum


With the growing demand of parents and students alike, Geography was introduced as an optional subject for classes XI and XII.


E-learning (smart classes) was introduced as part of modern techniques of teaching for all classes.


In December 2018 the Opening of the Centenary Year was marked as a red-letter day in Sophia’s history. It began with the Inaugural Mass in the Mother House Chapel which was con celebrated by Bishop Thomas Pius D’Souza, VG Fr. Cosmos and Emeritus Bishop Ignatius Menezes. In the evening a beautiful cultural programme on the theme Empowerment of Women was witnessed by many distinguished guests and parents. Rev. Sister Savina, Superior General MSA declared the Centenary year open and the Centenary Logo flag was hoisted by Rev Sister Mabel, Provincial Superior. It was followed by a year of Inter Sophia School Competitions, “Centenario Zest”. The Closing Ceremony was on 19th October, 2019.


The Centenary block was inaugurated in 2019. The block is a 3 storeyed building where classes VI – VIII is now shifted. The block has added an impressive view to the already beautiful premises.


The school has added one more extra-curricular activity. The NCC cadets are enrolled from the year 2021. It is like an added feather in the cap for which the students are equally excited.


To keep pace with the ever-changing educational environment Sophia has introduced new subjects – Psychology and Entrepreneurship for classes XI and XII. These subjects will provide dynamic avenues for students to explore as careers.

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