HALBARGA MISSION (2000)

The word “Anugraha” meaning divine blessing was adopted by the Capuchins of Karnataka Province when the Halbarga Mission area was handed over to them by the bishop of Mangalore Diocese Rt. Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza in the year 2000. 

Capuchin Presence in Bidar:- The Capuchins were the first men religious to step into Bidar Mission which was then a part of Mangalore Diocese served the diocesan clergy and women religious hailing from Mangalore.  The main purpose of inviting the Capuchins to Bidar mission was to take care of the spiritual needs of the clergy and the women religious.  Fr. Balize Rodrigues ofm Cap the newly ordained Capuchin priest ventured into this mission staying  at Bhalki Centre, the three sub-stations Siddeshwara, Huppala and Hunji were handed over to the Capuchins on 15.01.2001. Hupla chapel established in 1989  dedicated to Holy Family, Siddeshwar chapel established in 1993 dedicated to St. Peter and Paul. Hunji established in 1994 and on February 6th 2006 new chapel was built by the capuchins  friars in Hunji and dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi.   A piece of land measuring 4 acres was purchased by the Capuchins at Halbarga on Bidar-Bhalki road in order to establish their presence permanently.  A small shelter was put up for the Capuchins in the new site. A modest house “Anugraha Ashram” with only ground floor and a small chapel was blessed and inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Miranda, the bishop of Gulbarga Diocese on 30th May, 2007.  

Formation House :-

  Later the Capuchin provincial decided to construct the first floor and establish the formation house for orientation programme  in the Friary.  In 2008, the first batch of orientation students arrived here and completed the academic year with much difficulty and hardship.  The second batch of orientation students had to migrate to Hosanagar within 2 months of their stay here due to lack of water, hard climate and many other unbearable problems.  

Education:-

In 2010, the bishop of Gulbarga, seeing the house vacant, due to the migration of Orientation Students to Hosanagar, asked them to use the vacant place for Education. As the house with several classrooms and hall remained vacant, the idea of starting a school was taken up by the capuchins. Fr. George Monis took the challenge of starting a school in the existing building with just handful of students.  Due to the dedicated efforts of the staff and management in collaboration with the DSS, sisters the school received a wider publicity.  Today the school has reached to Std. IX and has strength of over 400 students. The arrival of the new principal in the person of Bro. Victor Crasta with his vast 15 years experience in the school ministry has given rise to new and creative ideas and the school.   From 1st to 5th all the 290 students are in Scouts and Guides. They have also education of the poor catholic children from their villages.

Pastoral Ministry:-

In 2003 Aunugrha Ashram at Halbarga was declared as an independent mission center. The three catholic substations, viz., Siddeshwara, Huppala and Hunaji were given top priority in their apostolate. In each of these villages they have a modest chapel and the Catholics are regularly taken care of for their faith and  educational needs.  The DSS sisters who assist the Capuchins give a generous helping hand in the growth and development of this mission.  The new villages ministered are: Kon-Melkunda, Halipparaga, Kosam, Jyanthi, Dhanura, Tegampura, Tharnhalli, Nelgi. 

In all these villages there is a strong presence of Methodist and other Christian denominations and their children are admitted their school. Many of them have expressed their desire to become Catholics as they do not receive sufficient care from their pastors.  A modest chapel has to be erected in all these villages s in order to cater to their spiritual needs, if they have to be brought into catholic faith. They actively take part in all the spiritual activities at the main centre in Halbarga during the feast of the Patron Saint on October 4th during the Christmas and Easter Celebrations.  The long 7 years dedicated services of Fr. Francis Fernandes, the present director cum parish priest of this area has borne fruit. They have welcomed several pepole to their fold. Fr. Joslie Francis D’Silva arrived on 25th May 2014 as parish priest to Halbarga centre. 25th of August 2014. During the pastoral visit of Most Rev. Bishop Robert M. Miranda, 7 new families and 28 members from Kon-Melkunda were received to Catholic faith. Bishop declared the new substation at Kon-Melkunda dedicated to St. Padre Pio, a Capuchin saint at the request of the Capuchin friars working at Halbarga. Later on 8th September 2015 another 12 children were baptized from Kon-Melkunda. In 2016 in the year of mercy they have Sukanya Samriddhi accounts as a 15 years project for 50 girl children A Scheme in which you can invest for Girl child as part of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao yojana”. 

 

Vocations:

Two girls have joined the convent, one to Bethany Sisters (Sr. Sujatha) and the other is to Sisters of Charity (Sr. Shilpa) and both have done their first profession. These two sisters form the same family are the first sisters for Catholic Church from St. Francis of Assisi Church, Halbarga, Bidar. Sujatha 

Sisters of DeenaSevanasabha:- 

The sisters belonging  to the Nirmala Province of Deena Sevanasabha were invited by the bishop of Gulbarga Diocese to render spiritual assistance together with the parish priest to the people of God in Halbarga Mission . A piece of land measuring 2 acres was purchased by the bishop of Gulbarga just adjacent to our Ashram.  A simple convent building was financed by the diocese  and was inaugurated by Sr. Jamuna, the Assistant Superior General and blessed by his Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Miranda on 15th December 2009.  Presently three sisters reside in this convent under the leadership of Sr. lovelie rendering their yeomen service to the mission, such as:- 1) Education 2) faith formation, 3) social work. 

THE COMMUNITY OF SNEHASADAN 

Deena sevana sabha – Nimala Province always expanded  the activities to the rural areas where there is a great need to care and support the poor women and children , to provide health care and educational backups.

Responding to the pressing invitation from His Excellency Rt.Rev.Dr. Robert Michael Miranda ,the Bishop of Gulbarga. Deena sevana sabha  – Nimala Province opened  Sneha Sadan convent for the service of the poor on 15th December  2009 at Halbarga. He had been inviting them for two years to start a convent in   Diocese mainly for the faith formation for the scattered catholic families at Halbarga mission. Since it was a rural area and apt  for our charism , we accepted his invitation to start a convent. Bishop bought the land and build a convent for us and dug a bore well for our use.  

The convent building  was blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Miranda and inaugurated by Sr. Jamuna the Assistant Superior General. Sr. Emestina the provincial Superior, Sr. Cecilia and Sr. Bernaditte  the councilors were present on the occation.

There was a solemn Holy Mass Concelebrated by Msgr. Fr.Leo Lobo, Episcopal Vicar Fr.Santhosh  and Most.Rev. Dr.Robert Michael Miranda as the main celebrant.Many priests, religious and parishioners also participated in the Holy Mass.  There was a grand  function  after the Holy Eucharist arranged  by Rev.Fr.Francis Ferandez OFM Cap.The parish priest welcomed honored the sisters and the Bishop and all others who had come for the celebration with garland and shawl.

Halbarga panchayat accommodates around  8000 people, as a whole around 650 families. They belong  to 25 caste and scheduled caste. 

People speak Kannada, Hindi, Marathi and Telugu. Halbarga mission has three villages as a sub-stations. Convent is in a isolated palce with out any people 

The parish priest Rev.Fr.Francis OFM Cap and the Ex-Panchayat member are the support for sisters in that area.

Parish activities are family visits prayer meeting, catechism class and other pious associations. By living in this non-Christian area, the sisters witness Jesus Christ who lived among the suffering, poor and needy in the spirit and charism of Deena Sevana Sabha. According to the teaching of Mother Petra they witness as living gospels among the large non- Christian flock with their exemplary  consecrated life. Community members Sr. Claret,the Superior and Sr.Jeevaletha and Sr.Thushara ere the first sisters to serve halbarga Mission. (2011-12)

A lot of things are to be a done for the poor people which certainly demand and hard work. Deena Sevana Sabhha  sisters are always ready in Halbarga with great enthusiasm and zeal serve others, especially the poor. Accepting the invitation from Bishop to engage in social work Sr. Thushara started social work  in the year 2011 in 8 villages.

Initially, therewere  three Catholic villages.  At present   there are four catholic villages and six non-catholic villages visitied by them. They are: Hupla, Siddeswar, Hunuji, Konmelkunda, Haliparga, Tegampur, Dharnahalli, Kosam, and Neelagi. Fr. Prashanth is the Parish priest and Sr.Lovelie is Superior and incharge of faith formation ofm Cap and Sr. Salda  is teaching in the Anugragha School and Sr.Maria is working under ORBIT social work. All the pastoral activities are conducted by a good team work. Fathers and sisters are going to the Christian villages once in a week for the Holy Mass. This year new parish council members are elected and had taken the oath to serve the parish and to do their responsibilities.

St. Francis of Assisi Church C 525 F 87 Cat. 50
Anugraha Ashram, Halbarga, Bhalki, Bidar-585413
Superior: Fr. Richard Kadiwal OFM Cap. 7259697352
Mission Director (P.P): Fr. Prashanth Kumar OFM Cap. 9901209936


Sub-Centers:
1. Sts. Peter & Paul, Siddeshwara 1993 C.210 F 31 Cat 10
2. Holy Family, Hupla 1987 C 205 F 33 Cat 15
3. St. Francis of Assisi, Hunaji 1990 C 44 F 8 Cat 0
4. Kon- Melkunda C 48 F 10 Cat 20


Institutions:
Anugraha School (Nursery& Primary) 2010
H.M : Fr. Richard Kadiwal OFM Cap 7259697352
Administrator: Fr. Karunesh OFM Cap 8971709281


Convent: Deena Sevana Sabha
Snehasadan Convent
Near Anugraha School, Halbarga. Bhalki,
Bidar 585 413
Superior: Sr. Lovely DSS e-mail: slovelydss72@gmail.com 9845566924 / 9448120319

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