Until the 1960s the little flock of Gulbarga Catholic community formed a part of the then Raichur parish, under the Hyderabad diocese. After the reorganization of the districts in the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region, Gulbarga came under the Bellary Diocese. In 1962 with the arrival of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa (CSST) from Ernakulum, Kerala, for evangelization and that of Rev. Fr. Pappayya (Papaih) Edanappally as a resident priest, Gulbarga was declared an independent parish of the Bellary Diocese.
Initially the priests and sisters had to live in rented accommodations. The spiritual and pastoral endeavors of Rev. Fr. C.C.A. Pai and Rev. Fr. A. Farias, S.J., resulted in the construction of a modest chapel in 1967, which presently houses the presbytery (priest’s house) and over it the P.U. College (which was till 1970s the parish hall used for worship). Rev. Fr. Cyprian Pai (S.J.), with the help of Italian expertise, was instrumental in the building of an impressive church building, which merged with the surrounding domes and minars. Rt. Rev. Ambrose Edanappally OFM, the then Bishop of Bellary, blessed the church in 1975, opening it for worship. The enthusiasm of the local congregation and encouragement from philanthropists boosted the morale of the priests and religious. Their devoted services despite their limited resources are gratefully remembered by the elders even today. The priests of Bellary Diocese continued serving Gulbarga parish until the establishment of the new diocese of Gulbarga.
On 24 June 2005 The ecclesiastical establishment of the Diocese of Gulbarga encompassing the revenue Districts of Bijapur, Bidar and Gulbarga was proclaimed in a Papal dictum. On 18-08-2005 Rev. Fr. Robert Michael Miranda, of Mangalore Diocese, a pioneering missionary with several years of missionary service in Bidar, was ordained the first Bishop of Gulbarga by Papal Nuncio, His Grace Pedro Lopez Quintana, in the presence of several bishops and dignitaries. The Mother of Divine Grace Church deservingly was elevated as the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Gulbarga Diocese. Then onwards the diocese depended on the generous services of priests of Bellary and Mangalore dioceses, until it would have its own priests.
The Cathedral parish is blessed with the religious presence and valuable services of several religious congregations within in its limits. The religious priests and sisters form the pastoral team planning and sharing the various responsibilities.
Parish Community today :
Along with the few local families, a number of families from Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere have contributed to the numerical growth of the parish community. Gulbarga, being an educational hub and well connected by rail and road to major cities, many young people from different parts of the country and pursuing professional courses adds to this number though only as a floating population. Among them are also the professionals who are on transfer of a few years. To date cathedral has 110 families with strength of 400 members, about a quarter of who are out of station for work and studies.
Cathedral parish today
With the elevation to the Cathedral, the parish community has greater responsibility in the building up of the parish. The Parish Pastoral Council plans and implements the diocesan pastoral plan as best as possible. The Finance committee is earnest in the maintenance of the church structures and execution of her projects. The cathedral makes a major contribution to the Mission Sunday collection through Mission auction and other activities. Apostolic Associations like the Women’s Cell, I.C.Y.M., Missionary Childhood Society, Altar Servers Sodality (includes all children) are more vibrant. The Ecumenical and Inter -religious Forums actively promote, unity, peace and harmony in the society. Regular Pastoral visits by the Bishop contribute to the periodic review and revival of the community.
Land Issues :
As the church-school land records were in dispute all the pioneer priests tried to put the land records in order. In the course of events, the old well in the school premises was closed for the sake of children’s safety and converted into a kid’s park. The land is protected by a compound wall on all sides, which however awaits some repairs. Thanks be to God, today all the church land records are in order.
ST. JOSEPH’S CONVENT INSTITUTIONS, INDIRA NAGAR, KALABURGI :
St. Joseph’s convent Institutions Kalaburgi is owned and run by the Institute of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa. In the foot prints of our Founders Mother Theresa of Rose of Lima the successor Mother Alphonsous the then Superior General in the year 1962 had a dream of opening a convent in the dry & arid land of Gulbarga St. Joseph’s convent Institution was started on 22nd may 1962. The convent and the school were started at the request of the most .Rev. Ambrose Yeddanpalli, OFM, Bishop of Bellary, marking a historic beginning in the city of Gulbarga.
The venture is never a bed of roses. The amount of planning, hard work, dedication, devotion and perseverance put in is paramount. The initial steps are always full of difficulty but then, “Everything works for good to those who trust in the Lord”. The two pioneers who started on this journey, Sr. Carmela and Sr. Euphasia were lodged in the house of Mr. Homi Irani, first contractor and benefactor. The first community of St. Joseph convent consisted of Sr. Philomene as the first superior, Sr. Emiliana as the first head mistress and four other sisters, Sr. Pia, Sr.Claudine, Sr. Estella and Sr. Angelita . They stayed in a rented house.
St. Joseph convent school was started with a view to provide academic excellence and an all-round development of the students of this region which was then lagging behind in education. The seed of education was sowed on June 1st 1962 with the classes ranging from K.G to Std IV. The sisters started the school with only 14 students , but the number increased to 62 within 5 days ,thus began the story of St.Joseph’ Institutions , Gulbarga. ..In 1964, Sr. Philomene, with the help of Mr. Homi Irani, Fr. C.C.Pai and Fr.Farias purchased 2 acres of land by 1965 , construction of school building with 8 rooms was done . In 1965, the sisters too had a new cottage to live in constructed by Mr. Homi Irani.
In 1965, a new section was opened , Std V and in the following years VI and VII respectively and the strength rose to 650. The higher primary was further upgraded to High School in June 1969 with just 26 students and Sr.Corona as the first headmistress of high school. Kannada Medium Primary school was started in 1983 to cater to the poor and the slum kids of the neighbourhood.
The milestones that we were able to achieve:
- The First Religious Congregation( Carmelite Sisters of St.Teresa) to start Education Institution in Gulbarga
- The SSLC students have always come out in flying colours, overall percentage ranging between 98% to 100%
- Upgradation of school to PUC in 2004. Sr.Esther Therese was the first Principal of the PU college.
- In 2007-08, the Kannada Medium Primary was upgraded to High School to make it a complete education process for the girls.
- St.Joseph’s Institutions celebrated its golden Jubilee in 2012.
- Josephites have excelled in many Sporting events like Basket Ball, Throw-ball and athletics
- Josephites Alumni has made the difference by occupying positions of eminence in various walks of life
Present situation :
St.Joseph Institutions is a minority institution run primarily for Catholic Students but in the spirit of service, it opens its doors to those of all castes and creeds. It draws its inspiration from the person and teaching of Jesus Christ, Universal Master and Model of Education.
The present community consists of 7sisters , Sr.Jesuita as an Animator and Headmistress of Higher Primary English Medium School , Sr. Florian , Sr.Candida, Sr.Prafula, Principal ,St.Joseph’ Composite Girls PU College, Sr.Amitha-Headmistress ,Nursery and Higher Primary Kannda Medium, Sr.Vanessa –Headmistress of High School English and Kannada Medium School and Sr.Roopa as the Co-Ordinator of Social Work in the Diocese of Gulbarga. Remedial classes for the students of government schools from the neighbouring slum areas are taken in the evening hours. Sisters are actively involved in the pastoral work (Catechism, Liturgy, women’s Cell, Holy Childhood and SCC)St. Joseph’s Institution over the years has touched many different facets of social, literary, physical moral and spiritual aspects. The humble beginning with 14 students in 1962 has transformed to 3635 students today. Today all the departments have their respective building, updated labs and libraries, spacious auditorium and huge playground.
BETHANY CONVENT, GULBARGA :
Year of establishment: 04.06.2005: Bethany Sisters were invited to Gulbarga when it was part of Bellary Diocese before the new diocese of Gulbarga was created. Mgr. Denis Menezes was the parish priest of the church Mary Mother of Divine Grace and manager of St Mary’s school, Gulbarga managed by the Bellary Diocesan Board of Education. He was looking for religious sisters to take care of educational institutions in his parish. He placed this need before Sr. Jyothi, Superior General, requesting the service of the sisters and informed his Bishop, The Most Rev. Joseph D’Silva wrote to Sr. Jyothi, welcoming the sisters to open a house in the diocese.
Mgr. Denis Menezes wrote to Sr. Jyothi requesting the service of the sisters to run the schools. Sr. Bonita, provincial Superior, was informed of this by Sr. Jyothi. She accepted the offer gladly as an opportunity to expand Bethany’s mission in a new area. Sr. Linda, who had vast experience of being a teacher and headmistress in several schools of Bethany Educational Society, was chosen from the Bethany community, Ambewadi, to take charge of the school in Gulbarga. On her arrival on 18th July 2005, Mr. Mathew Abraham, the outgoing principal, handed over the responsibility of St. Mary’s High School to her. For a month Sr. Linda travelled from Vidya Rani Convent, Chittpur, to Gulbarga, a distance of 54 kilometers. Sr. Lucy Priya, the Superior and sisters at Chittapur were very much interested in the new mission and were supportive of this new venture. On 8 August 2005 Sr. Linda and Sr. Joythi shifted to a rented house at Kalaburagi making Bethany Convent an affiliated community. Sr. Joythi from Bethany Convent, Ambewadi joined Sr. Linda on 10th August 2005.
Sr. Jyothi visited the community on 18th August 2005 and found the house inadequate for the sisters. She felt that they needed a chapel and the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the convent. Hence they looked for a spacious house where provision for a chapel could be made and moved to the house of Mr. Immanuel at Anand Nagar, in close proximity to the Cathedral and the school.
Sr. Bonita, the Provincial Superior of Bangalore Province, initiated the process of formation of a new community in Gulbarga. Sr. Gracilla from Madeline Convent, Londa, was transferred to Gulbarga and was appointed supervisor of the nursery school in 2006.
In May 2006 a new chapter was written in the history of Bangalore Province. Due to the increase in number of communities and members, a new province was carved out as Western Province from Bangalore Province on 24th May 2006. Sr. Rose Ann pursued the matte of initiating the community with Sr. Jyothi and informed the Bishop about the canonical erection of the community. He expressed his gratitude for their interest in the mission diocese.
On 31st July 2006, Sr. Jyothi wrote to Sr. Rose Ann enclosing the decree of the erection of the new community.15th August 2006 was a day of great significance for the church, a memorable day in the annals of Bethany Convent, Gulbarga, and the anniversary of nation’s independence. The Most Rev. Robert Michael Miranda the newly consecrated Bishop of the new diocese celebrated the Eucharist in the convent chapel and Mgr. Denis Menezes concelebrated. Sr. Assumpta, the General Councilor and the Delegate of Sr. Jyothi, the Superior General, read the decree of erection. Sr. Linda was appointed as the local superior and Sr. Leora and Sr. Gracilla were the members.
After almost a decade, 2005-2015 God has blessed Bethany through the powerful intercession of our beloved Founder, Servant of God-R.F.C. Mascarenhas with two edifices. The pioneers of this mission Srs. Linda, Joythi, Vincenza, Gracilla, Leors, Helena, and Virgilia in the initial years and all the sisters thereafter like the pigeons migrated from one rented house to the other until the gracious moment arrived i.e. June 6th 2015.
Now we have our own convent which was blessed on 6th June 2015 by Most Rev. Robert Michael Miranda, the Bishop of Gulbarga and inaugurated by Sr. Shanthi Priya, the Provincial Superior of Western Province and Bethany Convent School inaugurated by Sr. Rose Celine, the Bethany Educational coordinator, after the solemn Eucharistic celebration
Sr Linda who was the Superior from 2006 to 2012 completed her two terms. In her place Sr Lysetta was appointed as the superior on 10 June 2012 and as the HM of St Mary’s Primary Parish School. Another important event in the history of Bethany Convent Kalaburagi took place on June 2012 when Little Flower kindergarten was inaugurated with 19 children from the locality. Sr Heleena, Sr Sheela and Sr Moncia joined the community and took care of those little ones. On 4 Dec 2012 Bishop Robert Miranda offered Mass and reserved the Blessed Sacrament followed by adoration. The canonical visitation by the Superior General was delegated to Sr Assumpta the General Councillor and Sr Christine the Procurator General. They visited the Convent on 8 Dec 2012. 25 March 2013 was a memorable day in the history of our Congregation as well as in the Diocese of Kalaburagi as the foundation was laid for the Bethany Convent as well as for the school building by Rt Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Kalaburagi and the Provincial team was present on this occasion.
On 23 Aug 2013 the construction work for the school and the convent building started by the Engineers and contractors Mr Shreenivas, JJ construction Bangalore and Mr Adithya Varma architect – Alphonso Associates Mysore. On 22 Feb 2014 permission was granted to start the primary school, with std I to V and on 30 March 2014, kindergarten was registered. On 1 June 2014 the KG and Std I classes began. On 3 June 2014, in the place of Sr Lysetta, Sr Mary Magdalene was installed as Superior by Sr Shanthi Priya, the Provincial Superior, who was also appointed as HM of St Mary’s Parish School. On 4 June 2015 the newly constructed building was inaugurated by Sr Shanthi Priya, the Provincial Superior, and Sr Rose Celine and Sr Assumpta the General Councillors unveiled the plaque after which the Convent was blessed by Rt Rev. Dr Robert Miranda the Bishop of Kalaburagi followed by Eucharistic celebration, blessing of the school building and fellowship meal.
JYOTHI NIVAS CONVENT :
The Sisters were invited by the Bishop to render our service at Mother Theresa Charitable Hospital. It was started on 3rd May 2010. The pioneers were Sr. Rose Mathew as Administrator of the Hospital as well as in charge of the community, and along with her Sr. Alice D’Souza as a staff nurse, to cater to the needs of the patients. On 26thJune Sr. Mariantonia Thomas joined the community in order to render service in the Hospital.
On 27th may 2012 Sr. Irene Saldanha and Sr. Celine D’souza came on transfer to the community. Sr. Irene took charge of the Community and service in the hospital as in charge of the medical store, and on the same day Sr. Alice D’Souza was transferred to Mangalore. Sr. Celine D’Souza replaced Sr. Alice as a staff Nurse.
On 28th April 2013 Sr. Rose Mathew was transferred to Mangalore and Sr. Vijaya Thomas succeeded her as administrator of the Hospital from 6th may 2013. On 8th December 2013 Sr. Alice D’souza joined the community second time on transfer as a replacement for Sr. Mariantonia Thomas and Sr. Mariantonia was transferred to Mangalore on 13th December 2013.
The sisters are completing precious years of their committed Medical service and indirect Evangelization, in this remote area of Kalaburgi Mission Diocese. It’s time to pause to a retrospective glance at its beginnings, its growth and the future perspective. It is considered that their presence and dedicated services are well accepted by the authorities, officials and the people of this area especially by the patients and their family members. Though at times it is very hard and challenging, yet they go on because the love of Jesus compels us.
Since the Hospital is situated in the outskirt of the city, proper transport facilities are not available, the patients those who come for treatment there is no food facilities’ around the Hospital campus. Hence patients are reluctant to come for treatment and hospitalization. Though we do not see the steady progress, we hope and trust in the Lord that the good work the Lord has begun may continue in the years to come.
Bartolomea Nilaya-Kotnoor(D) :
On the request of Bishop Rev. Dr. Michael Miranda, to establish a community, we the ‘The Sisters of Charity’ opened a community in Gulbarga-Kotnoor (D) to carry out the apostolate of Faith Formation, Education and Pastoral Service. Seeing the need of the place the Superior General Mother Piercarla Mauri consented on 23rd February 2009 to erect a community. Staying in the Bishop’s House the sisters constructed the convent and Kindergarten school. Thereafter it was officially inaugurated and named as Bartolomea Nilaya by the Provincial Superior Sr. Irene Fernandes the Provincial of Dharwad Province on 7th June 2009 and Bishop Most Rev. Michael Miranda blessed it. Srs. Anjeline Pink, Rosarita Mendonca, Benedicta Rodrigues and Shantha Ambrutappa were the pioneers of the community. Sr. Anjeline Pink was the first superior.
After 3 years Sr. Anjeline Pike was transferred. In her place Sr. Lydia Cardoza came as the Superior and took charge of the community on 2nd June 2012. At Present Sr. Philomena is the superior.
They have their own house and Kindergarten school building. After duly considering the request of the Bishop to open a Children’s Home to facilitate the education of the young village girls, coming from remote villages of the diocese ‘Mea Children’s Home was started with 4 girls in June 2014.For this purpose the 1st floor of the Kindergarten school was constructed and completed in 2014.
We also felt the need to facilitate the accommodation of teachers coming to our schools from distant places. In June 2015, a separate room was allotted to teachers in Mea Childern’s Home.
At present we are 3 sisters in the community. The Superior also works as the Headmistress in St. Mary School. The other two sisters are taking care of the Kindergarten school. At present we have 8 girls staying in the Chidren’s Home.
Education and Faith formation are our main thrust. Sisters also are rendering their help in the Parish activities such as teaching Catechism, Parish Council, and Missionary Childhood and so on.
They also render their service at the pastoral centre and take care of the Faith Formation of the girls and boys.
DEEPALAYA COMMUNITY, GULBARGA :
“Missionary Sisters servants of the Holy Spirit” SSpS, arrived at Gulbarga diocese on March 8th 2007. Sr. Ida Lobo SSpS being the pioneer. For one year that is up to 2008 April was residing in a village called Ingalagi B. Afzalpur taluk. This was a year of Experiment to live life in the midst of people, sh
aring in their joys and struggles of life. One year was spent being with children, women and the dalit community as a whole. This experience brought a great inner transformation and a greater commitment to live life for Christ.
Having lived life in the village, after much dialogue a new SSpS community in the diocese of Gulbarga came into existence in the year 2008. A rented house at Santhosh Colony, Gulbarga, was the first residence. 3 sisters were appointed as first community members. Sr. Ida lobo, Sr. Sarita and Sr. Rajini. The house at Santhosh colony was blessed on 31st May2008.
Sr. Ida being new to urban ministry had to grope in the dark and find for herself her involvements. Sr. Sarita was a teacher in St. Mary’s diocesan school, Sr. Rajini a student at VG women’s college Gulbarga. Sr. ida started to visit the slums in Gulbarga and slowly began her ministry with the domestic workers.
Having stayed in a rented house for two years and now being sure about the ministries and involvements, it was a felt need to have their own house.
October 1st 2010 was a memorable day in the history of Deepalaya. The day of the blessing and inauguration of our new house, situated at Venkatesh Nagar, Gulbarga. Rev Sr. Gracy the provincial leader inaugurated the house by cutting the ribbon along with the Bishop of Gulbarga, priests, religious and the people of our parish. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda the Bishop of Gulbarga.
9 years havepassed by and there is happiness; though they are a small number, they were able to make an impact here in Gulbarga city and also in the diocese.
Today their presence is felt nearly in 40 slums of Gulbarga. They began their work in the slums of Gulbarga in the year 2009. They are addressing the issues of domestic workers and construction workers. The domestic workers are registered under “Karnataka domestic workers Union” There are altogether 400 registered workers in the union and about 600 workers with whom we are in touch. The main task is empowering workers for their rights. As they began our work the workers were getting merely 300-500 Rs per month, per house but today thewomen do enjoy a better salary, weekly holiday, bonus etc…., women have become aware of their rights, women leadership has been strengthened through various training programs, meetings and exposures. Lobbying and advocacy has been taken up on various levelsand there isstate level and a national level platform for domestic workers, where the workers take part regularly demanding their rights.
Construction workers are registered under the “construction workers welfare board Gulbarga” So far they have registered about 165 construction workers in the welfare board. All the government benefits such as pensions, creating identities, Housing and toilets, under RTE admitting children in the schools, scholarships for students, hostel for needy children have reached to the workers.
Another mile stone that was achieved was, they were only concentrating on workers in Gulbarga, but for better net working and support they began their work with the domestic workers in the districts of Bidar and Yadgiri in the month of October 2012. There are altogether 165 registered members, working in about 15 slums. There are 7 women animators 3 in Gulbarga and 2 each in Yadgir and Bidar. Sr. Ida is also the Secretary for labor Commission of the diocese.
In the year 2009 Sr. Ida was appointed to animate the prison ministry in the diocese, from then on until now Sr. Ida is reaching out to prisoners in the central Jail of Gulbarga through regular visits, counseling, taking up deserving court cases, conducting programs etc…
Sr. Ida was appointed as the Child Welfare Committee of Gulbarga district in the year 2011. As a Religious being in this committee brought a positive change within and outside, it had its own impact. Children who need our care and protection in the District became our priority.
From the community every year one was appointed as teacher in St. Mary’s School Kotnoor. Sr. Sarita was appointed in the year 2008, after which Anita, Veronica and Shobha have taught in the school and have made a difference in the life of school children.
One was appointed to work in Seva Sangama from the year 2011. Srs. Nirmala, Jennifer, Cynthia and Ancilla have rendered their service in the diocesan social center.
The sisters also actively participate in the parish activities by taking catechism, choir, BCC, family visits, Parish pastoral council etc….
They also network with different organizations within the diocese such as Seva Sangama, Margadarshi, Don Bosco Pyar, Prajna Kanoonu Salaha Samithi, Samajika Parivarthana Challuvalli etc…. and also within the State.
It has been an enriching Experience working in the diocese as one family for its people esp. the poor and the marginalized.
DON BOSCO PYAR: A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
Don Bosco PYaR (Programme for Young at Risk), is a voluntary organization serving the poor and marginalized children and youth of Gulbarga since 2002. The organization forms part of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Since inception Don Bosco PYaR has been implementing various projects catering to the integral development of the underprivileged children and youth.
Fr. Koorappillil Jose SDB (K.J. Joseph) arrived in Gulbarga on June 7, 2002, to cater to the poor and marginalized children and youth with a special focus on child labourers, rag-pickers, school dropouts and children on the street. The humble beginning of the mission was in a rented a house at Indiranagar Area of Gulbarga town.
On June 1, 2006, Fr. Pazheparambil Joseph SDB (Fr. Jose P) joined the Salesian mission at Gulbarga.
On May 24, 2009, Fr. Pius Palathinkal SDB was appointed as administrator of Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga, as Fr. Pazheparambil Joseph SDB was transferred to BOSCO, Bangalore.
Fr. Joseph Kunnummel SDB (Fr. Prasad) arrived at Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga on January 21, 2010. As Fr. Koorappillil Jose SDB and Fr. Pius Palathinkal SDB were transferred on May 24, 2010,Fr. Muttathupadathu John SDB was appointed as In Charge and administrator and Fr. Joseph Kunnummel SDB (Fr. Prasad) as Project Director.
On May 24, 2012 as Fr. Muttathupadathu John SDB was transferred, Fr. Pulinilkumkalayil Jaimon SDB was appointed as the Rector of Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga, the newly canonically erected community, which was till then attached to Don Bosco Yadgir. On 24 May 2011, Bro. Joseph Dandavathi SDB joined the community as a student of MSW at the Gulbarga University.
On May 24, 2013, Fr. Kokkandathil Joe joined the community to pursue his Ph. D in Psychology from the Central University of Karnataka. Fr. George Kollashany joined the community to initiate Don Bosco IDEAL. As Bro. Joseph Dandavathi SDB was transferred, Bro. Irudaya Arunkumar and Bro. Sagayaraj John Paul joined the community to pursue their MSW and MA in English respectively, from the Central University of Karnataka.
On May 24, 2015 as Pulinilkumkalayil Jaimon SDB was transferred, Fr. Saji Anchalil SDB was appointed as the Rector of Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga. As Bro. Irudaya Arunkumar and Bro. Sagayaraj John Paul were transferred, Bro. Mundakkal Sachin and Bro. Chemplanikal Arun joined the community to pursue their MSW and MA in English respectively, from the Central University of Karnataka.
An evening tuition centre was opened at Wadderahalli, for child labourers and school dropouts on 26th June 2002. The centre began with the aim of imparting elementary education to child labourers was able to reach out to 50 children in the initial stages.
Two more evening tuition centers for child labourers were started at Vijayanagar and Indiranagar on July 1st, 2002. The centre was shifted to another rented house in Santhosh Colony, Gulbarga town, in September 2002 and later to Dariyarpur Layout in February 2003.
A special school for child labourers was opened at Khanadal, in February 2003. The school was housed at the building owned by the Sericulture Department. The project was funded by UNICEF-NORAD.
An unfinished building at Dariyapur, GDA Layout, Naganahally Road, was bought and renovated for the rehabilitation of child laborers and school dropouts, in September 2003. The centre was inaugurated with the name DON BOSCO PYaR (Programme for Young at Risk) on November 10, 2004.
The child labour rehabilitation programme gradually gained the much needed momentum as the organization was supported by the National Child Labour Project, State Child Labour Project and projects from UNICEF and TDH in June, 2006.
A fourteen acres of land was purchased at Bablad village, 6km away on the outskirts of Gulbarga city with the aim of beginning a rehabilitation centre for school dropouts, child laborers and street children in 2008.
Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga was chosen as the Collaborative Centre for CHILDLINE 1098, a National emergency helpline for children in need of care and protection, by CHILDLINE India Foundation in March 2009.
Don Bosco PYaR began to function as the Missing Child Bureau, Gulbarga District Cell from November 2009. Missing Child Bureau (MCB) is a web based programme to trace the Missing Children and help them to reconnect with family.
The Twelve months Residential Bridge Course Programme for school dropouts supported by the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) began in June 2010.
In November 2010, Child labour Elimination Programme through Supplementary Education and Community Empowerment Project was launched.
On 3rd November 2012, the foundation stone for Don Bosco Bablad was blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga.
In December 2012, Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM), a project from BREADS, Bangalore, began at Don Bosco PYaR.
Don Bosco Rehabilitation Centre, Bablad, was inaugurated on December 8, 2013. The children undergoing the Bridge Course Programme were shifted to the centre.
Don Bosco Institute of Integral Design of Ecology, Experience and Learning (DB IDEAL) was inaugurated at a rented building in Venkatesh Nagar, Gulbarga on the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, on August 16, 2015.
Non formal skill training for marginalized young women was inaugurated at Don Bosco, Bablad, Gulbarga on July 13, 2015. The project is implemented in collaboration with BREADS, Bangalore. The project intends to deliver skill training to 100 women in a year. The ISMO training would be conducted at Don Bosco, Bablad and ITES training at Don Bosco PYaR, Gulbarga.
Present Situation :
The projects being implemented at the centre currently:
1.Chinnara Thangu Dhama/Bridge Course
3. Missing Child Bureau (MCB)
4.CREAM (Child Rights Education and Action Movement).
Community Involvement: SHGs & Youth Groups
Evening Remedial Education Centers
5. Non-formal Skill Training Programme for Marginalized Young Women:
Number of Institutions: 3
Number of children at the Rehabilitation centres: 65
Number of Child Rights Clubs: 39
Number of SHGs: 34
Youth Groups: 14
MISSIO AD GENTES – ST. PAUL, GULBARGA :
The missio ad gentes of Gulbarga was formally inaugurated on the 15th of June, 2014. The missio ad gentes community is made up of the priest, currently Fr. Johnson Lopis, four families, two sisters and one seminarian. All the members of the community have been, for many years, following the Neo-Catechumenal Way which is an itinerary of christian formation to rediscover one’s Baptism. In 2012, the Neo-Catechumenal Way was invited by Bishop Robert Miranda to start the missio ad gentes in an area of Gulbarga that has very little Christian presence. The missio is given to the priest who is entrusted with the care of the members as well those who join the missio ad gentes from chosen area and who has the faculty to Baptize, Marry, administer the Sacraments, celebrate the Eucharist etc.
The community of the missio ad gentes meets in the house of one of the families twice a week: For the celebration of the word in the middle of the week and for the Holy Eucharist on Saturday evening. Every week, the community goes out two by two to meet the people of the area and announce the Kerygma (Good News).
The brothers and sisters of the community (including the priest) struggled initially to find houses and work, but now is slowly becoming part of the society. The main aim of the missio ad gentes is to make contact with the people and make visible to them with our lives of the love that God has for them. Once or twice a year (as needed) a series of catechesis is given, where those whom the community has made contact with can come to listen, and if interested they can join and begin to follow the Neo-Catechumenal Way.
SOCIETY OF JESUS, SIRNUR :
History of St Xavier’s Pre University College, Sirnur
The name of the college comes from Saint Francis Xavier, the first Jesuit who came to India as a missionary. The Most Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga Diocese, invited the Jesuits of Karnataka to start a centre for higher learning in his diocese. In view of starting a college, Karnataka Jesuit Educational Society bought 10 acres of land in the suburbs of Kalaburagi city, adjust to NH 218, near Sirnur village. It was attached to Bijapur Jesuit Mission. Fr. Joseph Monteiro SJ was first one to arrive here on August 4, 2007. He did the registration of the land, supervised the construction of the compound wall and renovated the Jesuit residence. He was accompanied by Br. Balaraj a year of regency, joined him on 1 June , 2008.Soon there was change of personnel, Fr. Joseph was transferred to Hanagal and Fr. Cyril D’mello SJ came to the campus on 20 February, 2009.
One of the main tasks of Fr. Cyril was to start a Pre-university college. He ran pillar to post to furnish all the requirements. But, there was no building to start a college or hostel immediately. So, a building, owned by a person called Mr. Mahamadi, was acquired for rent near to the Jesuit residence. The building was not in good shape. It was given facelift. However, the building was spacious to have regular classes and run hostels for boys and girls. Meanwhile, two more Jesuits, Fr Vincent Pinto SJ and Fr Anthony Dass SJ, came to the community in May, 2010. Fr Vincent Pinto was appointed as the first Principal of St Xavier’s PU College. In the same campus hostels for gents and ladies were started. Fr Anthony Dass was made as the first Director of the hostels. We were fortune to get a warden for ladies hostel in the person of Sr Surekha Noronha , coming from the institute of maids of the poor. In the first year we had 47 students. In the hostel there were 37 students; the rest were day scholars.
Initially, Mr Mahamadi, who gave the building for the rent, was cordial and kind. Slowly he began to show his real self. Troubles increased. Time to time demanded more money. And started shouting at the students and the Jesuit staff with abusive words. At times, his mistreatment was unbearable. At the same time, the hostel buildings causing us enough worry. During rainy season water filled the students’ room, so they had to be moved constantly to the Jesuit residence. Stagnated water from the ladies bathing room was leaking through the warden’s room. As a result, many a time Sr Surekha had to sleep in the student’s dormitory. Finally, the Jesuits decided to put up a building in their own campus. The construction of the new building took one year.
After a year of troubled water, we moved the college and the ladies hostel to new building in own campus in June, 2011. However, we continued the boys’ hostel in the Mahamadi’s building for three more months as the hostel building was not fully accomplished. After a year of service, Fr Vincent Pinto left for Harihar. The new Principal of the college was Fr Cyril D’Mello. We witnessed another mile stone on August 22. The college and the hostel buildings were inaugurated by Fr. Francis Serrao SJ, then Provincial, and Fr Vincent Crasta respectively. The Bishop of Gulbarga, Most Rev. Dr. Robert Michael Miranda, blessed the buildings. On the same day, Fr Cyril D’Mello made his final vows in the Society of Jesus. Around this time, Fr Godwin Serrao was made member of our community. A energetic young man, Br.Yesukumar rendered his service as regent in 2011.
After the relentless service of two years, Fr Cyril D’Mello, SJ and Fr Anthony Dass, SJ moved out to take up newer responsibilities in 2012. In the same year, Fr. Godwin Serrao was made both superior and the Principal of the college. Fr. Joseph rejoined the community. He was made Director of Hostels; Br. Rajesh assisted him as a regent. The work for the new buildings for the hostel and college began in January 18, 2013. Fr Joseph Monteiro SJ oversaw the constructions of hostel and college buildings. Br. Lumnesh Swaroop served here in his capacity as regent in 2013.
On June 2, 2014, Girls’ hostel started functioning in the new building. In 2014, the Jesuit mission witnessed several changes: Fr Norbert was transferred to Pannur, Fr Sebastian Fernandes SJ was appointed as Superior, Br Anthony Derrick joined for a year of regency. Under the leadership of Fr Sebastian Fernandes SJ new college building was inaugurated on January 19, 2015. On this same occasion, the golden Jubilee of Fr Sebastian in the Society of Jesus was celebrated.
Fr Godwin, after three years of tireless service, was transferred to Bangalore in 2015. He contributed a lot for the growth of our institution, especially in terms of results, discipline, developing the infrastructure etc. Fr Anthony Dass SJ replaced him as the Principal of the college; it was a home coming experience to him, as he was here in the initial years. Our mission here, under the leadership of Fr Sebastian, was sailing smoothly. Unexpectedly, there came a change in the script. Fr Sebastian, frequently, was experiencing an acute pain in the stomach. He went to Bangalore for a check up on October 10, 2015. It was found that he had liver cancer. Thereafter, he remained in Bangalore for regular check up. His end came soon. He breathed his last on February 10, 2016. He almost brought about a green revolution on the campus by planting numerous trees and plants.
Yes, it is a dream comes true for many Jesuits in Karnataka, to see the success of the mission. So far the college has produced good results. The Province management is really generous in providing financial and personnel support. The new College Building has large and spacious class rooms, well equipped Reading room and library, state-of-the art, laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science. We have well qualified staff local and from Mangalore. We provide CET coaching on week-ends besides the regular classes throughout the year. Number of unit tests, preparatory exams, special classes for weaker students. Student friendly teaching methods and audio-visual classes are special features of St Xavier’s. Those from Kannada medium are given special Computer and English Classes. We train Arts students to face competitive exams. Quite a few of our old students are pursuing professional studies in Medicine, Engineering and Management.
Finally, a word about our philosophy here. The motto of the College is Knowledge and Light. We aim at the full growth of the human person which leads to transformative action. In our education we constantly strive to be academically excellent, morally strong, ethically upright, culturally well integrated, with a preferential option for the poor and disadvantaged. Our inspiration is Jesus Christ, a man who lived and died for others- “a man for others”. We want our students to imbibe and live this goal: “Men and Women for others”.