Carmel Giri, Kadaganchi (Carmelite Mission) :
The Genesis :
With great desire to reach out to all the talukas of the diocese of Gulbarga with the Good News of Salvation, Bishop Most Rev. Robert Miranda placed Fr. George Lobo at Aland, to explore the possibility of a new mission as per the appointment letter dated 19-6-2009. Fr. George could not do much except that he won the good will of the people. He worked there for 3 years and left the place making room for the Carmelite Fathers. In the meantime the Holy Cross Sisters opened a community at Aland on 4th June 2008. The pioneer sisters were: Srs. Mary George, Arul Mary and Josephine. They began the mission work staying in a Jain house. Soon they opted to move out a remote village VK Salagar.
At the pressing invitation of the Bishop, the Carmelites took up this mission in Aland in 2012. Fr. Elias Daniel OCD and Fr. Joseph Pinto OCD were the Carmelite pioneers of this mission. Staying at Aland they visited the families around and tried to build a rapport with people who belonged to the other faiths. They were also looking for a suitable land . After a long search to a property was bought in Kadaganchi village, very close to recently started Central University of Karnataka.This village has around 300 families with mixed occupations like farming, small scale business, animal husbandry and daily wage earners. It is surrounded by many other similar villages having its Hobali in Nimbarga which is 20 Km away.
At his transfer, Fr. Ivan Sanctis OCD replaced Fr. Joseph Pinto in 2013. In 2014, Fr. Sylvester Pereira OCD was appointed as the in-charge of this mission. Fr. Arun Benis OCD joined him at the transfer of Fr. Ivan Sanctis in 2015. At the end of the year Fr Nelson Pinto OCD joined the community.
In July 2015, the residence was shifted from Aland to Kadaganchi. Various apostolates such as pastoral, social and educational were initiated to empower the people in this area. Since there is no Christian presence in this area and the people from the villages are mostly poor and illiterate, it was thought that the best way to reach out to them was to empower the future generation through quality education. Therefore a plan to start a school was initiated. The foundation stone for the new school was laid by the Provincial superior Rev Fr. Charles Serrao on 15th of August, 2015 in the presence of the councillors.
On June 20th 2016 the Mount Carmel Pre-Primary English Medium School was started with 98 children from Kadaganchi and 6 other neighbouring villages. Fr. Arun Bennis was appointed the Principal and Fr. Sylvester the correspondent. The School was started with a motto “Urban Education to the Rural Children”. A strong infrastructure with attractive and modern amenities made the school a ray of hope for the surrounding people. A formal inauguration of the school ground floor took place on Jan 26th 2017 by the Provincial superior Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao and the edifice was blessed by Very Rev. Robert Miranda, the Bishop of Gulbarga Diocese. The event was witnessed by many diocesan as well Carmelite priests of the province. Indeed it is a red letter day in the history of Carmelite Mission in Kadaganchi.
After the provincial chapter of 2017 Fr. Walter Lobo was appointed as the superior and correspondent and Fr. Dolphy Santhosh D’ Souza, the Principal. The strength of the school saw a mighty leap with the strength of 275 children. In this year permission for primary school with natural growth was obtained and the first standard was started with two divisions. There were 9 teaching and 3 non-teaching staff. The children came from around 15 villages by 3 school buses.
In 2018 the school had a new correspondent in the person Fr. Sunil Monis and a new principal Fr. Sandeep Goveas. In the school there are 370 students from nursery to 2nd Std. It is quite evident that the people of the land have started trusting us and they are happy with our presence and services. The educational apostalate, as envisaged, has prepared the seed ground for the Kingdom of God.
Besides the ministry of education, the Kadaganchi community also takes care of the spiritual needs of the students of the Central University of Karnataka. There are about 70 students who regularly attend the Sunday mass and important feasts. The adoration on the first Friday of the month along with the sacrament of reconciliation helps them to have special spiritual experience. The school bus fetches the students from the university campus. At present all the liturgy is celebrated in a class rooms set aside for the purpose. On 5-12-2018 the foundation stone was blessed and laid for the new chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, by Rev. Bishop Robert Miranda along with the Provincial Fr. Charles Serrao and the community fathers. This project is partially sponsored by Propaganda Fide through the mediation of the Diocese.
In order to strengthen our rapport with the people, especially the young generation, every summer the school organises the summer camp for all the children of the neighbourhood. Around 150 children participate in a month long camp. The camp concludes with a presentation of the talents and skills to the parents by way of cultural programmes. The community members visit the surrounding families as and when the situation permits. A regular and systematic visits for better establishment is on the plan as the people are almost prepared to welcome us to their houses without prejudices. The community also shares a good relationship with the local Panchayath members and officers.
Keeping up with the spirit of “Laudato Si”, the Papal encyclical on environment, the community has planted several saplings with the Government assistance. With the completion of compound wall and a new open well, Carmel Giri is ready to be embellished with greenery all round of its boundaries.
Fr. Sunil Monis OCDSuperior
Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) 2014
Carmelgiri, Carmelite Fathers
Aland Taluka, Kalaburagi 585311
Superior : Fr. Sunil Monis OCD 7359518945
Campus Minister : Fr. Nelson Pinto OCD 9448554219
Mount Carmel School-Kadaganchi – 2016
Principal- Fr. Sandeep Goveas OCD 9482935764