PASTORAL

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History

Pastoral Ministry was the very first ministry undertaken by Patna Jesuits after their arrival in Patna in 1921. The first few missionaries engaged themselves in this ministry in the existing pastoral centers around Patna and Bettiah. Soon they began to evangelize new communities such as Santhal’s and Dalits in Bihar. Over a period of 90 years since then the Pastoral Ministry saw the founding and development of nearly a hundred mission centers all over Bihar under the leadership of Jesuit Pastors, assisted by diocesan pastors.

Our Humble beginning

The first Jesuits who arrived in Patna from America in 1921 began their mission work in these parishes founded by the Capuchins. Pastoral work took a new direction in 1925 when Jesuits pastors began to evangelize Santhal’s Tribal’s in South Bihar and Dalits in Central Bihar since 1936. As the Santhal’s converts swelled the Catholic fold, due to personnel church, the flourishing Tribal Mission of Bhagalpur was handed over to Franciscan Missionaries of the Third Order in 1938. But the pastoral ministry of the Patna Jesuits continued with renewed spirit elsewhere.

Vision

Rooted and grounded in the person of Jesus Christ, we carry on his mission and pursue the formation of a human community characterized by love, justice and life in all its fullness.

Mission

We, as companions of Jesus Christ in partnership with our collaborators in pastoral ministry, and together with the Christian community, are committed to –

  • Forming vibrant faith-filled Christian communities, living the Gospel values of freedom, fellowship, justice and love, which will be catalysts in building up the Kingdom of God.
  • Collaborating with the Sisters and Brothers of others churches and faiths towards building a peaceful and harmonious social order.
  • Creating awareness on ecological imbalances and social evils that diminish life.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF PASTORAL MINISTRY IN BIHAR

Though the Jesuits had begun a mission at Patna in 1620, it was short-lived. Later the Italian Capuchins founded their mission at Patna in 1706. Beginning with the founding of a Christian community at Bettiah in 1745, the Italian Capuchins established strong, traditional Christian communities wherever they set up mission centers or houses. They had pastoral centers at Patna, Bankipur, Kurji, Danapur, Jamalpur, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Bettiah, Chuhari and Chakhni.

The first Jesuits who arrived in Patna from America in 1921 began their mission work in these parishes founded by the Capuchins. Pastoral work took a new direction in 1925 when Jesuits pastors began to evangelize Santhal, Tribal’s in South Bihar and Dalits in Central Bihar since 1936. As the Santhal converts swelled the Catholic fold, due to personnel crunch, the flourishing Tribal Mission of Bhagalpur was handed over to Franciscan Missionaries of the Third Order in 1938.

The steady increase of Dalit converts in central Bihar necessitated opening of new mission centers towards the south, east and west of Patna. The new mission centers at Gaya, Mokama, Biharsharif, Nawada, Barbigha, Jehanabad, Ara, Piro, Patna City, Barh, Maner etc. were looked after mostly by Jesuit Pastors who were assisted by newly ordained diocesan priests since the early1940s.

Pastoral involvement continued to grow in the next decades. Some of the mission centers opened in the 1950s were: Gulni, Tinkonua, Sheikpura, Itarhi, Koath, Buxar, Shahpur, Baktiarpur, Dumraon, Dhibra, Sasaram and Darbhanga. As more diocesan priests began to shoulder much of the pastoral ministry in Patna Diocese, the Jesuits limited themselves to a few pastoral centers presently spread in four diocesan territories (Patna, Buxar, Bettiah and Muzaffarpur). Today there are only 13 parishes (in four dioceses) managed by Patna Jesuits. We have 13 full time Parish Priests and 4 part timers. Our parishes are multi-apostolate centers. Most of the parishes have schools, hostels, social-action centers and in some even dispensaries.

PARISHES



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