PROVINCE OF NORTH-EAST INDIA

Northeast India Province of the MSFS is confined mainly to the geographical territory of India’s northeast region, which comprises the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura- known as the “Seven Sisters”.  With the inclusion of Sikkim, the northeast is referred to as land of “seven sisters and one brother.”   Later, the State of West Bengal also included to the territory of the Province. Thus, the province territory shares borders with Myanmar in the south and south east, with Bangladesh in the south and south-west, with Bhutan in the west, and with Tibet and China in the North-east.

Northeast is decked with hills, valleys, high mountain ranges and vast expanse of plain land; evergreen forests, innumerable streams and rivers, varieties of flora and fauna, the serene villages and the fast growing townships. The variations of altitude, diversity of habitat, and extreme precipitation, geographical diversity and corresponding climatic conditions add to the rich variety and abundance.

The Region is acknowledged to be one of the most splendid, variegated and multilingual tribal areas of the world. It is a home for hundreds of tribes and sub-tribes who speak many languages, follow distinct customs, and practice indigenous faiths. They also differ widely in dress and other cultural traits. Traditionally, the people live in villages, most of which are perched on hill tops or on their valleys, and enjoy the best of nature’s richness and bounty.

The indigenous people of the region welcomed Christian faith and several groups gladly embraced the faith, notwithstanding   opposition and even persecution.  More of the tribal communities came to embrace the Christianity as it gave a new sense of dignity to them.  The progress of the region and development of people are closely linked to the committed service of Christian Missions.  To this vast mission land and its people, the MSFS also ventured out in the year 1975.

HISTORY

MSFS Mission of the Province of Visakhapatnam (1975-1979)
In 1975 the Province of Visakhapatanam decided to send two new priests each to the dioceses of Tezpur, Tura and Kohima-Imphal. Thus, Frs Joseph Kizhakkeveed and Abraham Kuttiankal for Tezpur, Frs George Parampukattil and Joseph Kuttiany for Tura, Frs Kurian Pattimackel and Jose Mundoly for Kohima-Imphal started from Visakhapatanam on September 16, 1975 to the North East.
MSFS Region in the Province of Visakhapatnam (1979–1984)
On September 15, 1979 North East India was made a Region, with 16 priests working in the North East and few scholastics as regents, within the Province of Visakhapatanam. Fr Devasia Kuzhupil, a veteran missionary, a man with vast experience and foresight, was appointed the first Regional Superior of this Region. Since assuming the office of the Regional Superior, he had worked tirelessly to gain the cooperation of the confreres and focused on promoting unity among them. He resigned from his office as Regional Superior in September 1981.
Fr Alexander Kottam was appointed Regional Superior of North East India to succeed Fr Devasia Kuzhupil in 1982. But he could not take charge of his office due to his sudden illness. Thus, Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy was appointed the second Regional Superior of the North East Region of MSFS and he reached Guwahati in June 1983.
MSFS Vice-Province in the Province of Visakhapatnam (1984–1990)
The Region of North East India of the MSFS was raised to the status of a Vice Province on January 24, 1984 and appointed Rev. Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy first Vice Provincial. Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy was re-appointed the Vice Provincial of the North East Vice Province (1987-90) for a second term.
North East India Province Since 1990
On January 24, 1990 the Vice Province became a fully pledged Province. Fr Jose Thenganakunnel was appointed first Provincial. There were 33 priests and 41 professed scholastics in the Vice-Province at the time of raising it into a province. The Province has currently 189 priests, who are actively involved in a variety of ministries in India and overseas missions. A number of confreres are involved preaching ministry.  Northeast India Province Province is spread out in the geographical territory of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, West Bengal and Jharkhand and the African countries of Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. MSFS in Northeast India work in the Archdioceses Shillong, Imphal, Guwahati and the Ranchi and in the dioceses of Bongaigaon, Dibrugargh, Tezpur, Itanagar, Jowai, Nongstoin, Tura, Kohima and Azansol in the region in the field of evangelization, formal and non-formal education, preaching ministry, developmental ministry, communication and youth ministry.

Parishes:

In Assam (13) :

Narengi, Chandrapur, Rukmanigaon, Panishali, Jonai, Telam,                                 Silapathar,Dhemaji, Gogamukh, Chabua, Hamren,
Manikbond, Panbari, Chappar.

In Arunachal Pradesh (7) :

Pasighat, Yimkiyong, Likabali, Basar, Aalo, Kaying, Tato

In Manipur (2) : Purul, Kangpokpi
In Nagaland (4) : Tening, Peren, Medziphema, Mangkolemba
In Meghalaya (6) :

Nongwalbibra, Somonpara, Umwahlang, Mawkhlam, Mawryngkneng, Amlarem

In Mizoram (1) : Sateek
In Tripura (2) : Sindukpathar, Amarpur
In West Bengal (1) : Galsi

Note:   16 parishes* (those in bold letters) are permanently entrusted to MSFS; others are managed on temporary/ long term agreements.

Institutions/centres of the Congregation:  Provincialate, Narengi,; MSFS study house, Mowroh; SFS Seminary, Medziphema;   Vinaya Bhavan, Thamarasery; Renewal Centre, Umroi; Novitiate, Chabua; Technical institute Imphal; Tech institute, Diphu;  SFS School, Narengi;   and SFS College, Aalo;  SFS School, Lengpui.

Statistics
The Province has currently 193 priests, who are actively involved in a variety of ministries in India and overseas missions. A number of confreres are involved preaching ministry. The Retreat centres at Umroi, Mawkhlam, Tura and kaying have given a new emphasis on parish mission. Confreres in the parishes are fully involved both in education as well as pastoral ministry. Province is also blessed with the necessary houses of formation and a number of confreres are directly involved in the formation of candidates. Taking into account the social realities, confreres have been qualified for social work. In the recent years, the social ministry of the province has received better organizational set up and more confreres have been empowered to involve in social ministry, which in fact enhances the pastoral ministry. Today the social ministry is mainly monitored by FAsCE India, which is the registered NGO.  With 4 Scholastics in perpetual profession, 42 in temporary profession and about 80 in the early stages of formation, the Province has a bright future, particularly with the vocations from the northeast.

 
 
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