Short History of Gorakhpur - Nepal Mission|
The Little Flower Province had the privilege of engaging itself
in Missionary activities in Gorakhpur and Varansi areas since 1970.
Very Rev. Fr Basilius Panat, the Founder
of the Little Flower Congregation, was very keen to launch out
into the deep and to work for the spreading of the Kingdom of
God especially in North India. He himself with the then the
Superior General Very Rev Fr Seraphin Parambi undertook extensive
and tedious journeys to North India in the years 1969 and 1970
to find out the possibilities of taking up Mission areas for
At the invitation of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jerome Malenfant OFM Cap.,
the Prefect Apostolic of Gorakhpur-Banares to work in the three
districts of Deoria, Gorakhpur and Basti in U.P., Father Basilius
along with Father Seraphin, visited Banares and Gorakhpur and
made the final decision to take up the missionary challenge.
In April 1970 two CST Fathers Robert Kalaran and Boniface Manayathumary
were sent to Gorakhpur. In the month of August 1970, Rt. Rev.
Patrick D'Souza became the first Bishop of the newly erected
Diocese of Varanasi (The former Prefecture of Gorakhpur Banares).He
also welcomed the CST Fathers to work in Gorakhpur. In the year
1974 a contract was signed between the Bishop of Varanasi and
the Superior General of the Little Flower Congregation. Thus
began the Little Flower Mission, Gorakhpur which later became
the Little Flower Province Gorakhpur later spreading to Nepal.
In the meantime several priests of the Congregation were
sent to work in this Mission. Fr.Albert Vettukallumpurath
joined Fr Robert and Boniface in the year 1973. Initially
Fathers Robert Kalaran and Boniface Manayathumary worked at
St. Joseph's Parish Church as assistant Priests. After some
time Fr Boniface was transferred to Dumrikhas Mission and
Fr Robert was transferred to Jamwaon Mission. In the month
of April, 1975 Fathers Theophane Kilianthara, George Jacob
Poothakuzhy, Sebastian Thundathil, Joseph Kochuputhenpura,
Thomas Cherussery, and Thomas Plathottam reached Gorakhpur
to work in the Mission. Fr Thomas Plathottam was appointed
in Azamgarh Mission. Fr Theophane Kilianthara was appointed
assistant Parish Priest and the Principal of St. Joseph's
School Gorakhpur together with Fr George Jacob Poothakuzhy.
Father Sebastian Thundathil was in Captaingunj. Fr Thomas
Cherussery in Dumrikhas. Fr Joseph Kochuputhenpura in Nautenwa.
In the year 1976 Fathers Cherian Puthussery, Augustine Thekkel,
John Mundackal(Sr) Joseph Orikalayil, Michael Chirayath and
Mathew Aruthottiyil arrived in the Gorakhpur Mission.
These Fathers were given an initiation to the local language
and the culture at the Nautenwa Ashram, Varanasi by Fr Iswar
Prasad I.M.S for three months. Thereafter they were appointed
in different places. Fr Cherian Puthussery has worked as assistant
Parish Priest in Bhirabanti Mission. Fr Michael was appointed
in Jamwaon and Fr John Mundackal and Fr Mathew Aruthotty in
St. Joseph's Parish, Gorakhpur. Fathers Augustine Thekkel
and Joseph Orikalayil were in Deoria Mission.
In the year 1975 Fr. Antony Fernadez now Bishop of Bareilly
from Nautenwa and in 1976 Lawrence Mendonca from Gorakhpur,
went back to Varanasi. In 1977 Fr Ivan Joseph from Dumarikhas
and Stanislaus D'souza from Deoria followed suit. John Maria
Vinney OFM Cap, the veteran Canadian Missionary remained in
Captiangunj. In the meantime Fr Theophane was appointed the
Mission Superior of CST Fathers in Gorakhpur
Nichlaul was the first Mission Station started by the CST
Fathers. Fr John Vianney had already made initial contacts
in Nichlaul area. Fr Sebastian Thundathil began to stay in
Nichlaul in July 1976 and later Fr. Thomas Plathottam joined
him. A piece of land was donated to the Varanasi Mission by
Mr. Anirudh Singh with the expert advice of Mr. PP Singh his
nephew. Mr. P.P Singh was very keen to have a Mission School
established in his area so that there may be some real progress
made in that underdeveloped area
In spite of the limited means and financial constraints,
the Fathers launched out various programmes. They were keen
to open different Mission Stations to expand the work of the
The initial work of bifurcating St. Joseph's Parish into two
was started by Rt. Rev. Patrick D'souza, Bishop of Varanasi.
St. Anthony's parish was established in 1978. Fr George Kulampally
was appointed the first Parish Priest. Fr Mathew Aruthotty
and Fr Mathew Kulakkadanthadathil were his assistants. The
Fathers had a very hard time to get a piece of land for the
Church. The purchase of the present plot where St. Antony's
Church and Little Flower School are situated is the fruit
of the hard labour of Fr Mathew Kulakkadanthadathil. Frs.
Michael Chirayath, Cherian Puthussery and Theophane Kilianthara
gave their whole-hearted support to him.
Little Flower High School in the St. Antony's Church Campus
is the total life work of the CST Fathers in God's providence.
For this Fr Kulakkadanthadathil and Cherian Puthussery had
to run from pillar to post. The School was started in a tin
shed in 1984. The founder Principal was Fr Mathew Kulakkadanthadathil.
Fr John Kadaliyil took up the post of the principal in the
year 1985 and remained there for a long tenure of 17 years.
It was Fr. Theophane who suggested having the school named
after Little Flower the first of its kind in the area.
The first CST Priests who worked in Basti were Frs. Francis
Thekkumkattil and George Adichilamackal. Both of them stayed
there almost one year and moved to Dumariagunj. In the year
1978 the CST Fathers showed their real calibre during the
flood relief service in Dumariagunj.
St. Basil School was started on January 2nd in 1984 by Fr.
Sebastian Thundathil in a rented building. After the establishment
of the Diocese of Gorakhpur some land was purchased for the
Priest house in Katra, Basti, the Civil Court area. Later
Bishop Rt. Rev. Dominic Kokkat handed over the station of
Basti to the Congregation.
The Holy See was well pleased with the growth of the Church
in the territory entrusted to us, and as a result, albeit
its initial hurdles, the Diocese of Varanasi was bifurcated
and the Syro- Malabar Eparchy of Gorakhpur was erected on
11th August 1984 appointing Fr Dominic Kokkat CST as its first
Considering the growth of the mission, the IX Ordinary General
Synaxis, 1991 of our Congregation decided to raise the Gorakhpur-Nepal
Mission as a Region and it was erected as Little Flower Region
on 10th June 1994.
Accepting the invitation of Msgr. Anthony Sharma S.J., the
then Ecclesiastical Superior of Nepal and responding to the
request of the local people of Narayangarh the Congregation
started its mission in Nepal on January 17, 1994 and Fr. Francis
Thekkumkattil was appointed and entrusted with the responsibility
to start a school and do the initial work.
Recognizing the missionary activities and heralding the further
growth of the mission, as per the decision of the X Ordinary
General Synaxis the Little Flower Region was raised to the
status of a Vice Province and later on March 5th 2003 the
Little Flower Vice Province was raised to a Province in the
Little Flower Congregation.