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DON VARGHESE GNALIAN
Superiore Provinciale
Nomina: 26 luglio 2017
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.stpauls.in

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Storia

Brief History of Society of St Paul

The first two Paulines, Fr Domenico Ambrosio and Fr Guido Paganini arrived in Bombay by the Italian liner Victoria on April 10, 1935. But they could not stay long in Bombay as the Archdiocese was not open to religious other than the Jesuits.

After several attempts to get admitted into a diocese, they were allowed to stay in Delhi till they are admitted into another diocese. Here they maintained themselves by their hard work with a treadle machine. In December 1936 Fr Paganini left for Japan. He was replaced with Fr Vico Anselm who after a few months became sick and returned to Italy.

On August 2, 1937, Fr Alfonso Ferrero arrived in Bombay and rushed to Delhi to meet Fr Ambrosio before he left for South America. He found a new house in Court Road in the Civil Lines. There was a garage which soon became our mini-press with a treadle machine and a few sets of types. In October, 1937, two more paulines arrived – Fr Gabriel Colasanto and Br Bernardino Ruffoli.

In March 1938, Fr Alfonso Ferrero visited several Bishops with the hope of finding a place to settle down. Finally, Mons. Angelo Poli, the Bishop of Allahabad, was willing to accept us on the recommendation of Mons. De Vito, the then Rector of St Joseph’s Seminary, Allahabad. Bishop Poli offered us the Mission at Fidelispur, now known as Ranipur. However, Fr Ferrero was not impressed with the offer. On 13th October in 1938, Archbishop Mullighan officially admitted them into the diocese of Delhi.

Soon a difficulty arose: Italy sided with Germany in the second world war and the British authorities in Delhi began to grow suspicious of Italian Missionaries. Finally, they accepted the offer of Bishop Poli and moved to Allahabad on 21st June, 1939, and settled down at Fidelispur. Soon they recruited the first batch of aspirants from India.

In October 1939 Germany declared war on England and later Italy joined Germany. On 14th June 1940, Fr Alfonso Ferrero, being an Italian citizen, was arrested and brought to Agra, and later to Ahamednagar. Br Bernardino lost contact with the aspirants who were in holidays. He could not remain alone at Fidelispur. He became secretary to the Bishop and stayed at the Bishop’s house. Soon, the Bishop too was arrested along with Br Bernardino.

As the war got over in 1945, Bishop Poli and Br Bernardino were freed. Fr Ferrero was retained in the camp along with fifty other Missionaries for another year.

When they returned after the war, there was nothing left at Fidelispur. The house was occupied by refugees from Burma. All our belongings, including the mini-press, had disappeared.

In the winter of 1948-49 Fr Colasanto returned after his treatment. In the beginning of 1948 Br Pio Rizzo came, followed by Fr Bellanzon. They recruited a few aspirants, and thus once again we revived the regular Pauline life. In 1949 our founder, Blessed Giacomo Alberione (Primo Maestro) made his first visit to India. On 19 April, 1950 another member was added, Fr Ettore Diamantini.

In 1948 Mons. Valerian Gracias was elected Archbishop of Bombay and he invited Paulines to Bombay, requesting them to take over the Examiner Press Bookshop.

On 11th November, 1951, two more members arrived – Frs Maurus Ferrero to Bombay and Antonio Rossi to Allahabad. Fr Attilio Tempra came in February 1952 and was stationed in Bombay.

In 1953 Fr Diamantini came to Bombay to look after the formation of the aspirants. Around Christmas Br Pio also came to Bombay to manage the Bookshop which he did till he left for Ireland in 1981.

In 1955 Primo Maestro came on a second visit to India and his last visit was in 1963.

On 20 October, 1959, the first Indian Pauline Brothers (Timothy Tirkey, Angelo Pullokaran and Thomas Cornelio) made their perpetual profession and on 01 July, 1962 the first Indian Pauline priests (Albert Rego and Paul Vechoor) were ordained.

On 30 June, 1965, Society of St Paul, India, became a Province and Fr Alfonso Ferrero was appointed the first Provincial.

Eventually, Society of St Paul was spread to different parts of the country:

  • New Delhi: In 1964 Fr Tempra and Br Angelo Pullokaran went to New Delhi.
  • Bangalore (Karnataka): In 1968, Fr Gabriel Colasanto and Br Basil Chennamkulath were sent to pioneer the community of Bangalore.
  • Madras (Tamil Nadu): In 1972 Fr Paul Maruthanakuzhy and Br Carmel Kizhakel sowed the seed of the community of Madras.
  • Ernakulam (Kerala): In 1976 Br Carmel Kizhakel and Fr Abraham Nedumpuram pioneered the community of Ernakulam.
  • Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu): The community of Coimbatore was inaugurated on 20th August 1982, with Fr Paul Maruthanakuzhy and Br Pancratius Tirkey as pioneers. This community was closed down in 1992.
  • Calicut (Kerala): On 30 September, 1984, Fr Augustine and Br Leo Kocheelath were sent to open the community.
  • Eluru (Andhra Pradesh): In December 1984, Fr Jose Pottayil pioneered the community of Eluru, which was later closed down on 9 June, 2001.
  • Pune (Maharastra): On 26 November, 1988, Fr Vincent Gnarakatt, Fr Vincent Carmelbhavan pioneered the community of Pune.
  • Jorhat (Assam): On 5 September, 1991 Br Jesudass and Fr Joe Narivelil were sent to Jorhat.
  • Ibadan (Nigeria): On 6 October, 1991, Fr Renato Perino sent Br Basil Chennamkulam and Fr Leo Botavara III to Ibadan to initiate a new opening in Nigeria. The community was formally opened on 26 November, 1991. By a Decree dated 21 December 1995, Superior General Fr Silvio Pignotti instructed that Nigeria be part of the Indian Province with effect from 1 July 1996. An extension to this community was inaugurated at Enugu, on 3 November, 2007.
  • Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh): On 1 July, 1992, Fr Emmanuel became the pioneer of Vijayawada.
  • Ranchi (Jharkhand): On 26 September, 2004, the house or Ranchi was blessed. Br Leo and Br Dungdung were the pioneers.
  • Guwahati (Assam): On 22 October, 2006, the community of Guwahati was erected. Fr Vincent Carmelbhavan pioneered the project.
  • Jalandhar (Punjab): The community was formally erected by the decree of 25 January, 2008.

Today the Indian Province of the Society of St Paul consists of 153 members in 14 communities and overseas. We spread the message of Christ to the 103 crores of God’s people spread in 33 states of the Indian subcontinent and 12 crores of Nigeria through:

16 Book-Centres
3 Mobile Book-Centres
5 Whole-Sale Distribution Centres
Book-fairs and Book Exhibitions
An Outstanding Publishing House
8 Regional Language Publications
2 Modern Presses
5 Periodicals
Mini-Media Products
Audio-Visual Products
2 Parishes

Members of Society of St Paul, India, also serve overseas in 7 countries (Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Nigeria and USA).

"The history of the Society of St Paul in India is a history of hardships and difficulties. But it is also a history of innumerable blessings of God, who in spite of our many errors and evident limitations has been very generous and merciful towards us. To Him be our thanks, in all humility. In him we trust for the future” (Fr Alfonso Ferrero)."

India - XVI Provincial Chapter Day 5Thursday October 30, 2014, the fifth day of our XVI Provincial Chapter began with the Holy Mass presided over by Fr George Chathanatt. In his homily, stressing on the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in our personal lives, he reminded the participants that every Eucharistic gathering is a reconciled gathering. Fr George also shared with the participants that a work done well with love is a sacrament. 

Read more: India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland: XVI Provincial Chapter (Day 5)

India - XVI Provincial Chapter Day 4Wednesday 29 October 2014, the fourth day of the Chapter began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr Jose Pottayil, Director General of Apostolate. In his short homily, he highlighted the importance of discipline and hard work to carry out the mission entrusted to us. The commitment to the duty is the primary worship we owe to God to which there is no alternative. 

Read more: India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland: XVI Provincial Chapter (Day 4)

India - XVI Provincial Chapter Day 2The day began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Provincial, Fr Michael Raj. He invited the Chapter members in his homily to be positive in attitude and action. He exhorted everyone to rejoice over the wonderful things that the Lord has done to the members, Province and the congregation at large.

Read more: India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland: XVI Provincial Chapter (Day 2)

India - XVI Provincial Chapter Day 3Tuesday October 28, 2014, the third day of our XVI Provincial Chapter began with the Holy Mass presided over by Fr Devasia Puthiyaparmbil. During his homily, he reminded the participants to have love for one's own vocation. In his homily, he also exhorted the members to imitate Jesus' and Alberione's lives of prayer for effective Pauline formation. He also brought to the attention of the members of the greater responsibility entrusted to us, the present day apostles of Jesus, to evangelise the world with the modern means of communication..

Read more: India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland: XVI Provincial Chapter (Day 3)

Provincial Chapter 2014The celebration of the XVI Provincial Chapter began with a solemn Eucharistic celebration on Sunday 26 October, 2014, on the Solemninty of Jesus the Divine Master, at 6.30 p.m. in the Chapel of the PG block of Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV) presided over by Rev. Thomas Dabre, the Bishop of Pune. Present for the General Government was Br Blaise Thadathil, General Councillor.

Congratulating the Provincial, Fr Michael Raj, on his reappointment the Bishop said the Congregation has placed much confidence in him. He wished him all the best and exhorted the members to collaborate with the Provincial.

During the homily Bishop Dabre reiterated the need for personal and inner transformation of the heart and mind to become relevant and effective apostles in the Church. He congratulated the Chapter members and the Congregation for its specific apostolate and the contribution the Society of St Paul is making to the people of God through the media of social communication.
After the Holy Eucharist and the dinner, the Chapter members assembled for a recollection as an immediate preparation for the celebration of the XVI Provincial Chapter. Fr Selva Rathinam SJ, the President of JDV, guided the Chapter members to a challenging and meaningful reflection based on Jesus' temptations (Mt 4:1-11). While describing the three elements that make up religious life, namely, community, mission and prayer, he explained how temptations enter into one's imagination, move to flight of fantasy leading to action. Quoting St Ignatius, he described the three ways the temptations enter into a person or congregation: as a military leader, who finds the weak areas and attacks; like a false lover, having many secrets to hide and finally as a nagging wife, who keeps demanding wrong things. He concluded his inspiring talk by showcasing the Gospel vision (kingdom of God), Gospel mission (Charism) and strategies (the three vows) as presented in the Gospel of Mathew.

List of the Participants

Fr Michael Raj - Provincial Superior
Fr Jose Pottayil Director General of Apostolate
Fr Thomas Mangamthanath Director of Formation
Fr Jose Pulickakunnel - Delegate
Fr George Chathanatt - Superior
Fr Aji Manimala - Delegate
Fr Joseph Thenasseril - Delegate
Fr Richard Amaladas - Superior
Fr Gregory Rayappan - Delegate
Fr Siji Jose Pannakathil - Superior
Fr Francis Maniamkerry - Delegate
Fr John Gilbert Kannikattu - Superior
Fr Francis Dalmet - Delegate
Fr Johnson Vattakunnel - Superior
Fr Correa Robert - Delegate
Fr Saju George Ellickal - Superior
Fr Varghese Gnalian - Delegate
Br Thomas Eanthanakunnel - Delegate
Fr Joe Eruppakkatt - Superior
Fr Baji Devasia Puthiyaparambil - Delegate
Fr Alfonso Elengikal - Delegate
Fr Paul Kottackal - Superior
Br Jolly Thenamkalayil - Delegate
Fr Wilson Thekkanath - Delegate
Fr Saji Antony Chakkazhath - Superior
Br Angelo Pullokaran - Delegate
Fr Joseph Kandachamkunnel - Delegate
Fr Thomas Ramayil - Delegate

Juniors' Representatives
Khongsni Jeffrey
Mekala Punna Rao

 

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