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 Sr M Dora BS
Superior

Members of the Community

Convent building

Educational ministrry

Blessing the students

Faith formation

Pastroral ministry

Pastroral ministry

Location: Bethany Convent, Sao Jose De Areal, is the second house of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, among the people of Goa who are very friendly and peace loving. Sao Jose Areal Church, known as Nessai Church in Salcette taluka of Goa was established on 26 September 1826. It is 15 kilometers away from Margoa and 30 kilometers from Panjim. A large number of poor tribal Catholics were living in this area. The literacy rate was very low. Catholic population alone was around 10,000 to 12,000. Existing schools were very far from the area. The parish priests were always concerned about educating the children of the parish. The parishioners of Sao Jose de Areal felt the need of a local school.

History:-
Rev. Fr Antonio Silva Fernandes, the then parish priest, invited several congregations involved in Educational work to undertake this project especially for girls. However none of them agreed to open an educational institution in this poor, barren locality with a carbon factory perilously close to it. Sr Agnella BS, the then Regional Superior, on behalf of the Superior General expressed her consent to open a community in Sao Jose de Areal to run co-educational school and take up spiritual activities in the parish like teaching catechism, visiting families, preparing children and adults for reception of sacraments and gradually to take up needle work and embroidery for the girls of the parish and of surrounding areas.

The dream of the parishioners was fulfilled on 16 May 1986 when necessary permission to open the school was obtained from the Director of Education of Goa. The sisters initially stayed in Quepem and travelled to Sao Jose de Areal for the mission. Seeing the difficulties of sisters Mr Michael Andrew and Mr Bento Andrew were kind enough to offer their newly built house at Padribhat for the Sisters’ residence. The sisters shifted their residence from there to one wing of the school building on 15 May 1988. The Convent building was inaugurated on 23 June 1991 and sisters now had a residence of their own to facilitate their pastoral and educational ministries.

Sr Prabha, the first Superior and the Headmistress, along with Sr Lumina and Sr Anjali started conducting the classes in three rooms and a hall belonging to the Church offered to the sisters to conduct the classes. There were 24 students for VIII standard and 30 students for the K.G. class. Standard V was opened on 1 July, 1987. Sr Lumina worked tirelessly as Manager of the school from the beginning till 2004. She recalls with gratitude all those persons local and ecclesiastical and the Superiors who were instrumental in realizing the dream of having the first school of Bethany sisters in Goa as per the desire of founder SD R.F.C Mascarenhas who desired that sisters should go to the remotest of villages and work with the poor, marginalized and down trodden as per the charism of the congregation. The PTA was a strong support in planning and executing the activities of the school from its inception.

The sisters and the teachers tirelessly worked to educate the children of the locality at tribal population, economically backward but rich in faith in God. Since they were 1st generation learners and without support structure at home the sisters helped the students after school and conducted special free coaching classes.
The following were the superiors: Sr Prabha 1986 to1988; Sr Verdina; 1988 to 1989; Sr Noel 1989 to 1992 ; Sr Lucy Felcy1992 to 1998 ; Sr Tressilla 1998 to 2001; Sr Patrina 2001 to 2002 ;  Sr Paula  2002 to 2008;  Sr Judith 2008 to 2014; and Sr Tressilla 2014 to 2017; Sr Dora 2017 onwards.

The following were the Headmistresses of the school: Sr Prabha,  (1986 to 1988) Sr Verdina, (1988 to 1989), Sr Noel (1989 to 2001), Sr Patrina, (2001 to 2005) Sr Ernestine (2005 to 2011), Sr Tressilla 2011 onwards.

The sisters here have been instrumental in promoting a no. of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. They are Sr Josefina, Sr Sandra, Sr Dumiana, Sr Anttonete D’costa, Sr Antonet Coutinho, Sr Alcina, Sr Alvira, Sr Jennifer, Sr Amira, Sr Sabina, Sr Moncia, Sr Annie, Sr Presilla, and at present two candidates Flavia and Janice.

There is catholic atmosphere prevailing in the school and faith formation of the students is taken care. There is tremendous transformation in the society and our students have reached every nook and corner of the world excelling at State, National, International levels in Arts, Sports and Science. A deep eco concern and temper has been strongly developed in the students. Above all they have grown responsible citizens maintaining the harmonious relationships with all the students of other faith. Importance is given to empower the girl child, bring peace and harmony and encourage students to excel in all the fields by giving transformative education for fullness of life.
 
 The community members follow the path walked by the predecessors by actively participating in pastoral ministry like, involving in the parish activities, taking care of the youth, altar servers, attending the SCC meetings, and visiting the people in their needs. They continue to integrate themselves in the life of the people and motivate and guide them to live a committed life, to transform the society with gospel values of love, truth, justice and peace.

Year of establishment: 24.06.1986

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