13th August 2023, was a historical day in the annals of Eastern Province. A new mission at St Antony’s Parish Brahmanmara, District of Sundargarh, Diocese of Rourkela in Odisha was initiated. Sr Jessy Maria the Provincial Superior of Eastern Province responded to the invitation of Most Rev Kishore Kumar Kujur, Bishop of Rourkela Diocese for a collaborative mission, in pastoral, educational and hostel apostolates. Sr Manjula Toppo and Sr Jemma Soreng, the pioneering members were chosen to set foot on the new mission. Around 20 Bethany Sisters from neighbouring communities were present to witness this joyous event along with a great number of parishioners of St Antony’s’ Parish, Brahmanmara.


Most Rev Kishore Kumar Kujur, Bishop of Rourkela Diocese extended a warm welcome to the newly arrived sisters and officiated the Holy Eucharist invoking God’s blessings on the new venture. Fr Felix Ekka, the Parish Priest, Fr Sanjith Kerketta, the Asst. Parish Priest concelebrated and hundreds of Parishioners participated in the Mass. After the Solemn Eucharist the sisters were welcomed by the Parishioners with a short cultural Programme. This was followed by the blessing of the renovated house given for the stay of the sisters, by the Bishop, Bishop applauded the sisters for their missionary spirit which he had witnessed from his experience of working with them at Bethany Convent Jharmunda. He assured his support in the days to come and requested the people to collaborate.
A brief history of the Congregation was presented to the Parishioners by Sr Shanti Priyal, Superior of Bethany Convent Badibahal. Sr Jessy Maria introduced the sisters, present on this occasion. She thanked and appreciated the good will of Bishop Kishore Kumar Kujur in availing the opportunity to open a first mission in the Diocese of Rourkela. She thanked the Parish Priest Fr Felix Toppo, Asst Parish Priest Fr Sanjith Kerketta and all the Parishioners for keeping ready the house and contributing generously to provide the necessary things to start the mission. Sr Manjula Toppo proposed vote of thanks to the gathering. To mark the significant occasion a fruit sapling was planted by the pioneering members along with the Provincial superior.

 News by:-Sr Margarita D’Souza BS,Provincial Secretary

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