Sr M Felicia Sakri BS

 Members of the Community

Convent building

 Educational ministry

Socio-Medical ministry

Fr Richard Vas SVD, a great missionary and zealous Priest of Christ, dreamed for many years of Bethany establishing a mission centre at Jharmunda, a backward mission land of Odisha. This beautiful dream was finally realised on 29 September 1991. The pioneers of Bethany Convent Jharmunda, Sr Praveen the superior, Sr Roseline D’souza and Sr Supreetha reached Bolangir and on 1st October 1991they had a welcome and celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided over by Rt Rev. Lukas Kerketta, Bishop of Sambalpur. The sisters, bishop and the priest travelled to Jharmunda village which is 32 km away from Bolangir where the Convent was to be started. The day was marked by launching various programmes like Health Centre, Tailoring Centre, Adivasi Youth Club etc. Sr Supreetha got involved in the health centre, Sr Roseline at tailoring and craft centre and Sr Praveen at Social work.

The village Jharmunda consisted of 2000 people of which 60% belong to the Scheduled Caste. Most of them were farmers, labourers or weavers. Sisters in the initial years were faced with many a challenge and difficulty. Jharmunda, a place known for poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, lack of water and transportation made many demands on the sisters.

The humble beginning of Bethany Convent Jharmunda had a rugged path yet the sisters continued with their social, medical and pastoral works among the people of Jharmunda.  Sisters worked for faith formation following the words of Fr Founder “my sisters will go to those places where Christ is not known and loved”. Today they reach out to about 100 villages through their intensified efforts to empower people. There are several Self Help Groups (SHG), Balwadi Centres Farmers Clubs etc.

Bethany Schools have been imparting education to bring fullness of life for all specially to the poor, the marginalised and the girl children. True to its Charism knowing the role that education plays in the development of a village, an English Medium School was started in 2008 which has reached up to class 8th today. With the up grading of the school, better education, more exposure and enlightenment, Jharmunda will surely surge ahead.
Serving in Jharmunda calls for much faith and courage. Bethany Sisters have rendered 25 years of committed service in this isolated area cut off from modern living. Technological developments have not yet touched this village. Transport facilities are still very scant but right now Sr Felicia Sakri, the superior and principal, Sr Mary, Sr Anita Soren, Sr Manjula and Sr Prisca Barla are faithful to their mission.

Year of establishment : 01.10.1991



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