Sr M  Gracy Nathal BS

Members of the Community

Convent building

Bethany Lay Association

 Hostel ministry

 Medical ministry

Empowerment of women - Training programme

Badibahal, surrounded by hills and forests, is inhabited by the Adivasis. True to their nature and culture, they are a people who are receptive, affectionate, warm, simple and cooperative. At the same time, they are also the victims of a powerful and corrupt society. Though living amidst all deprivations of essential amenities of life, they are a happy and contented lot.

In the year1996 Sr Miriam, the Provincial Superior, chanced to visit this place on her way to the Bishop’s House at Sambalpur and found that the people there needed opportunities to grow and develop. She then requested Rt Rev Lucas Kerketta, the Bishop of Sambalpur, to permit Bethany sisters serve there. Acceding to this request, Bishop Lucas Kerketta invited Bethany Sisters to open the convent at Badibahal in the Sambalpur Diocese.

 On 7th July 1996 Rt Rev. Bishop Lukas Kerketta, along with priests and parishioners welcomed Sr Miriam, the Provincial Superior, Sr Rose Rita in the absence of Sr Stella D’Souza, and Sr Anita Moras after the Eucharistic Celebration. With the blessings of the Bishop, the Sisters readily responded to open the religious house to help in the Pastoral, Social, Educational, Medical and Catechetical apostolate in Badibahal Parish. Sisters were staying in the village in the old church without proper facilities.

In 1995 Sr Stella and Sr Anita got involved in social and pastoral works. They visited the villages and made a survey and built up the rapport with the people. The Sisters visited the catholic families, conducted SCC prayer, and attended meetings of Crusveer, Youth, mothers association and men’s association every month. Through the help of Sambalpur Social Service Society (SSSS) Jharsuguda Social work was started with the Balwadi centres and the Mother and Child Health (MCH) programme.

The Bethany Community Badibahal was canonically erected on 24th June with Sr Clare Toppo as the Superior, Sr Generosa, Sr Bridget, and Sr Sangeeta as the members. Fr Daya Kishore Ekka OFM Cap, the parish priest, concelebrated the Holy Eucharist.  Sr. Chantal the Counsellor, delegate of the Provincial Superior installed the new Superior. According to the agreement with Bishop the Congregation undertook the educational, social, medical, Pastoral and catechetical apostolate having a special concern for the poor and the needy of the area.  Sisters continued living in the old Parish and continued the developmental works in the villages. Meanwhile land for the convent was procured and convent and health centre buildings started.
On 25th Mach 2000 the feast of Annunciation the Convent and the Health centre building were blessed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lukas and inaugurated by Sr Jyoti, the Superior General. Mr William Bilung the Sub Collector inaugurated the Health centre. Sr. Virginia the General Counsellor, Sr Nora the Provincial Superior, Sr Maria Leena Sr Anita, and other Sisters were present for the celebration.

On 25th June 2000 Sr Jessy Maria took over as the Superior of the house with its members Sr Generosa, Sr Naveen, Sr Grace Toppo and Sr Dayanita. Their apostolates were social, medical, educational and pastoral. Sr Jessy Maria continued for six years. Many new initiatives were taken up in the field of social and the pastoral works. Many young girls joined Bethany during her time. In 2006, 17th June Sr Arpan took over as the animator of the community with members Sr Subhasini, Sr Elizabeth Sr Preeti Margaret and Sr Malaya Manjari. During this time the social work and the medical outreaching programs were spread to many villages with new projects. 

At present Sr Gracy Natal as the animator, Sr Generosa, Sr Elizabeth and Sr Manjula Toppo as the members are carrying on the mission. There are 109 hostel girls staying in Bethany Tribal Girl’s Hostel Badibahal pursuing their education in the Parish school. Badibahal campus is vibrating with life with presence of the children.

Year of establishment: 24.06.1997


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