DIOCESE OF VARANASI

Fullness in Truth

Our Parishes

St. Mary's Cathedral


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintOur Lady Queen of the World
Year of Establishment1854
Parish PriestFr. Vijay Shantiraj
Asst. Parish PriestFr. John Dolphy Lobo
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Augustine D'Souza, Fr. Cyriac Kuruvilla, Fr. Cyril Menezes, Fr. Donatus Martis, Fr. Ivan Joseph, Fr. Peter Colaco, Fr. Joy Muriankary, Fr. Julian Fernando, Fr. Roque D'Costa, Fr. S. Joseph, Fr. Sebastian V., Fr. Stany D'Souza, Fr. Thomas C. Mathew

No. of Catholics832
Address

St. Mary's Cathedral, 66, Varanasi Cantt.(0542-2502138)

Religious

Frs : IMS 08; IMS Bro. 01; Srs :  SRA 22, SABS 04, SCS 03, SHM 03, ICM 01  = 33

About

The Church in Varanasi town was born in the barracks, where the British troops were stationed. The available records show us that in 1840, Catholic soldiers were attended to from Ghazipur. Some documents do mention cases of ministration from Chunar. This only emphasizes the fact that the three Stations shared the zeal of a single Chaplain, who resided in the then important Cantonment of Ghazipur. The territory came under the Vicariate Apostolic of Agra, a vast unit with a handful of personnel. In 1848, Rome passed the triplet to the Vicariate of Patna, in the care of Bishop Hartmann.

That man of duty came right away in October of the same year, with the intention to study the needs of this new portion of his flock around Varanasi. He selected a decent house which he blessed as a temporary Church, dedicating it to Our Lady of Assumption. He did not have the time to provide it with a Pastor as an urgent transfer took him to Bombay. The saintly old man was to rush again to Banares in order to comfort the agony of the first Visitor Apostolic to India, Bishop Clement Bonnand (of Pondicherry) and to bury him (March 1861) in the still young Church.

Banares got its first Parish Priest in 1851, a Swiss Capuchin,
Fr. Athansius Zuber. He opened the Parochial Registers of Baptisms, marriages, burials which continue to our day. From the Government, he obtained an old building, the disused Treasury. With alms gathered from Catholics and Protestants, he furnished the Church and the presbytery attached to it. Rome soon appointed him Bishop instead of Dr. Hartmann. Thus, it was he, who performed the solemn blessing of St. Mary's in 1854, retaining for it the initial title : Our Lady of the Assumption : a fond memory of Bishop Hartmann for the little Church of Lhasa of the pioneering Capuchins of eighteenth century.

The long line of Fr. Zuber's successors accomplished, at varying rhythm, the passage from the unwiedly military jurisdiction of those days - the not cosy stretch between Buxar and Sultanpur to the Parish of our time. With the establishment of the Hierarchy in India (1886), when the Vicariate of Patna became the Diocese of Allahabad, the pace accelerated. Around 1920, Fr. Anthony of Persiceto, Capuchin, gave to the Priest's house a new look: a solid structure apart from the church in red brick, and surrounded by a fine verandah. A little later, a most gracious episode of the local lore singled out the name of Fr. Paul of St. Leo for fond memory. It is after making a vow to the lady of Lourdes that her Highness Bhagirathi Devi - Kumar Rani of Vizianagaram - provided an heir for her house. And so, in 1929, at the behest of this Princess, Fr. Paul erected the grotto, which we still admire and which, to this day, bears an authenticating ex-voto of marble.
Fr. Lewis of Persiceto built the marble altar of the sanctury in 1930.

Round about those years, religious communities brought to Banares Parish the elements of an enlarged development, of a diversified service.

The Missionary Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles simply walked into their own: their German founder had willed them to India, especially to Banares, its Spiritual Capital. Landing in 1927, they had taken up work in Chunar and Theresapur, at the gate of the Holy City, poised for the earliest opening to it. That same year 1927, Fr. Paul had boldly launched with Miss Florence Mellar as the only teacher, the first Catholic School in the history of this Parish. Within a couple of years, the sheer number of pupils overwhelmed her good will and dedication. Heeding Father's plea, Bishop Poli entrusted the venture to the Sisters. They took charge in May 1932, gladly availing themselves of the whole-hearted help of the excellent Miss Mellar, in bringing about the birth of St. Mary's convent school. After the 1934 earthquake had done away with the original building, the first block of the present St. Mary's complex came up, sheltering both the school and the convent. It was blessed in 1936.

The coming of Sisters proved a manifold boon to the Parish. By 1935 two of them were serving as nurses in Ishwari Memorial Hospital (Kabir Choura Hospital). In 1937, Mother Hieronyma found herself Matron of that State Institution, followed, in the same capacity, by Mother Mercedes. All the while, Sisters filled more and more posts of responsibility: pharmacist, anaesthetist, incharge of the Mid-wifery Training School. Gladly the Father's assured a daily Mass at the neat Hospital Chapel, grateful for the untold good afforded to inumerable women and children of their fold through that sustained medical endeavour.

In 1947, Queen of the Apostles Sisters occupied a vacant building in the compound, the large Bungalow No. 45 and refitted it as St. Philomena's orphange. Another religious family, the Indian Missionary Society, belongs by birth to Varanasi; its foundation goes back to 1941. At that date, a diocesan priest from Mangalore pitched his tent in Chandmari, a locality barely out of the town, with the name: "Mission House".  This place grew into Christnagar.

Young Gaspar A. Pinto had been the catechist of Jesuit Fr. Corti, at Moodbidri in Mangalore diocese, South Canara; from those days, the vision of this missionary inspired his life. "Next to the Name of Jesus Christ" we read in his Memories, " no name has fascinated me, no influence changed the tide of my life, so much, as that of Fr. Corti. I wanted to continue Father's work, as he himself pursued it". Shortly after ordination, Fr. Pinto carried right to the Rome of Hinduism the dream of his mentor. "Gaspar," the veteran had insisted, "we won't last here............at any rate, we cannot remold our foreign minds in its very fabric ....... raise up dedicated colleagues from among your own people, and get going for Christ!"

In his Mission House, better known now as Christnagar, the energetic founder got going. He gathered together an association of committed Indian Priests. Perhaps somewhat of a free lance, Fr. Gaspar Pinto retains, beyond a shadow of doubt, a singular merit: he offered a direct and genuine response to the clarion call of Pope Leo XIII: "Thy sons, O India, shall minister to thy salvation" in this Parish.

Period of Apostolic Prefecture, 1946-1970

In July 1946, the erection of the Prefecture Apostolic of Gorakhpur brought to the Parish the fresh blood of the Canadian Capuchins, with novel and bold re-orientation of the ministry.

Fr. Bernardine, for instance, caused no small wonderment when, in 1951, he took the Good Lord to the National Exhibition of Industries and Arts. In the largest hall of the Swadeshi Mill, he had asked for "a worth-while space!" With the aid of charts, maps, photos, books and pamphlets, he presented the Life of Christ and the whole history of the Church. For two months, he personally welcomed, as much as he could, thousands of Hindus and answered their queries; a minimum of two select parishioners kept helping him or substituting for him.

A couple of years later (Nov. 1953), Fr. Donat addressed himself again to the large public desiring to give to the seekers of Truth the opportunity of meeting Christ. Right in the bazar, he opened a Centre of information well furnished with folders, tracts, books, paintings and statues. He made it a point of honour to give that Centre at least two hours a day. All the while, one or two competent attendants remained there, at the disposal of the visitors.

The same Parish Priest tackled yet another thorny problem: the education of the children. Railway employees, Army personnel, Civil Servants, coming from different linguistic area, often found the schooling of their boys and girls an almost inseparable problem. For them in 1954, Father started an English Medium School in a room of the then Clergy House of the Parish compound.

Even the Banares Hindu University profited by this rejuvenated effort in the town. In 1956 Msgr. Malenfant seized upon the charism of Fr. Raimon Panikker. He gave him his full blessing to settle among the student community, with an eye on the possibility of leavening the intelligentia. "Vishnu Bhavan" and his 'philosophic teas' did much good, which has been continued later on at Assisi Bhavan and Maitri Bhavan.

There have been sporadic efforts at direct missionary action from the Parish. Even before the Prefecture existed, Fr. Raimon had started from Theresapur a Mission at Bareman, a bare twenty kilometers to the North-West of the Holy City. In June 1954, Fr. Donat initiated a fortnightly service to Gopiganj, half way to Allahabad. He did get some conversions, and for many years, his successors in Varanasi continued to hope and to labour for a break-through. The boldest attempt, though still-born, was at Naugarh, 90 kilometers from the Parish in January 1957. Unfortunately, heroic though it was, it ended the day it started. But later another attempt was made in the same direction and another station was initiated, today it is known to be Majhgain.

Inculturation also came in a big way to the Parish at this stage. Respectfully bared feet, oil lamps, bhajans and kirtans to the accompaniment of tablas, jhals and the whole battery of Indian musical instruments became common at religious functions. It certainly has been one of the most important contributions of the Parish Priests of Banares to the Diocese.

St. Mary's Convent School continued to prosper. In 1957 the line of classrooms more than doubled in length, occupying all the straight space available up to the Northern boundary.

This phase witnessed the establishment in this Parish: the centre of widespread apostolate of SRA Sisters. The local convent became officially the Regional Headquarters in 1950. Even after the creation of Southern Region in 1959, Varanasi was to remain "the nerve centre of all our missionary activities in India." The novitiate, launched in 1940 amidst the crowded accommodation of St. Mary's got its separate and spacious building in 1970. Their chapel of lovely simplicity and unobstructed light, was erected (1966) in partial fulfillment of their Founder's vow "to raise a worthy temple in honour of the immaculate conception in the city of Banares". This chapel is thus a sacred legacy, calling for a long, long presence of Sisters in the Parish.

In those days also the Foundation of Fr. Pinto came of age. From 1947 to 1959, Msgr. Jose A.E. Fernandez, his successor, gave the simple Association of the early days a Constitution and formed it into a religious congregation of both Priests and Brothers: the Indian Missionary Society (1953). The first Sacerdotal Ordination had just taken place on August 15, 1952, of Fr. Amoolya and Fr. Jesudas. How to forget Fr. Amoolya, faithful at the confessional of the Parish Church, on Sundays of the late 50's and well after!

It was the privilege of Very Rev. Fr. Silanath, IMS, the first Superior General (1949-1971), to launch from this Parish the long hoped for apostolate of his Society: in this diocese and in many others also, even beyond the seas in the Fiji Islands.

The fruitful era brought to Varanasi a third religious Fraternity: the Little Sisters of Jesus. The installation of Little Sisters here reads like a novel. When the foundress little Sr. Magdeleine brought her Sisters to Banares, on the January 19, 1953, she had still to provide them with a house! To find quickly a vacant house in the crowded Holy City.... evidently a pipe dream! While Fr. Yvon was guiding her through the maze of the narrow lanes, Little Sr. Magdeleine, suddenly, nearly lifted Fr. Yvon off the ground: "Here is the place where Jesus wants us to live!" She exclaimed pointing to a dilapidated, 'haunted' dwelling, on the bank of the Ganga. Yesu Ashram, this Nazareth-on-Ganga, assures a significant presence of the Church in the thick of our Hindu brethren: a presence of worship, of friendship of service.

Some important dates related to the diocese

1954, October 5, 6, 7 : the centenary of St. Mary's Church. The Parish-Priest, Fr. Donat, and his Committee organized a vibrant thanksgiving and lovely pageantry. Of many events, two master-features certainly stood out.

An exhibition of Indian Christian Art displayed among the excellent works of local artists; the elaborate plan of a church, the architecture of which was of a purely Indian conception by Fr. Ernest; a collection of devotional and popular hymns (Ish-Kirtans) by
Fr. Liguori; three wooden ciboriums of intricate pattern and two statues of patently indigenous lines and garb by Msgr. Jerome.

The other choice piece of entertainment enthralled the public, to the point of rapture: evangelical scenes and parables set by Fr. Edmond into classical dance.

At this juncture also, the Cathedral underwent an alteration in its title, Bishop Zuber, following Bishop Hartmann, had maintained the patronage of Our Lady in her Assumption, as the beautiful statue above the high-altar proclaims to this day. A Roman rescript (28/11/58) granting the petition of Msgr. Malenfant made it over to Our Lady, Queen of the World.

1958, December 14 : Blessing of the Prefect's House
St. Philomena's Orphanage was transformed into the 'Bishop's House' by Fr. Yvon, Bros. Gilles and Peter Baptist.

1967, December 10 : A diocesan priest, Fr. Lawrence Mendonca, took effective charge of the Parish, bridging a gap of exactly 20 years: in 1947, Fr. B.J. Pereira, a diocesan priest of Allahabad, had handed it over to Fr. Bernard of the Canadian Missionaries.

1968,  September 30 : The blessing of the new Clergy House and Community Hall.

1970,  August 13 : Bishop Patrick Paul D' Souza, the first Bishop of Varanasi Diocese, took charge of the ecclesial responsibility.

1982,  Christmas Mela began.

1984,  October : Diocese of Gorakhpur was erected as independent ecclesial territory.

1993,  February 11 : The new Cathedral of the Diocese of Varanasi was blessed.

2007,  February 24 : The Holy Father appointed Rt. Rev. Raphy Manjaly was as Bishop of Varanasi.

2007, April 30 : Episcopal ordination and installation of Bishop Raphy Manjaly as Bishop of Varanasi.

2013, December 03 : Bishop Raphy Manjaly was installed as Bishop of Allahabad.

2013, December : Rev. Fr. Eugene Joseph was elected as the Administrator of Diocese of Varanasi.

2015, May 30 : The Holy Father Appointed Rev. Fr. Eugene Joseph as Bishop of Varanasi.

2015, August 24 : Episcopal ordination and installation of Bishop Eugene Joseph as Bishop of Varanasi.

St. Mary's as Cathedral of the New Diocese

St. Mary's Church attained its full status in June 1970, as the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Varanasi. The installation of Bishop Patrick Paul D'Souza took place on August 13, 1970. The fresh impetus affected first the Parish Compound: an increase of visitors!
Bro. Augustine, Ofm. Cap. built up the name of Varanasi into a by word of service and goodness.

Parish Priests, who followed one another, left their mark.
Fr. Wilfred Lewis (1975-81) brought two processes to their final stage. For quite a few years already, Hindi had its place in the Parish, alternating on a par with English; sometime in 1976 it won over completely. By internal re-adjustments and the enclosing of the verandahs, Fr. Wilfred provided a vastly enlarged dining room, stores, and pantry, even a gallery for the library.

St. Mary's Convent School had absorbed into its regular curriculum the English Section, initiated by Fr. Donat in 1954. The development called for repeated construction: 1965, a block to the East of the central structure; 1973, another block on the Northern boundary of the campus; as late as 1983, a couple of classrooms came up not far from the main entrance. It now serves over 2000 students of both the Hindi and English components of its Junior High School.

In 1976, the number of candidates and postulants warranted the acquisition of a separate house for them, Nav Jeevan, at Sona Talab, on the town's eastern outskirts.

In 1978 Sisters accepted an assignment at the heart of Hinduism : Mariammayee Ashram. Apostolically, Mariammayee constitutes a tabernacle ensuring a tangible presence of Jesus near the celebrated Vishwanath Temple; its consecrated custodians from a benefiting guard of honour.

In 1971 the Sisters of Mother Teresa brought to the Holy City one more witness to Jesus' selfless love. For six months, they operated from provisional quarters at Bishop's House. Their present base Nirmal Hriday at Shivala Ghat, caters primarily for the sick and dying destitutes picked up from the streets. Sisters make the rounds of the slums, visiting the unwanted, the lonely; for them and their children they manage mobile dispensaries and make-shift schools.

The same Religious have opened a second Home (1973) at Shivpur: Shishu Bhavan, for the abandoned or neglected children. Here also the Sisters serve the under privileged in the surrounding villages: mobile dispensaries, village schools, tailoring classes.

Daughters of Our Lady of Providence, the Providence Sisters, joined Varanasi in 1981. A novitiate was established in 1982.

St. Joseph's Primary School welcomed its initial batch of students in July 1982; it functioned for a while at Bhojubir. Now it occupies its own building at Barlai, exactly on the divide of the urban and rural areas in the Northern sector of the Parish. Soon a dispensary started. In 1986, the novitiate was shifted to Ashapur. Since 1991 it has its own building at Harahua. In 2005 the novitiate house has been shifted from Harahua to Tarna and in 2006 the Regional house, Ekta Vihar, was also built.

'Khrist Panthi Ashram', an appealing name graciously willed by Pastor R.C. Das, came to life in a rented dwelling at Sigra, on March 01, 1972. The founder, Acharya Swami Ishwar Prasad, IMS and Swami Ishwaranand, a Kurushumala Ashram inmate, took the ashram to its present location at Nagwa in August of the same year, within a stone's throw of the sacred river. At present the sisters of Dina Sevana Sabha reside in this house and run a health centre for the slum area people and also run balwadi for the street children.

In the best teaching tradition of the ashrams, Khrist Panthi Ashram, with the approval of all the Bishops of the Region, planned a specifically Indian training for priests intending to work among the Hindus: from 1974 to 1976 a bold, perhaps a bit premature, attempt was made to conduct Masih Gurukul or Pilot Seminary in this place.

Satsang Sadan blessed in January 1977 aimed at establishing a religious fellowship between Christians and believers of other faiths by inter-mingling with them in respect and love. Fr. Roque D'Costa was on feet to build friendly relationship and make the presence of Christ felt in the heart of Hindu City. A library was established with several periodicals and magazines for public use. With the help of Hindu friends Satsang Sadan grew in the heart of the city until minor seminary of the diocese came into the same house in 1982.

In February 1981 Maitri Bhavan came into being a centre for religious involvement mainly among the intelligentia of the University milieu. The Home of Friendship wanted to unite the thinking elite, and in a sharing spirit, reflect with them on the country's vital problems, keeping religious values in mind.

In 1982, it was felt that time was ripe for the diocese to start its own minor seminary. On July 18, the Minor Seminary was inaugurated in the premises of Satsang Sadan with in the Parish.

Fr. Raimon Panikker had launched the first serious ministry among Catholics of Banaras Hindu University regularly from September 1956 to May 1960, more and more intermittently after 1965. It was a small affair at the beginning, in a hired room, next to the University; then two rooms in Vishnu Bhavan at Lanka. In 1982, the Diocese acquired a spacious, double-storeyed house in the locality of Nagwa, Assisi Bhavan. Assisi Bhavan was later developed as the independent parish to cater to the spiritual needs of the nurses and others in and around BHU.

The inauguration of Nav Sadhana, the Regional Centre of Renewal, took place on February 24, 1982 amidst a memorable assembly, the General Consultation on Priestly Formation for North India: 32 Bishops, Rectors of the Major Seminaries of the Region and their staff, a complement of Brothers and Sisters; all in total, 124 participants, the biggest gathering of Bishops seen in the Parish.

FSM sisters who after various efforts at Pahadia, Sarnath and Bhojubir, opened their Formation House named Amardeep at Sarang Talab, on May 27, 1984, started a heartwarming ministry: caring for the children of leprosy patients, many of whom they kept in hostel at Amardeep, now shifted to Lohata.

Holy Cross Sisters added to the number of Novitiates in the Parish. They started it in 1980 at Ashapur, and in 1986, it was shifted to Ganeshpur.

There has been much development work in the Parish, though not always coordinated. In 1986 Diocesan Social Developmental Centre was started at Bhojubir; ICM Sisters started an adult literacy and women's uplift centre, Snehalaya at Sarnath in 1974; Jeevan Jyoti, the School for the Blind began at Bhojubir in 1972, found in 1984 a new and spacious building at Aktha; Nav Vani, the School for the Hearing Impaired, began at Bhojubir in 1988 in a humble way, was shifted to a spacious building at Koirajpur in 1998. Now Nav Vani has developed into a complete school for hearing impaired and it has also started special B. Ed. for the same.

An already existing building was bought in Sikraul, Bhojubir locality and CJ sisters started service for the mentally challenged and slow learners. Asha Niketan, special school for the Mentally handicapped at Sikraul, near Circuit House, added another feather to the yeomen services of the humanity.

Fr. Dilraj, IMS started a new ministry among the rag pickers and domestic workers in the city. He named the work : 'ASMITA' (Association for the Socially Marginalised Integrated Therapeutic Action). ASMITA has been recognized by the city universities for the practical training in MSW studies in Varanasi. Dina Sevana Sabha (DSS) sisters joined him in the work for slum dwellers and rag pickers. The FSM sisters are continuing to work with Fr. Dilraj, IMS.  Fr. Dilraj has always been ever enthusiastic to reachout to all the rag pickers and domestic staff and the population in the slums of the holy city. Fr. Abhishiktanand IMS began his new ministry of taking care of railway platform children from the house at Sikraul.

Medical Service too has many centres in the Parish. Nityanand Ashram, started in 1974 as a Community health centre, in Sarnath area, has developed into a T.B. Clinic, Maternity Centre and general dispensary and now a well established hospital. There are smaller dispensaries at Providence Convent, Mariammayee Ashram, Shishu Bhavan and Nirmal Hriday.

On February 11, 1993, the new Cathedral, designed by
Mr. Krishna Menon, built under the supervision of Bro. Julian Crasto, Ofm. Cap. was blessed. The cathedral and the permanent exhibition in the basement began to draw many daily visitors. In 2005, Satyaseva Sisters have joined the diocese, to look after the Jeevan Darshan Bible Exhibition at St. Mary's Cathedral.

With the new Cathedral, the Priest House was demolished. Rooms for the parish clergy were built in the hall; the hall itself was taken one floor higher.

Matridham Ashram has been developing into a popular centre of Charismatic prayer. It has become a reputed place of prayer and retreat centre. Thousands of people from almost 100 km radius flock into this ashram on the second and fourth Saturday of the month in order to listen to the Word of God. It has taken a mass movements of devotees numbering into thousands. They are termed as 'Khrist Bhaktas'. Their need is very simple - it is a surmounting desire to listen to the Word. Now the movement is picking up almost all over northern region. Many religious men and women come here for spiritual experience.

Matridham Ashram has developed a centre for the mentally challenged known as 'Ashray' in 2005.  It is well supported by various people of good will in Varanasi. The centre has several mentally disturbed patients who are given counseling by the Acharya himself and FCC sisters, who have happily joined the special ministry in the Ashram. Annually Ashram organizes 'Ashram Aikya' and annual day of discussions and prayer services for the people in the month of November.

Sisters of Adoration of Blessed Sacrament (SABS) joined the ministry on September 4, 2000. They started continuous Eucharistic Adoration in the Cathedral.

Satyaseva Catechist Sisters opened their first house in the Diocese at Patel Nagar for looking after the Jeevan Darshan Bible Exhibition at Cathedral from the year 2005.

As the need for pastoral care of the faithful expounded, new parishes in the city were established.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Nagwa year  2001

Fatima Mata Parish, Mawaiya year 2005

St. Joseph's Parish, Lohata  year  2006

St. John the Baptist Parish, Marhauli year 2007

Ish Mata Mandir, Hatia, Shivpur  year 2011

DLW


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. John the Baptist
Year of Establishment1963
Parish PriestFr. Louis Braggs
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Arokiadas, Fr. Balaswamy
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics536
AddressSt. John The Baptist Church D.L.W. Varanasi, U.P. 221 005 0542-2270792
ReligiousSrs 09
AboutIn 1963, at the request of the administration of Diesel Locomotive Works a higher secondary school was started. The priest principal also served the spiritual needs of the Catholics of the Railway Colony. St. John's School is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the city. It is on the lease land of the diesel locomotive works in Varanasi. The school has a spacious playground and an auditorium built in the process of its development. The school serves not only the children of railway colony but also children from other areas. The Sisters of the Queens of the Apostles opened a house to help out in the school right from the beginning. In 2005 Sisters of Providence GAP have opened a convent within the campus of St. John's, DLW. Both congregations SRA and GAP sisters do the ministry of teaching in the school and pastoral ministry in the parish. In 2013-14 the residential area of priests and sisters was renovated. Lately on August 15, 2014 the newly renovated church was blessed by the Administrator, Diocese of Varanasi. INSTITUTIONS 1. St. John's Convent (SRA) - Superior : Sr. Lima, SRA 2. Sisters of Providence of GAP - Superior : Sr. Vardhani, SPG 3. St. John's School - Principal : Fr. Susai Raj

Marhauli


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. John the Baptist
Year of Establishment2007
Parish PriestFr. Henry Andrade
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Akash
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Ajit Kumar

No. of Catholics199
AddressSt. John The Baptist Church Marhauli, Bhullanpur P.O. Varanasi-221 104 9005554803 (PP)
ReligiousSrs 04
AboutSt. John's School, Marhauli, Varanasi was established in 1987 basically in view to educate the Catholic Community and was a part of St. John's Parish, D.L.W. As the School developed, quite a few Catholic staff members were appointed and almost 90% of supportive staff appointed were Catholics. Hence a great need was felt to have a Church nearby, for the faith formation of the Catholics. Accordingly, Rt. Rev. Dr. Patrick D' Souza, the Bishop of Varanasi on January 01, 2006, blessed the foundation stone for the Church. The Church was blessed and dedicated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Patrick D'Souza on March 28, 2007. Rev. Fr. Peter Colaco was appointed as the first Parish Priest. Sisters of the Holy Cross of Chavanod are actively involved in the Parish activities. The Minor Seminary of the Diocese is situated in the Parish. The parish, the seminary and St. John's school are complementing entities sharing pastoral objective.

                                             St. Francis of Assisi Church


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron Saint

St. Francis of Assisi Church

Year of Establishment2001
Parish PriestFr. Augustine K.J.
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Philip Denis, Fr. Mukul Bara, Fr. Richard Montario

No. of Catholics420
Address

St. Francis of Assisi Church, B 30/76 Nagwa, Varanasi, U.P. 221 005 (0542-2368994)

Religious

Frs : SJ 02, MHM 02, IMS 1 (03 study) Srs : LSJ 04, MC 08,  SPG 07, DSS 03= 22

About

In 1956 Msgr. Malenfant, Ofm. Cap. the then prefect of Gorakhpur-Banares Prefecture, seized upon the charism of Fr. Raimon Panikker and gave him his full blessing to settle among the student community of Banares Hindu University (BHU) with an eye on the possibility of leavening the intelligentia. Thus it was Fr. Raimon Panikker who began the first serious ministry among the Catholics of Banaras Hindu University. It was a small affair in the beginning, in a hired room, next to the university; then two rooms in Vishnu Bhavan at Lanka. In 1982, the Diocese acquired a spacious, double-storied house in the locality of Nagwa, which was named as Assisi Bhavan. Pastoral care of the Christ's faithful in and around B.H.U., Lanka, Nagwa, etc. were looked after from Assisi Bhavan while the area remained within the territory of St. Mary's Cathedral, Varanasi. In the beginning the student priests staying at Assisi Bhavan and studying at B.H.U. were seeing to the spiritual needs and pastoral care of the faithful in the area. The name of Fr. Scaria, OFM is gratefully remembered for his pastoral care of the faithful in the area. Later on Jesuit priests took care of Christ's faithful while engaged in the dialogue ministry. When dialogue ministry was shifted to Bhelupur, the pastoral care of the people here was entrusted to diocesan priests. In 2001, the area in and around B.H.U., Lanka, Nagwa, Samne Ghat, Pandey Ghat, Shivala Ghat, Luxa, Bhelupur, Sunderpur, Karaundi, Susuwahi, Madhopur, etc. was separated from the territory of St. Mary's Cathedral and erected a new parish under the heavenly protection of St. Francis of Assisi after the name of Assisi Bhavan. Fr. John Abraham was appointed as the first parish priest of this parish.

Mawaiya


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment2005
Parish PriestFr. William Fernandez
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Susai Raj

No. of Catholics314
AddressFatima Mata Church Mawaiya, Sarnath Varanasi, U.P. 221 007 0542-2587058
Religious

Frs :  OFM 5, IMS 5 = 10 Srs :  FSM 14, SRA 39, ICM 3, UFS 5 = 61

AboutFatima Mata Church Mawaiya was erected on August 15, 2005. A need was felt to take care of the pastoral needs of the Catholics around Sarnath, Ashapur, Panchkoshi and Pandeypur. Fr. Emmanuel D'Cunha was appointed to look for a land and build the church. With his pastoral experience at the cathedral. Fr. Emmanuel asked for favour from our Lady of Fatima and soon he found a ready built house to be the church and parish. He had to modify the structure so that it could be spacious enough for the congregation for liturgical services. On August 15, 2005, the house was ready to be blessed as the church. Bishop Patrick D'Souza blessed the church and appointed Fr. Manoel D'Cunha as the first parish priest. Fr. Paschal Serrao was the next Parish Priest. On his unexpected death Fr. Pramod took up the charge of the parish priest.

                                           Ish Mata Mandir


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintOur Lady Providence
Year of Establishment2011
Parish PriestDr. Fr. Roselin Raja Manser
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Sunil Mathhias, Fr. Justy C.R., Fr. Ronald D'Souza, Fr. Francis Viyagapan, Fr. Andrew Masih.

No. of Catholics218
Address

Ish Mata Mandir, Hatia, Shivpur P.O., Varanasi, U.P. 221 003

Religious

Frs :       MSFS 03, Dio Lkn 01 = 04 Srs : OLP 18, FCC 04, SCC 04, SAP 05, CJ 03, MC 06, SRA 06, DC 03 = 49

About

Most Rev. Patrick D'Souza, Bishop of Varanasi, brought out a Concept on the necessity and urgency of dividing the Cathedral Parish and creating new Parishes in the different sectors of the City. The latest parish was Ish Mata Mandir at Hatia, Shivpur. Even though the process of creation of the new Parish began in 2005 it came to effect only in 2010. To be exact, the Parish was officially created on July 7, 2010.  Fr. Ivan Joseph, who was the Cathedral Parish Priest, was asked to pioneer the new Parish. The foundation Stone for the Presbytery was laid on July 15, 2010. The Presbytery was blessed on February 28, 2011. On the same occasion, the foundation stone for the new Parish Church was laid by Bishop Raphy Manjaly in the presence of large number of Fathers, Sisters and Faithful of the Parish. The Church was completed in a record time nine and a half months, was officially Blessed and Dedicated on December 15, 2011 by Bishop Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Varanasi. As Our Lady of Providence Congregation has several Convents in the Parish, it was decided by Fr. Ivan Joseph to take Our Lady of Providence as the Patron of the Parish. Therefore the name of the Church is Ish Mata Mandir. The Feast of the Patron falls on November 21 and it is being celebrated by the Parish on Sunday before the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Lohata


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Joseph the Worker
Year of Establishment2005
Parish PriestFr. Thomas Lakra
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Kasper Manimaran, Fr. John Pau,  Fr. Antony Vimalan

No. of Catholics213
AddressSt. Joseph's Church Lohata, Dhannipur Varanasi, U.P. 221 107 0542-2255102
ReligiousSrs:  SHM 04, FSM 08, JMJ 03 = 15
AboutAs the educational need was fast growing St. John's Schools of English medium were efficient to meet the needs. But soon another need for a Hindi medium school was felt in the boundaries of city and village at Lohata. Therefore St. John's Hindi School was started and FSM sisters joined the ministry. As the school was growing number employees and others Christian families who reside in the area also increased. Adding to this, St. Mary's Hospital staff members were also growing. Therefore along with education pastoral need of the families became an urgent need. So, under the supervision of Fr. Oscar Topno a new church building was started in 2003. FSM sisters opened a formation house and SHM sisters built their Regionalate in Lohata. The presence of more communities justified the need of an independent church. Fr. Joy Muriankary completed the church building at Lohata. The new church was blessed and dedicated in the year 2006. Fr. Joy was the first Parish priest and Fr. P. Victor became the second Parish Priest of St. Joseph's Church Lohata. Fr. Raymond Prakash was the third parish priest. On his transfer Father Jacob Mendonsa took up the responsibility of the Parish Priest.

Azamgarh


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Francis Xavier
Year of Establishment1934
Parish PriestFr. Prakash Das
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Anand Udagandla
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics79
AddressSt. Francis Xavier Church Atlas Pokhra Azamgarh, U.P. 276001 05462-220552, 220080
ReligiousSrs 04
AboutFrom the records of Allahabad, it is clear that Azamgarh was a visiting station by Bolognese Capuchin fathers. In 1906, it was visited from Gorakhpur. In 1912 and 1913, it was visited from Benares. But in the later years it was completely abandoned. In 1933 a property of Mr. Barber was bought which had two large houses with a large compound. Fr. Paschal Sinha was appointed the first resident priest. Fr. Sinha found the place very dry despite his hard efforts to have some people to be parishioners. In 1937 Fr. A. Rodrigues with the help of two Franciscan Missionary Brothers tried to do some mission work in the surroundings areas without much success. The short-lived diocesan congregation of Brothers was started here. For some time there was also a small technical training school. For some years Azamgarh also became the diocesan pastoral centre. In 1970 Jyoti Niketan School was started. Missionary Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles opened their house in 1971. Though it was the diocesan pastoral centre, evangelical and catechetical work did not find a fertile ground in Azamgarh. The school has picked up its popularity with a good number of students from the Muslim locality. The number of Catholics has got limited only to the school employees and a few families who came and settled there from other places. In the place of old presbytery a new one has come up and construction of a new church building is nearing completion.

Bahadurganj


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintSt. Pius X Church
Year of Establishment1984
Parish PriestFr. Christanand Xess
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics310
AddressSt. Pius Church Bahadurganj, Via Kasimabad Ghazipur, U.P. 275201 9450239798
ReligiousSrs : DSS 03
AboutIn 1984 Bahadurganj parish was established. Formally it was part of Tajopur. Fr. Paschal Serrao was appointed there. He bought a piece of land there. Fr. Satyawan built the parish house. From 1997 this Parish has resident Priest. Dina Sevana Sabha (DSS) sisters joined the ministry in 1999 and began the work with a dispensary adjacent to the convent building. Mau, Fatima hospital sisters were visiting the station with a mobile dispensary and community health programme until DSS sisters opened a dispensary there. The DSS convent at Bahadurganj was blessed on July 19, 2000. A primary school was established in 2006, and now it has grown up to class VI. The number of families and people in contact with the church has gone higher. The catechetical and evangelical work is taking a fruitful development among the people. In the year 2012 a beautiful church was blessed under the supervision of the parish priest, Fr. Anand Prakash.

Baijalpur


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintOur Lady of the Rosary
Year of Establishment1976
Parish PriestFr. Rajesh Masih
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics629
AddressOur Lady of Rosary Church Seva Sadan, Baijalpur P.O. Via Rasra, Ballia Dt. 221712 9415971895
ReligiousSrs : SRA 04
AboutThis was a sub-station of Francispur Parish. In 1976, it was erected as a separate Parish and handed over to Norbertine Fathers. After a few year they left the Parish to the care of Diocesan priests. In 1972, Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) opened a convent there. They served the Parish till 1983. The Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles are working here from 1986. SRA sisters run a health centre. In late 80s a primary school was built under the supervision of Fr. Cyriac from Francispur. Later a piece of land was purchased to build a church and parish house out side the village. Fr. Francis Vyagappan began the construction of the church, presbytery along with convent. Thus Church building was brought outside the village for better functioning. Now it is a well-established parish with many vocations for religious life. Later the school also shifted to the newly purchased land outside the village. There is a plan to upgrade the school into Junior High School. The property in the village continue to be there.

Ballia


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintOur Lady of Health Church
Year of Establishment1970
Parish PriestFr. Simon P.
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics70
AddressOur Lady of Health Church Amritpali, Ranisagar Ballia U.P. 277001 05498-222875
ReligiousSrs 08
AboutThis Parish was started in a rented house in the town by Fr. Atul Muriankary, now situated on the outskirts of Ballia, five kilometers from the railway station. In his ministry of seven years as the first Parish Priest, Fr. Atul was able to do much to establish it on a sound footing. The land was gifted to the mission for its various services for the villagers. There is a pokhra within the campus. Once in a year people come for Chhat pooja to the pokhra. The Chhat Pooja is a major event in the locality. People come for the pooja at the sunset and sunrise around the water tank. The parish tries to do all that is possible for people to have their ritual without any difficulties. In 1971, Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod joined Fr. Atul to establish the school. Holy Cross sisters run the school and it has been raised up to Intermediate having the strength of more than two thousand students With continuous pastoral care, the presence of small flock of Catholics is becoming significant. The pilgrimage on the occasion of the Nativity of Our Lady is an important annual event.

Benipur


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Thomas the Apostle
Year of Establishment1988
Parish PriestFr. Ranjit, IMS
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics338
AddressSt. Thomas Church Jan Seva Ashram Benipur, Christnagar P.O. Varanasi, U.P. 221003 0542-2626524
ReligiousFrs. 06; Brs 2 Srs 18
AboutIn the month of May 1973, Fr. Virendra, IMS took up missionary apostolate in the area by encouraging in several social and developmental works. To felicitate the works he put up four ashrams in the villages around Christnagar namely Lodhan, Deshnipur, Kanudih and Benipur. The Ashram at Benipur was blessed and inaugurated on October 02, 1977 and Brs. Rajesh and Anslem started staying there. Gradually on August 15, 1988 this was ecclesiastically erected as Benipur Parish. Fr. Vimal succeeded Fr. Virendra as the priest in charge of Benipur. Frs. Vinod, Jerome, Praful, Sagar, Shashikant, Abhishiktanand and Manohar served the mission. Under Fr. Premraj leadership assisted by Fr. Satyajit the mission at Benipur grew to its present heights. Fr. Premraj's enexpected death left a great void in the mission. Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles opened a convent and dispensary at Bhusaula. Later they also opened a formation house for the tertians, Sanjeevani. The Congregation of Jesus Sisters from Allahabad have opened a house in the same year with ministry of social animation, and took up the school at Kanudih.

Bhadohi


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment1981
Parish PriestFr. Thomas Beck
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Raymond Prakas

Fr. Anand Kr. Lakra

Fr. David Vazhapilly

No. of Catholics133
AddressSt. Mary’s Church Nai Bazar P.O. Bhadohi, U.P. 221409 05414-278635
ReligiousSrs: SRA 05, SAP 03, SHM 03 = 11
AboutIn 1981, Fr. Francis Machado opened a School at Nai Bazar. Congregation of the Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles offered their Services to run the School. Along with school a need was felt to do the evangelization work among the carpet workers. Bhadohi, being the centre of carpet industry, many labourers come from Chatisgarh, Chotanagpur and other adivasi areas to work in the carpet industries. The parish took up the responsibility of establishing relationship with carpet workers and provide for the spiritual guidance. Frs. Thomas Lakra, Thomas Beck and Marianus Kerketta are much remembered for their work among carpet workers. Sisters of Helpers of Mary joined with another mission of health ministry for the TB and leprosy patients. In 2013 a piece of land was purchased at Pachwal and the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Mother Mary started their first house. They are involved in family visits and education of the children of surrounding area.

Bhimpura


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Jude
Year of Establishment1994
Parish PriestFr. Promod Kumar
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics483
AddressSt. Jude Church Baharpur Village, Bhimpura No.1 P.O. Ballia Dt., U.P. 221716 9452830780 (PP)
ReligiousSrs 05
AboutBhimpura was part of Jamwaon Parish. In 1994 Fr. Ishwara-nand started to stay in this place. This place is situated in the middle of three parishes - Francispur, Indara and Jamwaon. Sisters of Our Lady of Providence began the health ministry in 1997. The parish includes the ministry of health, education and social animation. A boarding was established by Fr. Vijay Shantiraj to help the boys to attend the school comfortably and later on it was closed. A Hindi medium school was started and later in the year 2011 it was converted into an English medium school. Pastoral care holds the greater prominence in the mission at Bhimpura.

Bhitri


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintSt. Joseph
Year of Establishment1984
Parish PriestFr. Ajay Kant, IMS
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics15
AddressSt. Joseph’s Church Prerana Sadan, Shanti Nagar Ekkvaspatti, Bhitri P.O. Ghazipur, U.P. 233304 05495-214026
ReligiousBrs. 01; Srs 05
AboutFrom September 1981, Br. Viswas, IMS while staying in Nandganj has been visiting Saidpur with the intension of starting a mission there. By June 1982 he shifted to a rented house in Saidpur and intensified his apostolic activities. By July 1984, Br. Vivekanand, IMS joined him and together they worked there until July 1989. Then Br. Viswas was transferred and Fr. Abhishiktanand was appointed in his place. In 1990 a plot of land was purchased in Bhitri about 8 kilometers from Saidpur. Then Fr. Abhishiktanand and Br. Vivekanand shifted from Saidpur to Bhitri and started to reside there and built priest house, convent and school. Br. Rajesh replaced the team. Later Fr. Alex was appointed for two years. After him Frs. Devanand, Kuldeep, Dharmendra succeeded. Fr. Naveen and Br. Vinay Prakash were doing the work of evangelization and social animation very effectively. Holy Cross sisters joined the station in teaching in the school and doing catechetical, social and health work.

Birabhanti


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment1947
Parish PriestFr. Telesphore Kerketta
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Shailendra Kumar
Priests of the ParishFr. Felix Raj
No. of Catholics2997
AddressFatima Church Fatima Nagar, Birabhanti P.O. Ratasi, Ballia Dt. U.P. 221709 9415371586
ReligiousSrs: AC 04
AboutFor a long time Birabhanti was a sub-station of Francispur. Franciscan Missionary Brothers were the pioneers of this Parish. For many years they served the people around, many of whom accepted the faith. The name of Fr. Laurent, OFM. Cap., will always be remembered for his dedicated service in this Parish. The Church was blessed on October 6,1968. Sisters of Apostolic Carmel opened a convent in 1971. They are fully involved in the catechetical and evangelization and educational work in the mission. The girls boarding serves with a great encouragement for village girls to be regular to school where girls' education was being greatly neglected. The Maids of the Poor sisters were engaged in medical ministry till September 2008. There is a boarding house for boys and another for girls. The boarding house does a great service by admitting Catholics, specially girls to encourage them for study and empower them for a brighter future.

Chandauli


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. John the Baptist
Year of Establishment2005
Parish PriestFr. Aloysius Lewis
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish

Fr. Felix D'Souza, Fr. Gyan Prakash

No. of Catholics53
AddressSt. John The Baptist Church Katsila, Jagdisarai Post Chandauli, U.P. 232104 05418-212189, 9415226780
ReligiousSrs 07
AboutChandauli was bifurcated from Varanasi district with Chandauli as district headquarter. In 2003 the diocese decided to open a school in the district headquarter. Fr. Lawrence Mendonca was asked to execute this task. Residing in Ramnagar he worked to find a piece of land and in August 2003 he bought about five acres of land in the vicinity of Chandauli town. In April 2004 he bought another piece of land for an approach road from the irrigation canal to the school campus. In a couple of months boundary wall was built, a tube well was sunk and a culvert on the irrigation canal was built. As the access to the land became feasible to get the materials for construction, foundation stone for the school was laid on January 15, 2005. In a couple of months administrative block and a few class rooms got ready. On April 21, 2005 the school building was blessed and inaugurated by Bishop Patrick D'Souza. Though there were a few children the classes started immediately and was closed for summer vacation. The sisters of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (SABS) joined on the staff of the school. On June 30, 2005 Fr. Lawrence started to reside in Chandauli and three sisters too started to reside in the school campus. As there was no place of worship a class room was turned into a chapel and the sisters were accommodated in the staff room. In the beginning there were only four communicants i.e. the celebrant and three sisters. In the meantime some people living close to the town started coming and also the employees of the school. A good number of Khrist Bhaktas too attend the Sunday service. A Church was built in the year 2013. At Sakaldiha in Chandauli parish the Diocese has started Amar Jyoti School for the Blind boys. Sacred Heart Sisters have joined to serve the school.

Chuharpur


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Paul
Year of Establishment1998
Parish PriestFr. Antony Tensingh
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the ParishFr. Nelson Lakra
No. of Catholics311
AddressSt. Paul Church Yesu Dham Ashram Chuharpur, Narayanpur P.O. Varanasi Dt. U.P. 221104 0542- 2239313, 9451003359
ReligiousSrs: SRA 04
AboutFrom 1995 Fr. Amal Raj started to work here with the cooperation of IMS Fathers of Matri Dham Ashram. Fr. Amal Raj lived in the village and had contact in 55 villages. SRA Sisters joined the ministry the following year and began to live in the village. The Diocese bought a piece of land near Chaubepur. Since the high caste did not want the Christian presence there, we could not go ahead establishing a parish there. Then the Diocese started negotiating another piece of land near Chuharpur. Meantime Fr. Amal Raj was transferred and Fr. Ishwaranand took charge of this Parish in July 1998. On March 10, 1998, Queen of the Apostles Sisters joined the ministry here, living in Chuharpur village. The station continues to be one of the Ashrams for Khristbhaktas for prayer once in a week. A small chapel is built in the ashram style. In 1998 a piece of land was bought and the construction of Priest's House, Convent and Church began. The priest's House and the convent were blessed on December 20, 1999. The Church was blessed on March 06, 2000.

Francispur


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Francis of Assisi
Year of Establishment1936
Parish PriestFr. Mathew Kayany
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Jeyapal X
Priests of the ParishFr. Amaldas , Fr. John Masih, Fr. Prem Chand
No. of Catholics1655
AddressSt. Francis of Assisi Church Francispur Ashram Parsia P.O., Via Rasra Ballia Dt. U.P. 221 712 05491-225081
ReligiousSrs 13
AboutThe first visit paid by the Catholic Missionary to the village of Parsia near Rasra was in November 1936, when there was not a single Catholic there. Hearing that there were many people in the district of Ballia inclined to join the Church, Fr. Francis Pillay, a diocesan priest of Allahabad, started visiting regularly some villages about three or four miles away from Rasra Railway Station. The work was not easy. It meant that he had to stay there in a small tent for half a week in the scorching sun during summer and in the biting cold during winter. Also the distance from Gorakhpur to Rasra implied many sacrifices. Practically the whole day was spent in traveling. The sacrifices made by Fr. Pillay bore fruits sooner than was expected. In April 1937 two Missionary brothers of St. Francis from Mount Poinsur were sent by the Bishop to help Fr. Francis Pillay who up to this date was aided in catechizing by one or two catechists. In June of the same year a house of mud (18 × 12 ft) was built and it was used as a chapel, dining room, dormitory and visiting room. This house had a verandah on two sides. With the coming of two brothers the work of evangelization was carried on more systematically and energetically. The ever increasing work at this centre on the one hand and the incompatibility of the parish work miles away with that of the mission demanded the appointment of another priest who could work exclusively in the mission. Hence in June 1937 Fr. Anthony Rodrigues, a diocesan priest of Allahabad who was working as assistant parish priest in the cathedral of Allahabad was transferred to Azamgarh from where he could work at Rasra. This placement was done because there was no house where he could stay at Rasra. While Fr. Francis Pillay was still allowed to visit Belthara Road, situated at the vicinity of Gorakhpur district. Soon after the arrival of Fr. Anthony Rodrigues, in 1937, at his new station, had the happiness of baptizing a small village of about 50 souls. The work was now pushed ahead more than ever and every month the number of converts swelled by twenties and forties. Apart from the troubles and difficulties which our zealous Missionaries could not avoid such as the distance from Gorakhpur, the fact that Fr. Anthony had to travel twice a week to and from Azamgarh the want of a rest house and food and also the fact that our Missionaries have often to teach at night sometimes as late as 10 o'clock because during the day the villagers are working in their fields. There was not very serious opposition on the part of the people of other faith, though sometimes even from the very beginning some one or another tried to prevent conversions by frightening Fr. Pillay's converts. A little more than a year later there came a mass opposition on the part of Arya Samajists. These held meetings in every village to counter a growing influence of Catholicism, making rosy promises and offering easy terms to our converts if these would return to Hinduism. When this ruse failed they exhorted the relatives and friends of the converts to outcaste the later and stop sharing with them their wells, seeds and even smoke, Hukka. These attempts too proved abortive. With regard to schools from the very beginning Fr. Pillay opened one or two small schools the catechists being the teachers. The brothers helped Fr. Anthony in this work. The Missionaries were also doctors and pleaders. In fact it is on account of the earnest and successful pleading on the part of Fr. Francis Pillay for the just causes of these oppressed villagers in the courts, that these poor people took to the missionaries and the religion in which they found the Truth and real depth of Love. By the year 1940 number of the Catholics at Francispur and in the surrounding villages was over 840. Thus Fr. Francis Pillay had initiated the Centre at Rasra in 1936, and many diocesan priests of Allahabad laboured here along with Franciscan Missionary Brothers. Msgr. Leo, V.G., blessed the earlier church in 1941. In 1947 it was given to the Canadian Capuchin Fathers. Many mission stations were started from this present parish. Among many missionaries who worked here, Fr. Francois Marie would always be remembered in connection with this parish. Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles (SRA) opened their house in 1947. Sisters saw a great need of hostel for girls. They also adopted some orphan children and made the hostel as their home and looked after these children till they were married and settled. The result of this, there are several daughters of Francispur boarding, who are already married and well settled. As church grew, number of catholics has grown much in Francispur parish. The church building would not accommodate more people. In 2006, Fr. Anthony Muttu built the new church. Bishop Patrick D'Souza blessed the Church. There are two boarding houses, one for boys from class III to V and the other for girls from class VI to X. In view of animating the people around Rasra Fr. Ivan Joseph began a centre, Centre for Rural Development (CRD). Later on Fr. Cyriac Kuruvilla purchased a piece of land at Rasra-Nagra road with a view to open an English medium school so that our Catholics in the village area could benefit. This school has grown having about 2200 children. The school is entrusted to UMI sisters. Hindi medium school began in the year 1939 and entrusted to SRA Sisters and later on it was handed over to Diocesan Priests. It is raised into an intermediate college in 2015.

St. Alphonsa Church


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintSt. Alphonsa
Year of Establishment1942
Parish PriestFr. Anthony Muthu
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics99
Address

St. Alphonsa Church, Gagaran, Nagsar P.O. Ghazipur Dt. - 233 326 ( 9450400507)

ReligiousSrs: SSHJ 04
About

While Fr. Atul Muriankary was an Assistant Priest at Hartmannpur in 1962 he came across a newspaper item giving some information on a few Brahmin Convert Christian (CNI) at Gagaran. He went for a missionary journey to Gagaran Village. He met a few families, and recruited a few boys for Hartmannpur Hostel. In the following year, Fr. Atul was appointed Parish Priest of Ghazipur. His enthusiasm brought him to visit the village on a regular basis. A few families joined the Catholic Church. Thus, the Catholic Church was planted at Gagaran in the year 1963. In 1968, Fr. Atul successfully negotiated with the people for a gift of 2 Biswa of land for the construction of a Chapel. In the early 70's, Brother Claude, OFM. Cap., who was stationed at Mariabad Mission, constructed a Chapel for the people. In 90's, a girl joined SRA Congregation, Sr. Roshni Tiwari, and thus we have a professed religious from this Parish. In the year 1988 when Zamania Mission was started, Gagaran was transferred to Zamania Mission. ln 2002, when Fr. Ivan was appointed Parish Priest of Ghazipur, a few people from Gagaran invited him to visit the village. Thus, with regular visits and holy masses at Gagaran, it became, de facto, under the jurisdiction of Ghazipur. In 2003, a new Chapel, with a room for the visiting Priest, was constructed as the existing one was in a dilapidated condition. In 2005, four bighas of land was purchased on the main road. In 2006, Fr. Aloysius Lewis was appointed as the first Priest incharge of Gagaran.  Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus have joined the ministry at Gagaran on September 7, 2011.

Gazipur


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintOur lady of Lourdes
Year of Establishment1942
Parish PriestFr. Ajay Kumar
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Brian A. Andrande
Priests of the ParishFr. Gurushantharaj, Fr. Arulappan
No. of Catholics688
AddressLourdes Church Ghazipur City, U.P. 233001 0548-2221822
ReligiousSrs:  SRA 21, CJ 03 = 24
AboutAs early as in 1840, Ghazipur was a military station. Its first Chaplain was Fr. Vincent who died at Jamalpur. In 1848, Ghazipur was separated from Agra and annexed to the diocese of Allahabad. According to Fr. Clemente Terzorio the Church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But that church was nothing more than a barrack. Since there was no road facility it lost its importance and the catholics moved to other stations. Therefore from 1860 onwards it became a visiting station from Benaras and from Gorakhpur. In 1937, the Franciscan Brothers of Mount Poinsur were sent to stay there by bishop Angelo Poli of Allahabad. The first resident priest Fr. Charles Mascharenhas of Allahabad diocese was stationed there in August 1938. The present land was bought in 1940 and a Chapel was built and blessed in 1942. Missionary Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles started a Convent in 1949. The School for the girls, started with the arrival of Sisters, got its own building in 1954. On February 11, 1964 the new Convent and the Chapel were blessed. There is a boarding house for girls (class IX-XII). A need for one more English medium school was felt and Father Eugene was entrusted with this task. He started the school building on the land at Tulsipur bought by Fr. Jacob Kavalam. The school is up to class XII with more than three thousand students. To encourage, the Christian boys for English medium schools, a boy's boarding began in 2006 . They are given extra coaching and tuition in order to cope up with expected standard. CJ sisters have joined the staff of the school at Tulsipur. SRA sisters have a candidate house in Ghazipur. The new church was built and completed by Fr. Ivan Joseph in 2005. He also extended the mission work to other places like Gagaran.
 Ghosi

 
DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Norbert
Year of Establishment1999
Parish PriestFr. Fr. Sylvanus Gurh O.Praem
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Alois Minj O.Praem
Priests of the ParishFr. Alois Minj O.Praem
No. of Catholics79
AddressSt. Norberts Church Dharauli, Post Manikpur Harauha, Ghosi, Mau Dist. U.P. 272504 (05461) 223061
ReligiousFrs 02; Srs 03
AboutFrs 02; Srs 03

Hardia


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Patrick
Year of Establishment2005
Parish PriestFr. Prakash Tigga
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics400
AddressSt. Patrick’s Church Hardia, Karsi Post Via Navanagar, Ballia 221717 9415814052
ReligiousSrs 03
AboutHardia station is the extension of Jamwaon. The villages of Karsi and surrounding were far and were very inconvenient for people to go for any church services at Jamwaon. Therefore it was thought of opening a station in Hardia and Fr. Jayrathan was appointed the first parish priest of the station. Sisters of the daughters of Vincent de Paul joined the ministry with dispensary and other social work. Father Valerian D'Souza bought the present land and a Church and priest house was constructed in year 2011.

Hartmanpur


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintOur Lady of Sorrows
Year of Establishment1940
Parish PriestFr. Sushil Kumar Tirkey
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Sushil,
Priests of the ParishFr. Felix Raj
No. of Catholics1218
AddressOur Lady of Sorrows Church Hartmannpur P.O. Ghazipur Dt - 233 225 05493-282061
ReligiousSrs: SRA 07
AboutHartmannpur is the fruit of the missionary endeavours from Ghazipur, of Allahabad diocesan clergy. The Canadian Capuchins took over from them, built the old presbytery and the spacious college building, which has been expanded. The Church, built by Fr. Charles, was blessed on February 11, 1940. The service of Fr. Crusbhakt IMS can never be forgotten to bring many people to the knowledge of Christ. Fr. Augustine D'Souza served the station for a record time of twenty years as Principal of Inter College. Sr. Francisca's tireless travels into all the villages and making all the girls and women self reliant was one of Jesus service to the poor. The Mariyan Shrine was built in 1979 under the guidance of Father Augustine, and Sister Francisca started gathering the Mahila Sangh units of the Diocese, and the place gradually is developed as a Pilgrim Centre; and the annual celebration is held in the month of October. In June 1997 this Parish was entrusted to MSFS Fathers. In 2008 the MSFS Fathers handed over the parish to the diocesan clergy. The mission has an inter college and two boarding houses, one for girls (class I-V) the other for boys (class VI-XII).

Indara


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Gonzalo Gracia, Martyr
Year of Establishment1947
Parish PriestFr. Emil Minj, O.Praem
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Dharm Kishore Marko, O.Praem
Priests of the Parish Fr. Bartholomew Minj O.Praem
No. of Catholics591
AddressSt. Gonzalo Gracia Church Indara P.O., Mau Dt. U.P. 275102 0547-2272858, 2272087
ReligiousFrs 03; Brs 04, Srs 05
AboutIn 1947, two brothers namely Bros. Basilus and Clastus, both Germans, came to Kopaganj and started staying in a rented house to start a mission station at Indara. With great difficulty, they could acquire seven acres of land at Indara in 1948. The land belonged to the Maharani of Jaunpur who at first refused to sell the land to Christians, because she felt "padries would make everyone Christian". But later on she agreed to sell the land to the Mission. In the same year initial mission station was started and brothers started to visit Indara and neighbouring villages. In the initial stage they started a small school and a dispensary. Bro. Otto came to Indara in 1956 and took charge of the station and started a boarding house to educate the village children. In 1951 a Primary School was started and also dispensary. In 1956 a boarding house was started by Brother Otto. In 1960 brothers started a substation at Mirpur. Fr. Benedict, OFM. Cap., a Canadian, came to Indara as the first parish priest in 1961. In 1963 the Church was constructed. Hospital construction started in 1965 and in 1966 a general and a leprosy hospital were started to serve the poor and the needy people of the area. General Hospital was closed down a couple of years back. Brother Otto had purchased about 35 acres of land adjoining the Indara mission in 1967 and given to 18 landless Catholic families and made a Catholic resettlement colony which is known as Ottopur. In 1967 the primary school was upgraded into junior high school. In 1967 Fr. Jacob Kavalam was appointed as parish priest. His name is gratefully remembered for the services he had done to bring up this mission amidst lot of struggle. The society of Christ Jesus sisters came to Indara in 1974. The new school was built in 1975 and the old school building was converted into priests' residence. In 1994 the Hindi medium school was upgraded to High School, and in 2005 raised to Intermediate level. The Norbertine fathers took over the mission station in 1977. In 1978 the girls' boarding was started. After some time the girls' boarding was closed down. Brother Innocent who worked as a doctor for 13 years at Indara passed away on February 26, 1981. Bros. Innocent and Otto were very popular around Indara mission. In 1982 Christ Jesus sisters left Indara and Queen of the Apostles Sisters came to Indara. In 1993 the Norbertine Fathers and Queen of the Apostles sisters built a new residence. In 1995 the high school's new wing was constructed. At present there are three religious communities in Indara, serving in the fields of medical, educational, social and catechetical. In 2004 Br. Mark reoccupied a piece of land that was almost forgotten just on the roadside of Mau-Rasra road in Alinagar. In the same year Brother Mark started St. Francis English medium school in Indara in a very small scale. Now the school has grown up to class X. In 2005 Brother Mark also started a primary school in Alinagar as a feeding school to the main school in Indara.

Jamwaon


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintSt. Therese of Lisieux
Year of Establishment1949
Parish PriestFr. Jospeh Camillus
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the ParishFr. Surendra Lakra
No. of Catholics1498
AddressSant Pushpa Ashram Khandwa P.O. Jamwaon Ballia Dt., U.P. 275102 05491-257422
ReligiousSrs: SRA 07
AboutThis station which had been started from Francispur became an independent Parish in 1950, with Fr. Yvon, OFM. Cap., as the first Parish Priest. Among those who worked here, Fr. John Mary Vianney is one frequently remembered. The present Priest House was blessed in 1971 along with the Convent. Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles came in 1953. Sisters are involved in the work of evangelization, health and education. There are two boarding houses, one for girls (class I-XII) the other for boys (class I-XII). The girls' boarding was raised to higher so that more girls could have access to higher education. From Jamwaon parish, two more visiting centres were in contact. One at Lahasani and another at Hardia, Karsi. In Lahasani, a primary school was built by the mission to educate the village children. This school is no more with the diocese. The other visiting station has been established as the independent station in 2004. Another piece of land is located just three kms from Nagara, close to Lahasani village. Fr. Valerian D'Souza assured the possession of the land by building the compound wall.

Jaunpur


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Patrick
Year of Establishment1971
Parish PriestFr. Joseph Crasta
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the ParishFr. P. Victor
No. of Catholics74
AddressSt. Patrick Church St. John's School, Siddiqpur P.O. Jaunpur, U.P. 222110 05452-266091, 265998
ReligiousSrs :    SAT 04, UMI 04 = 08
AboutRecords say that at one stage of the last century Jaunpur had over 600 Catholics. No one seems to know where the Church was. The Catholics were probably in the court and in the army. In 1971, Fr. Dominic Karikattil opened this station in a rented house. In 1974, Ursulines of Mary Immaculate joined the ministry here. The Ursuline sisters have a school up to class XII. In 1997, Fr. Peter Colaco purchased a piece of land about 7 km away from city on the way to Shahganj at Siddiqpur and established another school named St. John's School, which is up to class XII. Sisters of St. Anne of Thiruchirapalli joined the ministry at Siddiqpur. Our desire is to set up a parish Church in Jaunpur city.

Majhgain


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment1976
Parish PriestFr. Robert D'Costa
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics09
AddressO.L. of Fatima Church Sevasadan Ashram Majhgain P.O. (Via) Naugarh Chandauli Dist. U.P. 232111 9451947928
ReligiousSrs: FMM 04
AboutOn January 7, 1957 Capuchin Fathers had reached Chakia, the neighbourhood of Naugarh. Fr. Cyriac Kuruvilla was appointed in 1971 to open a mission station in Chakia area. He selected Majhgain. Fr. Francis Machado built the Presbytery, Sisters' Convent and the Dispensary. The FMM Sisters arrived here on February 8, 1974 and began the ministry. The Primary School was started by Fr. Mathew Kanicheril in 1981. Fr. Joy Muriankary put up the school building in 1985. Fr. Thomas N.J. did his share of getting recognition for primary school and the electrification of the village. Fr. William did a greater part of upgrading the school and benefiting from government facilities when special favours were offered for female literacy. Female literacy being as low as 5.65% in Naugarh Block. The School was upgraded to Junior High School in 1991 by Fr. William and then to High School in 1998 a Junior High School for girls was started in 1991 by Fr. William. In 1996 this school was upgraded to High School.

St. Francis Xavier Church


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintSt. Francis Xavier
Year of Establishment2005
Parish PriestFr. Joseph D'Souza
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics19
AddressSt. Francis Xavier Church, Kazipur, Mariahu, Jaunpur, U.P. 222161
Religious 
About

While Fr. Atul Muriankary was the parish priest of Jaunpur, in 1986 he started a school in a rented house with 130 students in Mariahu town. In 1988 it was handed over to Ms. Anupa. A number of Catholics and Kristh Baktas live in and around Mariahu. Many of them were teaching  in the school. They were going to Jaunpur or Bhadohi for their spiritual needs. Since 1990 Priests from Bhadohi were taking care of the pastoral need of the area. Fr. Sushil Kumar Tirkey started to live in Mariahu from the year 2006. The diocese bought a piece of land there in 2009 and Priest's house was constructed in 2012 by Fr. William Fernandes.

While Fr. Atul Muriankary was the parish priest of Jaunpur, in 1986 he started a school in a rented house with 130 students in Mariahu town. In 1988 it was handed over to Ms. Anupa. A number of Catholics and Kristh Baktas live in and around Mariahu. Many of them were teaching  in the school. They were going to Jaunpur or Bhadohi for their spiritual needs. Since 1990 Priests from Bhadohi were taking care of the pastoral need of the area. Fr. Sushil Kumar Tirkey started to live in Mariahu from the year 2006. The diocese bought a piece of land there in 2009 and Priest's house was constructed in 2012 by Fr. William Fernandes.

Mariabad


DeaneryGhazipur
Patron SaintOur Lady of Poor
Year of Establishment1947
Parish PriestFr. Joseph Lakra
Asst. Parish PriestFr.Shajan M. Michael
Priests of the ParishFr. Sonelal
No. of Catholics844
AddressO.L. of Poor Church Mariabad, Zahurabad Ghazipur, U.P. 233222 05493-286663
ReligiousSrs 05
AboutPARISH HISTORY This centre was opened from Hartmannpur by Mount Poinsur Brothers. Fr. Remy Andrew was a great support to them. Many Capuchin Fathers of the Canadian Province have worked here. Fathers Marie Louis, Alan, Hippolyte are some of them. The first Diocesan Parish Priest was Fr. Wilfred Lewis. Major work along with evangelization in this place is farm cultivation. There is agricultural land to support the boarding house. The Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles opened the house in 1961. They work in the school and dispensary. Evangelization and catechesis is the main work of the sisters here. Construction of the Church began at the time of Fr. Marie Louis, and completed during Fr. Jean Francois' time. It was blessed on February 13, 1962. There are two boarding houses: one for boys (class I-VIII) the other for girls (class I-V).

Mau


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment1973
Parish PriestFr. Maria Paul Raj
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the ParishFr. Vineet Vincent Pereira
No. of Catholics358
AddressOur Lady of Fatima Mau P.O., Dt. Mau 275101 0547-2223165
ReligiousSrs: MSJ 22
AboutMau was a visiting station of Indara for many years. Fr. Jacob Kavalam became the first Parish Priest, entrusted with the building of Fatima Hospital. He did a great deal of work to build the first phase of the hospital. Medical Sisters of St. Joseph opened their house in 1975. The hospital was completed in 1977. The history of Mau Fatima hospital is the story of Mau church. The presence of the church is due to the existence of the hospital which is doing a yeomen service in the locality. Impelled by an abiding spirit of Christian charity, keen awareness of the vastness and urgency of the problems due to lack of medical facilities in this region, Bishop encouraged to establish a hospital at Mau, midway between Varanasi and Gorakhpur. With the help of priest incharge at the local place, a piece of land was purchased. Rev. Mother Theophane, the then Mother General of the Congregation of the MSJ, offered the services of sisters in the proposed hospital. Rev. Fr. Yvon Carone, OFM. Cap. and Fr. Jacob Kavalam were entrusted with the construction of the hospital. Misereor of Germany helped with funds. Fr. Jacob Kavalam lived and shared the meals with the labourers while building the hospital, which has not only brought firmness in the building but also in the relationship with the local people. In the beginning a small building was erected but today the hospital has grown to 320 beds with several medical departments and residential doctors. In the establishment of the hospital the yomen contribution of Sr. Dr. Jude, MSJ can never be forgotten. Sisters started a nursing school keeping the priority to encourage the local girls mainly Catholics for nursing career. Sisters also have started lab-technicians training course (DMLT).Mau was a visiting station of Indara for many years. Fr. Jacob Kavalam became the first Parish Priest, entrusted with the building of Fatima Hospital. He did a great deal of work to build the first phase of the hospital. Medical Sisters of St. Joseph opened their house in 1975. The hospital was completed in 1977. The history of Mau Fatima hospital is the story of Mau church. The presence of the church is due to the existence of the hospital which is doing a yeomen service in the locality. Impelled by an abiding spirit of Christian charity, keen awareness of the vastness and urgency of the problems due to lack of medical facilities in this region, Bishop encouraged to establish a hospital at Mau, midway between Varanasi and Gorakhpur. With the help of priest incharge at the local place, a piece of land was purchased. Rev. Mother Theophane, the then Mother General of the Congregation of the MSJ, offered the services of sisters in the proposed hospital. Rev. Fr. Yvon Carone, OFM. Cap. and Fr. Jacob Kavalam were entrusted with the construction of the hospital. Misereor of Germany helped with funds. Fr. Jacob Kavalam lived and shared the meals with the labourers while building the hospital, which has not only brought firmness in the building but also in the relationship with the local people. In the beginning a small building was erected but today the hospital has grown to 320 beds with several medical departments and residential doctors. In the establishment of the hospital the yomen contribution of Sr. Dr. Jude, MSJ can never be forgotten. Sisters started a nursing school keeping the priority to encourage the local girls mainly Catholics for nursing career. Sisters also have started lab-technicians training course (DMLT).

Mirpur


DeaneryBallia
Patron SaintOur Lady of Fatima
Year of Establishment1976
Parish PriestFr. Eric Clement Soreng
Asst. Parish PriestFr. Sanjay Toppo
Priests of the Parish 
No. of Catholics408
AddressSacred Heart of Jesus Church Mirpur Tandhi, Banpokhra P.O. Dist. Mau, U.P. 221603 05461-261085
ReligiousFrs 02; Srs 05
AboutMirpur was a visiting station from Indara. A school was built. But later for some reasons the school was closed down. In 1977. Fr. Raymond Prakash was sent there and he lived there for some time. In 1978 Fr. Lawrence took up the station. Restarted the school. In the same year UFS sisters too came to the station to teach in the school and work in the dispensary. Fr. Lawrence extended the village visits and Mass in the villages. Evangelization and catechetical work started to progress. In 1981 the church was. In 1982 school building and hostel for girls were completed. In 1983 Fr. Lawrence was transferred and the station was entrusted to the Norbertine Fathers. Though it has been a remote station, it has developed into a fertile place for pastoral life. Once upon a time it was impossible to reach the station during the rainy season. Today the road facility has improved. The mission constantly strives to bring progress.

Mughalsarai


DeaneryVaranasi
Patron SaintChrist the King
Year of Establishment1936
Parish PriestFr. Bipin C.J
Asst. Parish Priest 
Priests of the ParishFr. Thomas N.J.
No. of Catholics303
AddressChrist The King Church Mughalsarai Chandauli Dt. 232101 05412-254770
ReligiousSrs: SRA 10
AboutFor a long time it was looked after by Varanasi Parish. The Church was built in 1935, blessed on February 11, 1936 and dedicated to Christ the King by Dr. Angela Poli, Bishop of Allahabad. This church was built at the cost of Rs. 22,000 which were paid chiefly by the Bishop who added his generous donation to the sum collected among the faithful of Mughalsarai. Mughalsarai church was established mainly for the people of the Railway Colony. It was for a long time under the spiritual care of the pastors from Benares who took care on Sundays to attend to two congregations facing several difficulties of traveling across the river Ganges. Later an assistant was given to the parish priest of Benares so that he might dedicate all his activities for railway colony. The Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles opened their house in 1955. Along with the pastoral care and visiting the families, the sisters were engaged in Education Ministry in Christ The King School which was shifted to Hinauli under the name of St. Mary’s Convent School. The school was mainly for the children of the railway employers. Once upon a time, being one of the biggest railway yards, Mughalsarai has many Anglo Indian Catholic families who were employed in the railways. Attending to the pastoral needs of these people is one of the major ministries here. In 1984, the devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague, started by Fr. Stanislaus D'Souza, became an important aspect of the ministry here. Today the Church is more popularly known as the Shrine of Infant Jesus. The annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Infant Jesus is on the first Sunday of Advent. It is one of the best ways to prepare for Christmas by paying a visit to the Shrine of Infant Jesus on the first Sunday of the Advent. Since there are direct trains from many places and the church is close to the railway station, it is convenient for people to come for the pilgrimage. A long procession "Shobha yatra" is organized through the city for about five kilometers distance on the day of pilgrimage. Today a lot of people visit the shrine on Christmas and Easter day. A big pilgrime centre with spacious accommodation for the pilgrims is built by the generous donation of the pilgrims. The life size statues of way of the cross and mysteries of the Holy Rosary mounted on the wall of the church make it a place of prayer and devotion.

ABOUT THE CHURCH

Though a small Diocese, Diocese of Varanasi is in a significant way a picture of Mother India. The very name of this Holy City conjures up the apex of the spirit’s endeavour in Hinduism.

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45, Varanasi Cantt.
Varanasi – 221002
Uttar Pradesh, India

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