Mt. Carmel, Balliguda. Orissa

MT. CARMEL CONVENT, BALLIGUDA , ORISSA
YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT – 20-05-1981

Archbishop Henry D’Souza, the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar sent an invitation to our Mother General to start a convent in his diocese.  On the 20th December 1980 Sr. Loretta was taken by the Archbishop to various existing mission centers and proposed centers within the archdiocese – Phulbani and Balliguda were the two places where the bishop wanted the Congregation to start working. The Archbishop wanted an English Medium school in Phulbani and social work in Balliguda.  The General Council meeting was held in March 1981 and it was decided that Balliguda could be accepted as a new foundation. The opening date was fixed for the 20th May 1981.

Sr. Carola arrived in Balliguda on the 7th May and along with a local girl as helpe. She  managed to arrange a house and get it ready for the opening.  The “House” was the new dispensary building, which would serve as a convent and for all other purposes for the time being.  Sr. Desmond arrived on the 18th and Sr. Teresina on the 20th.

Mount Carmel Convent Balliguda was inaugurated at 9.a.m. on the 20th May 1981.  The Archbishop was brought ceremoniously to the convent.  He blessed it and then celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the presence of many priests and sisters of the Archdiocese. The plan of staring a dispensary could not be realized straight away due to the lack of a nursing sister.  Due to this and to the inability of the sisters to converse in Oriya, the apostolate was not started immediately.  The first thing the sisters did was to start learning the language.  While discussions were still going on regarding the work to be started, the sisters fell victim to malaria which is a common sickness in this area.  They had to face many other problems while they learnt to adjust to live in an Oriya village.

On the 29th October 1981 Sr. Loretta, Councillor for the social apostolate visited Mt. Carmel convent, Balliguda to meet the Archbishop and sisters for a formal discussion on the apostolate of this convent.  Now that the sisters had lived here for 5 months they were in a position to plan the future of the convent and its service to the Christians of Balliguda and others as well.

Catechetical Camps for the villages of the parish to cover were: Preparation for Holy communion, Youth groups, Pre-marriage counseling, Adult Education M.C.H. programme with Nutrition, medical aid, health & hygiene awareness classes. A Technical School with Needle work, Commercial courses, Job oriented specialized coaching- an English Medium Nursery School can be started as an auxiliary work to help the convent financially and to serve the officers of Balliguda. The apostolate that were carried out were: 7 Catechetical camps held in our convent, Preparing students for 1st Holy communion,  visiting villages regularly and conducting  prayers services and teaching catechism.  Holy Childhood Society was formed for the children and ‘Maria Sangh’ for the young girls was started.

On the 29th October 1981 Sr. Loretta, Councillor for the social apostolate visited Mt. Carmel convent, Balliguda to meet the Archbishop and sisters for a formal discussion of the apostolate of this convent.  Now that the sisters had lived here for 5 months they were in a position to plan the future of the convent and its service to the Christians of Balliguda and others as well.

Our 1st foundation in Orissa, situated in the heart of the riot-torn district of Kandhamal, has recently been through ‘fire and brimstone’. From the beginning our sisters have been actively involved in Social Action- vibrant Health-Care Centre, Mobile Clinics, Computer and Typing classes for the less fortunate but talented youth and a large hostel for the Tribal children, who attend Government schools in the vicinity. All these different works are financed and directed by the Diocese of Cuttack – Bhuvaneshwar.

Sr. Rose Mira takes care of a new born baby

Sr. Rose Mira takes care of a new born baby

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Typing Class in progress

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The Volunteers of Social Action