MISSIONARIES OF ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

Province of Vizag

At a glance ...

Provincial Rev. Fr. Pentareddy Chinnappa Reddy
Province Councillors Fr. Mandagiri Jojaiah : Admonitor
Fr. Jonnalagadda Lourdu Ravi Kumar: – Innovative and Social Ministry
Fr. Putchakayala Bala Sundar Rao: Formation
Fr. Gundapureddy Sandeep Reddy: Education
Fr. Bellamkonda Anil Kumar: Bursar
Number of Bishops 01
Priests 165
Brothers 09
Decons 07
Theologians 22
Philosophers 31
Regents 10
Novices 06
Minor Seminarians 32
Educational Institutions 19
Technical Institutes 04
Formation Houses Minor Seminary: 02
Novitiate: 01
Philosophate:01
Scholasticate for Theologians: 01
Retreat House: 02
Home for the aged: 02
Orphanages and Boardings:12
Provincial House: 01
Mission Procure: 01
Conreres in Pastoral Ministry: 47 Formation: 14
Education: 38
Confr., in Technical Institutions: 08
as Chaplains: 04
Studing in India: 04 and in Abroad:01
Confreres in Pastoral Ministry in Abroad: 29 confreres in Formation Abroad: 02

About Us

Visakhapatnam Province generally/dearly called as the Mother Province, gave birth to many provinces in India abroad. They are: North East India Province - 1990 East Africa Province - 1996 South West Province - 1991 South East India Province - 2008

History

The Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, was started on 24th October 1838 by the servant of God Very Rev. Fr. Peter Mary Mermier with the blessings of the Bishops of Annecy, Mgr. Pierre Joseph Rey.  At the request of Cardinal Franzoni, Fr. Peter Mermier sent four priests; two brothers to Indian mission.

They were:  Fr. Jacques Martin (Superior ), Fr. Joseph Lavorel, Fr. Jean Marie Tissot, Fr. Jean Thevenet, Bro. Pierre Carton, Bro. Sulphice Fontanel.

They landed on the East coast of  in India at Pondicherry, in the present  state of Tamil Nadu, on 7th September 1845 and after a stay of four months there, they reached Kakinada on 15th February 1846 by boat and on the same day they reached yanam around 9 p.m. on foot. On 17th February the Pro-vicar of Vizagapatam, called also as Vizag, presently known as Visakhapatnam, installed Fr. Martin as the Parish Priest of Yanam.  Except Fr. Martin, rest of the missionaries left for Vizag on the same day.  Fr. Joseph Lavorel was asked to go to Kamptee near Nagpur, Fr. Jean Thevenet was sent to Jalna near Aurangabad and Fr. Tissot and the other two brothers remained at Vizag.

The early missionaries had to undergo lot of struggles on account of different, culture, language, inclement weather, unavailability of the proper medical facilities, lack of means of communication, reluctance on the part of the people in welcoming, etc.

In those days there were no proper roads, no buses and no trains. The mode of travel was either walking or bullock carts. There were missionaries who spent most of their life travelling in bullock carts.

Another discouraging moment for the early missionaries in India was the sad demise of their Superior Leader, Fr. Martin, on 5th May 1846 at Yanam due to sun-stroke, within four months of their arrival in India. It was Fr. Joseph Lavorel, who replaced him to guide the confreres in India. 

Year after year many missionaries came from France and learnt the local languages and worked tirelessly preaching the word of God.  It was in 1887 the original mission of the Vicariate of Visakhapatnam, which was entrusted to the MSFS, was raised as the diocese of Visakhaptnam.

In 1930 regions came into existence in the M.S.F.S. Congregation outside the European main land, and thus the Visakhapatnam region came into existence.

As the flow of the French missionaries diminished, there was a great need for fostering local vocations. In that context, from 1927, the then Bishop of Vizag, Most Rev. Peter Rosillon encouraged vocations from India, especially from Kerala, the ‘goldmine’ of vocations.  According to the then prevailing situations, those who joined Visakhapatnam mission naturally were either for Province or for the Diocese.  Till 1962 the Visakhapatnam diocese and Visakhapatnam region of M.S.F.S were almost synonymous.

Rev. Fr. K. E. Zacharias was the first Indian Regional Superior and he took charge of the region in 1951 and it was he who opened the first M.S.F.S. Minor Seminary in Kerala, and promoted vocations from India.

Thereafter, Visakhapatnam region became a Province in 1965 and Rev. Fr. Devasia Kuzhuppil was appointed as the first Provincial. The raising of the region to the Status of a Province in 1965, also helped the autonomy drive of the Congregation and for its rapid progress.  Soon the province extended its activities to all the Southern States of India and also to the North East India.

Visakhapatnam Province generally/dearly called as the Mother Province, gave birth to many provinces in India & abroad.  They are: North East India Province   -  1990, East Africa Province  -  1996

South West Province  - 1991, South East India Province  -   2008. Thus the marvelous growth of Visakhapatnam Province helped the M.S.F.S. Congregation to spread out and to assist the local Churches and the Universal Church to stabilize and to expand. 

Key Apostolates:

Now the Visakhapatnam province is actively involved in various apostolates like: Evangelization, Education, Formation, Vocational training and other innovative ministries in India and in Foreign missions like in Papua New Guinea, West Indies, Canada, Australia and Europe.

More Information

  • Provincial newsletters
  • Provincial Website