- St. Ignatius Church - Mandvi, Mumbai
The chapel dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola, was originally built in 1899 by the Jesuit Fathers for the benefit of the Christian Kolis or fisherfolk of Mandvi, a flourishing community. It was served by the Fathers from St. Xavier's College. A permanent resident priest was placed here in 1947. The priests were in charge from 1947-1951 brought about some improvements. They acquired a small plot of land in front of the chapel and raised the level of the chapel. At the request of the Archbishop of Bombay, the Capuchins took over the pastoral care of this station in November 1951. The catholic population then was around 525, the majority of them being Kolis and Goans. On July 28, 1955, the station was raised to the status of a parish. In March 1952, a night school was opened and since many children started attending the classes, the night school was gradually turned into an English medium primary school in 1955. The chapel was extended and additional floors were put in between the years 1954 and 1960. The catholic population of the parish which increased upto 1300 in 1960, reduced to 830 in 1972 and was around 500 in 1982. But it is still less today!
- Fatima Friary & Fatima High School - Vidyavihar, Mumbai
Amidst the luscious green countryside filled with paddy fields, coconut trees, mango, cashew, tamarind, and mangroves, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Kirol, was born on September 10, 1953. Arch-Bishop, Valerian Cardinal Gracias, invited V. Rev. Richard of Durand, Capuchin, (U.S.A.) the Commissary Provincial, (1948-54) to start the Indian Capuchin presence in Bombay. Fatima Parish with 940 parishioners, comprising of little hamlets of Kirol, Khalai, Asalpha, Bhatwadi, and Ghatkopar, was the first division of the Holy Cross Parish, Kurla. The Foundation stone of the Church and Friary was laid on 31st May 1953 by Mgr. J. A. Lobo the Vicar General. On Sept 13th 1953 Bro. Michael Pais, Capuchin, the Pioneer, was installed as Parish Priest by Mgr. Peter Pereira, Vicar of Holy Cross Church, Kurla. On Dec 7th 1954, a temporary structure of the Church was blessed by V. Rev. Bro Cyril Andrade, Capuchin Commissary Provincial (1954-57). The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was installed on the Main Altar. The first feast of Our Lady of Fatima was celebrated on 11thOctober
1953 with the presence of Rev. Bro. Pacificus Menezes, Counselor, and Master planner who drew the plans of the Friary and School. In June 1954 Fatima School started with one class located in one room of the
then friary, and gradually grew into several classes. On April 29th 1956 the Foundation stone of the School was blessed by Dr. L. G. Pereira. From then on there was no stopping its growth till now when it serves the
educational needs of over 4000 children up to the SSC, maintaining the highest standards. Even before the arrival of the friars at Vidyavihar, there existed a prayer hall built by the local people in honour of Our Lady of Amparo, at Kirol village, for the benefit of little children and classes were also held there. It was later converted into residences to help maintain the Church. In 1957, 30th June, Rev. Bro Augustine Deenabandu, the saintly Capuchin took charge of the Parish. He started the SFO at Fatima on the feast of St. Anthony June 14th 1958, and also at several parishes in Bombay. The Ladies Sodality already existed even before the parish and grew in number thereafter. The Legion of Mary was also inaugurated in February 27th1958, and several other associations. As the parish grew there was need for further division and two new parishes were created: that of Holy Family: PestomSagar, and Infant Jesus: Pant Nagar in 1971. In 1972, the new Province of Holy Trinity was born comprising of Karnataka, Goa and Maharastra. Fatima Friary and Church became an important Capuchin identity of the new Province. As new openings were made in Maharastra at Pimpri, Latur, Katta, Devbag, etc. the Vice-Province of St. Bonaventure came to birth in the year 1999, with Rev. Bro. Francis Gonsalves as the first Vice Provincial. Fatima Friary became the headquarters of the Vice Province. On Oct 4th 2011 the Feast day of our Founder St. Francis Assisi, Fatima extended her boundaries to the new Provincilate: "Assisi Nivas" blessed by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Bombay, under the new Provincial Rev. Bro. Michael Fernandes. Our Lady of Fatima continues showering immense blessings on Fatima.
- Our Lady Consoler of the Afflicted Church - Pimpri, Pune
Two separate plots, about a mile apart, had been acquired for the Province at Vishrantwadi, Pune, in 1965. A hospice under the name of “Vidya Mandir” was started in 1967, in the smaller plot where there was a farm house already existing. The hospice was chiefly for the benefit of the friars doing their college studies or attending the Papal Athanaeum. Later on, the students, attending the Papal Athanaeum, stayed with the Holy Cross Fathers in the Athanaeum Campus itself. A K. G. School was started in 1972 at Vidya Mandir which became a primary school later on, but was closed down in 1978. The plot at Vishrantwadi had been disposed of as it did not serve our Franciscan purpose. However, there is still a plot of about 3 acres at Lohegaon in our possession. In June 1978, the Bishop of Pune entrusted the pastoral care of the newly erected parish of Our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted, Pimpri (with Kasarwadi) located 18 kms. from Vidya Mandir. A residence for the Friars and a Parish Church have already been built. The parish has a large Catholic population and is constantly on the increase.
- St. Joseph Church & Fatima School - Umralla, Vasai
The Parish of Nandakal in Vasai Diocese had a substation at Umralla, with a growing Catholic community, where the need of resident parish priest was keenly felt. The Archbishop of Mumbai offered this place to the
Capuchin in 1973 and the offer was accepted. A temporary residence for the friars was built on a small plot of ground, donated by some parishioners. The liturgical services were conducted in the small makeshift chapel, put up in 1944 and dedicated to St. Joseph. It also served the purpose of a Marathi medium primary school. The station at Umralla was bifurcated from Nandakhal and raised to a parish on March 4, 1974. The foundation stone for the new Church and residence was laid on March 9, 1980. The Church was completed and blessed by the Archbishop of Mumbai on 24th January 1982. The Parish has strength of about 2750. The primary school has however declined in strength and is on the verge of closure. Now an English medium school has started.
- St. Francis of Assisi Church, Latur
The Capuchin presence in Latur in the Diocese of Aurangabad goes back to 1984. The Provincial Definitory responded positively to the friendly invitation of the Bishop of Aurangabad. From the humble beginnings in a rented house, the friars moved to a residence with a prayer hall that has been newly built. A Church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi was later put up at Latur. The ministry of the friars extends to various mission stations. Though the Provincial Chapter of 1996 resolved that Hartmann Friary, Osmanabad, to be the place of Initiation and Orientation programme, St. Francis of Assisi was later preferred and the formation programme commenced from July 1997. Now the formation house is shifted to the newly built Seminary at Katta in Sindhudurg diocese. Now there is a boarding House run at Latur. However since 2013 the Initiation and Orientation programme has come back to Latur.
- Hartman Ashram & Vidyamata High School, Osmanabad
Steps to make the Capuchin presence permanent in the diocese of Aurangabad were then taken up. In fact, a friar began to reside permanently in Osmanabad since July 1990 running a Nursery school in a rented building. In 1992, he shifted both the school and residence to the yet-to-be-completed house cum Church cum School. By now the School has grown into a full-pledged primary and secondary school. In order to accommodate the School in a suitable building a plot for the School was acquired on the Solapur - Aurangabad bypass Road, 3 kms away from the old house. The new school building was put up during the year 1996. The school was shifted to the new building in June 1997. The School was blessed and inaugurated on 8th September 1997. The need was left to build a Friary adjacent to the School in order to avoid transportation from old house and to be in the vicinity of the School. The new Friary was inaugurated and blessed on 15th February 2004. The formation centre for the pre-postulancy commenced 13th June, 2004. The newly constructed Kripamata Church was inaugurated and blessed on 22nd October, 2004. To increase the strength of the students and to provide opportunity to the far-off students of villages and to avail the facilities of our English medium school, need was felt to build a Boy’s Hostel. Accordingly a Hostel by name St. Pio Boy’s Hostel was build and inaugurated on 13th June 2007.
- St. Joseph Church and St. Padre Pio Novitiate, Katta, Malvan.
We have been working in the diocese of Pune since many years and a result of good pastoral work the Bishop of Pune invited us to extend our ministry to interior parts of the diocese. Accordingly, the Bishop of Pune invited us to establish our presence and take over a chapel with 25 Catholic families in 1998. Two friars were sent to take over one resided in the house attached to the Chapel and one resided at the Pastoral centre at Sawantwadi. The pastoral and spiritual care extended to the people made the vice provincial council to acquire a land for own friary. In 2002, a piece of land was purchased and in 2005 another piece of land adjustcent to the existing one was purchased. In 2006, April, a formation house was started. The building of formation house is now completed and an orientation course is being held there since July 2007. The Friars are engaged in pastoral, spiritual and formation ministry with lot of scope for social activities. The novitiate house was inaugurated on 1st May 2011 by Br. John Anthony, the then General Councillor and the decree of erection was read out. At present it is a novitiate house for the brothers of St. Anthony Province, Goa and brothers of our province.
- St. Peter Church, Devbag, Malvan.
In 1998 the Bishop of Pune invited us to take over this parish which was being looked after by a parish in Malvan. The Vice Provincial made an official contract with the new Bishop of Sindhudurg diocese and sent friars to work in the Parish. There are 800 Catholics with strong faith and traditions. The parishioners are all fisher folk community. Besides pastoral work, the friars also do some social work with Nuns who come from Malvan. There is lot of scope for vocations in this parish. We are in the process of asking the Bishop to hand over this parish to the Capuchins.
- Sacred Heart Church & St. Padre Pio School, Songaon
Songaon is one of the mission stations in Ahmednagar district. The Foreign Jesuit missionaries build the beautiful church in 1920 that stands there today. The Socio-eco condition of the poor was unimaginable, thus
by their help and support they gave both physical and spiritual nourishment to the people of Songaon. Today this beaufiful edifice gives encouragement, comfort and peace to thousand who come here. The Capuchins were invited by the Bishop of Nashik in 2004 to take up this parish from the Jesuits. The Capuchins have added new colors in socio-spiritual field of this parish through our life and preaching. We have a boarding where 30 boys are looked after free. We have also started an English Medium School in the Parish besides a Marathi Medium School of the Diocese. A new building for the English Medium School was inagurated on 19th December 2008.
- Capuchin Ashram, Philosophate, Nashik
The General Minister through the Decree Prot. No. 01001/98 announced the erection of the Vice Province of Maharashtra and the actual establishment of St. Bonaventure Vice Province of Maharashtra took place on 17th December 1998 at Fatima Friary, Mumbai. By the Decree Prot. 00027/08, the vice province of Maharashtra was declared as full pledge Province of St. Bonaventure, Maharashtra. Since, then the province of St. Bonaventure was growing very rapidly. As province was growing and number of vocation was growing, the province felt the need of having its own formation house. In 2008, then Provincial Minister Br. Michael Fernandes along with the councilors were able to buy a small piece of land from Divyadaan Salesian College. On 6th January 2009 a foundation stone was blessed by Br. Michael Fernandes in the presence of Councilors and friars. Bishop Lourdes Daniel apostolic administrator of Nashik Diocese Blessed the New Capuchin philosophate on 13th May 2010 and it was inaugurated by Br. Michael Fernandes in the presence of large number of Friars, Priests and religious. The choir of the students of theology and the arrangements of the students of philosophy brought life to the celebration. The dream of the province was fulfilled by God's grace
and very hard work of our friars. The Brothers (students of philosophy) attend philosophical classes at Divyadaan in the same campus.
- La verna, Capuchin Theologate, Pune
The General Minister through the Decree Prot. No. 01001/98, announced the erection of the Vice Province of Maharashtra and the actual establishment of St. Bonaventure Vice Province of Maharashtra took place on 17th December 1998 at Fatima Friary, Mumbai. By the Decree Prot. 00027/08, the vice province of Maharashtra was declared as full pledge Province of St. Bonaventure, Maharashtra. Since, then the province of St. Bonaventure was growing very rapidly. As province was growing and number of vocation was growing, the province felt the need of having its own formation house. In 2008, then Provincial Minister Br. Michael Fernandes along with the councilor were able to buy a small piece of land from De Nobile College. On 22nd September, 2011 a foundation stone was blessed by Br. Michael Fernandes in the presence of Councilors and friars. Bishop Lourdes Daniel of Nashik Diocese Blessed the New Capuchin Theologate on 24th June 2012 and it was Inaugurated by Br. Michael Fernandes in the presence of large number of Friars, Priests and religious. The Brothers (theologians) attend theological classes at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeet in the same campus. JDV has more than 800 students from various religious Congregation as well as Dioceses. At present, the province has 20 brothers who are studying theology.
- Assisi Vihar, Sangli
Our presence in Sangli, Miraj mission was established on 10th June 2014. A plot of land was purchased in the view of establishing our Capuchin presence in Sangli. The Provincial Chapter held in 2014 decided to form a community at Sangli. Friars are residing in a temporary shade and the Friary is named after Patron of our Order St. Francis of Assisi and the friary is called “Assisi Vihar”.