Capuchin History In India

Capuchin History in India:

The arrivals of the Capuchin in India dates back to the year 1632 when a band of foreign Capuchin Missionaries landed in Pondicherry. Their intention was to extend their missionary thrust to Tibet and Nepal. However in turned out that they continued their missionery ventures in the Vicariate of Agra and Patna. After slogging as missionaries for about two and half centuries, the idea of implanting the order in India was considered as a possibility. Hence in 1880 a novitiate houses was opened in Mussoorie. Just ten years later, however, this novitiate was closed down for want of vocations. A second attempt at beginning the Order in India was made on 26th February 1922, at the instance of the then General Minister of the Order. Br. Joseph Anthony of Persiceto. He inaugurated the novitiate personally at Sardhana, which could be said as the craddle of the Capuchin Order in India for many years to come. Two Indian novices were vested on this occasion in the novitiate named after St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen. The Superiors Regular of Agra, Ajmer, Allahabad and Lahore were jointly responsible for the success of this venture. Vocations to the order came from many diocesses of India but more from the South than the North. To overcome many of the initial teething troubles in the area of formation, the novitiate was later placed under the care of the Superior Regular of Ajmer and to continue the post novitiate formation, a study house was started at St. Francis Monastery, Mussoorie. The early Capuchins were then sent to Europe to pursue their further studies with the French friars at Breust, Tours and Nantes. The first batch of 12 clerics had left India on 22nd June 1927, Br. Marie Egide Uhlennuth of Ajmer leading them.