The Carving of Maharashtra Vice Province
The new Province of Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra was carved out of the former Indian Province of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The three states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra were indicated as its geographical territory. Br. Remigius Sequeira was appointed as the first Provincial Minister of the new province with Br. Liguory Noronha as Provincial Vicar and the first Definitor. The new province continued to grow at a rapid growth with vocations flowing in from all the three regions. The regions of Maharashtra also experienced a rapid growth with vocations flowing in large numbers. The Capuchin presence in Maharashtra commenced when the erstwhile single Capuchin Province of Mary Immaculate took over the pastoral care of St. Ignatius Church, Mandvi, in November 1951 at the request of the Archbishop of Mumbai. The second presence of the Capuchins in Maharashtra was established when the Holy Cross parish in Kurla was divided in 1953 and the substation with a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima in Vidyavihar was offered to the Capuchins by the Archbishop of Mumbai. In 1973, the Archbishop of Mumbai offered to the Capuchins the substation of Nandakhal called Umralla. The Bishop of Pune, in June 1978, entrusted the pastoral care of the newly erected Parish of our Lady, Consoler of the Afflicted Church, Pimpri, to the Capuchins. The Capuchin Presence in the Diocese of Aurangabad in 1984 when the Friars were invited to Latur, which served as a formation house till 1998. The presence in Osmanabad started in 1990. The ninth Ordinary Chapter of Holy Trinity Province, KGM, held from 1st to 4th May 1996 decided to request the General Definitory to establish the Vice Province of Maharashtra. Accordingly, Br. Vincent G. Furtado, the Provincial Minister of Holy Trinity Province, with a letter dated 6th September 1996 requested Br. John Corriveau, the General Minister of the Order, to establish the Vice Province of Maharashtra. The General Minister though 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 with Br. Francis Gonsalves as the first Vice Provincial.