Growth into a Province
The newly started Vice Province of Maharashtra continued to experience growth, both in vocations and in locations. The presence spread to other areas like Nashik, Songaon, Katta, Devbag etc. The number of professed Friars grew over above 40, besides many more in various stages of formation. In view of the above fact, the fourth Provincial Chapter of the Mother Province of Holy Trinity, Karnataka, held at Kripalaya, Mysore from 16th to 21st April 2007 resolved to request the General Minister to establish St. Bonaventure Vice Province of Maharashtra as a full fledged Province and a request to this effect was made by the Provincial Minister, Br. Vincent Furtado, in his letter dated 29th April, 2007 to the General Minister. The Capuchin Conference of Major Superiors in India, with a letter of 24th May 2007 (Prot. No. 00561/07, of Const. 111, 1) manifested its approval for the erection of the new Province. The General Definitory sent the two General Definitors, Br. John Antony and Br. Mark Schenk, for the visitation of the Vice Province in the month of September 2007. The General Definitory, in the meeting of 26th September 2007 evaluated the request and the General Minister, Br. Mauro Johri, announced in his letter dated 28th September 2007 (Prot. No. 00895/07) the decision of the General Definitory to establish St. Bonaventure Province of Maharashtra, as the jurisdiction is now able to “contribute to both an apostolic witness and the life of the Order and has a certain geographical unity” (Const. 111.3). Therefore, by Decree (Prot. No. 0027/08) given in Rome at the General Curia on 25th March 2008 on the feast of the Annuciation of the Lord. The Decree was promulgated on 4th June 2008 at Fatima Friary, Vidyavihar in the presence of Br. General Minister, Mauro Johri, and the General Definitor, Br. John Antony. Br. Michael Fernandes was declared as the first Provincial Minister and Bros. Leo D’Monte, Benher Patil, Br. Joseph D’Souza and Terence D’Souza as the Definitors. The new Province is still growing. We have a minor seminary at Katta with more than 15 candidates every year. A new school has come up at Songaon in Ahmednagar. The work for philosophate at Nashik and theologate at Pune is already completed. With a renewed vigor and zeal, the Friars continue to take the presence of Capuchins in Maharashtra to a rapid growth. Since 2012 after Goa became a Province, Padre Pio, Katta has become a Common Novitiate for two provinces of Goa and Maharashtra. Whereas Canacona Friary, Goa has become the Postulancy for the two provinces.