THE GLORY AND HONOR OF THE SACRED HEARTS.. … THE INDIAN SAGA
The Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a religious congregation of priests and brothers, dedicated in serving the needs of the People of God and witnessing love.
Our founder Saint Gaetano Errico, was ordained as a secular priest in Naples, Italy, in 1815. Father Errico longed to share his burning love for the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to lead others to witness the boundless love their precious hearts possessed for all mankind.
After a series of apparitions of St. Alphonsus, Father Errico founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1836 at Secondigliano, Italy. The new congregation, under the sign of Our Lady of Sorrows, held to its mission of dedicating works to the honor and love of the Sacred Hearts.
Father Errico writes, “The Eternal Father, in bestowing His divine Love on the hearts of all, chose before all others the most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary… Therefore, the first goal of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts is to toil to make known to all people the most ardent love of the Sacred Hearts for us, and to kindle this holy and divine Love in the hearts of all humanity.”
After verification of a miraculous healing granted through his intercession, Father Errico was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 14, 2002.
His Holiness especially noted Fr. Errico’s dedication to care of the people, tirelessly giving himself and of his time to listen to the penitents, welcoming them to accept God’s forgiveness and love. He said of Fr. Errico’s example, “it inspires us to rediscover the value and importance of the sacrament of penance, where God liberally distributes His forgiveness and shows His fatherly tenderness toward His weaker children.”
Pope Benedict XVI declared our holy founder as saint on 12th October 2008. It was a wonderful occasion for us, his Missionaries and to the universal church.
Although a small congregation, the consecrated witness of our priests and brothers answers the needs of the contemporary Christianity. Our mission of spreading love of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary to all, especially the poor and abandoned, continues to be vibrant as vital today as it was in the 19th century.
Today, the community of Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts live and work in Italy, India, the United States of America, Argentina, Slovakia, Nigeria, and Indonesia.
INDIA – The story of our Journey
Fr. Joseph D’Onofrio and Fr. Antonio Patrizio, of the community of the United States, after having taken contact with some of the Religious Institutes in India, proposed to the 1974 General Chapter, that some fathers can visit India to check out the possibilities to spread our mission. These thoughts were welcomed and were motivated to spread our mission in India.
In October 1975 the Arch Bishop of Changanacherri (Kerala), Mons. Anthony Padyara after a fruitful deliberations with some of our fathers agreed to help us for the realization of our mission project and he invited our fathers to India.
The General Council asked Fr. Patrizio and Fr. Nocera to prepare for this task and on February 26th 1976 they left Rome to visit India and arrived in Changanacherri -Cochin (Kerela) to explore the situation for our mission.
During the 1980 General Chapter, decided to open our mission in India, so that the Congregation could prosper with new and rich multicultural diversities of India which offered good vocational perspectives. Solicited by the Chapter Fathers, Fr. Antonio Nocera and Fr. Salvatore Izzo, accepted the invitation to have this experience and thus on 5th November 1981 they set out to India. Enriched with the visits in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Mysore, Trivandrum they enrolled themselves as students at Dharmaram College in Bangalore to widen their scope and returned back to Italy. The initial initiatives of the mission were tough and had to undergo tons of hardships, struggles, obstacles and pains of health but all this did not deter the spirit of journey but profoundly motivated and dedicated to the service.
Again Fr. Salvatore Izzo, together with Fr. George Tharakunnel, proceeded to India but Fr Anthonio Nocera could not return in India because of his illness.
On May 24th 1982, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, the Fathers reached Mumbai. From there they moved to Bangalore, where they stayed for about a month with the Mountfort Fathers (Maria Bhavan) and subsequently took a house on rent at Koramangala, IV Block and humbly began their service.
The Fathers were busy in the apostolate and vocation promotion with zeal and enthusiasm. After the visit of Superior General Fr. Giuseppe Russo, in 1983, decided to purchase a house at Alfred Street-Richmond Town which was blessed by His Grace P. Arokiaswamy the Archbishop of Bangalore.
The following months the first group of candidates were received. In 1984 Fr. Angelo Terracciano arrived in India and every year a small group of candidates were taken.
With the escalating increase of new candidates and lack of space, a new land was bought at T.C. Palaya in 1985, for the construction of another formation house.
Meanwhile in 1986 General Chapter declares India as the new delegation. Fr. Salvatore Izzo was appointed as the first delegate Superior for India.
In 1987 the New Superior General Fr. Palmiero Antonio visits India and laid the foundation stone for the T.C. Palaya study house and on June 26th 1988, His Grace Mons. Alphonsus Mathias, Archbishop of Bangalore, blessed the T.C. Palaya house.
Meanwhile the novitiate was opened and as a result of the consequences, the first religious profession of the students were received.
In 1990 there came a thought for a first missionary step in the spirit of the goals of our congregation. A request proposal made by the Redemptorist fathers, to take, a part of their mission territory in Tenali, diocese of Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh was accepted. After due contacts with the Bishop of Guntur a piece of land was bought in Kuchipudi village, Tenali. This gave room for us to widen the horizon of our mission in India.
In1994 Mons. Gaali Baali, the Bishop of Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) offered the missionaries of the Sacred Hearts the mission parish of Kuchipudi, that embraces seven villages. Fr. George Tharakunnel was appointed as the first parish priest and the Superior of the community. Observing the realty and the demand of the mission it was decided to open up a school. Initiated in imparting and offering life skills and entrepreneurship training, leadership and capacity building, catechetical training, realizing to care for the needs of the young people. This work was well appreciated and also an Elementary and Higher Secondary School with Central Syllabus was started and it received the Government recognition.
With the increasing number of novices, there was a need to have a separate novitiate house and to quench this need a land was bought in Sagar, Dioceses of Shimoga. In 1991, Fr. Benny James was transferred to Sagar to take care of the construction of the novitiate house which was later blessed by Mons. Ignatius Pinto, Bishop of Shimoga, in 1996. Fr. Salvatore Izzo had returned to Italy and was replaced by Fr. Angelo Terracciano
The mounting mission work seemed to be promisingly fruitful and thus thought about opening a community in Kerala. In 1995 a piece of land was bought in Kelakam. Fr. Jacob and Bro. Benny K were transferred to Kelakam. The house was built and was inaugurated in 2000.
In1998, the General Chapter elected Fr. Luigi Toscano as the new Superior General and Fr. George Tharakunnel as one of the General Councilor. Many tasks in rebuilding of the Indian region were undertaken which led to growth and development of the apostolate mission in India.
In 2004 the General Chapter elects Fr. Salvatore Izzo as the Superior General and Fr. Sebastian Dias as one of the General Councilor. Instrumental in structuring partnership with the changing realties, globalization and the advanced technology to provide a holistic vision and fundamentally directed to the objective mission of the founder Fr. Errico. Reexamining the mission and the needs to a concerted move opened dynamics in focus and determination mentoring towards a new positive growth in the evangelical mission by sending priests in service of the vineyard of the Lord in different parts of the world. In mission and studies we have eleven priests and two brothers from India, serving our community outside India.
On 21st May 2005, Mons. Devotta, Bishop of Trichi, Tamil Nadu, offered a mission parish to the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts in T. M. R. Puram with Fr. Benjamin as the parish priest. The mission includes three villages and about 400 Christians. It also includes a recognized school. This mission place lacked a presbytery it was built and inaugurated on 12th of August 2007.
In 2006 also began the construction of a small seminary in Kuchipudi (A.P.) and the parish Church, dedicated to our Blessed founder: Gaetano Errico which was blessed on 19 August 2007, by Mons. Gaali Baali, Bishop of Guntur. This is the first church dedicated to our Founder.
Our Ministry and Mission Continues…..
Serving diverse cultures in a various countries, our priests help members of God’s family overcome many different challenges while striving to deepen the spirituality of the faithful.
Administering the sacraments, faith formation, welcoming new Catholics, working with youth in parishes, schools, counselling families, and meeting the needs of the aged and infirm in nursing homes and assisted living facilities… these activities fill our priests’ days but never draw them far from witnessing their love and promoting devotion to the Sacred Hearts.
In Italy, USA, and Argentina, lay groups are inculcated in the charism of our founder, the mission of our congregation, and the impact on their personal faith lives.
Our communities are small and revolve around the ministries of their members, but each holds to a communal life of sharing… living each day in a common bond of charity and reconciliation, and always in service to the Kingdom of God and the vision of our founder.
Our commitment to one another in community is strengthened by our inter-personal relationship with God and our deep commitment to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. That relationship and commitment is renewed through daily communal prayer, reflections and adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, and in the daily celebration of the Eucharist the font and summit of our faith.
This balance between communal and private prayer allows us to celebrate the love of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to be open to God’s enabling grace in all our ministries and in total selfless giving to our community. Looking behind our past twenty five years all our toils could fill volumes to mention but the vivid memories are still clear and retained in each ones hearts. To this only one sound resounds that is ‘A big Thank You’ to all, to add these twenty five years to our mission in India.
We pay our respect and tribute to the souls of Fr. Joseph K.
Fr. Joseph Kacheramattam after serving more than 25 years in his diocese as a secular priest joined the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts in 1992. He assumed enthusiastically the positions of Superior Delegate and offered himself to go to Africa. But before his dream came true he passed to his eternal rest on 22nd April 2001. As a friend Fr. Joseph was amazingly optimistic with charismatic personality, generous, thoughtful, caring and sincere.
A committed and enthusiastic with a deep spirituality towards our Congregation. He carried a team spirit, studious and always helpful. He would be remembered in our hearts forever.
Eternal rest grant them O Lord and may their souls rest in peace
Blessed be the Sacred Hearts now and forever.
Saint Gaetano Errico Pray for us.
History of Kondapuram Mission
In the year 2008, Rev. Fr. Dennis Msscc, had approached His Grace Dr. M. D. Prakasam, Bishop of Nellore Diocese – Andhra Pradesh, with a request letter from the then Delegate Superior Rev. Fr. Joby George, to request of a Parish for the mission of our Congregation to be spread. First he was asked to be in a certain Parish for some kind of experience and preparation for about six months. Later then he was asked to choose a Parish on his own choice in the Diocese. Thus, accordingly Rev. Fr. Dennis Msscc chose the Parish of, the so called present one, Our Lady of Mercy Church at Kondapuram village. From then on Fr. Dennis, as newly appointed Parish Priest, untiringly with great zeal and confidence, was administering the works of Christ as well as the Charism of our Founder St. Gaetano Errico. His six years of mission in the Parish has brought good results both in the mind of Bishop as well as the Delegate Superior for Indian mission of the Congregation.
After having gone through the canonical process, the Parish had been given to us on the contract of perpetual agreement between the Diocese of Nellore and the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In other words, it is said that we have adopted the Parish to do the works of Christ with the help of the intercession of St. Gaetano Errico. Later on Rev. Fr. Anthony Samy Msscc the new Delegate Superior in whose term the contract has been realized, came and presided over in the installation Mass with great solemnity and led the new Fathers take charge on 25th of January 2015. Rev. Fr. A. Arockiaraj Msscc as new Parish Priest and Rev. Fr. Krupa Sagar Msscc as co-Priest.
Activities: With the help of God and by His Grace, we from Kondapuram, do a wonderful and helpful, vibrant and spiritual ministry. In detail, we do visit families of both Hindus and Christians. They welcome us with warm hearts. While visiting homes, we do a bit of family counseling, applying spiritual thoughts to their minds and solving out their doubts and claims of any sort. On the whole, we hope that the ministry we do may nourish their lives in union with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. With great enthusiasm and zeal, we administer the Sacraments at any time and any hour. It includes periodical retreats with fasting and conducting the programmes of Basic Christian Communities and Catechism in the Parish. We also conduct different services of spiritual orientation to the people, like gathering for prayer, counseling and healing services.
In the aspect of secular activities, we also help the school children who are poor for their education in terms of issuing clothes, bags and note books and conducting spoken English class. Thus, on the whole, our future orientation is set upon the spiritual development of the people for which we believe in the Almighty God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ who may bless us to proceed ahead. May the Triune God help us all. With this in mind, we humbly request all of you to keep us in prayer. We assure you of our prayers too and God bless you all with His Compassionate Love and Mercy.