Officially the mission started on December 16, 2018 but the first contacts started, via Pakistan already 2005 and several Indian candidates came to the Philippines. Of them, six today are priest active in the mission and in the Philippines and in India.
Jemmaparam, dioceses of Nagolda. 2011 Fr. Luigi Kerschbamer visited India meeting 5 bishops scouting the possibility to open an OAD Mission, In Hyderabad a search-in counted with 26 participants. But god’s time had not yet arrived that the Chapter, realized on 2012 didn’t move yet in that direction.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)
By the grace of God the Order of the Discalced Augustinians Philippines Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino after extending its mission to Indonesia and Vietnam desired to start its mission in India Too.
When Fr. Luigi Kerschbamer happened to visit India he met Most Rev. Govindu Joji, the Bishop of Nalgonda and expressed his desire to start OAD Mission in India and the Bishop said that he is happy to welcome OAD into his diocese. And in the 2018 Provincial Chapter it was unanimously voted to start the OAD Mission in India. In the same year and the following year the Indian Candidates in OAD were ordained as Priests.
When Fr. Aris Batato visited India to participate in the Thanksgiving Mass he met Most Rev. Govindu Joji, the Bishop of Nalgonda together with Fr. Paul Sagayam and Fra. Joseph Thambi and Confirmed that soon we will start OAD Mission in India, in his Diocese. The Bishop also confirmed his word that OAD will have a place in his diocese. And agreed to assign a Parish temporarily.
By the effort and prayers of the Provincial Fr. Luigi Kerschbamer with the consent of his Counsel appointed Fr. Paul Sagayam, and Fr. Julius Balla for the Indian Mission. Fr. Paul Sagayam reached the Diocese of Nalgonda and met the Bishop.
The Bishop sent Fr. Joseph, a priest from Nalgonda Diocese who is helping from the beginning for the OAD Mission, to show the parish where we will stay temporarily until the new appointments. We were given a Parish namely Shettipalem with two substations at the end of December 2018 during Advent season.
We did our pastoral Ministry there bringing back the people who strayed back. The Church was full again on Sundays and Feast Days and the people were very Happy.
In the Month of April the OAD were given a new parish namely Jammapuram, a traditional parish with around 250 catholic families and two substations with around 15 families. In the year 2019, July Fr. Luigi Kerschbamer, the Provincial visited the new OAD Mission in India.
He met the Bishop and thanked him for accepting OAD in his Diocese. And it was orally agreed that we will stay in His Diocese until or beyond we find a place for ourselves. In the Year 2020, May the Bishop gave a written letter that he is very happy to welcome OAD in his Diocese to start the Community.
The OAD presence in India, continues Joyfully serving the most High in the spirit of Humility bringing God close to people and people close to God doing wonderful pastoral ministry. The people of Jammapuram were very happy seeing the new approach of OAD Priests. We have many activities in the parish to enrich the spirituality of the People. In the vocation promotion we have already many candidates who are willing to join OAD way of life.
Since we have no accommodation facilities, we are making temporary place where the brothers can stay. Already we have a candidate with us. And probably at the end of this month the works will be completed and expecting to have at least eight to ten candidates to come and join us.
Now Fr. Aji Thomas also joined the OAD Mission in India. With the grace of God and the Fatherly blessings and guidance of Fr. Luigi and his counselors the OAD Mission in India will flourish. Deo Gratias! Et Mariae!
Prepared by Fr. Paul Sagayam, OAD.