Dioceses of India
Total: 1
Bettiah

Diocese of Bettiah

Quick Links:      History
Rite: Latin
Region : Bijhan
Patron: Our Lady of the Rosary
Founded: 27 June 1998
Province: Patna
Status: Diocese
Total area: 16,089 km
Total Population : 1,18,24,988
Catholics Total: 5,810
Diocesan Priests: 17
Religious Priests: 24
Religious Sisters: 135
Minor Seminarians: 02
Major Seminarians: 25

Bishop of the Diocese

Most Rev. Peter Sebastian Goveas
Bishop of Bettiah
Personal Details
Born:8-Feb-1955
Priestly Ordination:9-Dec-1983
Episcopal Ordination:19-Oct-2017
Period:--

Tel(P): +91-6254-243590
Contact Details
Bishop's House, Bettiah P.O.-845438 West Champaran Dt. (Bihar)
Tel(O): 06254-243590, 9431428181, 9955181617
Email : lawrencebettiah@gmail.com

Diocese of Bettiah at a Glance

Ecclesiastical Institutions

Parishes & Substations : 32Retreat Centres: 0
Major Seminaries : 0Diocesan Minor Seminaries: 01
Congregation Minor Seminaries: 01Religious Formation Houses : 02
Men Religious Houses: 0Women Religious Houses: 22

Charitable Institutions

Hospitals : 0Dispensaries / Clinics / Health Centres: 06
Orphanages : 02Homes for Aged & Destitute : 02
Schools for Physically Challenged: 0Homes for Physically Challenged : 01
Crèches: 0Boarding Houses : 07
Counselling Centres : 0De-addiction Centre: 0
Social Centres : 03HIV / AIDS Centre: 01

Educational Institutions

Professional Colleges : 02Degree Colleges: 0
Parallel Colleges : 0Vocational / Technical Training Centres : 0
Higher Secondary / Junior Colleges : 04High Schools : 09
Upper Primary Schools: 25Lower Primary Schools:25
Nurseries / Pre-Primary Schools :01Presses & Media Centres : 0

History


On March 14, 1703 The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome decided to open a mission in Tibet.  This decision came about because the reports from travelers that were received in Rome said that there were Christian communities in Asia somewhere between India and China.  In the sixteenth century the Society of Jesus tried to start a mission in Tibet.  They found no such communities and they abandoned the plan because of the great difficulties of the journey.

In 1637 French Capuchins of the Tours Province came from Syria to Surat in India and hearing the same story of Christian communities somewhere between India and China and not knowing of the failure of the Jesuits, also wanted to go there and help those communities which, however, were never found.  This attempt also failed.

In the decree of the Congregation of the Propaganda mentioned above the territory was vaguely described in such a way that if the Tibet Mission failed, the missionaries could still work in the area on the left bank of the Ganges River.  This mission was assigned to the Italian Capuchins.

Five priests and one brother were assigned to the mission and these left Europe on January 25, 1707.  Except for the leader of the group all were between the ages of 30 and 35.  Three died on the way and these were replaced two years later by three more. The missionaries managed to reach Chandernagore in Bengal where the French had a trading center.

The route to Tibet went from Chandernagore through Patna and Kathmandu.  In Patna at that tome there were about one million inhabitants and there were trading posts of the Dutch, French and English.   Many of these foreigners were Christians but there were no local Christians.  It was decided that a priest should stay in Patna and minister to the Christians there.

The missionaries reached Lhasa in late 1707 but after a few years had to leave because of sickness and lack of money. The mission was again started in 1716, then closed again in 1733 and reopened in 1738.  A few Tibetans became Christian but because they refused to follow the customs of their former religion, they were severely beaten and the authorities turned against the missionaries and they were finally forced to leave in 1745. 

In the meantime, Fr. Joseph Mary Bernini from Gargnono while in Patna for a short time was asked to go to Bettiah to treat a member of the local king’s family.  The patient was cured and the king asked the Pope to send missionaries to his kingdom to serve his subjects and to preach their religion. Fr. Joseph Mary was the one chosen for this mission which was formally begun in December 1745.

In 1768 Fr. Joseph of Rovato was made the Prefect Apostolic of the Tibet Mission and he made his headquarters in Patna.  In 1784 the northern part of the Vicariate of the Great Mogul was attached to the Prefecture of Tibet. In 1820 the center of the mission was shifted to Agra which was raised to the status of a Vicariate.  This was because other Capuchin missionaries were working in Mhow, Indore, and Gwalior and had their headquarters in Agra.  Thus these two missions became one.

In 1844 Athanasius Hartmann, OFM Cap, a Swiss Capuchin, arrived in Agra. On February 7, 1845 the Agra Vicariate was divided and the civil Province of Bihar, of which the main stations were Bettiah, Chakhni, Chuhari, Patna, Dinapore, Bhagalpur, Monghyr and Purnea, Nepal and Sikkim, was made into the independent Vicariate of Patna. On September 30, 1845 Fr. Hartmann was chosen as the titular Bishop of Derbe and Vicar Apostolic of Patna.  After twenty years of strenuous work in a territory that included the present states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh the saintly Bishop Hartmann died in Patna on April 24, 1866.  He was succeeded by Bishop Paul Tossi, OFM Cap and then by Bishop Francis Pesci, OFM Cap.

In 1886 Bishop Pesci moved his see from Patna to Allahabad and the North Bihar Mission, with four stations (Bettiah. Chakhni, Chuhari and Latonah), was entrusted to the Tyrolese Capuchins in the same year.

On April 20, l892 the Prefecture Apostolic of Bettiah was established as a suffragan of Agra. It had jurisdiction over the civil districts of Champaran, Saran, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga and those parts of the districts of Bhagalpur and Monghyr that lie north of the Ganges River, i.e. the whole of Bihar north of the Ganges.  The first Prefect Apostolic was Fr. Hilarion of Abtei, OFM Cap.

On May 19,1893 the whole of Nepal was added to this Prefecture.

By a decree of September 10, 1919 the Diocese of Allahabad was divided and the eastern part became the Diocese of Patna. The Prefecture of Bettiah was dissolved and it became part of the Diocese of Patna.  Because of their nationality the Capuchin missionaries were not allowed to continue residing in the territory during the first World War and so the new Patna Mission was entrusted by the Holy See to the Missouri (USA) Province of the Society of Jesus.

The first Bishop of Patna Diocese was Louis Van Hoeck, S.J. a Belgian Jesuit working in the Ranchi Mission.  He was Bishop of Patna from 1921 till 1928 when he became the first Bishop of the Diocese of Ranchi.  His successor was Bishop Bernard Sullivan, S.J who guided the diocese from 1929 till 1946. In 1947 Fr. Augustine F. Wildermuth, S.J. was consecrated Bishop of Patna.

In 1980, when Bishop Wildermuth retired because of age, those parts of Patna Diocese that lie north of the River Ganges were made into the Diocese of Muzaffarpur with John Baptist Thakur,S.J. as the first Bishop.

Then, on June 27, 1998 by the Apostolic Bull “Cum ad Aeternam” His Holiness, Pope John Paul II separated the five Bhojpuri speaking districts in the northwestern part of the state of Bihar from Muzaffarpur Diocese and created the Diocese of Bettiah. The five districts in the new diocese are West Champaran, East Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan and Saran. Rev. Fr. Victor Henry Thakur, a priest of the Diocese of Raipur was appointed the first Bishop of Bettiah.

Bishop Victor Henry Thakur was born and raised in Chakhni in the Diocese of Bettiah but chose to be a missionary in the Raipur Diocese. Thus his return to the diocese as Bishop was quite natural.

The new diocese did not have a separate residence for the bishop and so the parish priest of Bettiah at that time, Rev. Fr. Julius Lazarus, put four rooms in the presbytery at the disposal of the Bishop and his curia.  Part of the Verandah in front of the Bishop’s room was partitioned off and made the Bishop’s office. Thus, till 2007 the Bishop and his helpers were guests of the parish priest of Bettiah.  Quarters were congested but fraternity was more than ample

The Diocese of Bettiah was vacant from July 3 2013 when Bishop Victor Henry Thakur, the bishop of Bettiah was appointed as the Archbishop of Raipur. Then, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Rev. Fr. Peter Sebastian Goveas, of the clergy of Bhagalpur, as the new Bishop of BETTIAH which was announced on Saturday, 22nd July, 2017 at 3.30pm.  The Right Reverend Monsignor Peter Sebastian Goveas was ordained as Bishop for the Diocese of Bettiah on the occasion of the Diwali Festival, Christ the Light of the World on 19th October 2017 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Bettiah.
 The Church of Bettiah represents the presence of Christ, is a sign of His salvific mission, and a channel of His grace and blessings to the suffering people of the diocese. Already, Rt. Rev. Peter Sebastian Goveas has begun to initiate several socio-pastoral works. Bishop is giving priority to education with the belief that only education can transform the lives of the people because, we enter into direct relationship and interact with the children and the youth in order to help them for their integral growth based on the Gospel values of love, peace, equality and dignity which will make them right self esteem and feel good about themselves and cherish God’s beautiful gift of their life. “Therefore the whole thrust is Education of the marginalized especially girls, to help them to rediscover the inner power within them. That inner force will empower them to look at the future positively and as a result it will transform their whole life.” 
He is reviving Diocesan commissions, committees and councils. He is interested in expanding the mission work in remote places of the Diocese. We thank God for the Gift of Rt. Rev. Peter Sebastian Goveas Bishop of Bettiah as a shepherded of the Catholic Church of Bettiah and his abundant blessings on us.

1. Bettiah Cathedral:Church of the Nativity of the B.V.M.
Established: 1745
Catholics: 3000

Catholic Church
Bettiah 845438
West Champaran District, Bihar
Tel. (06254) 242955

Mass Centre : Victoria Mission (Gahiri Kothi)
History: 
From 1707 till 1745 Capuchin missionaries worked in Lhasa, Tibet. They used to rest in Patna for some time on their way to and from Lhasa and for this reason a small church was built in Patna City which served the spiritual needs of the European soldiers and traders who  came to the city from time to time. Among these missionaries was Joseph Mary Bernini who was adept at medicine.  His fame spread as far as Bettiah 225 kms away from Patna City. In 1740 or 174l a member of the royal household in Bettiah was ill and no doctor was able to effect a cure. Having heard of Fr. Joseph Mary, the Raja, Drup Narayan Singh, asked him to come to Bettiah to see the patient.  Fr. Joseph Mary came to Bettiah, and treated the patient who recovered.  The Raja was so impressed by the priest that he asked him to start a mission in his kingdom.  Fr. Joseph Mary told him that he could do so only if the Pope in Rome would give the order for this.  Hence, in 1741 Raja Drup Narayan Singh wrote to the Holy Father in Rome asking that priests be sent to Bettiah to establish a mission there and preach their religion.  On May 1, 1742 Pope Benedict XIV replied to the king and assured him that he would send Capuchin priests to work in Bettiah.  Thus on December 7, 1745 Fr. Joseph Mary arrived in Bettiah and on the next day, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary the mission of Bettiah was inaugurated next to the royal palace on land which the king gave to the mission.

During the time of Fr. Joseph Mary in Bettiah forty adults embraced the Catholic faith, thus establishing the first indigenous Christian community in present day Bihar.

The first church was built in 1751. In 1830 a new church with three naves and three altars which could accommodate a thousand people was blessed. This church served the Christians of Bettiah till it fell in the earthquake of 1934.  A new church was constructed in 1951 by Fr. Kevin Angelo, S.J.

In 1886 a middle school for Christian boys was built in the mission compound.  In 1922 a school for girls was opened in the parish.  In June 1926 it was decided to start a high school for boys and class eight was begun on January 4, 1927. Initially here were eleven boys but the number soon grew to twenty-five.  The first teachers were Fr. Pettit, S.J., Fr. Alban, Mr. Seraphim Barno, and Mr. Lakshman Misra.  In May of that year Scholastic Paul Dent, S.J. was added to the staff.

On March 25, 1922 the grotto was blessed by Bishop Van Hoeck, S.J.

On March 19, 1928 the foundation of the new Middle School building was blessed.

In January 1934 Bettiah suffered from an earthquake.  The church fell and other buildings were badly damaged.

Fr. Kevin Angelo, S.J., the parish priest began work on a new church which was completed in 1951.

On July 10, 1955 a Credit Union was started which continues to benefit the people of the parish.

On November, 5, 1957 the new St. Aloysius Pathshala was inaugurated.  Until this time classes for the small children were conducted in the priests’ old bungalow or in the old church.

On October 26, 1959 a new hall at the northern end of the compound was inaugurated and furnished with a number of tables and chairs.

Many priests have served the people of the parish but the two who are most remembered are Fr. Kevin Angelo, S.J., the parish priest, and Fr. Vincent McGlinchy, S.J. the headmaster of the Middle School.  These two, working together for about thirty years, have made a lasting impact on the lives of the people. 

2. Chakhni :Holy Family Church
Established 1883
Catholics 750
Catholic Church, Chakhni
Rajwatia-845 101,Bagaha (Via)
West Champaran Dt., Bihar
Catholic:750
Tel:(06251) 253259

History of the Parish

The mission of Chakhni was started to provide a place for families of orphans to settle and support themselves.  In l874 there was a severe famine in Bihar and many people died.   The government sent about two hundred orphans to the missions in Bettiah and Chuhari to be cared for.  When these children became adults it was necessary to help them settle in life. The mission in Bettiah was able to purchase 270 bighas of land in Chakhni from the government.   Fr. Alexander, O.F.M. Cap. with some of the orphans from Chuhari went there to clear the land for a church, some simple houses and for farming.

In the beginning this station was very bad for health and the missionary often suffered from malarial fever.  After two years the construction of a larger and safer house was begun with the help of the Vicar Apostolic.  On this construction abut 8000  rupees were spent.  In 1889 Fr. Alexander was transferred to Allahabad, leaving the new house incomplete.  Afterwards it was completed by the new missionaries.  There was a small orphanage but in 1891 a new one was built.  Since with the increase of families and of orphans and neophytes the provisional chapel was insufficient and unworthy for religious celebrations, in 1898 Fr. Gerold began the construction of a larger and more beautiful church with three naves and two towers. It was completed in 1901 at the cost of 10,000.00 rupees.  Finally on December 15, 1901 the Prefect Apostolic at the time of the Jubilee Triduum blessed the church solemnly according to the rite of the Roman Ritual and gave it the name of the Holy Family.  On this occasion the Christians rejoiced greatly. In 1902 Fr. Gerold went to Europe and on his return to the mission brought with him four bells.

This church, which was blessed by the Prefect Apostolic, Fr. Hilarion OFN Cap on December 15, 190l, withstood the onslaught of the 1934 earthquake is still standing.

The Sacred Heart Sisters came to Chakhni in February, 1932.  The first sisters, Sr. Maria, Sr. Josepha and Sr. Aloysia, started a middle school, took care of the boy and girl orphans and also old people who had no one to take care of them.  At present, in addition to teaching in the school, the sisters help in the parish.

In 1993 a co-educational high school was started with the name of Fr. Pettit Memorial High School.  The present headmaster of the high school is Fr. Gabriel Michael, S.J.

Sub station: Ratanpura
Mass Centres: Bagaha, Bhatwa Tola, Sirisia, Valmikinagar

3. Chanpatia:

Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel
Established: 1900
Catholics 160
Catholic Church
Chanpatia - 845 449
West Champaran District, Bihar
Tel: (06254) 266336
 Mass Centre: Lauriya

History of the Mission

In the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s Chanpatia was considered a business centre.  The mission there was started so that Christians from Bettiah who worked there for several months each year could attend Mass.  This was celebrated by a priest from Chuhari.  As time went on a few Christian families settled there permanently.  It was also a stopping off place for the priest who had to come and go from Rampur to Bettiah.

It remained only a Mass centre for many years.  Fr. Aloysius Pettit, S.J. lived there for a few years until in 1948 he went to Chakhni. After this, priests from Khrist Raja, Bettiah went to Chanpatia for Sunday Mass. In 1961 a hostel for boys was opened in Chanpatia and Fr. William Goudreau, S.J. began living there.  In the following year Fr. Farrell, S.J. went to Chanpatia where he built the present church.  After Fr. Farrell returned to Chuhari in 1977, Chanpatia was looked after by Jesuits, Diocesan priests, Capuchins and Claretians. 

In 2009 a new residence for the parish priest was built so that he could conduct his work more efficiently and also give a proper accommodation for visiting priests and brothers.

On July 2, 1987 the Canossian Daughters of Charity came to work in Lauryia, 16 kilometers north of Chanpatia.  In the beginning they stayed in rented quarters, one room in the house of Mr. Cyril Fidelis, who worked in the sugar factory.  Several months later they moved from there to the present convent.

Their main work has been health care in the dispensary, non-formal education  and empowerment work among women, including their training in tailoring and  computer. 

4. CHAPRA
St.Joseph’s Church
Established : 1985
Catholics: 160

Catholic Church
Khalpura 841211
Gultainganj (via)
Chapra, Saran District, Bihar
Tel: (06152) 273240

Mass Centres: Sonepur, Dighwara, Chapra town

History:

The mission in Chapra dates to the beginning of the twentieth century when a Capuchin priest, Fr. Pius, rented a small house and took care of the European Catholics there and opened an orphanage for local orphans.  He also bought land for a cemetery.  However, some time later, probably at the beginning of the first World War, this work was abandoned and only in 1985 was land purchased at Khalpura, about eight kilometers east of the Chapra railway station.  Here the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (FIHM) began to live and to work among the people in the nearby villages. This mission was looked after by the priests in Siwan.  A few years later a residence for priests was constructed and a priest began living there.

A piece of land adjacent to our mission land was purchased in 2007 the present school building in Khalpura is on this land.

In 2001 the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary left Khalpura and in their place the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI) of the Raipur (Chattisgarh) Province came to continue and to expand the work.  They are very active in social work in and around Khalpura.  They are in charge of the school  which was started in Khalpura in 2006, have a dispensary and help with the pastoral work of the parish.

In 2004 land was bought at Mehiya, about four kilometers north of Chapra.  Sisters of the Society of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took up residence there and began Holy Family School in May 2006.

The priests in Chapra take care of the faithful in Sonepur, about forty kilometers east of Chapra where the Sacred Heart Sisters have a school.

Mass Centers: Sonepur, Mehiya

5.  CHUHARI

Church of the Assumption of the B.V.M.
Established: 1769
Catholics 500

Catholic Church
Chuhari P.O. 845450
West Champaran District, Bihar
Tel: (06254)223240

History of the Parish

When the Capuchin missionaries were forced out of Lhasa, Tibet, they settled in Nepal where there were three small communities of Christians.   When strife began between the Gurkhas and the Newars the missionaries were forced to leave Nepal and the Newar Christians left with them.  They came to Bettiah where they were welcomed by the government and the priests of the Bettiah mission.  The English government gave them the village of Chuhari, eleven kilometers from Bettiah.  Thus the mission of Chuhari began in 1769.   A big church was built in 1787.  It was similar to the church in Bettiah but not quite so big.  Like its counterpart in Bettiah it also fell in the earthquake of 1934.  The present church was built in the 1970’s due to the persistent efforts of Fr. Joseph Martin, S.J.

Originally the Holy Cross Sisters worked with the orphans and old people in the mission.  They began a middle school for girls and a teachers’ training school, which in those days taught girls after middle school, i.e. after class seven.  The sisters also had sewing and handicraft work there.  In 1942 these works were shifted to Bettiah and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart replaced the Holy Cross Sisters and continued all the work that was not shifted to Bettiah.

In 1973 a high school for girls was started. It was given recognition by the government in 1976.


6. DUSSAIYA

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Established: 1898
Catholics:200

Catholic Church
Dussaiya
Bettiah P.O.845438
West Champaran District, Bihar
Tel: (06254) 231324

Pilgrimage Centre: Marian Shrine

History of the mission
The king of Bettiah had donated two hundred bighas of land to the missionaries at Bettiah for their use.  After the famine of 1897 a number of people sought help from the priests in Bettiah and some of these were settled on this land in Dussaiya.  The church, dedicated to the Mother of the Divine Shepherd was blessed by the Prefect Apostolic, Fr. Hilarion, on May 8,1898.

In the 1980’s Fr. Robert Stegman, S.J. had a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe painted and installed in the church which he enlarged by incorporating the sacristy into the main body of the church. The sacristy was shifted to another building.
The Diocesan Social Service Society was operating in rented in Quarters in Bettiah.  As this was not very convenient, a new building was constructed in Dussaiya where  training programmes for large numbers of people can conveniently be conducted.

In 1995  Monsignor Joachim Osta, the parish priest of Bettiah began the construction of the shrine  in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  This was blessed by Bishop Victor Henry Thakur on October 7,1999.

In 2005  a minor seminary, St. Peter’s Seminary, was built in Dussaiya and blessed by Bishop Victor Henry Thakur on February 26, 2006.

When the care of the orphans in Bettiah became too difficult, land was purchased in Fakirana, about three kilometers from the Bettiah Church, and the orphanage was shifted there.  The old women whom he Holy Cross Sisters cared for were also accommodated there.  The work continues to this day.

As time went on the orphanage was closed and other work was begun.  At present there is a residential school for hearing impaired children.  There is also a residential programme of about nine months each for village girls who are given some basic education and training in various skills.

At present the Postulants for the Holy Cross Sisters are also residing in Fakirana.

The Holy Cross Sisters had some farm land a few kilometers from Dussaiya in a place called Lal Garh. In the late 1970’s they began to take care of some elderly and handicapped women there and a small school was started in bamboo huts.  Now the school is well established in a large building and caters to the needs of the neighbouring villages
Also in Fakirana is the novitiate of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  The sisters’ convent in Fakirana for many years was also the residence of the Superior General. 

The sisters help the poor in a flourishing dispensary which treats patients from far and near.  They also conduct a Hindi Medium high school which serves the people of the villages around Fakirana.  

The sisters are engaged in many social service projects and their work is very much appreciated by the government which often seeks their help, especially for the care of disadvantaged and ill treated women. Also for such women there is a “Help Line” and a short stay home for those in transition.  The sisters are very active in education on prevention of  HIV/AIDS and the care of such patients. 

Mass Centers:  Lalgarh, Fakirana

7. GOPALGANJ
Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Established: 1984
Catholics: 10

Catholic Church
Thirubiruva Mission
Gopalganj P.O. 841428
Gopalganj District, Bihar
Tel: (06156) 224304

History

In 1984 Fr. Austin Reinboth, S.J. the priest in charge of Siwan, bought land in Gopalganj and supervised the building of the convent for the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In the beginning, the spiritual needs of the sisters and a few Catholics were taken care of by the priests from Siwan.  In 2000 property was purchased for the residence of a priest.   In 2006 Fr. Pradeep N., S.J. built a small chapel where Mass is celebrated for the faithful. It was blessed by Bishop Victor Henry Thakur on March 12, 2006.

Before going to the new convent cum school in Gopalganj the sisters lived for a year in Siwan with sisters from three other congregations where they were able to learn the language and some of the customs of the people.  This greatly facilitated their work in the dispensary where they not only treated many women but were able to advise them about many of their problems and concerns.

The school developed slowly and is now and English Medium School.

8. MOTIHARI

Church of St. Francis Assisi
Established 1988
Catholics: 200

Catholic Church
Bara Bariyarpur 845401
Motihari
East Champaran District, Bihar
Tel: (06252) 232042

Mass Centres: Sagauli, Raxaul

History

When a few Christians from Bettiah settled in Motihari, priests from the Gahiri Mission used to visit Motihari for Sunday Mass which was celebrated in the home of one of the Catholics. When the old Gahiri Mission was closed priests from Bettiah took up the Sunday Mass ministry.   In 1988 land was bought in the town on a by-pass road and the Capuchin religious began living there.  They were entrusted with the spiritual care of all those living in East Champaran District.  

Originally there was a small chapel attached to the simple residence of the priests.  A new residence and a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary were built in 2000. In 2008 the title of the Church was changed to that of St. Francis of Assisi.  This helps to keep alive the memory of the pioneering work of the Capuchin missionaries in the territory of the Diocese of Bettiah.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart opened a school at the request of some government officials and were given the use of some government buildings for this purpose.  After some years the sisters bought some property and moved their school to it.  There is a hostel connected to the school and a small dispensary which caters to the poor people of the neighbourhood.

In the early 1990’s some land was acquired some distance from the parish church and the Canossian Daughters of Charity reside there.  They are engaged in social work of various kinds.  Notable is their prison ministry which has been very successful.

As the whole of East Champaran District has been committed to the care of the Capuchin priests and brothers they also look after the spiritual needs of the people of Sagauli and Raxaul.

In Sagauli the Sisters of the Sacred Heart have a small school and are very much involved in the care of disabled people.

In Raxaul the Sisters of Notre Dame have a school and they are very much involved in social work, especially among women.

9. NARKATIAGANJ

St. Joseph’s Church
Established: 1993
 Catholics: 90

 Catholic Church,
 Narkatiaganj – 845 455
West Champaran Dt., Bihar
 Tel: (06253) 242624

History

At least from 1950 the Diocese of Patna had a plot of land and a small chapel with a room where the priest from Rampur could stop and rest on his way to and from Bettiah.

In1986 the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions came to Narkatiaganj and began work with the people in the nearby villages.  Mass was offered by the priest from Chanpatia. 

 In 1993 Msgr. Joachim Osta purchased land in Narkatiaganj and a church cum residence was built and a priest was assigned to reside there.  The Church is dedicated to St. Joseph.

In 1998 the sisters opened a formal school which now has classes from Class KG to class seven.

Not far from Narkatiaganj in Gaunaha the Jesuits have a school cum hostel for poor children from the neighbouring villages.


 10. RAMNAGAR: 

Church of the Mother of God
Established: 1895
Catholics 100

Catholic Church, 
Ramnagar - 845 106
West Champaran District., Bihar
 Tel: (06256) 224076
  
History

Capuchin missionaries began working in the Ramnagar area in 1890 and in 1895 they settled on land donated to the mission by a certain Mrs. Reyneau.  The mission was started as an intermediate station between Bettiah and Somesar.  Somesar was closed after Fr. Cosmos O.F.M. Cap. was killed by a tiger.  Ramnagar was taken care of  by priests from Chakhni for many years until Fr. Louis Peter Paul Sah took up residence there and from that time there has been a resident priest in Ramnagar.

Since 1987 the sisters of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception have been working in Ramnagar.   They have a dispensary, are involved in various kinds of social work and  have taken charge of the parish school.

A small group of lay missionaries live in St. Joseph’s Home of Compassion where they take care of a few orphans and some handicapped people besides their work in a dispensary. They also assist the parish priest in his pastoral work.

 

11. RAMPUR 

 Church of  St. Francis Xavier
 Catholic Church, 
Rampur - 845 455
Shikharpur (Via)
West Champaran District., Bihar
 Tel: (06254) 264039

History:

In 1898 the Capuchin priest at Bettiah bought one hundred and fifty-five bighas of land from a landowner in Rampur who had borrowed a large sum of money from the priest and was unable to repay it.  Despite the unhealthy natural surroundings priests continued to live there and help the people.  The longest tenure of a pastor was that of Fr. Robert Ludwig, S.J. who went there in 1947 and stayed for more than twenty-five years. He developed the mission, gave shelter to many orphans and rebuilt the church.

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart have a dispensary in the mission compound and are in charge of the school which has developed from a small middle school into a high school.

12. Siwan :

Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Established: 1958
Catholics: 75

Catholic Church,
Chotpur Mission
Jiyaiy P.O.
Siwan – 841 226, Bihar
Tel: (06154) 312957

History:

In 1958 Fr. Wargiss Kappamootil, S.J. was sent to Siwan District to explore the possibility of a mission station there.  For two years he led a wandering life but in 1960 he bought property outside Siwan town and built a small residence cum chapel which still serves the Catholics of the area.

In 1992 Fr. Austin Reinboth, S.J. moved to Siwan.  He got the help of sisters of four congregations and put the school and dispensary on a strong foundation and began the mission in Gopalganj.

For many years the Mission Sisters of Ajmer collaborated with the parish priest by working in the school and dispensary.  Because of the needs of their congregation they withdrew and on March 30,2009 the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk (OSU) came to take their place and continue the same work.