India is a sovereign republic nation. Catholic church in India finds herself in the context of a rich cultural and religious multiplicity in which she is called upon to fulfill her evangelical mission. The church as a whole is facing grave difficulties in India. The bygone days of religious solidarity and freedom are a dream for the people of India. We are concerned with what is happening against our age-old great tradition of peaceful religious co-existence and mutual, respectful acceptance. The Catholic Church in India is never for forced conversion. The political parties play a major role in instigating the poor people with false information and they turn against the missionaries who work for their up-liftment.
It was in 1987, under the courageous leadership of Mother Piera, at the request of the missionary priests and Rt.Rev. Lucas Kerketta bishop of Sambalpur diocese, a spark of venerini charism was flown to Balangir Orissa. The broad vision of Mother Piera and the pioneers encouraged by the then parish priest Rev. Fr. Richard Vaz started to dream for the mission. Visiting the families, villages near and far, having interaction with the people we could read the need of the place. We began our mission with nursery school for the children, tailoring center for the youth, catechism for Catholics, village dispensaries in the remotest areas, rehabilitation centers for the leprosy patients, village women empowerment, village development programs through various projects, literacy program for adults etc..
Together with the church, we, Maestre Pie Venerini commit ourselves to the growth, progress and transformation of the people through our selfless service.
In spite of the atrocities done to the Christian minority in India, Maestre Pie Venerini go ahead courageously with the charism ‘Educate to set free’ in conformity with the mission of the congregation. The terrible event of 2008 in Kondamal – Orissa by the Hindu fanatics was really a strong moment of challenge to our mission in Orissa. Here we remember the uncertain days of our sisters who had to flee from their communities over night with borrowed civil dress of the kind-hearted people in the locality, leaving out the school and property apart. Amidst crisis and confusion of apostolic activity, sisters have stood firm with the conviction that it is the Lord who had called them to do this lofty ministry. Commitment to the responsibility entrusted to the sisters is well appreciated and highly acknowledged by the local church and the public. The socio-political situation and new up-comings in the decisions of the changing governments cause much worry in the smooth running of the minority educational institutions in the future. In recent years, religious fundamentalism, coupled with violent persecution, has made the life and service of the religious even more challenging.
The humble beginning of Venerini charism is progressing in the land of Orissa. It is heartening to see the fruit in abundance in every activity that we started trusting in the providence of the Lord. We reap a good harvest of joy when we see the people benefitting a lot through our selfless service.