Conventuals in India

Conventuals in India

• Fr. Vitale BOMMARCO aimed to establish the Order in India to honour Blessed Maximilian’s 50th anniversary in 1978.
• Fr. Sebald REIL, General Secretary for the Missions, was tasked to prepare and visit India.
• Fr. Sebald contacted Bishop Jacob THOOMKUZHY of Mananthavady and Bishop Joseph POWATHIL of Kanjirappally, who were willing to host the Order.
• On October 18, 1979, the General Definitory approved Fr. Sebald’s efforts.
• From November 16 to December 15, 1979, Fr. Sebald met with various bishops, particularly Bishop POWATHIL, who invited the Order to establish itself in his diocese.
• The first foundation aimed at vocational activities.
• The project was presented to the Maltese Province in February 1980, with Fr. Albert SAMMUT and Fr. Samuel CHETCUTI chosen as the first missionaries.
• In November 1980, a Convention was signed between the General Curia and the Maltese Province, formalizing the Indian Mission.
• The first missionary, Fr. Samuel, arrived in India in November 1980 to find suitable land for the Franciscan Centre.
• The Centre was established on January 24, 1981, providing general education and Franciscan spiritual formation.
• On February 5, 1981, Fr. Samuel reported to the Maltese Definitory, which approved the mission's policy and his role as Superior.
• The Nirmalaram religious house and Minor Seminary were officially established on February 12, 1981 by the approval of General Definitory.

• Fr. Samuel and Fr. Albert arrived in Kerala on February 16, 1981, and took possession of the property on March 30. The new friary was blessed by Bishop POWATHIL on May 10. The Maltese Province formalized Nirmalaram’s establishment on March 15. On December 8, Fr. Ferdinand MERCIECA laid the foundation stone for the new construction.
• Fr. Joseph CILIA was announced to replace Fr. Albert SAMMUT in March 1982.

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In The Blessed Sacrament
Of The Altar.

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