Human and spiritual growth of the novices based on SVD Charism with discernment leading to the vows.

Clarifying the motivations and perspectives during human and spiritual growth as healthy person, in a conducive and purposive climate of the novitiate, with prayer work, study, word of God, contemplation, personal and group encounter, aimed at preparation for committed missionary, religious/priestly life as members of the Society of the Divine Word.

How it all started:
Khurda Mission was founded in 1896 during the terrible famine and cholera epidemic of the 19th century. The mission was born under the heroic leadership of Fr. Simporiam OFM Cap. The sisters of the Mary of the Angels (FSMA) came to help him. In 1899 the British Government gave about 600 acres of land for the mission of the rehabilitation of the orphans of the famine and cholera epidemic of 1897 and later there was another epidemic in 1903 to 1904. The Holy Rosary Church, Khurda was blessed on December 7th, 1904.

Our first two missionaries, Fr. Peter Janer SVD and Fr. Leo Krzeminski SVD arrived at Indore on November 4, 1932. Later Fr. Herman Westermann SVD, Fr. Alosius Kanski SVD, Fr. Stanislaus Wald and Fr. Earnest Schlappa SVD arrived at Indore on the 7th of December, 1932. Fr. Herman Westermann SVD, the Khandwa mission on the 1st of April, 1933. His initial efforts to impart catechetical instructions did not bear fruit. But he got a grant of Rs. 5000/- from the British Government.  With the help of Bro. Damasus Pley SVD he constructed a building in 1938 to expand the existing medical service.

 Now a need was felt to establish a central house for the society which could also serve as a training centre for the candidates for the society.   The General Visitator Fr. Rosenbaum stressed this matter during his visitation at Indore in 1937-38. Fr. Stanislaus Wald SVD, the Regional Superior looked for a place for the above purpose. The World War II, the Internment and other restrictions imposed on the missionaries delayed the project. A suitable plot of land was found at Palda in 1944 but it could not easily be purchased by the missionaries. Eventually, His Highness, the Raja of Indore was won over to our side and gave orders personally for the transaction of the land and in 1948 the Society finally purchased the land.

The Generalate granted permission to start a Novitiate at Palda in 1951 and appointed Fr. Stanislaus Wald SVD as the first Novice Master. He blessed the future Novitiate House on the 7th December, 19951 and dedicated it to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The candidates for the Society were already admitted at Mhow for a preparatory course. On 21st December, 1951 four clerical novices and five brother novices were admitted to the Novitiate. After their retreat and investiture at Mhow, they came to stay at Palda in the old farm house which was modified to accommodate the novices and a chapel was added to it. The Novitiate community remained in that small building for the coming one and half years.

Foundation for the Novitiate and future Scholasticate was laid on 21st January, 1952. Bro. Damasus Pley SVD was in charge of the building and Bishop Simons, the Bishop of Indore, blessed the new Novitiate chapel on June 17, 1953 in the presence of Fr. R. Schope, the Regional, confreres and sisters. December 21, 1953 was a read letter day as the First Indian Novices made their First Profession. His Excellency, the Internuncio, Martin Lucas SVD, blessed the Palda house on March, 130, 954 though the building was incomplete.

The Clerical Novitiate of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was opened on the feast of St. Thomas. On that day, December 21, 1951 four novices were invested with the cassock of the society. The rickety farm house of Palda was decidedly not the place for such an occasion. So the beautiful Church at Mhow was chosen of the investiture. Fr. Stanislaus Wald SVD, the first Novice Master of both Clerics and Brothers.

On June 17, 1953 whilst construction was still in progress, the Novices moved into the new building. Palda was fast becoming over-crowded by new vocations for both Priesthood and Brotherh

ood. When the building at Palda became too small, the Novices had to seek temporary shelter elsewhere. To the jungles we went- to the village of Khurda, surrounded with big hills and dense forest. June 21, 19567 just before the monsoon broke the last group of Novices arrived at their new home. It rained for thirty consecutive days. The trucks would not have been able to make that last muddy mile-for we are far from civilization!. The nearest post office is five miles away. New beginnings meant new sacrifices. The Novices made them cheerful Mud was plenty? Lots of rain… but no water! That is there was no water in the bath house because just at this time or engine went on strike. So our bullock cart sinking a foot into the mud, kept supplying us with water.

One might wonder where this place could be. In the earlier years Khurda was called Mariampur, named because of the grotto of our lady, beautifully constructed in the natural niche of the towering banyan tree. Though the original name is long forgotten yet the devotion to Mary is Khurda remains. The year 2005 is a very important year for the people of Khurda because this year is the Centenary Year of the Parish. The Church Building of Khurda was completed one hundred years ago on December 7, 2004. And this is a great event to celebrate. The Centenary Year of Khurda was inaugurated by Most Rev. George Anathil SVD, the bishop of Indore on December 5, 2004 at the foot of the Blessed Mother Mary (grotto). The Khurda community had planned out a number of programmes which will be carried out throughout the year. The renovation of the church building was one of the major programmes of the year.

The renovation started on September 15, 2004 and it took nine months and eighteen days to complete it. On July 3, 2005 the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle and the patron saint of India, the beautiful renovated church building was blessed and the altar was consecrated by Most Rev. George Anathil SVD. The church building has been given a new life. A large gathering of the faithful witnessed this great event. The new look has given a new life to the renovated church building.

Fr. Felix Eckeramann SVD was appointed Novice Master for the Clerical novices and on 18th June 1956. The Novitiate was shifted from Palda to Catholic Ashram, Khurda on 19th June, 1956. Seven Novices made their First Profession on 31st May, 1957 at Khurda.

There after the Novitiate was blessed with the following Novice Masters: Fr. Tom Lynch, Fr. Jose Vazhayil, Fr. P. A.  Jose, Fr. Philip Lukose (Prashant), Fr. Nicholas Martis, Fr. Charles Pinto and Fr. V.C. Jacob, Fr. Emmanuel Varghese.

2013 New building is put up destroying the old one (red building).

Confreres who worked so far

Name of the Confreres

Post / Assignment


Fr. Joe Francis

Assistant Novice Maser


Fr. A.  Sagayadass

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Prasad Kuzhivelil

Assistant Novice master


Fr, Prashant Lukose

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Nicholas Martis

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Nicholas Martis

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. I.M John

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Joseph Purapanthanam

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Melvin Sequeira

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. John Wakla

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Thomas Lynch

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Jacob Vazhavelil

Assistant Novice Master


Fr. Jose Panackappillil A

Assistant Novice Master, Parish Priest


Fr. Godwin Veigas

Assistant Novice Master, Procurator


Fr. Johny D’Souza

Assistant Novice Master, Procurator


Fr. Joseph Pinto

Assistant Parish Priest


Fr. Charles Pinto

Assistatn Novice Master


Br. Jose Manthottam

Construction Work


Br. Lawrence Dangwar

Farm In-charge


Br. Sylvester Lucas Minj

Farm In-Charge


Br. Bara Rajesh Ephrem



Fr. Prashant Lukose

Novice Master


Fr. Nicholas Martis

Novice Master


Fr. Jacob Vazhavelil

Novice Master


Fr. Jose Panackappillil. A.

Novice Master


Fr. Thomas Lynch

Novice Master


Fr. Stanislaus Wald

Novice Master


Fr. Felix Eckermann

Novice Master


Fr. Jose Vazhayil

Novice Master


Fr. Charles Pinto

Novice Master


Fr. Xavier Kuttanchelil



Fr. Rajesh Jamra



Br. Petrus Kujur



Br. Jose Manthottam



Fr. Francis Veigas



Fr. Sudhir Shenoy



Fr. Joseph Panthalatty



Fr. Marcel Tanan

Procurator, Vice Superior


Fr. Joseph Chetany



Fr. Ignatius Thotappilly

Spiritual Director


Br. Joseph Kullu

Staff Member


Fr. Jacob Vayalveliyil

Novice Master


Fr. Emmanuel Vargheese

Novice Master


Fr. Roque Dias



Fr. Godwin Veigas

Asst. Novice Master