Masih Vidya Bhavan
Masih Vidya Bhavan, located in the heart of the city of Indore is playing a very important role in the mission and activities of the local church of Indore.
The main activities:
The traditional anti-missionary animosity in Central India, and the Niyogi Committee Report on missionary activities 1954 constituted the immediate background for opening a Catholic Inquiry Centre in Indore (Masih Vidya Bhavan), in 1961, primarily due to the initiate and vision of Most Rev. Bp. Francis Simons SVD, Bishop of Indore. Fr. Gracian Aroojis, a diocesan priest was its first director. Subsequently, the management of the Centre was taken over by the SVD Central Indian Province. The records of the last 40 year testify that there are thousands of Hindus, particularly among High School and College students, who are dissatisfied with ritualism the caste system and many other evils in their religious and who are searching for alternative ways to truth and peace of mind. The dedicated services of many priests and sisters, particularly to the poor and downtrodden, provide them inspiration to turn to Christ for an answer. They show genuine eagerness to learn more about Jesus and his life. His teaching on forgiveness and a life of self-sacrifice are the most appealing qualities to these seekers. Of the 53 catholic inquiry Centres in India, Masih Vidya Bhavan headed by Fr. Varghese Nediayakalayil SVD has ventured into new experiments. A Bible correspondence course is the main activity along with other programmes like maintaining a reading room inter-religious dialogue meeting, annual Biblical painting exhibitions writing in local Hindi papers and Bible conventions.
On an average about 10000 people per year make enquiries with the Bhavan and do the Hindi correspondence course for six month, about Jesus Christ. For example, in 1999, about 6000 certificates were issue to those who successfully completed the correspondence course, based on the Bible. That there was 17 full time dedicated staff (1 priest, 2 Sisters and 14 lay people) in the team is a clear indication that the Bible correspondence course is an excellent means of quiet proclamation. MP, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are the major states of such enquiries. The fact that during the past two decades, thousands of seekers have deepened their religious knowledge, attained peace of mind by reading the Bible and praying to Jesus and many of who have also accepted Jesus as their saviour, are deeply encouraging factors, in spite of lack of support from some of the co-missionaries, many of the new seekers came through old contacts and their own voluntary contribution suggest the need for more such Centres. Fr. Norbert Herman SVD continued to do similar activities form Maitri Sadan, Udaipur, Rajasthan. In the present Indian hostile situation where missionaries are reluctant to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, reaching out to thousands of non Christians through these Centres is a rewarding method. Those who question the relevance of proclamation in a pluralistic context stand challenged.
Catholic Enquiry Centre:
At present we have a Catholic Enquiry Centre offering Bible correspondence programme both in English and Hindi. We have a growing number of enquirers approaching us with the desire of knowing about Bible and about Jesus. It is the largest Catholic Enquiry Centre in India. There is a staff of 16 persons, including the director and two Sisters working here. Nearly 35000 non Christians are having Bible lessons through correspondence and coming to know Jesus through us. Quite many people also visit us daily to learn about Jesus and Christianity and also for counseling.
Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism:
Masih Vidya Bhavan functions as the centre for inter-religious dialogue and Ecumenism for the Diocese of Indore, besides the periodical meetings held here. Periodically inter-religious prayer meetings and discussions on some relevant socio-religious issues are organized here, which receive good response from all sections of the society. Different feasts of all religions are celebrated together here. We network and collaborate with numerous groups in this field. Various programmes to promote ecumenism like joint Christmas Programme, Christian Unity Octave are also organized from here.
Public Reading Room and Library: there reading room and library being run by Masih Vidya Bhavan is a great service to people around. This functions from 6 pm to 9 pm every day except on Sundays with a part time librarian.
we have the Parish Masses on Sundays and important occasions as well as Sunday Catechism for the children here. Though the parish priest stays at Nand Bag, the main Mass Centre of the Parish still remains Masih Vidya Bhavan.
Prison Ministry programmes: we organize cultural programmes at the central Jail periodically with the help of other institutions. We also visit the prison and meet the prisoners who are in any kind of need. Many of them are personally in touch with us. We also give Christian literature and Bible booklets as wells as copies of the Bible to anyone who asks for them.
Working for promoting the integrity of Creation; besides trying to promote ecological awareness respect for the integrity of creation through classes, lectures and audio-visual programmes in our limited way we try to live an eco-friendly life style here. We throw no garbage outside. All the kitchen waste is converted into manure through composting on the terrace and a beautiful garden of vegetables decorative plants and bonsai trees thrives there. All waste papers, polythene etc are collected and sold for recycling thus generating zero garbage.
29/06/1991 Bp George Anathil SVD blessed and inaugurated the Bible Art Museum a brain child of Fr. Varghese Nediayakalayil SVD Director of Masih Vidya Bhavan in the august presence of Provincial Fr. Ignatius T SVD and a number of prominent citizens form the city.
08/03/1998 Sixth General Body Meeting of the Association of the Catholic Enquiry Centres -India is held at Prerana Sadan Indore.
15/12/1997 Initiative is taken by Masih Vidya Bhavan for the creation and development of new parish near Marimata Chouraha.
02/10/1982 Mr. A. O. Mani, an ex student from Vidya Niketan, Mysore and at present working in Indore was under psychiatric treatment with the help of Fr. Varghese SVD who brought him to Masih Vidya Bhavan for the needed care. He fell down from second floor or the building and died.
1987 It might as well sound a mere legal technicality and it certainly is so. After all Masih Vidya Bhavan was under the charge of SVDs for more than a decade. Our men who become directors of the information cum dialogue centre during the past ten years or so Fr. Clement Mollamkuzhiyil SVD, Fr. James Maria Kumar SVD and Fr. Varghese Nediayakaliyil SVD were running it for the bishop of Indore. And now the bishop has officially handed over the center to the SVD to operate. The tansfere is made official and legal through a contract signed by the bishop and the society.
Confreres who worked so far.
Name of the Confreres
Post / Assignment
Fr. Clement Moolamkuzhiyil
Fr. James Maria Kumar
Fr. Deepak Sulya
Fr. Vargheese Nediakalayil
Fr. George Bhuriya
Fr. Chakkungal Joseph Devanad
Fr. James Mailady
Fr. George Payattikatt
Fr, Michael Karketta
Fr. Deoswarup Kujur
Assistant Director & Vocation Promotor
Fr. Kishore Soreng
Fr. Prasad Kuzhively
Commission for Inter Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism for Indore
Fr. Prasad Kuzhively
Fr. Raju Sastya
Fr. Jose Pulickal
Fr. Rajesh Jamra
Fr. Raju Dodiyar
Fr. Raju Sastya
Fr. Pious Lakra