Karnataka Jesuits

Vijayapura - Sindagi

It was in 1991 at the request of the Diocese of Belgaum; Vijayapura (aka Bijapur) Jesuit Mission was started by the Jesuits of Karnataka Province. The main task of the Jesuits was to take care of the Catholic community of St. Anne’s Church, Bijapur. The first Jesuits who pioneered the mission were Fr. Ambrose D’Mello and Fr. Denis Alvares. Having made a situational analysis of the city, the Jesuits discovered that Bijapur was dominated by slums. Seeing the plight of the slum dwellers, they made an intervention in the slums of Vijayapura trying to raise the consciousness of the people and organizing educational and conscientization programmes for the marginalized. As they went ahead, they discovered a lot of child labourers in the whole of the district and began a Child Labourers School which was well recognized in the district.

After the diocese of Gulbarga was established in 2005, Vijayapura became a Deanery with the Mission Superior as the Dean. It comprises the missions of Vijayapura, Devarahipparagi, Indi, Kanakal, Sindagi, Almel, Muddebihal and Talikote. Seeing the immensity of the task, they sought the collaboration of other religious. Nine religious congregations of women accepted the invitation. They are spread out in the whole of the deanery of Vijayapura. The religious congregations there now are: Society of Jesus (SJ), Sisters of Charity (SCCG), Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny (SJC), Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes (SJT), Daughters of the Heart of Mary (DHM), Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (JMJ), Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM), Ursuline Franciscan Sisters (UFS) and Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyons (SJL). Although each of the congregations/priests functions autonomously in the area assigned to them, they work as a team with a common vision, objectives, strategies and plan of action.

In Vijayapura and Sindagi, the Jesuits are involved in the following works: pastoral work through a parish (the only parish in the whole of the district of Vijayapura), securing basic amenities for the slum dwellers in 65 slums, technical education for the rural school dropouts, rehabilitation of Devadasis and commercial sex workers and the education of their girl children, formal education of the children of the slum dwellers, Devadasis, HIV infected and migrants, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, HIV/AIDS awareness in the slums of Vijayapura and Community Care of the HIV/AIDS infected persons of North Karnataka districts.

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