SFS Around The World
Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS)
The Congregation of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales (MSFS), also known as FRANSALIANS, was founded by Fr Peter Marie Mermier in Annecy, France, on October 24, 1838 under the patronage of St Francis de Sales. It is constituted of priests and brothers.
Founding and Growth
The context of the founding of the Congregation was the French Revolution, the emergence of Jansenism and the emigration of Christians from Savoy. The political disturbances in the context of the French Revolution left the people in a deep spiritual crisis and indifferent towards their religious duties. Sensing the signs of the time, Fr Peter Mermier took upon himself the task of a spiritual renewal of his people by preaching parish missions. Thus, the MSFS Congregation was
founded at a (historical) critical moment in human history, to address the three-fold issues of de-Christianization and the anti-clerical attitudes developed as a result of the French Revolution; negative influence of Jansenism; and the emigration of the poverty-stricken population to France and Switzerland. Fr Mermier was fully convinced of and advocated preaching of parish missionary as the best solution to bring people back to faith. Parish missions consisted of week-long retreat preaching and visits of families for the purpose of spiritual renewal of the parish. The preachers proceeded from parish to parish, motivating the people to receive sacraments regularly and encouraging them to live genuine Christian lives.
The initial focus of the parish missions was to reform the educational institutions, the clergy and the parishes. Once Monsieur Favre wrote to the missionaries at Annecy, religion can only pick up again in Savoy by means of the missions.
This special apostolate, in turn, gave rise to a community of preachers who gathered around Fr Mermier. The MSFS Congregation was founded in response to the great desire of St Francis de Sales to establish a society of missionary priests. Nearly two centuries after the saint's death, Msgr Joseph Rey, a successor of the saint, in the see of Annecy, broached the subject of such a society to Fr Peter Mermier, who had been considering the same idea. Accordingly, Fr Mermier put the design into execution. In 1830, the institute was formed with La Feuillette as the site of the Mother House.
On September 29, 1836, Bishop Joseph Rey gave a provisional approval to the religious community of priests. On September 24, 1838, after a fervent retreat, six missionaries namely Peter Mermier, Jacques Martin, Philippe Gaiddon, Joseph Cheminal, AimePetitjean and Joseph Lavorel made the vow of stability. Bishop Rey received the royal assent for founding the religious Congregation from Charles Albert, King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy, on September 29, 1838. Then on October 24, 1838, Bishop Rey gave canonical approval to the Congregation, making the MSFS Congregation a diocesan religious institute, thereby becoming the first Congregation to bear the name of St Francis de Sales. On October 24, 1840, FrsMermier, Martin, Cheminal, Petitjean and Lavorel made their final commitment. The approval of the Holy See was granted on June 22, 1843, and the final approval on March 19, 1860.
In 1845, the first group of Missionaries of St Francis de Sales set out for India and landed in Pondicherry (Puducherry) on September 8, 1845. They travelled further to Visakhapatnam, reaching there on February 19, 1846. The Congregation for the evangelization of peoples entrusted the Vicariate of Visakhapatnam to the MSFS on May 2, 1848.
Since March 31, 1848, Fr Mermier sent missionaries regularly to India. The missionaries spread around the Vicariate of Vishakhapatnam and established missions in Orissa. By 1850, the Visakhapatnam mission grew into a full-fledged Apostolic Vicariate extending from Yanam to Visakhapatnam and Cuttack on the East Coast to Kamptee (near Nagpur), Amravati and Jabalpur in the North and Khandwa, Jalna and Aurangabad in the West. They opened mission stations in Surada and Khond in 1854 and many received Christian faith in these places. Missionaries constantly visited villages, establishing Christian communities as well as schools and technical institutes. The first native vocations were found in 1860: one in Visakhapatnam named AnselimChelvum, a Tamil, and another in Kamptee, Patrick Wall, from an Irish family settled in Kamptee. A seminary was opened at Gopalpore in 1890 and in 1915 seven Indian seminarians joined the seminary. In 1925, five Telugus joined and between 1927-1928 the first recruits were taken from Kerala. When the MSFS missionaries landed in India in 1845, the whole central India was before them. Because of the difficulties in travelling and the lack of personnel, MSFS worked and operated from two centres, namely Visakhapatnam and Nagpur, until 1980. From Visakhapatnam, they laboured along the East Coast and the South. From Nagpur, they laboured in the North and Western regions. During the first 50 years, 62 priests, 17 brothers, 15 seminarians, 140 sisters of St Joseph of Annecy (SJA), 25 sisters of the Cross of Chavanod (SCC) and 14 Catechist Sisters (Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate = SMMI) came to work in the vicariate which was under MSFS. Of this, 30 priests and 4 brothers and 30 sisters died in India during this period. In 1886, the Vicariate of Visakhapatnam was divided into two dioceses: Vishakhapatnam and Nagpur. By 1988, the vast territory, once taken care of by the MSFS, consisted of 11 ecclesiastical units. In 1888, the Nagpur region was created by bifurcating the Visakhapatnam region. Both were raised to the status of provinces in 1965. Until 1964, the Archdiocese of Nagpur and until 2012 Archdiocese of Visakhapatnam have been governed by prelates belonging to the Congregation. In 1930, Visakhapatnam and Nagpur were made into regions, and Fr Edmund Deage, Superior General, raised them into provinces in July 1965.
The MSFS in India work in seven provinces: Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Pune, South West India, South East India, Guwahati and Dibrugarh. Visakhapatnam province, erected in 1965 with Fr DavasiaKuzhupil as its first provincial, is the mother province of the MSFS in India. Nagpur province, established in 1965 and later named as Maharashtra-Goa province, was bifurcated in 1996 to erect the present Nagpur and Pune provinces. The North East India province, erected a province in 1990, was bifurcated into Guwahati province and Dibrugargh province on January 24, 2020. The South West India province, consisting of Kerala and Karnataka states, was established in 1991 bifurcating Visakhapatnam province. The South-East province was erected bifurcating Visakhapatnam province to form the Tamil Nadu- Pondicherry region on January 24, 2005. Three years later, on January 24, 2008, this was raised to a province with the name, Chennai province, which was renamed on August 15, 2008 as South-East province.
As of 2020, the MSFS is spread out in five continents, 30 countries, 11 Provinces, 1 Vice Province with a total number of 1471 members (1186 perpetually professed and 285 temporarily professed). Presently the MSFS are working in the following countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Cameroun, Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, St Lucia (West Indies), Tanzania, Trinidad Tobago (West Indies), Uganda, the United States and Zambia. The Superiors General since the foundation of the Congregation are Frs Peter Marie Mermier (1836-1862), Philippe Gaiddon (1863-1864), Maurice Clavel (1865-1880), Joseph Tissot (1880- 1894), Eugene Gojon (1894-1904), Constant Bouvard (1905-1920), Alphonse Favrate (1920-1932), Jules Commerson (1932-1947), Alphonse Grorod (1947- 1953), Edmund Deage (1953-1965), Adrien Duval (1965-1977), Emile Mayoraz (1977-2001), Agnelo Fernandes (2001-2013), Abraham Vettuvelil (2013- till date). MSFS headquarters is in Rome, Italy.
North East India is the region situated in the eastern-most part of India comprising of the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. These people consist of more than 200 schedule tribes. The land is mostly mountainous and hilly though there are plateaus and valleys in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Manipur.Majority of the inhabitants of the population are of Mongoloid race. It is difficult to ascertain how many languages are being spoken in this region and this has created diversity of Culture. Christianity is the dominant religion in North East states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur.
To this land of beauty, variety and unique history, the MSFS were invited to further the works of evangelisation in north east india. on September 15, 1975, a band of six newly ordained priests hailing from Kerala, were sent to North East India from the Province of Visakhapatnam. . To the invitation of Bishop Joseph Mittathany of Tezpur, the Provincial Administration of Visakhapatanam Province responded positively. Thus, Frs Joseph Kizhakkeveed and Abraham Kuttiankal for Tezpur, Frs George Parampukattil and Joseph Kuttiany for Tura, Frs Kurian Pattimackel and Jose Mundoly for Kohima-Imphal started from Visakhapatanam arrived in norh east india. Within a year, three more confreres from Vizakhapatnam arrived in the North East: Frs Jose Thenganakunnel, George Kunnel and Sebastian Paredom. The next batch of missionaries arrived in the North East in 1977. In 1977, Fr Paul Sankoorickal (S.L.Paul) came from USA to lead the North East Mission of the MSFS. He was parish priest of Silapathar in Tezpur diocese. Steadily though slowly, the Congregation began to take roots and grow in the North East, thanks to the regular arrival of confreres from Visakhapatnam.
On September 15, 1979 North East India was made a Region, with 16 priests working in the North East and few scholastics as regents, within the Province of Visakhapatanam. Fr DevasiaKuzhupilwas appointed the first Regional Superior of this Region. On the basis of subsequent consultations by Provincial of Visakhapatanam, Fr Alexander Kottam was appointed Regional Superior of North East India to succeed Fr DevasiaKuzhupil in 1982. But he could not take charge of his office due to his sudden illness. Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy was appointed the second Regional Superior of the North East Region of MSFS The Region of North East India of the MSFS was raised to the status of a Vice Province on January 24, 1984 and appointed Rev. Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy first Vice Provincial. Fr Abraham Mullenkuzhy was re-appointed the Vice Provincial of the North East Vice Province (1987-90) for a second term.On January 24, 1990 the Vice Province became a fully pledged Province. Fr Jose Thenganakunnel was appointed first Provincial. There were 33 priests and 41 professed scholastics in the Vice-Province at the time of raising it into a province. Fr George Parampukattil was installed second Provincial of North East India Province during the concelebrated Eucharistic celebration by Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, the Archbishop of Guwahati, on January 24, 1996, Between 1996 and 2002, the Province made remarkable progress in extending its works to new countires and areas. The period saw opening up of the Province to countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Nepal and to the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim. Abraham Mullenkuzhy was installed the third Provincial of North East India Province on January 24, 2002 for a term of three years. Fr. Abraham was reappointed for a second term of three years as the Provincial beginning from January 24, 2005. The period also witnessed the entry of the Province in the field of Higher Education for the first time with the opening of SFS College in Arunachal Pradesh in 2007, in the field of professional social work with the establishing of FAsCE India (Fransalain Agency for Social Care and Education in India)in 2005, Fransalian Communication in 2005 and Prison ministry (2002) in Namibia in the same year.
Fr Francis Thadathil was appointed as the fourth Provincial Superior of the North East India Province on 27 February 27, 2008. He was reappointed for another term of three years starting from January 24, 2011. Fr George Panthanmackel. His installation as the fifth Provincial of the province took place on January 23 . 2014. Fr George was appointed for another term of three years from January 23, 2017. Under the leadership of Fr George Panthanmackel, between 2014 and 2016, the Province has seen number of initiatives and expansions. In the category are the entry of the Province in to the management of the Constant Lievens Academy of Health, Ranchi (2014), a medical college in Jharkahand, staffing and management of St Clement College, a Guwahati ArchdiceseanPhilosophate (2016), in Assam.
By 2016, the Province has spread out in the geographical territory of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura in North East India. It spread its wings to West Bengal and Jharkhand and the African countries of Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Its 185 (as on January 2, 2017) priests work in the Archdioceses of Shillong, Imphal, Guwahati and Ranchi and in the Dioceses of Agartala, Aizawl, Asansol, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Diphu, Itanagar, Jowai, Kohima, Nongstoin, Tezpur, and Tura in the region (also in several other parts of India and in some dioceses of Europe, America and Africa), in the field of evangelization, formal and non-formal education, preaching ministry, developmental ministry, communication and youth ministry. From the six pioneering men, the Congregation has grown to the status of being the second largest men Congregation in the region.
Southern African Region in North East India Province
As per the decision made by the provincial council that met in Guwahati on April 21, 1997, first mission by the North East India province in the African continent was open at Bethanie, in the diocese of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Frs Philip Mangatt, Joseph Kunjaparambil and Baby Arackathara were designated to be the members of the pioneering team. Accordingly, the three pioneers left for Namibia on July 15, 1998 and reached at Windhoek, capital of Namibia on 22nd at Keetmanshoop on the next day. On December 2, 1998 all three confreres moved over to Bethania, a parish that was handed over to the MSFS on December 8, 1998 In 1999, Fr Baby Arackathara began working in South Africa in the diocese of Keimoes-Upington. Later with the arrival of more confreres, the MSFS started working in the Archdiocese of Cape Town in South Africa and in the Archdiocese of Windhoek in Namibia The African mission was raised to Southern African Region in 2003.
MSFS North East India Delegation of Germany-Austria
The delegation of Germany-Austria (GA) was established in 2014. Fr Sabu Francis Manasrayil was appointed the Delegation Superior of the newly constituted Delegation of the NE Province in GA. Accordingly Fr Sabu Francis was installed as Delegation Superior on January 24, 2014 at MSFS Provincialate, Guwahati.
Dibrugarh Region in North East India Province Since 2015
In answer to the reasonable yearning, relentless prayers and repeated requests, the directives of the joint-meeting of General Curia and Provincial Curia at MSFS Provincialate, Guwahati, on Oct. 13-14, 2014, guided the Provincial Administration to initiate the process of creating an administrative unit (Delegation/Region) in Northeast India Province. After having consulted all the members of the Province through both â€˜Consultation Paperâ€™ and â€˜Apostolic Community Meetingsâ€™, with the consent of the Provincial Council, and in accordance with the Constitutions of the Congregation, Fr George Panthanmackel, the Provincial, requested Rev Fr Abraham Vettuvelil, the Superior General, to erect a Region in Northeast India Province comprising of Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Nagaland and Manipur on June 28, 2015. In his letter to the Superior General, Fr Provincial stated that the establishment of a distinct Region was for the purpose of strengthening religious commitment as MSFS, facilitating effective administration, encouraging closer community living, properly nurturing and utilizing talents and gifts, and consolidating and expanding missionary activities. The formal establishement of a new Region in North East India Province took place on January 20, 2016, with Fr Emmanuel Mappilaparambil taking charge as its first Regional Superior. The geographical area of the Region consists of Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
The Division of North East India Province into Guwahati Province and Dibrugarh Province:
Therefore, the need for better animation of religious life, ministries and missionary activities necessitated the division of north east India province into two provinces namely, Guwahati province and Dibrugarh province. Father Abraham Vettuvelil, Superior General of The Missionaries of St Francis de Sales, announced the establishment of two new provinces from the Northeast India Province of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales on October 24, 2019, the Foundation Day of the Congregation. Guwahati Province consists of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Lower Assam (Diphu, Bongaigaon and Guwahati Dioceses) and West Bengal (Asansol Diocese) and Dibrugarh Province consists of (Upper Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland).
The decree from the Superior General says that THE PROVINCE OF GUWAHATI AND THE PROVINCE OF DIBRURGARH of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales from the present Province of North-East India of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales, will come into effect on January 24, 2020. Fr. Sabu Francis Manasrayil is the first Provincial of the newly erected province of Guwahati.
- St. Francis de Sales Higher Secondary School, Narengi
- St. Paul School, Panishali
- St. Francis de Sales School, Panbari
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Bahalpur
- Don Bosco Secondary School, Hamren
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Mawryngkneng
- Green Hill Secondary School, Sohryngkham
- Ka Syiem Jingsuk Higher Secondary School, Amlarem
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Bakur-Dawki
- Don Bosco School, Mawkhlam
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Umwahlang
- Christ King Up School, Umwahlang
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Nongalbibra
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Somonpara
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Sindukpathar
- St. Francis de Sales School, East Harina
- St. Francis de Sales School, Amarpur
- St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Manikbond
- St. Francis de Sales School,Sateek
- St. Francis de Sales School, Lengpui
- West Bengal
- St. Francis de Sales Secondary School, Galsi.
- Vishakhapatnam Province
- Kotak Salesian School A.P
- L.R.G. High School, Ananthapuram
- S.F.S. School, Agripalli, Krishna DT, A.P.
- S.F.S. School Gajuwaka, A.P
- S.F.S. High School, Kasibugga, A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Ballepalli, Khammam, Telangana
- S.F.S. School, Medipalli, Hyderbad, Telangana
- S.F.S.Eng.Med.School, Nagulapalem, A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Nizamabad, Telangana
- S.F.S. School, Pamidi, Anantapur-DT. A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Pithapuram, East Godavari-DT, A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Rajupalem, Guntur DT. A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Seethammadhara, A.P.
- S.F.S. School, Shanthinagar, Secunderabad, Telangana
- S.F.S School, Tanuku, A.P.
- St. Aloysius High School, Visakhapatnam
- Vinaya Kumar Aided Telugu Medium School, Anantapur, A.P.
- S.F.S. Junior College, Nidadavole, A.P.
- ST. Aloysius Industrial Training Center, Autonagar, A.P.
- ST. Aloysius N.F.I. Visakhapatnam, A.P.
- Nagpur Province
- St.Mary's English School, Kinwat
- St. Francis De Sales Sr. Sec. School, Delhi
- St. Francis De Sales Sr. Sec. School, Jhajjar, Haryana
- Gyan Mata Vidya Vihar Sr. Sec. School, Nanded
- St. Francis De Sales School, Seraikella, Jharkhand
- St. Francis De Sales Sr. Sec. School, Neemuch
- St. Francis De Sales School, Nimkheda
- St. Xavier's School, Sini
- St.John's Public School, Nagpur
- St.Mary's High School, Jalna, Maharashtra
- St. John's High School, Nagpur
- Fransalian Technical Institute, Arungabad
- MSFS Dibrugarh Province
- St. Francis De Sales School, Silapathar
- Don Bosco High School, Silapathar
- St. Francis De Sales School & Jr. College, Dhemaji
- Christ King High School, Gogamukh
- St. Francis De Sales School, Telam
- Fransalian School, Jonai
- St. Joseph School, Kaying
- St. Francis De Sales School, Pasighat
- St. Francis De Sales School, Tato
- St. Francis De Sales School, Aalo
- St. Francis De Sales School, Basar
- St. Francis De Sales School, Yingkiong
- Sfs College, Aalo
- Sfs Higher Secondary School, Medziphema
- All Saints Higher Secondary, School, Peren
- St Francis De Sales School, Tening
- St Andrew’s School, Mangkolemba
- St Francis De Sales School, Kangpokpi
- Holy Rosary School, Purul
- MSFS Guwahati Province
- SFS Higher Secondary School, Satgaon, Narengi
- St. Paul’s School, Panishali Lakhipur, Goalpara
- SFS School, Bahalpur, Dhubri
- Don Bosco School, Hamren, Karbi Anglong
- SFS Sec. School, Mawryngkneng East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
- Ka Siyam Jingsuk School, Amlarem Jowai (Via), Jaintia Hills Meghalaya
- Don Bosco School, Mawkhlam West Khasi Hills Nongstoin
- SFS Secondary School, Nongalbibra, South Garo Hills Dt. Meghalaya.
- SFS School, Somonpara
- St. Francis De Sales Residential school - East Harina
- St. Joseph’s School - Manikbond, Karimganj
- SFS School - Sateek BPO Aibawk, Aizawl, Mizoram
- St. Francis De Sales School - Lengpui
- St. Francis De Sales School – Panbari, Chirang, Assam
- St Francis De Sales School, Galsi Eastm, West Bengal
- St.Francis De Sales School Amarpur, Tripura
- SFS Secondary School - Umwahlang Nonglang Nongstoin Via, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
- St. Francis De Sales School – Sindhukpathar South Tripura
- South West India Province
- S.F.S. School, Malur.
- SFS High School (State Syllabus), Kuknoor: North Karnataka
- S.F.S. English Medium School (CBSE), Kannur, Kerela
- SFS School, Mundargi
- SFS School, Srinivaspur
- St. Francis De Sales Primary School (ICSE), Koppal
- St. Francis De Sales School, Koppal
- SFS School - Chintamani
- SFS Public School, Ettumanoor
- SFS School - Kadisenahalili
- SFS Public School - Kumbalgod
- SFS Public School: Hebbagodi - Electronics City (ICSE)
- S.F.D. High School, Mermier Nagar
- SFS School, Kannada Medium: Hebbagodi
- Saint Francis De Sales Pre-University College, Hebbagodi
- St Francis De Sales Academy, Electronic City
- S.F.S. Colleges, Hebbagodi, Bangalore.
- S.F.S. Evening College: Hebbagodi, Electronic City
- Pune Province
- St. Thomas Boys' School- Aldona, Goa
- SFS School Gangapur City: Rajasthan
- SFS School, Hindaun City: Rajasthan
- SFS School, Kadgoan - Tirwade, Maharastra
- SFS School Nallasopara-East
- SFS School, Pune: Maharashtra
- SFX School, Siolim, Goa
- St. Joseph High School Kurla, Mumbai, Maharastra
- Our Lady of Lourdes School, Valpoi, Goa.
- South East India Province
- SFS Matric Hr Sec School, Alangayam
- SFS Public (CBSE) School, Trichy
- St. Francis De Sales Matriculation School, Kelambakkam
- SFS Matriculation High School, Nalanttinputhur
- S.F.S Matriculation School, Villupuram
- SFS Matriculation Hr. Sec. School, Pudukkottai
- SFS School, Sendurai
- SFS Matriculation Hr. Sec School, Vaniyambadi
- SFS Matric Hr. Sec School, Virudhunagara
- East Africa Province
- Fransalian Primary School, Morogoro
- St Francis De Sales Seminary, Morogoro
- Fransalian Mission School, Mkuza
- S.F.S Prinary School, Tabora
- SFS Secondary School, Tabora
- SFS Primary School, Bukene
- SFS Vocational Training Centre, Mwakata
- De Sales Primary School, Izaka
- SFS Primary School, Kagongwa
- Salesan Primary School, Chera, Kenya
- St Francis De Sales Sec School, Mlolongo
- St Joseph VTC, Mlolongo
- SFS Primary School, Katani
FRANCE / GERMANY
- France Suisse Province
- Ville-La-Grand, France
- Florimount, Switzerland