Society Of Pilar

Provinces & Region

THE SOCIETY TODAY : Branching into Four Provinces and a Region

Since the last 70 years the Society of Pilar has been steadily increasing in number and expanding the scope of its service to God and the nation. In the very next year after the Society was revamped, two missioners were sent to Nagar Haveli that became the first unit, and the nucleus of what would later become the Mumbai Province of the Society. In 1951, Cardinal Valerian Gracias of Bombay invited the Pilar Fathers to Ambarnath, where they had to start from scratch. Today the Mumbai Province of the Society counts 17 residential units, besides the Provincialate in Silvassa.

In the same year, i.e. 1951, the Society was entrusted with the region of Sanguem, in southeast of Goa. This eventually became the hub of what is named as the Goa Province of the Society. Today the Province of the Society has 16 residential units spread over Goa, Karnataka and Chennai, and one in south Maharashtra, besides the Provincialate in Margao. In most of these units the Fathers look after parishes and schools.

In 1961, the Society made a maiden entry into the northern region of India. Fr. Ovidio Cunha and Fr. Mariano Pereira were sent to Sirsa in Haryana. Today the Delhi Province of the Society whose members serve in the northern states of India, has 10 residential units of its own spread over Punjab and Haryana, besides one parish in Dholpur in Rajasthan, and the Provincialate in Delhi. The latter is based in a purchase house at Jangpura Extension since 2000. A 2 acres plot has been purchased in Nazafgarh, on the outskirts of Delhi city where the Provincialate will be shifted once the building is ready. The province also has priests doing pastoral work and assisting in parishes of the diocese of Jammu-Srinagar and jalandhar.

A new chapter in the life of the Society occurred in February 1965 when two of its members embarked for the far away islands of Andaman and Nicobar in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. The mission flourished well and was nourished almost exclusively by our members who opened Churches and houses in several places all over the islands. In 1985 the mission was raised to a diocese and Fr. Alex Dias, a member of the Society who worked for more than a decade in the Andamans, became its first Bishop. The capital town Port Blair was for many years the administrative seat of the Society's eastern regions. It was only after the Region becoming a Province of the Society it has been shifted to Kolkata. The Kolkata Province has 23 residential units, besides some members who are lent to other dioceses.

After the reconciliation of the Society in November 2006, the Agnel Region was created comprising of the units run by the erstwhile Ashram Fathers who are now an integral part of the Society. The Agnel Region has 5 residential units, besides the Regionalate at Bandra in Mumbai.

Besides the many units of the four Provinces, and a Region, the Society has residential units that come directly under the Central Administration of the Society based in Porvorim, Goa. Four of these are based in Pilar among which is the Monastery, the Mother house of the Society. Retired and infirm members who have not opted for any of the Provinces reside in Pilar; three units are in other parts of Goa. Responding to the invitation of bishops abroad due to the dearth of priests in their dioceses, the Society runs parishes in Nepal, Germany, Italy, England and America. In their ministry abroad, the Fathers also make the Society and its activities known to the people who come forward as collaborators in the Society.