Our Apostolate

Mission Experience


Narnaul - The Place that made me Brave and Strong

Fr. Ransom Pereira was very happy to come back to a place he served as a missionary earlier. Leading a group of Austrians, to the mission station of Narnaul, he had a fulfilling experience of having contributed to the mission station that is growing each year in stature and turning out to be a blessing for future generations of the land. He turned nostalgic as he joyfully recalled his earlier experiences.
The parishioners of parishes in Steyr, Austria located in Northern Austria were led by Fr. Ransom Pereira who serves in their locality. They had an interesting trip to the rather dusty and dry terrain of Narnaul, Haryana. Steyr is well known for the scenic natural beauty of rivers and the fascinating surroundings there. Steeped in the atmosphere of bygone centuries and coupled with a taste of modern-day life in sort of romantic settings, the place is well known for its historic fortifications, ancient fountains, bridges and footbridges. Coming down to the vast and varying expanses of the Indian terrain could be quite demanding for the visitors. However, Fr. Ransom joyfully narrates how satisfying it was to witness a lively and constructive interaction of the visitors with the land and people of our country.

The memories of Narnaul were revived back when I came with my friends from parishes in Steyr, Austria to visit the Narnaul mission station in February this year. Thanks to Fr. Anton Marian, Fr. Maria Michael, Sisters from the Maria Sadan community and the Staff of the Mata Mariam Jan SevaVidyalaya School, Narnaul for the preparations, the arrangements and the wonderful welcome accorded to us by the students. After a very bumpy mission road drive (which all the foreigners enjoyed) from Behror, we reached Narnaul to an awaiting and anxious gathering of students, teachers and members of the management of the Mata Mariam Jan Seva Vidyalaya.
My friends from Austria were very much touched by the spirit of the children whose innocent delight was so very evident from their joyful faces. The children were indeed very happy to see the fair skinned Europeans come down to visit their humble locality. Every child wanted to say hello or shake hands and feel the warm touch and embrace of the visitors. I can still feel the excitement that took over all of us as we stepped inside the school compound. It was simply so euphoric !
Meeting and being with children indeed has its own charm and beauty. Many of my Austrian friends have expressed to me later that meeting, interacting and being with children at Mata Mariam Jan Seva Vidyalaya,Narnaul, at Bal Bhavan, Greater Noida and at the orphanage at Fr. Agnel Ashram, Verna, Goa were some of the most treasured memories they have carried along. They also went on to say that it was actually the highlight of their tour to India. They also mentioned that the spontaneity of the children in India was steeped with innocence, simplicity, true child-like qualities and loads of affection. They were of the opinion that such qualities were not so commonly noticed or experienced in the European children.
Coming back to Narnaul makes me nostalgic and inspires me to reflect on the experiences I had and the lessons I learnt from the beautiful time of my life that I spent in the mission station
First and foremost, I thank God through my Superiors for sending me to the Mission of Narnaul. I happily recall my rich experiences as a Regent. Being there for a year with Fr. Eusebio Gomes was an excellent learning experience. Years later, as a priest member, I was asked to take charge as the Principal. I feel that appointment to Narnaul came to me like the call of Prophet Jeremiah. I was young and with no experience, yet I was given the charge to lead the school with some 1,200 children. At first I protested but then I took it up as a challenge. It has been my life`s principle that before I take any responsibility, I take time to learn the people and the situation of the place and their culture. With this I get a rough idea of the work, place and the people and the procedure one needs to follow to bring out the best from one's appointment.
Looking back, I would say that the years I served in the mission of Narnaul were the most wonderful and cherishing ones. I don't deny that there were very difficult times in managing the affairs of the school. However, I want to affirm that it were these difficult moments which molded me to be a courageous and better committed missionary. I also sincerely acknowledge the community spirit and the collaborative bonding between the members of the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Graces and Our Pilar Fathers Community. There were tensions in the school but the reassuring community spirit kept us together and helped us address the day to the day struggles of the mission. I remain indebted to my fellow priest members with whom I lived in Narnaul and the Sisters of Our Lady of Graces.
One more fulfilling mission work I joyfully recall was the social work ministry, the Pilar Fathers and the Sisters collaboratively took up. We reached out to children in villages and slums. Looking back in my life as a missionary priest, I believe that ministry was the most satisfying ministry that I cherish till date. There were 30 slum children who were enrolled in the Government School. There was also a Self Help Group (SHG) started for the slum women. We later succeeded in having SHG`s in 30 villages of Narnaul.
As I reflect back in time, I used all my God-given talents for the good of the students, the children and the people of Narnaul. Some Young boys from the place also came to me to learn the guitar. I also cherish memories of the smiling and lovely faces of our children. They were the beauty of this place. I do have contacts with some of the students on Facebook and social media platforms.
As this mission station and the school celebrates the Silver Jubilee this year. I send my greeting to our Fathers, Sisters, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff and Students of Mata Mariam Jan SevaVidyalaya. As the School Anthem proclaims 'High We Rise', so also, I wish and pray that let each student of this school rise with gratitude in heart, simplicity in life and a spirit of service to fellow brothers and sisters.
Let the good work continue. Jai Hind !

- Fr. Ransom Pereira sfx
(Member of the Delhi Province of the Society of Pilar, appointed to serve in the Diocese of Linz, Austria)

© 2017 All Rights Reserved by, Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, Delhi Province Designed & Powered by: Franciscan Solutions Pvt. Ltd.