A Short History of Avila Province ( Bhagalpur, Bihar)
On May 1st 1959 the Congregation of Teresian Carmelites took a daring step to establish two houses in North India, particularly in Gokhla and Harimohra in Bihar as a response to the invitation give by Rev. Rev. Fr. Peter Gonzalves T O R on behalf of Bishop Urban Mcgarry. It was opened with the intentions of uplifting the poor and marginalized specially the simple and easily exploited santal tribals. On 18th May 1985 the Northern region was bifurcated into Avila and Lisieux regions. In April 19, 1988 it was raised into the status of a Province. At present Sr. Arpita , the animator and Srs. Suchita, Scholastica, Violet and Lucia as the collaborating team the Province move ahead in accomplishing the dream of our daring pioneers, to spread the Gospel and to expand His Kingdom through various apostolates. The Province is spread into nine dioceses and four states namely Bihar, Jharkand, West Bengal and Kerala. The apostolates we reach out include teaching, preaching, healing, prison ministry and socio pastoral activities.
Working for and with the Santals has been our passion ever since we launched into missionary activities. It is a matter of great encouragement that Sisters have great commitment in learning the local languages namely Santali, Hindi and Bengali and identify themselves with the people of the locality. At present we have 23 convents and a residence. Nearly 3000 tribal girls are accommodated in our Girls’ Homes attached to our residence. The Province has grown from 12 initial members in to 164 now. Yes, the Lord has blessed us with many local vocations and it is He who guides the members into the deep waters to journey in His company and enjoy His serene and empowering presence in all our undertakings.