Ferrando Maria Nivas Boropahari is the 5th Convent in the state of West Bengal. It is situated 15 k.m. Away from Rampurhat Railway Station. It belongs to Birbhum district. The stone quarries surround it. The people who live here are the Bengalis, (majority) the Muslims and Sandals tribes.
Fr. John Vaikath the then Parish Priest at Barapahari made several attempts to get the MSMHC to start a Convent over there. For want of Sisters we were not able to start one. After a few years, again the Salesians of Don Bosco invited the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, when Fr.Francis Allenchery was the provincial of Kolkata. He saw the need of the people over there and the Kingdom of God has to be established in this area. He expressed his desire to Sr.Ivy Joseph, the Regional Superior. She willingly accepted the invitation on 13th March 1999 and was accompanied by the pioneers, Srs.Magdaline Surin and Dorothy Murmu, along with Sr.Cecelia Barla from the Community of Liluah. On 14th March 1999, the sisters began their life in the new Community. Rev.Fr.Francis Allencherry, the Provincial celebrated the Holy Mass along with Frs. Jacob and Dominic. There was a grand welcoming sermony by the parish community to mark the event. Sisters Magdalene Surin and Dorothy Murmu were very happy and began their work with full favor and enthusiasm.
The purpose for which the Convent began was Pastoral, Medical, Educational and Vocational training for girls. The sisters were very serious about their ministries. They visited all the families to know their background. In this way, they began to catechize the people. As a result they felt the need of opening a coaching center for the well being of the local children. Children were given coaching before they went to the normal school. According to the agreement, the administration of the girls and their admission to the hostel was to be done by the sisters. At present the sisters are carrying out the pastoral care as well. They remain in the village for one or two days and visit all the families, conduct prayer services, catechetical instructions. Besides, they prepare the couples for marriage, children for the first communion, Baptism etc.
The head catechist and the elders of the parish are of the opinion that, our presence over the years contributed a lot. The number of the Catholics has been increasing year after year. There is good scope for our noble mission. Many are ready to accept the catholic faith. Those who express their desire are kept for three or four years as catechumen. The parish community organizes other pious groups such as, Crusvir for children and welfare scheme for mothers for better functioning of the family. As a whole the sisters are Spiritual Mothers to this locality.
With the collaboration of the parish community, the sisters fulfill their mission. They maintain good relationship with the priests and the people. There is full co – operation in every sphere. In spite of all the struggles and difficulties of daily life, there is unity and mutual understanding among the members. Therefore we carry out our apostolate well with the help of God. We are proud to say that, the people are happy with the sisters. They feel at home with us. Their absence is felt much in the lives of the people. They consider the sisters as their own. The sisters are free to enter in any village or places without any restriction. They are welcomed anywhere and everywhere. There is a local school in Borophari up to Class IV. Our boarders get their education from this local school. We are trying our best to recruit vocation from our parish. But we need patience in this great venture. Our Pastoral work has been carried out till today, as we have been doing in the past. There is a great demand for the hostel for the education of the children. People demand frequent visit to the villages. More than the presence of a priest, sister’s presence is highly appreciated. The Catholic population is growing and their number has increased up to 2500. The catechumens face lot of difficulties on the basis of faith. The sisters arrange pilgrimage for the benefit of the people; especially to Bandel Church. This type of Spiritual experiences enrich the lives of the people to become strong in their faith.
We face innumerable Challenges to serve our society such as drought and scarcity of water are big problems for two to three months. Besides air pollution due to the increase of stone queries, poor transportation facilities, lack of Communication and social media and constant current failures etc. are part of the daily challenges of the sisters. In spite of the above-mentioned obscurities the sisters serve the society gladly after the example of our Founder Bishop Stephen Ferrando.
Birbhum Dt., West Bengal - 731 224
Sr. Regina Murmu
Sr. Emerencia Ekka
Sr. Veronica Barla
Sr. Ibalarisha Lyngdoh