St. Mary’s Convent, Kudda is in the Diocese of Khunti in the state of Jharkhand. It is situated about 85 kilometers between Ranchi and Simdega Highway. Kudda is a beautiful village with jungles, hillock, ravine and rivers surrounding it.
St. Mary’s Convent, Kudda was opened in 1976 at the request of Fr. Louise Defreijn S.J. The MSMHC was invited to Kudda by Bishop Pius Kerketta S.J. Fr. L. Defreijn was of great help to the Sisters in the initial stages. He has given a portion of the Parish land for the construction of the Convent, hostel, dispensary and school. He has sent many vocations to our Congregation from this area. This was our first house in the state of Jharkhand.
The pioneer Sisters were Sr. Magdaline Surin and Teresa Kerketta. They were very daring yet with full of missionary zeal and lived a very simple life. When they arrived Ranchi Rt. Rev Pius Kerketta, S.J., and the Archbishop along with his Priests gave them a warm welcome. The Archbishop himself accompanied the Sisters to Kudda in his car. The people of Kudda warmly welcomed the Archbishop and Sisters. Entrusting the Sisters to the care of the Parish Priest Fr.L.Defreijn and the people Rt. Rev. Pius Kerketta left for Ranchi after a grand welcome ceremony.
The Sisters had no means of income at the initial stage. The Generalate took care of the needs of the Sisters. The people were very generous with the sisters and they would bring for them paddy, rice, millet, and vegetables. The people also used to come and help the Sisters in the cultivation of the land. The Mahila Sangh was very much concerned about the welfare of the Sisters and they would ask villagers to supply the sisters what they could afford. The sisters also cultivated the land that was given to them and the produce of the land maintained the lives of the Sisters.
The Sisters started visiting the families in Kudda and the surrounding villages. People were happy to hear about Jesus and many people embraced the true faith. The lapsed Christians were given faith instruction and those who were not regular to the Church services began to be very fervent members of the Church. As the number of Sisters increased in the community the parish became very active and lively. It was good to see the number of faithful increasing to the church and the number of vocations we have in the congregation.
Even though we do not have proper agreement with the Diocese regarding our apostolate, the Sisters carry on taking care of the Parish Church, visit families, and impart instruction for adult baptism, first Holy Communion, confirmation, marriage preparation, settlement of marriage and so on. The Sisters also help in the Mahila Sangh and Krus Vir. The Sisters are available whenever any help is needed for the promotion and deepening of the faith of the people. The Sisters teach Catechism to the boys and girls on two days in the Parish High School.
The inhabitants of this area mainly belong to Munda tribe. The people of this are honest, simple, peace loving, hard working and there is a sense community solidarity is seen very much. These are some of the outstanding tribal traits found in them. They are educationally and economically backward. Tribal oppression in various forms, exploitation, violence and manipulation are regular feature of these poor people. However with the facility for education they are making headway in every aspect of life.
In the year 1982, some active Parish members such as Deonis Topno, Rajesh Topno and William Topno approached the Sisters and requested them to open an English medium school where their children and others would get opportunity to study in English medium school. Taking into consideration the request of the people, the need of the hour with the support of the people the Sisters started the English medium School in 1983 with minimum fees. The Sisters took up this challenge with 10 students. Sr. Rose Anthony was the first Head mistress of St. Mary’s English Medium School, Kudda. She did her best to give sound education to the students, and the enrollment in the school increased gradually.
With the help of Misereor from Germany we built a Boarding house for the girls. The Boarding girls used to attend the Hindi medium Parish school in those days. They also contributed to construct a dispensary, as this was essential for the health care of the people of Kudda and the surrounding villages. The dispensary was a great boon for the poor people of the villages, as they could not afford to go to the hospitals due to distance and financial deficiency. The Nurse Sister was totally available to the patients who were in need. The Sisters used to visit the families with medicine and attend to the needs of the people who were sick and suffering. The Congregation built a convent for the Sisters since the accommodation provided by the Parish in the beginning days was inadequate and as the number of sisters increased in the community. Besides there were student sisters staying in the convent and attending St. Joseph’s College Thorpa.
The English medium school grew steadily and we upgraded the School up to Class II for some years. But as the number of children kept increasing we proceeded up to Class IV for a few more years. As the years passed by the parents requested us to go ahead with at least up to Class VI. We did this to relieve the anxiety of the parents and for the benefit of the children attending our School. At the same time it was very difficult for the children to get admission in other schools to continue their studies. Thus we were requested to continue our School and start a High School for the betterment of the children in the locality. Realizing the struggle of the people and the difficulty in getting admission elsewhere Sr. Molly James, the Provincial Bursar applied for a building grant to the Doctor’s Committee in Frankfurt. They studied the application and seeing the need of the place and development of the people in Collaboration with the German Government sanctioned the amount for the construction of a High School. We remain very grateful to Mr. Hans Esher, who is the Head of Asian Department of the German Doctor’s Committee for the big amount he managed to get for the construction of the High school and some furniture. This is a joined effort of the German Doctors Committee and the German Government.
A convent for the Sisters and a Boarding for the children have been built by the generosity of an Organization named “Fratelli Dimenticatti, of Padua Italy. We have about 114 children in our Boarding. About 40 of them are being sponsored by the same Organization. His Lordship Rt. Rev. Stephen Tiru blessed the building and Sr. Mary Thadavanal our Superior General inaugurated the building on 12 March 2003. We owe a debt of gratitude to God in the first place for giving us a spacious Convent and a Hostel to accommodate the children of far-flung villages that have otherwise no means of attending a good school. We remain ever grateful to “Fratelli Dimenticatti” for their generosity in granting us this opportunity to serve the needy. We remember them gratefully in our prayers. Later on, a multipurpose hall and an additional floor for the boarding was constructed to facilitate the requirements of the children. At present, the procedures are being done to take ahead the school upto class X under CBSE Board.
ST. MARY'S CONVENT
Kudda, Pokla, P.O - 835 227
Gumla Dt., Jharkhand
09955169605 / 09162155933
1.Sr. Regina Aind
2.Sr. Magdaline Surin
3.Sr. Cecilia Barla
4.Sr. Anice Sebastian
5.Sr. Deepa Sardar
6.Sr. Anima Sangma
7.Sr. Teresa Anthony
8.Sr. Phlobina Nongsiej
9.Sr. Dolores Kisku
10.Sr. Phiralin Lyngdoh