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BALASORE, Christ The King Cathedral

Estd :

1866

Patron :

Christ the King

Address :

Christ the King cathedral Church,
Vivekanda Marg, P.O / Dt. Balasore
Pin - 756001
Phone : 06782 - 263931

Gram Panchayat :

Municipality Balasore

Catholic families :

191

No. of Catholics :

719

No. of Substations :

4
Bhaskarganj,
Birla,
Chandipur,
Srikantapur

Parish Priest :

Fr. Jose Aresseril

Associate Pastor :

Fr. George Plackyil

No. of Catechists :

3

Religious institutions :

1. St. Vincentís Convent (CMC)
2. St. Vincentís Convent (DC)
3. Jyothi Convent (SD)
4. Prathiksha Bhavan (Camillus)
5. Missionaries of Charity (MC)
6. Deen Bandu Samaj (DBS)

Educational institutions :

St. Vincentís Convent School
St. Vincentís Oriya Primary School
Utkal Vani Kala Kendra
St. Thomas School

Socio-welfare activities :

BSSS
Creche (DC)
Home for the aged (DC)
Home for the mentallychallenged(DSC)
Shishu Bhavan (MC)

Health Care :

Jyothi Hospital
ST. Vincentís Health Centre (DC)
Mobile Dispensary (MC)

Pious associations :

Jesus Youth
Marian Youth
S.V.P Conference
Holy Childhood Cell

History of the Parish :
From ď AMALECTA AUGUSTINIANAĒ we have the information that in 1822, there was a considerable number of Christians mostly floating population, in Balasore. There was landed property and a chapel then, in Balasore. However, gradually, many of the christians left Balasore for Kolkota and other more perspective places. Hence, in 1832, the chapel was closed and the property was entrusted to the Zamindar of Balasore for safe custody.

In 1864, Fr. Delpelchin S.J. Superior of Bengal Jesuit Mission, visited Balasore and found a few Christians still existing there. On his return to Kolkotta he appointed R. Sapport S.J. as resident priest of Balasore. In 1865, Fr. Sapport came to live in Balasore. He tried to regain the property that was earlier entrusted to the Zamindar. However that was all a vain attempt.

Hence, he acquied further land in Balasore and in 1866-67; he built a church (Lal Girja) and dedicated it to the honour of St. Joseph. During the great Orissa Famine, Fr. Sapport opened a Foundling Home in Balasore. In 1868, the Daughters of the Cross came to Balasore and took charge of the Foundling Home. Those sisters continued to be in Balasore until 1938. In 1976, Fr. Sapport, the pioneer Missionary of Balasore was transferred elsewhere and Fr. Lí Hermitte S.J. succeeded him. From 1880 till 1937, many fathers like Schaff S.J., Vrithoff S.J. had worked intermittently in Balasore.

In 1938, the most southern part of the Archdiocese of Calcutta, in the State of Orissa, comprising the Civil Districts of Balasore and Mayurbhanj, was entrusted to the Malteese Dominicans (O.P.). On 01.11.1938, there came four Dominican Missionaries : Fr. Gabriel Wilkin O.P., Fr. Jacob Dominico O.P. They took charge of the existing stations of Balasore and Krishna chandrapur. Later on 30.11.1939, four more Dominicans, Fr. Cajetano Xerri O.P., Fr. Jacobus Burrigieg O.P., Fr. Boneventure Aquilkua O.P. and Bro. Jhon O.P., joined the former team of Missionaries in Balasore. However those Malteese Dominicans could not continue in Balasore. On 01.01.1941 they all left Balasore and India for good. It was during the time of the Dominicans in Balasore that, owing to an earthquake, the beautiful Lal Girja suffered heavy damages and because of its dilapidated and threatening condition, the Archbishop Most Rev. Ferdinand Perier S.J. of Calcutta gave orders to dismantle the same. The beautiful Lal Girja of Balasore could not be rebuilt until very late in 1973. From 1941 till 1948, Balasore contended with visiting priests of Kharagpur.

In 1948, Fr. Joseph Viziak S.J. was appointed Parish Priest of Balasore but he preferred to reside at Krishnachandrapur where there was a larger Christian community and an established church. From Krishnachandrapur, Fr. Viziak regularly attended Balasore rendering spiritual ministrations to the people there.

From June 1965, Fr. Anselm Biswal of Cuttack Diocese was appointed parish priest of Balasore, still under the Archdiocese of Calcutta. In 1967, Fr. Vincent Mathew replaced Fr. Anselm as Parish Priest of Balasore.

On June 8, 1968, the Apostolic Prefecture of Balasore was formed and was entrusted to the Vincentians (CM) of Cuttack Province. Fr. Jacob Vadakeveetil C.M., was appointed Apostolic Administrator, who took charge over Balasore Mission on 18th November, 1968. From that day on he assumed charge also as Parish priest of Balasore. He continued to be the parish priest until 1984, when Fr. Thomas Enchackel was appointed Parish Priest. Fr. Thomas Enchackal was transferred elsewhere in 1986 and Fr. Paul Pynadath C.M. took charge as parish priest.

When Balasore was raised to the status of a diocese in 1990, Fr. Thomas Enchackl once again came back to Balasore as Parish Priest in place of Fr. Paul Pynadath C.M. Since 1991, Fr. Chcko V.L. became the parish priest of Balasore and continued till the year 1999. During his tenure he started a Music and Dance training centre UTKAL VANI for the tribal and backward children.

In the Year 2000 Fr. Jose Thundiyil took charge as parish priest. Many tribal and poor people got the benefit of a house as he built the housing colony both at Bhaskarganj and Srikanthapur. Since 2002, Fr. Roy Kochupurackal is the parish priest.

 

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