Parish & Mission Stations
Chindwara Chindwara


St. Francis Xavier Church Near Police Lines, Chhindwara - 480001. M. P. - 0716-2242693

Sub-Station Saunser
Patron St. Francis Xavier
Feast 3rd Dec.
Families 125
Parish Priest Fr. John Ollukaran CMI, 09425637362
Asst. Priest Fr. NavneetKujur, +918806628280
Religious Men CMI fathers
Religious Women Sisters of Charity

There were some English speaking catholics who lived in the Chhindwara region during the reign of the British Empire. In 1863 the deputy collector of Chhindwara region gave more than 20 acres of Nazul land to Fr. Theveneth. There was no resident priest but served from Kamptee Church. Sometimes later, a small Chapel was built. The present dining room was the chapel and the first room facing the road was for the Priest to stay. There was no permanent Priest in chhindwara till the arrival of the SMMI sisters who were brought to the mission by the MSFS Fathers. Once the sisters settled down in chhindwara a chaplain was appointed for their spiritual needs. In the beginning all the priests & sisters were French speaking and a few Indian sisters joined them who were called Baginees. During the Second World War, Fr. Vincent Luccaz was posted as the parish priest and a chaplain to the Catholic soldiers who were brought to train in mountaineering warfare.

In 1944, with the help of the soldiers, Fr. Vincent Luccaz put up a small Church which is still standing. After the Second World War, many people left the place except a few catholics and railway employees who remained and settled down in the area. In 1958 Fr. Edwin Alvares began a small school in the cowshed. The humble initiative of imparting knowledge to the little ones was carried on by the successors such as Fr. Arnold, Fr. Earnest Oliver, Fr. Reddy, etc. Fr. Reddy began the middle school in 1977. After Fr. Reddy, Fr. Francis Fernandes, Fr. Jerome Pinto and Fr. Tony D'Mello  served the parish. As the number of faithful increased the space of the Church was not sufficient. The old Church was used till 1996. The present Church was built by Fr. Tony D'Mello during the time of the Archbishop Leobard D'Souza. It was Fr. Tony who raised the middle school to high school. After Fr. Tony, Fr. Brycie Coutinho took over as the Parish Priest and Manager of the school and Fr. Brycie raised the school to the Higher Secondary School. Since proper education was provided and due to the good climate, many Catholic families remained in Chhindwara.

Barkuhi Barkuhi


Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Barkhui Hospital P.O. – Chandameta Dist. – Chhindwara, M.P. – 480447 - 07161-263613

Parish Priest: Fr. Biju CMI

Surlakhapa Surlakhapa


P.O., Surlakhapa – 480222, Tah – Harrai, Dt. – Chhindwara, M.P. Ph: 07167287343

Established 1978
Patron St. John the Baptist
Families 4
Parish Priest Fr. Thomas Therattil CMI, 7024178833
Religious House (Men) CMI Fathers

Surlakhapa is about 185 kms distant from Nagpur and 56 kms from Chhindwara parish in Chhindwara district head-quarters. It is a remotest area of the Archdiocese of Nagpur. It is a tribal belt in the Satpura Ranges, surrounded by hills and mountains. The people are mostly Hindus. There are only 5 Catholic families for whom the church is catering to their spiritual needs through Sunday Liturgy, family visits and administering holy sacraments. The prime objective of the Institution in the area is to look after welfare of all the people without looking at their caste and creed.

Rev. Fr.Stephen Moniz and Bro. Bernard Furtado took residence at Agragami in Surlakhapa in 1976. The pioneers, struggled to initiate the mission in Surlakhapa staying in a rented house.  They successfully  created rapport with the people and established the center by purchasing land property and constructing an ordinary building attuned with the local style . This took about two years. On 24th June 1978, Archbishop of Nagpur, Dr. Leobard  D'Souza blessed the Agragami mission station. The center was named after St. John the Baptist, Agragami i.e. Precursor, fitting the name to the nature of the mission of St. John who announced the coming of the Kingdom of God, being in the wilderness.

Objectives of the Mission: 

a. Build up communities which will be aware, responsible, involved and committed to the welfare of all.

b. to create a society of equality and freedom.

c. To establish a witnessing community at the center,

d. Help the people to help themselves

e. Work towards wholeness of man, society and cosmos

f. To guide the people to realize their power and their potential

Methodology :

a. Individual and family based contacts and rapport creation

b. Participation in socio-cultural and religious events.

c. Need based approach to solve the problems of the people.

d. Finally ending up the pursuits in building up people's organizations.

e. Emphasis on Ecological development and community health. 

Following the formulation of new vision and strategy, the communities of sisters began to have intensive contact in villages and involved in social action together with the youth and elders.

Activities Realized  : 

a. Organized .Nirman samiti, Yova Mandal, bal mandals and women's SHGs   

b .Organic cultivation was promoted in the center to motivate the people through replication.

c. Plantation of trees in villages.

d. Several Income Generation Activities like knitting, tailoring etc. were started in the centers.

e. Drinking water facilities were created in villages especially in Surli  and Khapa where there was adverse problem of scarcity of water.

f. Collective action towards electrification of many villages.

g. A check dam was constructed at Surli village

h. Health programs were initiated in Surli and Basuriya sub-centers where the two communities of sister resided.

i. Non-formal education was started in two sub-centers

j. The neighboring villages were contacted by the sisters.

k. Tuition center was made available in the Agragami when the OMIs came to Surlakhapa.

Bottle-necks and Obstacles :

A report is available at the Center; it is mentioned that there were several problems due to the circumstances, the lack of familiarity with people and rumors triggered by the trouble-shooters.  The ELC church members had initiated several missionary attempts through direct preaching and created a bad image of Church, by forced conversion and coercion to accept the Christian faith without having proper rapport with the people and their consent.  It took more than two years to create sufficient contact with the people and families residing in the remote villages.

The Agragami Center was entrusted to the CMI St. Paul Bhopal Province on June 24th 2006 on the basis of the contract signed between both the Diocese and the CMI Province.