Narasannapeta is one of the Mandal headquarters in Srikakulam, the North Eastern district of Andhra Pradesh, INDIA. The Claretian Mission is just two kilometers away from the Narasannapeta town. Its specific mission is evangelization and education.
It was in response to the invitation of Most Rev. K. Mariadas, the then Archbishop of Visakhapatnam, that the Claretians decided to take up a mission in Srikakulam district in 1994, and Fr. Thomas Thekkevattakatt CMF was appointed to make a feasibility study in this area. Later in the same year, the Diocese of Visakhapatnam was bifurcated and Srikakulam was erected as a new Diocese. Most Rev. A. Innaiah, the Bishop of the new Diocese, was happy about the prospect of the Claretians opening a centre in his Diocese. Hence, in the year 1995, we purchased a plot of land at Narasannapeta, and within a period of two years our Residence, “Claret Bhavan” was constructed under the supervision of Fr. Thomas Thekkevattakatt.
On 8th September 1998, Narasannapeta mission was erected into a Parish and was named after the patronage of “Infant Jesus”. Fr. William Pudota served as the first Parish Priest. Until the construction of the Parish church in 2014, liturgical celebrations were held in the residence or school building. At present, the parish has about 40 families with a total number of 104 Catholics. The parish has a substation (Mobagam) and there are few more families scattered in different villages of the area.
The Catholic presence in this area is minimal; however the parish territory covers a vast geographical area. People of the area are predominantly Hindus and those belonging to the other religious faith are nominal. Most of the people are agriculturists, depending on favorable monsoons for cultivation and livelihood.
After a few years of our ministry in the area, Claretians realized that one of the best ways to get in contact with the local people would be our educational ministry. Therefore, Claretians ventured into the field of Education here in the year 2002, with St. Claret English Medium School making a humble beginning in a small structure under the initiative of Fr. William Pudota CMF and community. Over the years, with many extensions and modifications, the School has achieved a tremendous growth with commendable standard of education and excellent record of performances in both curricular and co-curricular activities. At present the School has 1850 students, from LKG to X Class for the academic year 2019-2020. There are 102 teaching and non-teaching staff who help us in our ministry. Since year 2006, Augustinian Missionary Sisters are our collaborators in this Mission to render Educational and Pastoral services.
Looking back at the history of the Claretian presence for the last twenty five years at Narasannapeta, it is a matter of great joy and satisfaction that we have had positive impact on the lives of people here. Our presence and mission at Narasannapeta are gratefully appreciated by the general public, with special reference to our services in the field of affordable quality education.
As we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of this Mission, we thank God for His providence and grace. The inspiration of Father Claret and accompaniment of our Mother has helped us to be of help to the people we are sent. Let the name of God be glorified through our missionary faithfulness.