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St. Mother Teresa’s Church, Chenari

St. Mother Teresa’s Church


Holy Family Mission
Dist. – Rohtas
Bihar – 821 104, India
Ph.: (+91) 9801154614; 9472955991

About Church

The origins and development

In the late 1950-s Chenari was part of Sasaram mission, situated about 30 kilometers north east away, when under the leadership of Fr. Joe Mann SJ missionary work was undertaken in a massive way. During the terrible drought of the 1960-s, Mission in collaboration with relief agencies reached out to major parts of the erstwhile Shahbad district including the Bhabhua sub division where lies Chenari of the present Rohtas district.

It was during the time of crisis and urgent action that Fr. Joseph Knecht, SJ started residing at Chenari as the priest in charge on 22nd December, 1968. With the registration of the Bihar Water Development Society the focus of the work was water development and crop cultivation. In about 2 years over 190 Suction pump wells were completed. Beyond caste and creed all benefitted from the mission’s relief works. As a result many voluntarily embraced the Christian faith, a few of whom have remained faithful till present.

In 1972 under the guidance of Fr. Dominic Muthedath, SJ, who succeeded Fr. Knecht, a lower primary school was started with about 50 children from nearby villages. And in 1976 when 3 SND-s arrived at Chenari, they were given the school administration.

While the sisters have continued from then on, parish administration has changed hands: it was with the IMS Fathers of Banaras for about 29 years from 1983; then for a year or so with the diocese and from 27th January, 2013 again with the Jesuits when Fr. Ranjan Lazarus, SJ took charge of the mission with two other Jesuits. In the year 2017 the mission got a new church building dedicated to St. Mother Teresa.

After the bifurcation of Belaon parish with about 70 families in 2012, today’s Chenari mission has about 90 families spread over 14 villages. Most of our faithful belong to the Dalit section of the society. Till 2 decades ago almost all of them were farm hands and daily laborers. Through missionary intervention and support from funding agencies, the educated of our faithful are slowly getting in to the mainstream of our society as teachers in schools or as nurses etc. But in today’s youth who are second and third generation of Christians there is a palpable sense of hope and confidence. They like their peers in cities, are looking forward to improving their life by preparing themselves for competitive exams to take up jobs in the state bureaucracy, police as well as in the private sector.

Today the Jesuit involvement centers on reviving the Mission in the area of Faith Formation and Education with the collaboration of SND sisters. The Catholic community is supported with faith formation through Sacramental ministry, catechism, parish celebrations and healing prayer services. Also now for over 3 years two Don Bosco Secular Institute (DBSI) sisters stay in one of the Christian villages to accompany and guide the faithful in their faith journey especially through BCC animation.

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