Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Kristu Jyoti Province - India

Diamond Jubilee

Diamond Jubilee

Celebrating a Glorious Milestone: Diamond Jubilee Inauguration of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in India


In a momentous occasion that marked the profound presence of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in India, the Diamond Jubilee Inauguration unfolded with grace and reverence. The landmark event took place with an inaugural Eucharist celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracious, a revered figure in the Catholic community.


The newly elected General of the Congregation, Fr. Philip Benzy SSS, graced the occasion with his esteemed presence, symbolizing continuity and leadership for the future. The event was a congregation-wide affair, with nearly 200 attendees comprising clergy, congregants, and well-wishers who gathered to witness and participate in this sacred celebration.


The entire Bombay region was well-represented as our priests from the Bombay region came together to partake in the momentous occasion. The aggregates from Tembipada, Mazagaon, and Colaba, each playing an integral role in the congregation’s vibrant presence in India, added to the spirit of unity and shared purpose.


The inaugural Eucharist, a central component of the ceremony, commenced at 6 PM, enveloping the congregation in a sacred atmosphere. Cardinal Oswald Gracious led the ceremony with solemnity and devotion, guiding the congregation through a spiritual journey marked by prayer, reflection, and gratitude for the years of service and devotion.


Following the Eucharist, a highlight of the event unfolded as Cardinal Oswald Gracious inaugurated the ‘Eucharistic Miracles Exhibition.’ This exhibition served as a testament to the rich history and spiritual significance of the Eucharist, displaying divine moments and miracles associated with the Eucharist.


The exhibition provided a unique opportunity for attendees to deepen their understanding of the Eucharistic mysteries and the profound impact they have had on the church, the people, over the years. It served as a visual representation of the spiritual journey undertaken by Blessed Carlos Acutis’ commitment to spreading the message of love, faith, and communion.


The Diamond Jubilee Inauguration, with its blend of spiritual fervour and communal celebration, was a poignant reminder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament’s enduring legacy in India. As the congregation looks towards the future, this jubilee serves as a foundation for continued growth, service, and spiritual enrichment for all its members.

Indian SSS Journey over 60 Years

Inaugurating 60th Year

Having participated in our inaugural function to mark the occasion of the 60th-year celebration at Colaba on the 6th January 2024 and feeling proud to be part of our history, I intend to put in words very briefly how we have travelled those sixty years with God’s grace and constant companionship of father Eymard and his blessings. “To tell our story is to praise God and to thank him for all his gifts.” (Pope Francis). Contemplating our history observes Very Rev. Msgr. Eugênio Barbosa Martins, SSS, newly elected bishop, “makes us more human and sensitive for it invites us to recount and interpret our trajectory, inviting us to enter into the significant events of our Eymardian Family”.

It is very true as I look back over the last 60 years of our presence in the Eucharistic mission in India. This ceremony was graced by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai Archdiocese and Very Rev. Fr. Philip Benzy Romician SSS, our Superior General and host of our fathers, brothers and scholastics, lay associates, well wishes, religious sisters and so on. I must acknowledge over here the perfectly coordinated and organized programme – event led by our Provincial Fr. Peter Jayakanthan sss and his team, well supported by Colaba community. Hats up to them!

Experience traced

To me, it was a moment of nostalgia as I stood and observed all that was said and done at this historic event at Colaba. It was an overwhelming experience indeed. Looking at the scenario way back at the time when Fr. Michael, sss and I entered the Colaba chapel on 24th April 1974 and witnessed and moved along through all our formation with our base in Colaba, as all our formation was from our community over here, as there was nothing in the offing for near and long future, I am now wonderstruck. This statement has to be taken in the light of what we SSS religious are now in India and the kind of apprehension / fearfully perceived in those days!

The grace of God very often works best not in the ways what we humans attempt to pull it to our suitability of time and events, expectations and compulsion. It is so true to our Eucharistic Mission in India. How great our God is, the God of mission. Great indeed are His works… now and ever more!

Pulse of Eucharistic Mission

In sixty years, our mission in India truly and widely has spread out and grown slowly yet steadily. And so we have a history of our own to know and understand so that we can appreciate the contributions of those who have gone before us and recognize the events that have shaped us. The final approval of our Rule of Life in the year 1984 placed our mission on firm footing and well-founded direction. Renewed Eucharistic Spirituality (RES) spelling out the Eucharist as “Proclamation, Liberation and Communion” has led us closer towards a better approach to Eymardian Spirituality (Gift of Self), and has been guiding our journey in our mission, community and life.

In retrospect, our Eucharistic mission in India began in the year 1964. The eventful and the auspicious date is 6th December. The place is St. Francis Xavier’s Chapel, Middle Colaba, a charming place, fondly remembered ever since. The foundation of our mission was part of the concluding ceremony of the International Eucharistic Congress, Bombay a business hub in the Indian Subcontinent. Our mission had the stamp of internationality and was acknowledged significantly as a centre for perpetual adoration in India. The Cardinals, in particular, His Eminence Late Valerian Cardinal Gracias, Arch-Bishops, Bishops, clergy and hundreds of faithful alike thronged all along the procession from Oval Maidan, (a ground) the memorial edify in the city to St. Francis Xavier’s Chapel on that significant day with Blessed Sacrament to enthroned on the specially prepared for the event.

Recounting pioneering efforts

The choice to begin our mission in India had been part of the mission extension of the Australian Province. Late Rev. Fr. Len McKenna sss, then provincial of Australian province spotted the Chapel to be the best place to plant the seeds of our mission. One should not fail to mention the heroic and pioneering work of our first two fathers and two brothers from our mother province: Fathers J. Geren sss, Paul Raper sss and Brothers Francis Murphy sss Conrad sss and Alexander sss. Fr. Michael and I had the opportunity of learning from them though not from all the pioneers. Frs. Antony sss and Erasto Fernandez sss who joined the Congregation as priests were part of the community. Other stalwarts Br. Pascoal sss and Br. Peter D’souza sss were other religious serving the chapel community. It was to be all in Colaba and nothing beyond this community to write any history at that time until the community made a heartbreaking decision on behalf of the Province in the year 1979-80 to venture into the south of the Indian Subcontinent (Tamil Nadu). Fr. Antony sss who was familiar to the culture of the state was put in charge of this project. His hard work and foresight cannot be watered down as many of his critics still reserve their opinions.

The fact the Indian mission has to be an Independent Province is largely indebted to the vital contributions of Fr. K.Y. Antony sss. Can anyone lose sight of his efforts to explore a readymade place AJ 3 Block in Anna Nagar, Chennai to lodge our initial vocations before procuring a larger land in Vellappanchavady (VC) at the then outskirts of Chennai, providently, near a Regional Major Seminary? There came as a star of hope, a massive formation house in view of accommodating all levels of formation over here in VC in the year 1992, though our novitiate was already settled down in Agashi (currently to be used as a retreat and an animation centre) in Maharashtra in 1986-87 with Fr. Erasto Fernandez sss at the helm to give a solid ashram based novitiate to the most of our strong religious of the province. What one should not fail to see over here is the sound efforts undertaken to root our formation programme on divine soil, as it were.

Visible Progression

A slowly flourishing mission by now was accorded with Sector, a step to move to raise the mission a region and later a province in 2005. So much so and so far, we have had 4 Provincial Chapters which helped us to chalk out our own vision mission, guided by the General Team for our life and mission. The present provincial team is the fifth one with Fr. Peter Jeyakanthan sss, serving in his second tenure with his able administrative skills, leading us to touch many more milestones. Our steady growth could not have been possible at all without substantial contributions and support from our mother Province (Australia) and of course many other provinces and individuals. Our local history would give an ample amount of materials to trace such steady growth and might acknowledge all those who played vital roles all along the way.

God has blessed us in the meanwhile with a regular flow of vocations to our way of life. As on record, there are over 65 finally professed religious inclusive of three brothers, 15 scholastics, and two novices. There are number of aspirants in the pipeline. So much so, we are able to be part of the project of Economy of Communion as our 11 gifted and talented religious (inclusive of Fr. Benzy sss our Superior General) offering their service to the Church in general and the Congregation in particular in the oversea missions namely, Wien (Austria), Liscard-Wallase and Liverpool (UK) and Sydney (Australia). We do sadly remember all our ten departed members of the province who in many ways helped to shape our history.

All said well in the foregone, the focus is to be on how our religious were ready to lay their eyes on our Eucharistic mission in arrayed avenues for such as social, pastoral and parochial while Colaba and Vellappanchavady communities were epicenters ready to play their pivotal roles for our expansion – if for the north is Colaba for south is VC.

Expansions in Mission

Our expansion note is overwhelming. We have seven parishes missions besides Oversea Mission as mentioned above. Activities include Women Empowerment Schemes, youth inclusive outreach, uplifting the marginalized, concentrating on equal opportunities in education for teenagers through school and extra classes for the weak lads, socio-political awareness programmes for Catholics and others alike, multifold job-oriented sessions for women, various relief works in times of natural calamities and many more. Providently, our province has converted a plot in Anna Nagar, Chennai into a commercial centre to be able to provide for our formation houses. Work done by a few senior religious on the Anna Nagar Project has gone into the annals of the Province. It is a laudable achievement towards the province’s self-sufficiency!

  • Formation Houses

In the formation sector, we have formation houses for each stage of formation exclusively, mounting to five communities with sufficient numbers of religious in charge. Our constant efforts to have separate houses for each formation level, numbering five houses, unique to the Indian context, realized fully, not without teething problems related, is one of our significant milestones we touched.

  • Lay Associates

Notwithstanding, I must vividly place on record at this point of time, with the entire above-mentioned pastoral and social care programme, the sacrifices and tireless efforts deployed in connection with forming Lay Associates in all our ministerial and formation communities. As of now, on record we have over 150 SSS Associates being guided directly by the religious in charge in the provincial team. We make them part of our Eucharistic Mission in the best possible ways. 

  • Media Mission

To launch on to the Media has been in the air for quite some time in the province and that which was materialized, blessed and inaugurated in the year 2019 by our provincial Fr. Peter Jayakanthan sss. Fr. Punithan sss. a well trained priest was given the task of establishing and developing the centre. Website, YouTube, well equipped Audi-visual Studio were instrumental in bringing out various publications on prayer, life of our Founder, News Letter (SSS India) conducting Eucharist Celebrations and Adoration and Novenas of St. Peter Julian and Our Life of the Eucharist especially during pandemic and arrayed activities on Eucharistic evangelization are being well appreciated and participated worldwide. We must accredit the Media Centre for reaching its height in a very short period of time.

Miles to go

We have miles to go and many more untraced roads to travel. We will certainly plough the vineyard – Indian Mission – of the Eucharistic Lord to reap the harvest in His Kingdom with the blessings and the constant company of St. Peter Julian Eymard and intercession of Our Lady of the Eucharist. 

Father Bangar Arputharaj SSS
Novitiate-Goa, India

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