HERALDS OF GOOD NEWS - A Short History
Heralds of Good News is an indigenous Missionary Society, started in India in 1984; it became an Institute of Pontifical Right on May 5, 1999. The specific aim of the society is the promotion of vocations to priesthood, the training of seminarians and the supply of zealous and hardworking missionaries to the dioceses in India and abroad which experience a shortage of priests due to the lack of local vocations. Right from its inception, the society was sending missionaries to different countries.
Heralds of Good News Missionary Society was founded by Rev. Dr. Jose Kaimlett in 1984 with the approval and blessings of (Late) Rt. Rev. Dr. John Mulagada, Bishop of Eluru. It was in june 1984 that Fr. Jose Kaimlett resigned his charge as the headmaster of St. Ambrose School, Nidadavole and took up the construction of Fr. Jose Memorial Hospital at Vellachinthalagudem. It was during this time that Bishop John gave him the go-ahead to found the Society and allowed him to contact like-minded priests. Fr. Jose Kaimlett thus shared his ideas with some of his friends who evinced interest in the idea. As a preliminary step he called for a meeting of those priests who showed interest in this matter.
This meeting took place at the parish house at Bhimavaram. Those who participated in the meeting were Fr. Jose Kaimlett, Fr. Thomas Alencherry, Fr. Augustine M. PIME, Fr. Peter Puthenkandam CMF and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt. During the course of the discussions some expressed the view that it should be a religious order which has specific Indian characteristics. Finally it was decided that the new foundation would be a missionary society. Of the participants at the meeting, Fr. Thomas Alenchery and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt expressed their willingness to join this new venture. Fr. Jose Kaimlett presented a working paper which became eventually the core of the constitution. Fr. Mathew Kallikatt was entrusted with the work of incorporating the suggestions at the meeting and of comparing the draft with the constitutions of other missionary societies.
When the three of them met together at Denduluru on the occasion of St. Mathew’s Feast, Fr. Mathew Kallikatt had completed this work. The draft document underwent further revisions and additions at the hands of Fr. Jose Kaimlett. This draft constitution was submitted by Fr. Jose Kaimlett to the Bishop John for his approval. Bishop John gave his seal of approval to the constitution on 14th October, 1984.
On 2 December 1984, at the conclusion of Diocesan Retreat, Bishop John presented the matter to the Diocesan Consultors for their deliberation and received their positive nod. As a visible sign of the new Society, the foundation for the Minor Seminary at Kurukkuru was laid by Bishop John, in the presence of many priests and sisters of the dioceses of Vijayawada and Eluru on 12th December, 1984.
In the meantime Fr. K.V. Augustine, Bros. Jose Ounnukallel & Thomas Karachira expressed their wish to join the Society, by which time the Society had taken the name Heralds of Good News. Before the final commitment to the Society, the prospective members were guided by (Late) Rev. Fr. Peter Canicius O.F.M. Cap during the retreat they had at Nirmalagiri shrine.
In the morning of 2nd Feb, 1985, on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Frs. Jose Kaimlett, Thomas Alenchery, K.V. Augustine, Mathew Kallikatt & Bros. Thomas Karachira and Jose Ounnukallel made their final commitment to the Society in the presence of Bishop John in his private chapel. The event was witnessed by Rev. Fr. V. Abraham, Fr. Peter Canisius OFM Cap, and Fr. Peter Puthenkandam CMF. Immediately after the Holy Mass, the members assembled in the Bishop’s office and elected Fr. Jose Kaimlett, the founder, as the first Director General.
Pioneer members with His Ex. Bishop John Mulagada of Eluru
- October 14, 1984: The approval of the draft constitution by Rt. Rev. Dr. John Mulagada, Bishop of Eluru
- December 12, 1984: The foundation for the Minor Seminary at Kurukkuru was laid by Bishop John
- February 2, 1985: The pioneer members Frs. Jose Kaimlett, Thomas, Alenchery, Mathew Kallikatt, K.V. Augustine & Bros. Thomas Karachira and Jose Oonnukallel made their final commitment to Society in the presence of Bishop John in his private chapel.
- February 2, 1985: Rev. Fr. Jose Kaimlett, elected the first Director General in the election conducted in Bishop’s office.
- June 25, 1985: The Heralds of Good News Minor Seminary, blessed and inaugurated. The course starts with 28 students and Fr. Thomas Alanchery as its First Rector.
- February 13, 1988: The foundation stone for Heralds College, Janampet, blessed by His Grace Most Rev. Augustino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India.
- July 2, 1988: St. Mary’s English Medium School, Prathipadau, T.P. Gudem opened.
- June 12, 1989: St. Josephs School at Yernagudem starts functioning.
- January 4, 1990: Heralds College, Janampet, the study house for the major seminarians opened and blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. John Mulagada, Bishop of Eluru.
- September 9, 1990: The Society takes up the parish of Vanasthalipuram in the Archdiocese of Hyderabad
- December 26, 1990: The First General Assembly of the Society. Fr. Jose Kaimlett re-elected Director General and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt the Assistant Director General, Frs. Thomas Alancherry and P. Thomas elected Councillors and Fr. Thomas Karachira the procurator.
- January 1991: The first missionary to the USA, to the diocese of Lake Charles, USA
- May 5, 1991: The Heralds of Good News erected as a Missionary Society of Apostolic life of the diocesan Right.
- July 7, 1991: The starting of Wagamon mission in Vijayapuram diocese , Kerala
- December 27, 1991: Good News Press blessed and opened by Bishop M. John.
- June 27, 1992: Inauguration of Heralds Minor Seminary, Pinakadimi.
- August 5, 1992: The Society extends its service to the diocese of Khammam with the opening of Enkoor Mission
- August 11, 1992: Foundation stone laid for Heralds College, Poonamallee by Rev. Fr. Jose Kaimlett
- May 15, 1993: Aswaraopet mission in the diocese of Khammam opened.
- June 6, 1993: Heralds College at Poonamallee, Madras blessed and inaugurated.
- December 29, 1993: Ordination of the First Batch of Students.
- January 25, 1994: The second General Assembly begins at Heralds College, Janampet. Fr. Jose Kaimlett resigns as the Director General. Fr. Chacko Puthumayil is elected as Director General and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt as Assistant Director General and procurator, Frs. P. Thomas, Cherian Pullambrayil and Rev. Mathew Panackal the Councilors. Fr. Jose Kaimlett was given the title ‘Superior General’.
- March 18, 1994: The foundation for the Generalate at Thangellamudi laid by Bishop M. John.
- June 2, 1994: Inauguration of Dhammampet mission in the diocese of Khammam
- June 10, 1994: Foundation for the Heralds Philosophate at Khammam blessed and laid by Rt. Rev. Dr. Marampudi Joji, Bishop of Khammam.
- June 12, 1994: Blessing and inauguration of the seminary at Melavalady, Trichy by Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Remigius, Bishop of Kumbakonam.
- November 2, 1994: The South Indian Province, the first Province of Heralds of Good News inaugurated by Rt. Rev. Dr. John, Bishop of Eluru at Heralds College, Janampet, Fr. P. Thomas elected Provincial and Fr. Jose Plathottam as the Assistant, Frs. Jose Ounnukallel and George Thellikalayil the councillors and Mathew Panackal the Procurator.
- February 2, 1995: Decennium of the Society Celebrated. The Generalate at Eluru is blessed and inaugurated.
- June 1995: The first missionaries to the Archdiocese of Cape Town, South Africa
- June 1995: The first batch of the students admitted to the St. Joseph’s Major Seminary, Khammam
- August 1995: The first missionary to Papua New Guinea, to the diocese of Vanimo
- September 6, 1996: Blessing and Inauguration of St. Joseph’s Major Seminary, Khammam and laying of Foundation for the theology block.
- October 1996: The mission at Gurzala, Guntur diocese is taken up.
- January 13,1997: General Assembly celebrated
- February 1997: Opening of the Dharmavaram Mission in Kurnool Diocese. The first missionaries to North East, to the dioceses of Gauhati and Bongaigaon
- August 1997: Opening of St. Andrews School at Thozhuthoor, Kumbakonam diocese
- April 1998: The inauguration of the Good Retreat centre, Kudakkachira, Taking up of parish in the diocese of Rieti, Italy
- November 1998: Rev. Fr. Chacko Puthumayil, the Director General resigns
- January 12 - 14, 1999: The General Assembly celebrated - Fr. Mathew Kallikatt elected Director General, Fr. Philip Kulathinapadickal - Assistant Director General, Fr. Mathew Vengaloor - Councillor, Fr. Xavier Thekkumkattil - Councillor, Fr. Thomas Alanchery - Councillor, Fr. Babu Kulathumkal - Procurator General
- May 5, 1999: The Heralds of Good News is raised to the Pontifical Status
- August 1999: The First missionary to Tanzania
- February 24, 2000: Blessing and inauguration of the St. John’s Major Seminary, Kurnool
- May 5, 2000: Inauguration of the house at Rocca di Papa, Italy
- September 2000: Blessing and inauguration of Good News School, Tadepally
- October 25, 2000: The Provincial Assembly convoked. - Rev. Fr. Joy Oravanamthadathil elected The Provincial, Fr. Shaju Chempottickal - Assistant Provincial, Fr. Francis Suresh Kumar - Councillor, Fr. Joseph Thundathil - Councillor, Fr. Antony Palackal - Councillor, Fr. Tomy Ambatt - Councillor & Procurator
- February 2001: The first missionary to Kenya
- September 2001: Opening of the study house at Varazze, Italy
- January 2002: The first missionaries to Guatemala
- September 25, 2002: The blessing and inauguration of the seminary at Ifakkara, Tanzania
- December 28, 2002: The blessing and inauguration of the extension blocks of St. John’s Major Seminary, Kurnool.
- February 2003: The first missionaries to Uganda
- May 23, 2003: Founder starts the Missionaries of Compassion
- October 16, 2003: The blessing and inauguration of the retreat centre at Nanguneri, Tamil Nadu.
- December 28, 2003: The extraordinary General Assembly convoked
- December 29, 2003: The blessing and inauguration of the extension blocks of St.John’s Seminary, Nidadavole
- April 26 - 30, 2004: The extraordinary General Assembly. The Constitution is amended with the provision for the members to opt for the province of their choice. The Assembly decided to erect 3 provinces (South West, South East and North)
- June 2004: Blessing & Inauguration of Heralds College, Chatrapur, Orissa
- June 24, 2004: Blessing & Inauguration of St. Mary’s Minor Seminary at Karunapuram, Kerala
- July 31, 2004: The Holy See approves the amended Constitutions.
- July 2005: First Missionaries to Canada
- November 18, 2005: The blessing and Inauguration of the extension block of Khammam Seminary
- July 2006: Blessing & Inauguration of Good News Retreat Centre, Pampady, Kerala
- October 2006: First Missionaries to Holland
- November 26, 2006: The Pontifical Commiserate begins
- August 2008: The erection of the three provinces and the election of the Provincial Administrations: St. Paul's Province (12th - 14th August), Queen of Apostles Province ( 16th - 19th August), Mother Theresa Province (20th - 23rd August).
- August 22, 2008: Agrement with Missionaries of Compassion for the sharing of Property.
- October 1, 2008: Inauguration of Mother Theresa Province
- October 8, 2008: Inauguration of St. Paul Province
- October 11, 2008: Inauguration of Queen of Apostles Province
- January 19 - 24, 2009: The General Assembly celebrated and the new General Administration is elected. Rev. Fr. A. Francis - Superior General, Rev. Fr. Adackamundackal Joseph (Shaji) - Assistant Superior General, Rev. Frs. Poovannikumthottiyil Joseph (Saji Sebastian), A. Charles Savarimuthu, Adattu Nixon - Councilors, Rev. Fr. Dung Dung Nirdosh - Procurator General, Rev. Fr. Pachigolla Christuraju - Secretary General.
- May 19, 2009: Pontifical Commiserate comes to an end
- August 15, 2009: The Holy See approves the amended constitutions
- October 14, 2009: The Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Foundation of HGN at the Mother House at Kurukkuru
- January 31, 2011: General Forum
- May 5, 2011: Bifurcation of Mother Theresa Province and Erection of New Province ( Blessed John Paul - II Province)