The mission of Pezzonipet was founded in the 30’s by Fr. Pezzoni, a PIME missionary. This became a full fledged parish, thirty five years later, with Mary Assumed into Heaven as its patron. Fr. N. Fumagalli was its first Parish Priest. In fact, it is he who built the parish church. The Salesians arrived here at Pezzonipet in May 1980, at the invitation of Bp. Joseph Thumma, the Bishop of Vijayawada. Fr. Mathew Emprayil and Fr. Johnson Moyalan were sent as the first Parish Priest and Assistant, respectively.
The parish is situated in a thickly populated locality, in the vicinity of the Vijayawada railway station, consisting of about 925 families, with a population of nearly 5000 catholics. The parish has one substation – chapel, 3 kms away. The people of the Parish are mostly poor coolie workers, the better off among them are employed in the railways, the municipality and the factories.
Attached to the parish is a high school – coeducation, Telugu Medium – catering to the children of the locality. This was an upper primary school when the Salesians took over the parish. It was upgraded into a high school in 1985. Fr. K.S. Joseph was appointed as its first Salesian Head Master. And a new school building was constructed replacing the old and dilapidated school. This was the result of the initiative and hard work of Fr. Johnson Moyalan and his team.
The Don Bosco Youth Centre was started in 1980. This being run in an existing old building, a new building for the youth centre cum formal training centre was planned and the foundation for the same was laid in 1988, the Don Bosco centenary year. The ground floor of this building was completed in 1992 and it was inaugurated in June, the same year, by Fr. Benjamin, the Provincial.
Swasakthi mahila mandali with 130 self-help groups (SHGS ) constituted of 1230 members led by women leaders and facilitated by a team of women staff under Mutually Aided Co-operative thrift and credit society. It has undertaken various social awareness programmes such as education, responsible parenthood, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, nutrition hygiene and a tailoring center for poor girls and women etc.
The scope of this Salesian work was understood to be initially pastoral on the limited sense of parish ministry. This has in course of time broadened to embrace youth pastoral in its complex and varied dimensions including education and culture through the school groups and movements vocational guidance and promotion to the priestly and religious life. Particular emphasis is given to making the family a fertile area of salesian activity we oraganize through women of Swasakthi Mahila Mandali.
VIJAYAWADA – 520 003
(0866) 257 99 16 – House
(0866) 257 79 15 – Parish
(0866) 257 44 98 – School
(0866) 257 55 18 – SMM