In 1974, Fr. John Varicatt who was Parish Priest at Brahmana Kodur bought one acre and five cents of land from a certain Tulasi Reddy in the Ponnur Town along the Bapatla road. The Bishop of Guntur bought this land from us. The Bishop kept back 43 cents for the Chapel and gave the rest of the land to the sisters. In 1988 a chapel was built on the 43 cents site and Sunday Mass was conducted there. New members from the locality slowly started joining the community.
In 1994, a large area was carved out from the P.T. Parru Mission with the Ponnur town as the head quarters. Fr. Abraham Panampara, who was in P.T. Parru, from 1983, was asked to take charge of this new mission. In 1983, there was only one catholic community with 15 families. By 1994, there were 11 catholic communities. The area under this mission covers about 400 sq. k.ms. It is still a virgin land for evangelisation. The protestant churches have their presence in most of the villages among the socially down trodden.
Evangelization of the whole area, comprising several mandals is the priority of this mission. Since evangelization could be done only with the cooperation of lay men, a catechist training centre was started to train preachers of the Word to the non catholics and also to take care of the pastoral evangelization.
For the training of the preachers of the Word, spiritual preparation is important. Hence, the Bosco Ashram is also a retreat centre where an experience of the Lord could be had, so that the personal encounter with the Lord could form the basis of the proclamation. The centre is open to priests, religious sisters, lay people of various categories, giving preference to young men and women. In the spirit of GC 24, the centre functions with the cooperation of lay people, the diocesan clergy, and other religious, both men and women. The centre also prepares books and materials needed for direct and pastoral evangelisation. For the time being institutional training as in hostels for poor catholic children and other youth activities proper to the salesians are given at P.T. Parru, since we have very little space here. All our activities are carried out in full collaboration with Don Bosco, P.T. Parru, as joint ventures.
- The aim of the centre is Evangelisation, both direct and pastoral.
- Pastoral service to the Parish of the Risen Lord and its numerous substations.
- The centre conducts training for catechists, primarily for the Salesian Missions. Various dioceses of Andhra Pradesh and other religious congregations as well, use the services of the centre.
- The centre also tries to provide theoretical and practical training in various methods of evangelisation with the help of like-minded people.
- Hostel facilities for the catholic college students of P.T. Parru and Ponnur.
- Animation of Catholic associations like Maria Dalam, Salesian Cooperators, Altar Servers clubs, and so on.
- Educational assistance to catholic children by way of scholarships, evening classes and so on.
PONNUR – 522 124
(08643) 24 21 14