Vincentian House, Mariamnagar, Agartala (Retreat Centre)
Patroness: Blessed Virgin Mary
Divine Retreat Centre,Maiam Nagar Post,
Agartala - 799008, West Tripura, India.
- Fr. Mundackal Abraham (Parish Priest & Finance officer)
- Fr. Palackal Joseph (Member)
- Fr. Xavier Dilipkumar (Superior & Director, Retreat Centre)
- Prayer Centre (2016)
- Parish (2016)
The history of Christian faith in Tripura starts from the 17th century. Records show that fr. Ignatius Gomes, a Jesuit priest visited the Christians in Tripura in the year 1683. Up until 1843 the Catholics in Tripura were left without a priest. On 16th may 1843, Fr. Barbe, the pastor of Chittagong visited the Catholics. He stayed in one of the houses of catholic for six days. These people who had settled in Tripura were of Portuguese descent and had come from Chittagong and Noakhali to work in the Raja's army. The Tripura raja, Amar Manikya employed the Portuguese mercenaries in his army to ward off Moghs of Arakan and the Chittagong hill tracts adjoining his state. Later around 1760, when the capital was shifted from Udaipur to Agarthala, these mercenaries settled in the rent-free land given to them, they called their village Mariam Nagar.
Realizing the need for a priest for their spiritual needs, they contacted the king to arrange for that. Mariam Nagar was entrusted to the pastor of Tejgaon near Dakha (Bangladesh). After a while, under the influence of a Garo youth, a letter was written to bishop Crowley in 1936, asking for a priest for Agarthala. In response, a catechist Mongal Costa was sent to investigate the situation followed by the posting of Fr. Raymond Massart CSC, at agarthala to open a mission. He arrived in January 1937. In 1939, Shantir Rani Parish was established and Fr. Raymond Massart CSC, became the first parish priest. Till 1969, there was only one parish in Tripura, namely Mariam Nagar. During the time of Fr. Leo Gomes CSC, in 1952, a parish house, a school and a boarding for boys and girls and the present church were constructed. In 1969 Fr. Thomas Thengumpally CSC, came to Mariam Nagar.
In 1974, a multi-purpose centre (present Vincentian House and parish office) was built for the dispensary, a guest house, training centre for weaving and knitting. In 1980 the situation of the state was tense due to communal violence between the tribal and the non-tribal communities and on June 11th, 1980 the miscreants set the presbytery at Mariamnagar on fire, razing it to the ground with documents and articles all in ashes. In 1982 due to various problems, the aided Bengali medium school was handed over to the government of Tripura.
From 1992 onwards the parish is looked after by Salesians of Don Bosco till July 2nd 2016. On 3rd July we took over the parish and began a first Vincentian house in Tripura. We also started a retreat centre (Divine Retreat Centre) and on 21stAugust, it was officially inaugurated.
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