Sisters of Mercy of Holy Cross

Holy Cross Convent, Bidi

Initially we thought of having socio pastoral apostolate. But as the sisters visited the people and the women and children they found that they lacked motivation in their life. Since most of the people were farmers and daily laborers the parents would leave their children at home under the guidance of none. So we could see the children very dirty, uncared etc. Having met different categories of people we realized that most of the people had no proper education, so they lacked motivation. The people in turn requested us to give them education by starting English medium school as there was no proper school in the vicinity. The only school that existed had more than 125 students in each class. The children were neither getting any care and attention nor proper teaching. After several requests from the people of the locality as well as from the neighboring villages we decided to go for educational apostolate.

Socio-cultural background:
The catholic people of the village are of Goan origin. They claim to be the descendents of St. Francis Xavier’s apostolic work. Having migrated from Goa over the last 3 or 4 centuries the forefathers made Bidi their permanent home. The parish of Bidi mission was under the archdiocese of Goa managed by the diocesan priests. In the year 1888, Bidi was a full pledged parish under which there were 6 substations including Haliyal, Mangalwad, Alnavar, Kakkeri, Londa etc. In the year 1918 and 1919 the parish was shifted from Bidi to Nandgad by the Patriarch as the catholic population was more than Bidi. Hence the people of Nandgad demanded that Bidi should be no longer a parish and should be attached to Nandgad mission. Hence it was known as Bidi Nandgad mission.

At present Bidi has a population of about 11,600 belonging to different religions like, Hindus, muslims, catholics, Jains etc. Generally there is unity among different castes and they join together in celebrating the festivals of different groups. The society is very strongly male dominated. Many of them live in joint families and the grandfather is the head of the family. There are 29 catholic families in Bidi parish   with 125 people.
Community and the apostolate:
Apostolate: Education and Pastoral
The community consists of 6 sisters who are involved in educational apostolate. The school has recognition for Kannada medium from class I to Class Vth and VI th to Xth std is in English medium. It has nearly 40 staff and 1200 students from LKG to Xth std. Besides teaching the sisters also do the pastoral work, teach catechism, prepare the children to receive the sacraments. They also reach out to visit the families of the parishners, our students, visit sick people in their homes, hospitals etc