HISTORY OF BIJNOR PROVINCE
In 1972, the Exarchate of Bijnor was carved out of the diocese of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and was entrusted to Sacred Heart Province of the CMI congregation. Mgr. Gratian Mundadan CMI was the first superior of the CMI missionaries working in Bijnor. In 1978 the CMI missionaries serving in the mission of Bijnor were constituted into a Mission unit and Rev. Fr. Raymond Mancheril was appointed Mission Superior. The mission unit was raised to the status of a mission region- St. John’s Region, and Rev. Fr. Basil Pynadath was appointed its first Regional Superior on 27th October 1981. Rev. Frs. George Edathiparambil, Mathew Vazhappilly and Augustine Keemattam were successive regional superiors later.
On January 11, 1991, the CMI General Synaxis raised St. John’s Region to the status of a Vice-Province. Rev. Fr. Augustine Keemattam was elected as the first provincial of the vice-province on April 11, 1991. The vice-province was formally inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Thomas Mampra, the Prior General on February 27, 1992.
Hitherto, the single task of the CMIs in Bijnor was to take Christ’s message of love to the Himalayan valleys. But with the change of times the call is coming from beyond the Himalayas too. At present St. John’s Province is rendering service of its members in dioceses of Bijnor, Meerut, Agra, Bareilly and Lucknow in India, Kumasi and Goaso, Ghana in Africa, the Vicariate of Nepal, Ecaudor, Germany and USA. This shows the high appreciation of their dedicated works by the people they serve.