St. Ignatius Church, Baniyatar

One of the American Jesuits, Fr. Casper Miller S.J. traveled to Tipling, a remote Tamang village in the north Himalayan Mountains, in Dhading district.  He stayed in Tipling for two years for further pastoral and educational work. Thus began the relationship between the Catholic Church and people of Tipling.  In 1987 few families of Tipling traveled to Kathmandu and settled themselves in Baniyatar and then requested Fr. Cap Miller for the sacramental assistance. Over the next 15 years, Jesuit fathers attended to this pioneer group and those who followed them.  In 1988 it became a regular ministry of the Jesuits. The Loyola students home in Baniyatar, a hostel for primary and secondary students both boys and girls was started by them to provide opportunity for the education of the children of these migrants.

From the time of our entry to Nepal in 1999, there was a request from the Apostolic Prefect of Nepal, Fr. Antony Sharma, to take up this mission at Baniyatar.  Realizing the importance of this mission in the faith formation of the new Catholics and the need for better care of the girls of Loyola students’ hostel, the council decided to expand our services to Baniyatar.  Accordingly, in May 2003, the community of Preranalaya was opened as an offshoot of Ashir Bhawan with the 3 newly arrived sisters from Mangalore.  On 5th December 2003 Preranalaya became an independent community.  The immediate need was to separate the girls from the Loyola boys hostel to a rented house, under the complete supervision of the sisters of Charity.  On 9th December 2009 the ten communities of Calcutta Province and five Communities of Mangalore Province were merged together and formed a new Province named New Delhi Province.  Preranalaya community is one of them.

Socio-territorial Context:

Preranalaya is situated at Baniyatar, the suburbs of Kathmandu.  The majority of the population is poor migrated seasonal wage laborers.  They present the following problems.

Ecclesial Context:

Nepalis an apostolic Prefecture with four parishes in Kathmandu with about 4000 Catholics.  The Christians in Nepal belonging to other denominations account for 5 Lakh and the Catholic population of about 6000 is spread all over Nepal  in different mission station.

In May 2007 Msgr. A Sharma, the first Vicar Apostolic of Nepal, designated Baniyatar as a full pledged parish having 90 families and 500 Catholics.

Religious Context:

Nepalese are very much God oriented but need to lay emphasis on the horizontal aspect of service to the neighbors. Hindus are the major religious groups that constitute 81.3 % of the population.  Buddhists form the second largest group (9%) followed by Muslims (4.4%).  Christians are the small minority.  Due to Buddhist influence it has a commendable religious tolerance.