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“In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting!” (Acts 20:35)

Msgr Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas the servant of God, the Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany was moved by the compassionate love of God for the poor and the marginalized especially the rural girls, women, children, and youth. Ever since he founded the Congregation in 1921 he handed down his spirit to every member of the Institute through his teaching and personal life in reaching out to the poor and the neglected providing rightful opportunities for the development of the deprived.

The Institute has undertaken various kinds of welfare, charitable and developmental works with faith foundation and educational activities. During the XI General Chapter in 1986 the Congregation in a special way focused upon its social dimension among the diverse ministries of the Congregation to emphasize its prophetic face to the world.

While the social development expanded, the need of a Trust was felt to give a comprehensive frame work to the pro-poor activities of the Institution with clear cut vision, goal, and objectives. Consequently Bethany Social Service Trust (BSST) was registered on the 28th August 1995 with Sr Agnella BS the then Superior General as the President and Sr Jyoti BS, Assistant Superior General and Co-ordinator of Social and Medical Apostolate as the Secretary of the Trust. Moreover Sahodaya which means ‘Rising together’ was made a unit of Bethany Social Service Trust (BSST) to empower the poor people and to give them equal opportunities for their all round development for the Kingdom of God.

Since then Bethany Social Service Trust (BSST) and Sahodaya continue to serve more than 200 villages in and around Mangalore for its developmental activities such as, awareness of Child-rights, family conflict resolution, legal counselling, legal aid to the women and families, gender sensitivity, preparing the vernacular Medium students for Competitive Exam, net-working with the NGOs and GOs and availing Government Schemes and Services to the poor. The mandate of the XVI General Chapter has further given impetus to venture into frontier ministries like combating Human Trafficking and Promoting Safe Migration.

It is a matter of great pride that the Bethany Social Service Trust (R) is celebrating the Silver Jubilee of its service to the poor. I pray God’s choicest blessings on all those who strive assiduously to realize the objectives of the Trust and work for the welfare of the poor and the marginalized, especially women and girl children. The women empowered by the Trust have proved competent leaders who organize people and activities.

My heartiest Congratulations Sr Jyoti BS, Sr Lillis BS, Sr Wilberta BS and Sr Assumpta BS who have rendered numerous services as General Coordinators of Socio-Medical Ministries cum Secretaries of BSST in the past. Presently, Sr Shanthi Priya as the General Coordinator of Socio-Medical Apostolats and Secretary of BSST, a proficient professional gives timely directions and guidance to the staff to reach out to many in varied ways. Her experience and dynamism enthuses everyone to forge ahead in this field. Kudos to her!

I appreciate all the Program Coordinators and animators of Sahodaya Bethany Seva Kendra both past and present who have spent their energies and are co-operating to materialize the Vision and Mission of the Trust. In a special way I wish to congratulate Sr Leena D’Costa the Program Coordinator of Sahodaya and her band of animators namely, Mrs Nimisha, Mrs Nalini, Ms Deepika and Ms Ranjani.

I pray that Bethany Social Service Trust and Sahodaya, Bethany Seva Kendra may continue to reflect the compassionate face of Jesus in line with the Charism of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany through the intercession of its Founder and Visionary Servant of God Msgr RFC Mascarenhas and become a dynamic force for the transformation of the society into a Christic Kingdom.

Sr M Rose Celine BS
Superior General
President, Bethany Social Service Trust (R)
Mangaluru, Karnataka