Prior to the partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan, the territory of the present Diocese of Jalandhar was under the jurisdiction of Lahore Diocese, now in Pakistan. This Diocese was looked after by the Belgian Capuchin missionaries. After the partition, the areas of Lahore Diocese that were in India were brought together and constituted as the Prefecture Apostolic of Jullundur and was entrusted to the care of the British Capuchins, with Msgr. Alban Swarbrick OFMCap., as the Apostolic Prefect, in 1952. They nurtured the growth and development of this prefecture for two decades. Then it was raised to the status of a diocese and was entrusted to the Capuchins of the IndianProvince with Bishop Symphorian Keeprath OFM Cap. as its first Bishop. They further developed the area and handed over the developed areas to the Diocese. Bishop Symphorian, after dynamically leading the Diocese for 35 years, retired in April 2007.
At present the Capuchins exercise their ministry in the civil districts of Jullundur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Chamba and have eleven Priests and one Brother in this mission besides Bishop Symphorian Keeprath, the Bishop Emeritus. They have five monasteries namely: Alverna Friary, Dalhousie; St. Francis Friary, Batala; St. Francis Friary, Kartarpur and San Thome Friary, Kalanur, St. Joseph’s Friary, Bharariwal, Amritsar.
a. Congregation of St. Therese of Child Jesus
The members of this Congregation are commonly called the CST Fathers. Initially known as Little Flower Brotherhood, this Diocesan Congregation was founded by Rev. Fr. Basilius Panatt on March 19, 1931, at Mookannur in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam in Kerala. In 1978, this Congregation was divided into two autonomous Congregation of Priests and Brothers. According to the charism envisioned by the Founder, the members of the Congregation are involved in missionary apostolate and pastoral ministry, youth guidance and social developmental projects.
The CST Fathers took up mission work in the Diocese of Jullundur in 1973. According to the contracts entered upon by the Diocese and the Congregation, the civil districts of Faridkot and Ferozepur in the southern part of the Diocese, were entrusted to them for apostolic and other development activities. Over the years they have been able to organize various activities in this part of the Diocese. They have opened schools and dispensaries in different places. A hospital with 25 bed facility at Muktsar in the district of Ferozepur, renders medical help to the people of the locality. They also serve the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages through the mobile dispensary scheme kept active by the above mentioned hospital. St. Antony’s Boarding for Catholic boys, which was already existing in Ferozepur Cantonment, is maintained by the CST Fathers. The CST Fathers have been bringing more personnel into the areas entrusted to them so that the work of evangelization could be carried out with more earnestness and effectiveness. There are now nineteen priests of the congregation working in this area. Future planning for greater concentration in evangelization through education and other means is evident from the opening of a minor seminary of the Congregation in Malout, in the district of Faridkot in Punjab.