Pune (Fides Service) – Niropya (The Messenger) India’s second oldest Catholic magazine, published in Marathi, Pune diocese in Maharashtra state, this year is marking its centenary and is being congratulated by Catholics and Hindus alike.
Today the magazine published the Jesuit Fathers, has a circulation of 25,000 copies. It focuses on various matters, ranging from interreligious dialogue to the promotion of women and women’s rights and is popular with Christians and Hindus. The objective of Niropya from the start was formation and in the last twenty years its has acquired readers beyond the borders of Ahmed Nagar district and now circulates all over Maharashtra state.
“The response of the public is really encouraging and we intend to focus increasingly on social as well as religious questions, says Jesuit Father Joe Pithekar, editor of Niropya who plans to adapt the review to help meet the challenges facing the Church in India today. Father Joe is aware that in evangelisation it is important to use all means available: “Today many ideas are circulated thanks to the media and our task is to diffuse Christians ideals and values. It is impossible to speak to 25,000 people but with Niropya this is possible”.
Niropya was established in 1903 by German Jesuit Father Henrich Doering who had a passion for social communications. The first edition distributed free of charge, consisting of 8 pages was called The Sacred Heart Messenger. When World War I broke out German citizens were expelled from India and Father Doering had to leave. Niropya publications stopped but only temporarily. In 1927 Father Doering returned to India and began to print Niropya in Pune where he had taken up residence.
The monthly came to be a most useful tool for Pune diocese and until 1970 it was produced by Jesuits Father Schubigger and Father Stark. Then it was taken over by Indian Father Prabhudhar for the next 15 years who gave the magazine a more modern journalistic style extending the range of topics covered. The Catholic magazine is appreciated by an increasing number of readers. (Fides Service 9/5/2003 EM lines 35 Words: 432)