Born on 21 April 1795 in Rome, Italy and ordained a priest in 1818, Vincent Pallotti believed that the clergy and laity should work together to build God’s Kingdom. He was a compassionate person who ministered not only to the sick, but also to sinners, soldiers, and prisoners. Simply, he proclaimed, “all are called to holiness; all are called to minister. Everyone is called to be an apostle.” He founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate in 1835 and in subsequent years intitated the communities of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottine Fathers & Brothers and the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate). He entrusted to the member the task of instructing, animating, guiding, and supporting the Union’s works. St. Paul’s saying, “The charity of Christ urges us on,” (2 Cor. 5:14) became St. Vincent’s motto and the foundation of his teachings. Pallotti died on 22 January 1850, and was formally proclaimed a Saint on 20 January 1963. St. Vincent Pallotti School Jeevodaya is governed by Pallottine Fathers and Brothers who are members of the Society of Catholic Apostolate founded by St. Vincent Pallotti in association with Primate Institute of Cardinal Wisniesky, Poland.

Fr. Adam Wiśniewski SAC

He is father Adam, the founder of Jeevodaya, a priest and a doctor. He was born on April 13, 1913 in Dębiny near Bydgoszcz. Adam and his younger sister were brought up in a pious family from which the members of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) came.

After graduating from school, Adam decided to join the Pallottines. Often at that time he looked after the sick – he did it with passion, serving in the monastic infirmary. He also participated in the activities of the missionary circle and thought about future work among the lepers. He was ordained a priest on June 3, 1939 by Archbishop. 

On September 3, 1961, he received a missionary cross, and on September 26, he set off for Bombay by ship. His first years in India were time of traveling to Indian leper treatment centers and learning about working methods. At the same time, he was working to awaken vocations to the Pallottines in India.

Barbara Birczyńska became interested in Fr. Adam’s mission after reading his letter in the press. She made contact with a priest and in 1966 she arrived in Bombay with a shipment of food, tools and equipment. Their joint activities gathered pace and finally, after the next relocation of the nascent Center, in 1969 land was purchased in the village of Gatapar, 30 km from Raipur. There, they set up a charitable medical and educational center for children and adults suffering from leprosy, first in three tents. 

Fr. Adam Wiśniewski died on July 31, 1987 after a long cancer disease and, as he wished, was buried next to the church in Jeevodaya. He did not live to see his successor, Dr. Helena Pyz. He spent 26 years among lepers, 18 of them in Jeevodaya, in the village of Gatapar.