History of Indian Dominicans is almost as old as the Order. In 1291 a spirited Dominican from the Roman Province named Nicholas of Pistoia reached India in the company of a Franciscan friar and preached the gospel in Mylapore, Tamil Nadu for over a year. Their preaching in Tamil Nadu was such a resounding success that fr. Nicholas discarded the original plan to go to China and decided to stay in India. However the first Dominican presence lay buried in Mylaopre as fr. Nicholas succumbed to an illness in 1292.
Jordanus( Jordan of Severac/Catala), an Iberian Dominican friar reached India around 1321 along with 4 Franciscans and preached the Gospel in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat. He was appointed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Quilon, first Roman Catholic Diocese in the Indian subcontinent. Jordanus attained martyrdom around 1330 to bring the curtain down on the first phase of Dominican activity in India.
After a gap of 200 years in mid-1500’s, during the reign of the Dominican Pope St. Pius V, Dominicans returned to India. Friars numbered in excess of 300, Dominicans established a University in Goa and large convents existed in Kerala and Goa. The suppression of religious communities within the Portuguese empire in 1835 caused dismantling of convents and dispersal of friars to end Dominican presence that spanned over 300 years.
The present Indian Dominican Province grew out of an invitation in 1959 by Archbishop Eugene D’Souza of Nagpur to Irish Dominican Province to take charge of St. Charles seminary, Nagpur. The establishment of a house of formation in Nagpur and a novitiate in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh in 1967 and rapid increase in the number of friars caused the establishment of Vice-Province of India on 8 December 1987. The seed that was planted in 1959 bloomed into the Province of India on 8 August 1997. Today we have 18 communities and 153 religious, 110 of whom are priests.
Staying true to the idea of Bl. Jordan Of Saxony discere et docere (to learn and to teach), the Indian Province is at the forefront in imparting education. The Province runs 2 seminary’s that train 190 secular brothers moulding them into future priests and leaders of our Church and world from more than 50 dioceses across the nation. The province continues to have a vibrant youth ministry with several friars involved with the Jesus Youth Movement. Indian Dominicans also serve in parishes and campus ministries, international missions, special ministries for evangelization, prayer, education, and service to the poor and sick; as well as many friars are involved in teaching in schools.