Nazareth Hospital, Mokama, India

Posted by Kelly McDaniels

September 3, 2020

SCN archivist Kathy Hertel-Baker shares the following information on Nazareth Hospital in Mokama:

Nazareth Hospital, Mokama 1960

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth entered, for the first time, a foreign mission field
when Mother Ann Sebastian Sullivan and her Council accepted the invitation of Bishop
B. J. Sullivan, SJ., Bishop of Patna, India, and Rev. Marion Batson S.J., pastor of the
parish in Mokama, India. The Jesuits wanted the sisters to open a dispensary that they
hoped would develop into a hospital.

Sister Mary Jude Howard caring for a leper in Mokama, 1947

The six SCN missionaries arrived safely in Calcutta by December 9, 1947, and were met
by Father Batson. The next day they journeyed by train to Mokama. Many needs awaited
them – none more urgent than the need of a dispensary to serve the poor. Often the sick
poor were abandoned at the train or bus station in Mokama. A dispensary would also
serve passengers who crowded trains passing through Mokama on the Eastern Railway
from New Delhi to Calcutta, and others awaiting buses to north/south destinations.

Sisters Ann Bernadette Ormond, Mary Jude Howard, and Ellen Maria Ballew working in the pharmacy at Nazareth Hospital, Mokama

The first need in Mokama was for the sisters to unpack the numerous trunks/cartons
filled with medical supplies, thus marking the opening of Nazareth Dispensary. As there
were no walls around the compound, the activity of unpacking was visible to the public.
Men pressed forward showing wounds and sores. Women begged for
attention for their emaciated babies. Sister Crescentia Wise, pharmacist and nurse in
charge of the unpacking, could not resist the pleas of the people. Thus, the first day of
unpacking became the unofficial opening of Nazareth Dispensary.

Nazareth Hospital School of Nursing faculty and student body in October 1953

On July 19,1948, the Dispensary became a general hospital with 10 beds and gradually
grew into a 250-bed institution. In 1949, a Nurse’s Training School was established.
Second and third floors were added to the original building in 1950. Lepers had come for
medical assistance from the first days of unpacking. In 1952, a free leper clinic was
organized separate from, but under the auspices of the hospital. Other programs opened:
a School of Pharmacy, 1954; a School for Midwifery 1964; Nurse’s Aide Training
School 1964.

Miserior, the charitable agency of, at that time, the West German Bishops, aided and
supported Nazareth Hospital. They assisted in the erection of the first new unit in 1964
and a second unit in 1966. Miserior also assisted in building a new kitchen. The
cornerstone for a new Nazareth Hospital was laid in 1976 with Miserior providing 85%
of the cost.

Sister Rosemarie Lakra and Dan Rice, S.J. praying over a patient at Nazareth Hospital

In 1977, the Jesuits of Patna District transferred valuable property adjoining the
hospital and convent to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The Deeds for this transaction
were sent to Nazareth. In the 1970’s, Nazareth Hospital ranked fifth among the eighty
Catholic hospitals functioning in India.

Patients attending an eye clinic in Mokama

For 64 years, Nazareth Hospital has served the people of Mokama. In 2012,
due to a lack of staff and plagued by problems with labor unions, the hospital was in
danger of closing. To avert closure the hospital refocused its attention on patients with
HIV/AIDS, geriatric and/or palliative care.

Sisters Latika Kottuppallil and Philomena Kottoor with Archbishop William D’Souza opening a wellness center for disadvantaged girls in 2014

Nazareth Hospital continued to find ways to reach out to people. In March 2013,
recognizing International Women’s Day and World Tuberculosis Day, SCNs helped
organize a free Medical Camp for women with its venue at Nazareth Hospital. Diagnostic
facilities were made available courtesy of the Civil Surgeon. Many respected doctors
took part in the Camp and 250 women participated. Nazareth Hospital looks to the future
to continue offering medical care for the people of Mokama and surrounding areas.

Sister Sudha Puthoor attends to a patient at Nazareth Hospital, Mokama, 2019

33 Comments

  1. Bibhu P Mohapatra

    Charity is essential and therefore meant to be done for public benefit, relief and to provide assistance to people at times of need in any part of the world, especially those who are the victims of war, natural disaster, catastrophe, hunger, disease, poverty, orphans by supplying them with food, shelter, medical aid, and other fundamental needs. It is this act of nature that makes it precious and soulful. There are people who believe charity should begin at home but others believe it should originate from the heart. However, charity originates from the heart as you feel the urge of giving, begins from home, ultimately extending to others in the society.

    Charity begins with the inward recognition of a need to show compassion to others whether consciously or unconsciously. Everyone has problems, troubles, and griefs of some sort in life but charity starts with those who learn to downplay their own problems, in order to extend compassion, kindness, and love to help others. Hence some people set aside their own pains to relieve the pain of others. Nazareth Hospital did her job done in the time its needed now the unconditional supports from our end much needed to reopen the hospital.

    Reply
  2. Abhishek Usha Sinha

    This piece of documentation touches my heart. As a resident of the nearby region Barh, I can connect to the need of the the people and time back then. The Nazareth Hospital must be no less than a wish come true for many. I can see the service in the eyes of the sisters documented in the photographs. It has been rightly said, that ‘ chemistry is SO important’ and so is a good health care facility. The shutdown of the hospital is a loss to the people, to the state and to the country. While we look forward to reopening of the hospital (hopefully, some day), I would like to sincerely thanks sisters of charity for the selfless service they have done.

    Reply
  3. Rishu kumar

    Reopen Mokama @ Nazareth.

    Reply
    • Dr Jyotsna Tiwari

      I worked in Nazareth Hospital in 1977.I learned a lot here .All the doctor’s and nurse’s were very dedicated towards their work. This Hospital was very beneficial for public ,it should be started again. Dr Jyotsna Tiwari

      Reply
  4. ANUP GHOSH

    I am paralyzed after a brain stroke i cant move my affected harm but i can walk small distances with or without stick support. I need a physiotherapist

    Reply
    • Shobha kumari

      Please tell me, that any dermatologist doctor available in this hospital?

      Reply
  5. RAJENDR A kumar sharma

    Thi hospital should be reopen immediately for save life

    Reply
  6. Gautam Kumar

    Open najerath mokama

    Reply
  7. डाँ धीरज कुमार

    भारत सर से मै अपील करता हूँ कि.मोकामा नजारथ हाँस्पिटल को आमीँ को दे दिया जाता तो अच्छा था…चूंकि आमीँ हाँस्पिटल बिहार मे दो है..1दानापुर..2गया…3राँ पूरब मे यहाँ खुलता तो अचछा था..

    Reply
  8. Shridev kr.

    It’s Pandemic Time in India.

    I request you to Kindly please Re-Open the Nazareth Hospital in Mokama. My whole family is infected by this Covid Virus, but here is not any big hospital nearby 100 km to treat ourselves, Millions of people around this area need this hospital. Please Listen our voice and pain.

    Reply
  9. Sunny yadav

    Please reopen mokama Nazareth 🙏🙏🙏

    Reply
  10. Kumar shanu

    Kindly consider re-opening the hospital in Mokama. People are forced to die. The government hospital is good for nothing. People of Mokama are and shall always be grateful to the SCN family. My father, uncles, siblings, cousins and I were born there. The healing done by you was with the aim to serve the humankind. We miss the good old days. We can coordinate with the government for funds, if lack of funds is a problem here. Look forward to hearing back. Best

    Reply
    • Dr Prashant

      Kindly share the phone number of hospital

      Reply
  11. Srinath

    Please reopen

    Reply
    • Bablu kumar

      I request to bihar government please open again

      Reply
  12. Dinesh kumar

    I am proud of SCN sisters who serving to the people.

    Reply
    • Ankit Kumar

      Kindly consider re-opening the hospital in Mokama. People are forced to die. The government hospital is good for nothing. People of Mokama are and shall always be grateful to the SCN family. The healing done by you was with the aim to serve the humankind. We miss the good old days. We can coordinate with the government for funds, if lack of funds is a problem here. Look forward to hearing back. Best

      Reply
    • Sanjeev Kumar

      Please reopen Mokama Nazareth hospital. since few years,people of mokama and near by villagers have been suffering from poor health facilities.we have to travel a long distance even in the critical situations.so please reopen Nazareth hospital

      Reply
  13. Navin Kumar

    Every facilities were better than other hospitals, It was the place where patients came for treatment in peace environment with with honest doctors and sisters…I hope, i will see again Nazareth Mokama in well and fully workable condition.

    Reply
    • Radhe

      I am resident of mokama i am the wetness of there charity and kindness for humanity I heare a story from my father that time I was not born my father were choklet sheler in train my sister were born and my father not having much money to pay there fee of delivery and some other charges then one sister advised my father that one didi is arriving daly to monitor new born baby you may go to request them then my father went there and sown money what the having that time it’s surprising that she forgiven all fee while saying that ye garib h or daly chocklet bechta h to apne paribar ka bharan posan karta h agar is se iski punji hi le lea jaye to ye thik nahi hoga iske fee ko muaff kia jaye but becouse of some criminal rule in mokama it’s got closed but now it’s opening slowly but we want old Nazareth hospital and there facilities

      Reply
  14. Judith “ Jude” Manning

    Loved the pictures and the story. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Linda Grotton MacRae

      In the 1960’s, I was a pen-pal to Sister Thomas Aloysis, who was a Sister of Charity assigned to this hospital. We wrote each other for many years and then, sadly, we lost touch. I just found some of Sister’s letters and have, luckily, researched your website. Is there anyway someone could tell me if Sister is still alive, or if she is still in your area. I realize this is personal information and therefore not information that would be given out to the public, but is she is still in the area, and someone does know her, would you please pass on my fondest regards and that I have thought of her many, many times over the years and wish her well. Thank you,

      Reply
  15. Name *Joel

    “Nazareth our school of nursing best in India’s land” so did we sang!
    Humble gratitude to those Sisters and nurses who committed themselves for the patients & the community.

    Reply
    • Kundan kumar

      Ab here, a lot of money is charged for any treatment, just like a private hospital. Now it is not a charity but a business.

      Reply
  16. Liz

    Thank you to so many who lived the mission of healing!

    Reply
    • Ankit Kumar

      Do some Efforts for Opening again this Hospital….
      The People of Mokama need this Prestigious Hospital..

      Reply
      • Shridev Kr.

        It’s Pandemic Time in India.

        I request you to Kindly please Re-Open the Nazareth Hospital in Mokama. My whole family is infected by this Covid Virus, but here is not any big hospital nearby 100 km to treat ourselves, Millions of people around this area need this hospital. Please Listen our voice and pain.

  17. Ann Palatty

    Nazareth Hospital has served hundreds of thousands of people in and around Mokama. Thank you, Sisters, past and present who continue to extend Jesus’ healing ministry through Nazareth Hospital.

    Reply
    • Neel Kamal

      Do some Efforts for Opening again this Hospital….
      The People of Mokama need this Prestigious Hospital..

      Reply
      • rajeev kumar

        Pls consider re-opening the hospital in Mokama. we are forced to die. There are no hospital around . People of Mokama are and shall always be grateful to the SCN family. The healing done by you was with the aim to serve the humankind. We miss the good old days.

  18. Maggie Cooper

    What a beautiful story of these wonderful pioneers!! Thanks, Kathy for finding this story and sharing this impressive history with us!!

    Reply
    • Maria Palathingal,SCN

      I am proud of our SCN pioneers who came to Mokama to open Nazareth hospital. I was happy to serve the people a few years along with some of them.

      Reply
    • Shantanu Kumar

      India is badly affected by the global pandemic.There is a crisis over the entire human race. There is not a single big hospital in Mokama and its surrounding districts, due to which hundreds of thousands of people are forced to die. Nazrath Hospital, Mokama also has a glorious history of its own. So, I humbly request you that Nazrath Hospital Mokama be reopened. We will all be grateful to you for this.

      Reply

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