Heralds of Good News is an indigenous Missionary Society, founded in Eluru Diocese in India in 1984; it became an Institute of Pontifical Right on May 5, 1999. The specific aim of the society is the promotion of vocations to priesthood, the training of seminarians and the supply of zealous and hardworking missionaries to the dioceses in India and abroad which experience a shortage of priests due to the lack of local vocations. Right from its inception, the society was sending missionaries to different countries.
Heralds of Good News Missionary Society was founded by Rev. Dr. Jose Kaimlett in 1984 with the approval and blessings of (Late) Rt. Rev. Dr. John Mulagada, Bishop of Eluru. It was in june 1984 that Fr. Jose Kaimlett resigned his charge as the headmaster of St. Ambrose School, Nidadavole and took up the construction of Fr. Jose Memorial Hospital at Vellachinthalagudem. It was during this time that Bishop John gave him the go-ahead to found the Society and allowed him to contact like-minded priests. Fr. Jose Kaimlett thus shared his ideas with some of his friends who evinced interest in the idea. As a preliminary step he called for a meeting of those priests who showed interest in this matter.
This meeting took place at the parish house at Bhimavaram. Those who participated in the meeting were Fr. Jose Kaimlett, Fr. Thomas Alencherry, Fr. Augustine M. PIME, Fr. Peter Puthenkandam CMF and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt. During the course of the discussions some expressed the view that it should be a religious order which has specific Indian characteristics. Finally it was decided that the new foundation would be a missionary society.
Of the participants at the meeting, Fr. Thomas Alenchery and Fr. Mathew Kallikatt expressed their willingness to join this new venture. Fr. Jose Kaimlett presented a working paper which became eventually the core of the constitution. Fr. Mathew Kallikatt was entrusted with the work of incorporating the suggestions at the meeting and of comparing the draft with the constitutions of other missionary societies.
When the three of them met together at Denduluru on the occasion of St. Mathew’s Feast, Fr. Mathew Kallikatt had completed this work. The draft document underwent further revisions and additions at the hands of Fr. Jose Kaimlett. This draft constitution was submitted by Fr. Jose Kaimlett to the Bishop John for his approval. Bishop John gave his seal of approval to the constitution on 14th October, 1984.
On 2 December 1984, at the conclusion of Diocesan Retreat, Bishop John presented the matter to the Diocesan Consultors for their deliberation and received their positive nod. As a visible sign of the new Society, the foundation for the Minor Seminary at Kurukkuru was laid by Bishop John, in the presence of many priests and sisters of the dioceses of Vijayawada and Eluru on 12th December, 1984.
In the meantime Fr. K.V. Augustine, Bros. Jose Ounnukallel & Thomas Karachira expressed their wish to join the Society, by which time the Society had taken the name Heralds of Good News. Before the final commitment to the Society, the prospective members were guided by (Late) Rev. Fr. Peter Canicius O.F.M. Cap during the retreat they had at Nirmalagiri shrine.
In the morning of 2nd Feb, 1985, on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Frs. Jose Kaimlett, Thomas Alenchery, K.V. Augustine, Mathew Kallikatt & Bros. Thomas Karachira and Jose Ounnukallel made their final commitment to the Society in the presence of Bishop John in his private chapel. The event was witnessed by Rev. Fr. V. Abraham, Fr. Peter Canisius OFM Cap, and Fr. Peter Puthenkandam CMF. Immediately after the Holy Mass, the members assembled in the Bishop’s office and elected Fr. Jose Kaimlett, the founder, as the first Director General.