In 1966 the Punanamei mission was opened by Mgr. Hubert D’Rosario, Bishop of Dibrugarh with Fr. Peter Bianchi as the one in charge. The sisters of Mount Carmel (CMC) arrived on 15th February 1967 to assist at the school, dispensary and to catechize the faithful. On 1st August 1967 Fr. Tharakan Mathew joined Fr. Bianchi as the Assistant. St. Mary’s Parish, Punanamei was canonically erected on 15th August 1969 with Fr. Moolachery Augustine as the first Parish Priest. The parish of Mao had 53 villages in five circles at that time – Mao (15 villages), Maram (14 villages), Leopona (5 villages), Chiluvei (8 villages) and Paomata (7 villages) besides the villages of Karong, Senapati, Mayankang and Dilikunou. A number of new parishes were created from these. Today the Parish of St. Mary’s can boast of nine daughter parishes – Tadubi, Thunjoy, Phybung Khullen, Makhan, Maram, Purul, Senapathi, Kangpokpi, Pangmol. The parish which once had 52 villages has now the six villages of Punanamei, Pudunamai, Chowanyu, Rabunamei, Kalinamei and Songsong with about 3040 Catholics.
Schools were opened in Tungjoy in the Paomota area in 1974 and at Purul in the Leapona area in 1975. The Mao gate school was opened in 1975 in response to the demand from the people at Mao gate. The first batch of eleven students of Don Bosco School, Punanamei, appeared for matriculation examinations in 1981. In 2000 the school at Punanamei was upgraded to plus two. The school at Mao gate was destroyed completely in a landslide in 2004 and classes were then held in sheds. Construction of a new school building is on from 2006.
In 2007, St. Mary’s Parish, Punanamei has Catholic population of about 3380 spread out in 6 villages. In 2007, there are 1488 students and 40 teachers in the School. 35 students are boarders in the Salesian boarding. Various tribes such as Mao, Poumei, Rongmei Nocte and Wancho attend the school. There are 450 students in the school at Mao Gate. The new building is nearing completion.
Parish, Pastoral work and Evangelization, Chaplaincy, Cooperators, Past Pupils, Youth Groups and Youth animation, Higher Secondary School (Arts), Boarding for boys.
Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School
Punanamai, Mao – 795 150
Manipur – INDIA