Bringing rich experience to Good Shepherd



My full name is Maria Louis Satyan.  I began my career as a Catholic priest and served in Daltonganj Catholic Diocese (Jharkhand State) for 7 years. I was born in 1955 in a small village near Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu State). My association with priests from young age instilled in me a desire to study for priesthood. It is understood that ‘Call to Priesthood’ is God’s call or Vocation. Within that call there was another call to ‘move beyond religiosity to spirituality’ and reach out to people of all religions. I discerned for 3 years with the guidance of my Bishop and spiritual directors. During the discerning stage I had a serious sickness like ‘blood cancer’ and I was in a dying condition. But God saved me and gave me a new lease of life. After the recovery I continued the discernment. At last God led me to a new ‘spiritual mission’. I felt strongly that I should not take up this mission under the banner of a ‘priest’. With due consultation with my Bishop, I applied for and after one year obtained laicization.

As a token of the new lease of life and new mission, I chose a new name ‘SATYAN’. The Hindi word ‘SATYAM’ means Truth whereas the word SATYAN means ‘a person who walks in the path of truth’. I wanted to be true to myself. Only when I am true to myself I can be true to others and God.

Under the new mission named as Universal Solidarity Movement, I promoted Value Education programs and Inter-religious Dialogues for more than 10 years. Later I married, and I have one 17-year old daughter. In order to support my family I took up jobs in various International and National Development Organizations and worked in different parts of India. I met death second time in 2003 as I was shot at a point blank range by hired criminals. God saved me again. The reason was that I was instrumental in withdrawal of funding support to an NGO that had charges of serious corruption and deviations. This experience strengthened my commitment to continue to work in the Development Sector. On reaching the age of 60 I had to retire from my formal employment in 2014. From 2015 January I started working as an independent Development Consultant.


In Good Shepherd

At this stage I learnt from a priest friend of mine that the Good Shepherd Congregation was looking for a full-time Manager. When I went through the Job Profile of the MDU-Manager I felt that I should offer my service. The nature of the job was appealing and challenging for which I had the expertise. I started my work with Good Shepherd from 15 October, 2015.  Since October 2016 my role is Manager, Mission Development Office-Central East India.


The Challenges

St. Mary Euphrasia set up a trend by her prophetic and radical response to the needs of her time. Similarly I am quite impressed and inspired by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for responding to the burning issues of the Indian society like Economic Justice, Human Rights, Child Rights, Girl Children, Gender, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Migration and Ecology. I am happy to be a mission partner.


The Inspiration

My work as Manager MDO-CEI is indeed a God-sent opportunity to contribute my best to Good Shepherd mission of reaching out to the unreached people and marginalized communities.


Personal feedback

This is my feedback following the Workshop on Anti-Human Trafficking held in Tagaytay, Philippines from 21-27 October 2016:

The venue and other arrangements of the Workshop made me feel quite at home and it was an apt atmosphere for learning. From the history of the Good Shepherd Congregation I was glad to note that 'transformation' is taking place at every level and stage. I admit that I did lack clarity when I came to attend this Workshop on Anti-Human Trafficking and I was also ignorant of what the Sisters of the Good Shepherd have been doing in this sector in Asia Pacific Region. This Workshop was indeed very educative and a learning experience for me. 'Partnership is very crucial for Protection, Prosecution and Prevention' was an eye-opener for me. It was heartening to note various aspects of the TIP Report-2016 and the commitment made by the participants (every Unit). During the Workshop I could share with the participants (in big and small groups) the Indian reality in the context of Human Trafficking. I was also happy that every Province/Region prepared a concrete action plan for 2017. I look forward to contributing to the action plan prepared by my Province – Central East India Nepal - as an agent of transformation.        


Documentary film

Click here for short film Reaching the Unreached




Mahila: A Women's Movement Rising

Mahila: A Women's Movement Rising

Watch a compelling film produced by the Good Shepherd International Foundation featuring three Dalit women from a Good Shepherd Economic Justice Project

Mission Development Office, Asia Pacific

Mission Development Office, Asia Pacific

In January 2016 the Mission Development Office, Asia Pacific was established to serve Good Shepherd Units in this region. Regional Manager Ms Theresa Symons describes goals of the office, and her role

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region