Social services


Mother Teresa


Concern with charity was common to Catholics and Protestants, but with one major difference: whilst the former believe that salvation comes from faith in God which manifests itself in good works such as charity, the latter could not rely on such a possibility, since they believe that only one's faith is a requisite of salvation, and that one's works are insufficient to gain or lose salvation. Consequently, Catholic charitable efforts in India have been extensive.

In Portuguese India, for instance, Saint Francis Xavier and his fellow missionaries were especially careful to help the local charitable institutions by tending to the sick, both spiritually and physically, and performing other works of mercy. The Jesuits' educational institutions have left a prestigious impact through their education institutions. Education has become the major priority for the Church in India in recent years with nearly 60% of the Catholic schools situated in rural areas. Even in the early part of the 19th century, Catholic schools had emphasised relief for the poor and their welfare.

In 2019, Father Vineeth George, a 38-year-old Catholic priest, was awarded as the 'Best Citizen of India'. The title is an acknowledgment of his work with the marginalized in the north of the country.