Last week the parish bulletin was never delivered to us, so I apologize that there were none to handout after the Masses. Our bulletin publisher did produce them, and one was available online; however, there was a problem with the delivery. They are looking into the situation. In the meantime, I am republishing my column because it is about next week’s Mission speaker’s home diocese.
Next week we will welcome Fr. Chacko to speak to us about the Missions in the Diocese of Pathanamthitta, India. Fr. Chacko will preach all the Masses and the second collection will be to support the Diocese of Pathanamthitta, through the Pontifical Mission Society.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Pathanamthitta, submitted the following to help understand what is happening in his Diocese.
God Bless you,
The Diocese of Pathanamthitta is just 11 years old and it tries to give the Gospel of Our Lord to the 45,000 faithful of the Diocese and 1,500,000 inhabitants of the county of Pathanamthitta. Altogether we have 107 priests in the diocese and some of them are retired from active ministry due to their old age and some of our young priests are studying in India and abroad. Right now we have 65 priests in active ministry in mission churches and different institutions. And we do have a total number of 56 seminarians studying in various seminaries, from 1st year to the 12th year of formation to priesthood. Their parents are financially not well off to support them to provide their basic needs in the seminary. So, it is the responsibility of the Diocese to provide all their basic needs during their formation of 12 years. The Diocese do not have a dependable source of income to provide the salary of the priests, missionaries, catechists and the basic needs of the seminarians, such as food, medical insurance, study materials, tuition fee, etc…
Our primary concentration is in reviving and consolidating the spiritual renewal of the faithful through separate prayer groups formed for men, women and youth. We have 100 mission stations/ churches in the new Diocese. They are all very spiritual, attentive to Catholic faith and sound moral conduct. We have given special emphasis in forming BCC (Basic Christian Communities), mother’s forum, corner prayers, forming youth group (Malankara Catholic Youth Movement), teaching catechism to the children up to 12th grade in all the mission churches. We do have almost 4,200 children studying in catechism classes from 1st year to 12th. We have made arrangements in each church to provide regular classes to the children on Sunday’s after the Holy Mass.
We give great priority in assisting the poorest of the poor through Self-Help-Groups (SHG) of women to eradicate poverty and strengthen cultural and social setup. SHG’s provide support in organic farming, poultry farming, goat rearing and growing more trees for environmental protection by providing trees-umbrella- cover for the Earth. This year because of this particular situation of the Covid-19, we have prepared 350 food packets and distributed them to the poor people every month from June 2020 to till now.
Though our Diocese is in the infant stage, we give special emphasis to provide care for Autistic children, mentally sick men and women, and old age homes for the homeless people. We provide them food, accommodation, medical, cloth, transportation, etc… We have also a special program to support the poor people who cannot provide the expenses to go to the hospitals for dialysis every other day. I try to help some of them providing partial help to go to the hospital for treatment. The financial help you are giving from the Mission Appeal is totally used for all these ministries in our Diocese.
Please do find herewith some photographs of our mission activities in the Diocese. It will give you a clear idea of our ministry here. I sincerely thank you and all the parishioners of your Archdiocese for your great concern and valuable support giving to these most deserving needs of our mission church. God bless you all. With best wishes and kind prayers,
Yours Sincerely in Our Lord,
Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Mar lrenios
Bishop of Pathanamthitta