Dedication of a New Church in India
“We will be forever grateful to ACN and to all who have helped us!” It was a time of great celebration when the newly built church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola was first consecrated in Berhimunda, in eastern India. The bishop himself was present at the ceremony and was welcomed with traditional dances by the people before celebrating Holy Mass. Dozens of priests and religious were present and a throng of over 1,500 of Catholic faithful took part in the ceremony of consecration for the church; it was built thanks to the help of you, our generous benefactors, who gave $8,900 towards the cost.
Berhimunda belongs to the Parish of Saint Joseph of Ambapani, established in 1998. At that time, there was nothing – no church, no presbytery, no place for parish activities – and so everything had to start from scratch. The area of the parish covers a large and heavily underdeveloped region, whose inhabitants belong mainly to the ethnic minorities.
There had originally been a tiny chapel in Berhimunda, built in 1915 by the very first missionaries in the area. Built of mud and wood, it had suffered over time from wind and weather and in any case became far too small for the growing number of the Catholic faithful. The people had tried to collect money for a new chapel, but most of the families in the region live in great poverty, and so they were unable to raise the necessary funds.
Now the parish priest, Father Bijay Kerketta has written to us: “On behalf of all the people of Berhimunda, I want to express my great gratitude for your friendship and support. Please be assured that we are praying for you. We will be forever grateful to ACN and to all who have helped us!”
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