A New Village Chapel for a Parish in India
The Parish of the Immaculate Conception in northeast India lies close to the border with Bangladesh. It includes 31 villages and serves a population of about 5,000 Catholics, most of them relatively young. But the parish is large in area, and many of the villages are fairly inaccessible. The priests sometimes have to walk up to five miles just to reach the faithful.
One such village is Twicholong. There have been Catholics here since 1969 – at first, just a handful of families, but now, there are 50 or so, and a total of 245 parishioners. The village has its own very small chapel, built by the people themselves. It has mud brick walls and a tin roof. But it is currently in a state of disrepair, and in any case, it is far too small. But since they have nowhere else, the faithful continue to gather here every day for prayer, and they have begun work on a new chapel, to be dedicated to the Divine Mercy.
But these people are extremely poor. As members of an indigenous tribe, they barely make a living from the land, or by slaving away as day laborers. And while all of them contribute what they can to the construction of the new chapel, they simply cannot do more.
So Father Arbok Lyngdoh has turned to us for help. He assures us that the parish is very active, and that the women and young people are particularly committed. He is hoping that a larger chapel, in which various pastoral programs can be organized, will further invigorate parish life. He writes, “The faithful are hoping that their dream of a bigger and better chapel can be fulfilled by next year.”
We cannot possibly let down these Catholics in India. And so, with God‘s help and yours, we are offering a contribution of 15,104 dollars, so they can finally complete their chapel.