Consecration of a Village Chapel in India
March 5, 2018 was a day of great celebration for the Catholic faithful in West Vipparu. It was the day on which their beautiful new chapel was finally consecrated after a wait of 16 long years. Until then all they had was a very small chapel with an asbestos roof which threatened to collapse at any moment. It was also far too small for the steadily growing number of the faithful. The people had long dreamt of being able to build a new church, but in their poverty, and despite the many great sacrifices they made, they simply could not raise the necessary funding.
Their parish priest finally turned to ACN for help, and their dream became reality – for our generous benefactors did not disappoint. ACN was able to give them $11,600 for the construction of a new chapel. All the building work was carried out by the Catholic faithful themselves, under the supervision of an expert builder, while the essential building materials were obtained thanks to the generosity of our benefactors.
West Vipparu is one of many villages belonging to the parish of Tadepalligudem. In 11 of these villages almost all the inhabitants are baptized, while in others there are still many people awaiting baptism. This keeps the priest very busy visiting the people in the villages. In West Vipparu, the new chapel is truly the heart of the community, and not only during times of Mass and catechetical instruction. As their parish priest tells us, “The faithful are quite certain that God is here, and so they also go to the chapel even when the priest cannot get there, and bring their cares to Jesus.”
The chapel is dedicated to the Infant Jesus of Prague, who is greatly venerated by the Catholic faithful all over India. There are many large shrines to the Infant Jesus in India – they are some of the greatest shrines in the world where the Infant Jesus of Prague is venerated. But churches and chapels are also being dedicated to Him even in the remotest corners of the country,
“The dedication ceremony was an unforgettable day,” writes the parish priest, Father Dharma Raju Matta. Even local Bishop Jaya Rao Polimera came from Eluru to consecrate the chapel, and after the ceremony, he remained for a long time, close to his people and listening to their cares and concerns.
“We want to express our profound and sincere gratitude for the wonderful help you have given to our mission,” writes Father Raju Matta. He also assures us that his faithful are praying the Rosary regularly for everyone who helped!
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