Mass Stipends for 113 Priests in India
The Diocese of Tezpur lies in the state of Assam, in northeast India. Assam is known for its tea production and home to 84 million people, 195,000 Catholics among them. They belong to indigenous groups and work either on the tea plantations or as small peasant farmers. There are few opportunities for work, low literacy rates, villages without electricity or running water, and unsanitary huts where illness spreads quickly.
To the best of her ability, the Catholic Church is supporting the people of India in all their needs. Her priests proclaim the Good News of Christ, which is gladly welcomed in the area, and help the poor through education, training, and practical acts of charity. The faithful also play an active role in the community.
Not surprisingly, the 113 priests of the Diocese of Tezpur have their hands full. And since the Church in India is also very poor, Bishop Michael Akasius Toppo has appealed to ACN for help.
Bishop Toppo writes: “We are endeavoring to bring the redeeming message of Christ to people of all tribes and tongues, but we need a helping hand. We are confident that your precious support for our priests, and hence also for their Catholic communities, will be a great incentive. I am sending you this request for Mass stipends, confident of your generous support. Our priests will be forever grateful to you and will remember you and all our kind benefactors at the altar of the Lord.”
The offering of Mass stipends is an ancient tradition in the Church. The priest who celebrates the Holy Mass does so for the intentions of the person who has given the Mass offering, whether it be for a sick person, the soul of a departed loved one, or for some other private intention. The money given is not a “payment” for the Mass but a gift, given in gratitude and for the material support of the priest himself. For many priests in the poorest parts of the world, who often have no other income, Mass stipends are a vital contribution to both their survival and their work on behalf of the parish.
We are proposing a total of $36,700 in Mass stipends for the material support of these 113 priests.
Will you give so they can help this poor and remote part of India?
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