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India

A multipurpose hall for the parish of Ambadochar

 

Project trip to India, Madhya Pradesh, February 2016: Together with Bishop A. Arokia Sebastian Durairaj visit to St. Arnold’s Parish Ambadocher. The village is mostly inhabited by Barela tribal, Christian and Muslim families. The visitors were greeted very warmly.

The parish of Ambadochar is located approximately 56 miles (91 km) from the town of Khandwa in the state of Madhya Pradesh, central India. A remote village parish, encompassing about 200 Catholic families who are ministered to by the Divine Word Missionaries (also known as the Steyler Missionaries).

The people of the region belong to ethnic minorities and are known as “Adivasi,” or “indigenous peoples“. The Catholic community is growing rapidly and urgently need a centre where Holy Mass and other liturgical ceremonies, prayer meetings, retreats and catechetical sessions can be held as well as gatherings for children, young people, women’s groups and many other such events. For the old mud building currently used by the parish is in imminent danger of collapsing and is moreover far too small.

So now the parish is planning to build a multipurpose hall to accommodate parish life. But the faithful are extremely poor and can contribute little financially to the fulfillment of this dream. Half of them live below the poverty threshold, struggling to make ends meet from their own small agricultural plots, while others work as day labourers for wealthy landowners, not infrequently forced to borrow from them and so falling into debt bondage, since they are unable to pay the astronomically high interest demanded – a situation often passed down from generation to generation. Diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are widespread, as is chronic malnutrition. Most adults are illiterate and very few of their children are able to attend school. Hence there is no way these people can pay for the new building.

And so Father Pankratius Xalxo has turned to ACN for help, so that the parish can at last build the centre they need for their activities. We have promised them 43,500 CAN.

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