Marking a new missionary initiative, on 04 July 2018, Frs. Agnes Polisetty, Martin Ulloppillil, and Mathias Bodra left for Jalandhar Diocese in the Indian State of Punjab, in view of starting Claretian Mission in Punjab. To mark the sending of the missionaries to the new land, Solemn Eucharist was celebrated presided by Rev. Fr. Jacob Arakkal John, the Provincial Superior. After the Eucharist, as the sign of missionary sending, in solemn prayer and blessing Missionary Cross was given to the three missionaries. It has been a long cherished desire of the province to have Claretian presence in Punjab, and now it’s being realized.
The Chodavaram town of Vishakhapatnam District is a multi-ethnic community of different religions, faiths, castes and backgrounds. It’s a eveloping township surrounded by many villages. Christ the King parish in the town is taken care by the Claretians, with its many substations.
On 16 March 2018 the parish organized a free medical camp for all the needy people of the locality. At the request of the parish the doctors and staff of Anil NeerukondaHospital, Tagarapuvalasa, Vishakhapatnam generously responded to help the parish in this social cause. Throughout the day the parish campus witness lively atmosphere. The people were provided facilities for various medical care like, General medical tests and diagnosis,Orthopaedic, Gynaecology, ENT, Paediatric,Skincare etc. Approximately 600 people had consultations, free medicine and 40 of them were further referred and sent for free operations in the same hospital. Indian Red Cross society of Vishakhapatnam also had organized a free blood donation camp on the day, for which many of the prisoners and others from the locality volunteered. The personnel of Anil Neerukonda Hospital were happy and expressed their willingness to helpthe community in future too. It was a great day of generosity, service
and care for one another.
St. Joseph’s Community College, Busar, Jharkhand, which offers skill training mainly for the school-dropout youth who are unable to pursue their studies due to various social, economic and political reasons, had its seventh valedictory function on 20 June 2017. The batch of thirty-two students completed their training at the community college; twenty students of Nursing Assistant Course and twelve students of Motor Driving and Mechanism received their certificates during the valedictory function. Fr. Joseph Panthalady, the senior most priest of the Diocese of Daltonganj was the chief guest and Fr. Sanjay Gidh, the Diocesan Youth Director was the guest of honour on the occasion. The cultural programme organized by the students added more colour to the event.
During the valedictory function, the nursing students took the oath of commitment and whole-hearted service. All the students received their certificates from the chief guest; while the driving students received their driving licence on the same day. The chief guest requested the management of the Community College to organize wide range of agricultural training as well. The parents and guardians of the students, and the people from the neighbouring village also were present during the function. The event was covered by the local newspapers as well. All the students who passed out have also received job placements.
The next batch of nursing students has already been selected. For this purpose there was an interview and screening camp conducted on 28-29 June 2017. Nineteen students have already been selected, who are to take admission on the 16July 2017.
A One day seminar for all the staff of schools and institutions of Busar, Barikhajuri and Barwadi was organized on 3 Dec 2016 at Barwadih. There were 86 participants including our priests and sisters who are partners in our missions. Fr. Christudas, Director, SIGN (the social work forum of catholic dioceses of Jharkhand) was the resource person. He emphasized on the need of skills when in dealing with children and patients. He shared that the collaborators in an institution are expected to share the common vision and work as a team. Perceptual differences cannot mar the charism and mission. The participants appreciated this very informative and enriching seminar.
As the part of Christmas celebration a carol competition was organised for the parishioners based on their wards on 11 December. There were 11 wards for the completion and St. Xavier Ward emerged as the champion, second and third places were secured by St. George and St. Sebastian wards respectively. Indeed it was a tough time for judges to evaluate the competition. However, this herculean task was well done by Rev. Frs. Sabu Koottarappallil, Lindo Pullattu, and Mr. Lijo from Jalahalli parish. They also made the overall evaluation of the programme and congratulated all the participants and distributed the prizes. Parishioners themselves cherished the event as all of them wholeheartedly participated in the competition. Parish Priest, Fr. Thomas thanked everyone for their wonderful performance and participation saying, occasions like this bring more joy and fellowship among the parishioners.
On 11 December on behalf of lay Claretian movement a special Christmas day celebration was arranged for the sick and the senior citizens of the parish, especially the people who are above seventy years old. The day began with the Holy Eucharistic celebration followed by honouring the grandparents with shawls and bouquets and giving them Christmas gifts. The duties of children to their parents were very well explained by Fr. Thomas Thanniyanickal during the homily. The day was indeed a memorable one for the entire parishioners. Lindo, a 25 year old youth who was paralyzed due to fever was also accompanied to church for the celebration. It indeed added more joy to the celebration.
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