Welcome to His Excellency Joseph Kodakallil, who will be making a mission appeal for the Mission Diocese of Satna in India at Saint Matthew on June 17-18 at all Masses.
Following is a description of the mission: Mission Diocese is entrusted with evangelizing seven districts in the State of Madhya Pradesh in the Northern part of India. Even though the population of Satna is over 10 million, only 3,000 belong to the Catholic faith. The majority of the population belongs to the Hindu religion. We extend our support to everyone irrespective of their religious beliefs. In the Diocese, there are 37 schools, 6 dispensaries, 1 hospital, 1 orphanage, 2 homes for the mentally challenged, 1 home for the physically challenged children, and 1 home for the street girls. There are some formation centers for the future missionaries. Together with this, we are working for the amelioration of women through different programs. We are also giving AIDS awareness programs.
In the multi-religious and fundamentalist context of Madhya Pradesh, direct evangelization is a difficult task. The Diocese of Satna has taken up the mission of evangelization in the midst of challenging situations. The Church involves herself more in the educational and charitable activities to witness Christ than on direct evangelization since there is political and religious pressure. But we are always attentive to provide adequate pastoral care to our Catholic faithful. With the help of formal and non-formal schools, we provide education to the people so that they become liberated from the clutches of the evil effects of the caste system, superstitions, untouchability, etc. Through the non-formal education, the poor and the marginalized children are brought into the world of letters and to the mainstream of the society.
In view of evangelization, we are conducting retreats, family renewal programs, small Christian community gatherings, ecumenical meetings, inter-religious meetings, prison ministry, training for Nursing Assistance, education centers for school dropout children, job-oriented training for children, assistance in farming and development of land for cultivation for the poor villagers. Health care centers such as hospitals and dispensaries run by the Diocese help the poor people in the remote areas. Infant mortality and malnutrition are very high in this State of Madhya Pradesh due to lack of medical care. The Diocese is initiating program to address these issues.
Being a mission Diocese, we are in great need of financial support to do our further missionary activities and humanitarian support for the poor and the needy. Kindly make some generous contributions for the Mission Diocese of Satna. We are grateful to you for helping us by your generous contributions. Your prayers and support help us to continue with our missionary activities. Thank you for your participation in the mission of the universal Catholic Church.