The Propagation of the Faith office of our diocese has invited the diocese of Kumbakonam, India, to speak to us about their missionary activities and challenges. Accordingly, Fr. David Kulandaisamy will be speaking to us during all Masses on the weekend of September 7 & 8.
This diocese, started in 1899 in the State of Tamil Nadu, India, has an area of 7824 sq. km. and a Catholic population of 213,000 (6% of the population). It is served by 212 diocesan and 63 religious priests, 580 nuns and 12 trained lay catechists. The diocese has certain concrete and meaningful goals for a New Evangelization, including:
- Establishing 10 more new parishes, each with a new church and rectory. At present there are 93 parishes and 618 mission-stations. Many of the missions are so large they have to be made independent parishes with a resident priest. Most Catholics have no vehicle to travel to the main parish church for Sunday Mass.
- Equipping the 126 Catholic schools in the missions with better facilities, educational and technical tools, and equipment (education is a main means of evangelization).
- Educating more young men in the seminary for missions abroad where there is a shortage of priests.
- Educating 1000 very poor and orphan children from poor families by providing them with free board and lodging.
All the above mission projects are 80% dependent on MCP funds. The diocese is trying to materialize these missionary goals, depending on the availability of funds. The mission and spiritual prospects of Kumbakonam diocese are bright but its needs are many and pressing. Sixty percent of its Catholics are depressingly poor. Therefore, your fervent prayers and generous help are earnestly requested for building the Kingdom of God in the diocese of Kumbakonam, India.