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India: Consecration of Village Chapel in West Vipparu

Fulfilling a Dream of 16 Years

March 5, 2018, was a day of great celebration for the Catholic faithful in West Vipparu, according to Aid to the Church in Need. It was the day on which their beautiful new chapel was finally consecrated after a wait of 16 long years. Until then all they had was a very small chapel with an asbestos roof, one which moreover threatened to collapse at any moment. And moreover, it was far too small for the steadily growing number of the faithful. And so the people had long dreamt of being able to build a new church. But in their poverty, and despite the many great sacrifices they made, they simply could not raise the necessary funding.

But then their parish priest finally turned to ACN for help, and their dream became reality – for our generous benefactors did not disappoint. ACN was able to give them 10,000 Euros for the construction of a new chapel. All the building work was carried out by the Catholic faithful themselves, under the supervision of an expert builder, while the essential building materials were obtained thanks to the generosity of our benefactors.

West Vipparu is one of many villages belonging to the parish of Tadepalligudem. In 11 of these villages, almost all the inhabitants are baptized, while in others there are still many people awaiting baptism. As a result, the priest is kept very busy visiting the people in the villages. In West Vipparu the new chapel is truly the heart of the community, and not only during times of Mass and catechetical instruction but also outside of them. As their parish priest tells us, „The faithful are quite certain that God is here, and so they also go to the chapel even when the priest cannot get t, here, and bring their cares to Jesus.“

The chapel is dedicated to the Infant Jesus of Prague, who is greatly venerated by the Catholic faithful all over India. There are many large shrines to the Infant Jesus in India; in fact, these are some of the greatest shrines in the world where the Infant Jesus of Prague is venerated. But increasingly, even in the remotest corners of the country, churches and chapels are being dedicated to him.

„The dedication ceremony was an unforgettable day“, writes the parish priest, Father Dharma Raju Matta. The local Bishop Jaya Rao Polimera had also come specially from Eluru to consecrate the chapel. And even after the ceremony, he remained for a long time, close to his people and listening to their cares and concerns.

„We want to express our profound and sincere gratitude for the wonderful help you have given to our mission“, writes Father Raju Matta. And he assures us that his faithful are praying the Rosary regularly for everyone who helped!

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