At the invitation of the local Church, the Salesian Sisters, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, have opened a house in the Indian state of Orissa, where as many as 50,000 Christians were displaced in a series of attacks, which occurred seven years ago this month.
Fides reported that the convent opened in the Kandhamal district, which is located in the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
The 2008 violence at the hands of Hindu extremists resulted in the deaths of some 100 Christians and the destruction of 300 churches. The violence began after the Aug. 23 assassination of a Hindu political leader, which was blamed on Christians.
At the inauguration of the convent, Fides reported, Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar welcomed the nuns and expressed his wishes for a “fruitful ministry for the building of the Kingdom of God.”
The ceremony was attended by more than 1,500 faithful among nuns, priests, lay people, but also local civil servants, Hindus and those of other religions.
“God has given us a very special gift in this year’s celebration of the bicentennial of the birth (1815-2015) of our Father and Founder Don Bosco. A dream come true,” said Sister Rose Ezarath FMA, provincial superior.
St. John Bosco’s birthday, Aug. 16, was the official beginning of the mission.
The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians will dedicate themselves in particular to young people and poor families by promoting educational activities and professional training.