The official cutting of the ribbon, inaugurating the headquarters of the Radio Maria Website in India, took place on Sunday morning, June 30. A solemn blessing began the day in the city of Cochin (or Kochi), in the state of Kerala. Attending the inauguration were members of the Indian government and of the World Family of Radio Maria, in the person of Father Francisco Palacios. Hosting the event was Father Raphael Kootumghai, director of the Indian radio station.
Also present were several ministerial authorities and some one hundred volunteers, priests, laymen and Sisters. H.E. Monsignor Joseph Kariyil, Bishop of Cochin, blessed the studies, certain that this Catholic broadcasting station will be able to be the protagonist of an ambitious project: to take the Good News to the inhabitants of a rapidly growing country, who are in need of knowing the salvation and mercy of Jesus, our Redeemer.
The opening of Radio Maria at Cochin is one of the eleven projects financed by the Mariathon (www.mariathon.org) solidarity drive, which was held globally from May 10-12 of this year.
The history of Radio Maria at Cochin began with the inspiration of an Indian priest, Father Raphael, who, on a mission in Ecuador, was able to know and participate in the programs of Radio Maria, realizing the force of conversion of this gift of Mary. On returning to India, after his missionary experience, Father Raphael spoke to his Bishop about the possibility of creating a missionary broadcasting and evangelizing station. He contacted the offices of the World Family of Radio Maria in Italy, and requested an opportunity to organize a meeting in India. In October 2008, with the visit to the diocese of Cochin, the feasibility study began which led to the birth of the Radio Maria India Website.
“We are convinced and confident that our Mother will help us,” Father Raphael said. “Thanks to the missionaries who have dedicated their life to spread the Catholic faith, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is deeply rooted among Catholic families in our country, a devotion that is also spreading among Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. She is not seen as a threat but as a Mother who cares for and loves her children, bringing graces to people. Because of this, Mary is an important key for the evangelization of India.”
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