The diocese of Kumbakonam started in 1899 in the State of Tamil Nadu, India, and has an area of 7823 sq. km and a Catholic population of 213,000 (6% of the population). It is served by 210 diocesan and 63 religious priests, 588 nuns and 15 trained lay catechists. The diocese has certain concrete and meaningful goals for a New Evangelization in the III millennium, like:-
Establishing 10 more new parishes, each with a new church and rectory. At present, this diocese are 93 parishes and 618 mission-stations. Many of the missions are so large that 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. But the people are unable to give financial support, for such pressing pastoral projects.
Providing the 126 Catholic schools in the missions with better facilities, tools, children’s Bibles, a projector, catechetical materials in the form of DVDs, pictures, text-books and workbooks to improve the quality of religious and faith formation of Catholic and non-Catholic students in mission- schools.
Enabling 485 nuns and 2155 Catholic Teachers in charge of catechetical, educational, medical and social ministries throughout this rural diocese, to educate the children in the Catholic faith and to help the people, particularly the poor, for their integral development.
Providing buildings and infra-structure to our mission schools in villages since education is a main means of evangelization while the government pays most of the teachers.
Education of more young men in the seminary, since the diocese abounds in vocation, to priesthood and religious life so that some could be sent as missionaries to missions abroad where there is a shortage of priests. Note: Every year, an average of 50 young men and women go out of this diocese to other missions in India and abroad to serve God and His people as missionaries.
Education of 1000 very poor or orphan children from poor families every year by providing them with free board & lodge. 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. 60% of its Catholics are depressingly poor. Therefore, your fervent prayers and generous help are earnestly requested for building the Kingdom of God, in and through the diocese of Kumbakonam, India.
Please be generous in your support of the second collection next weekend for the missionary efforts of the Diocese of Kumbakonam. If you give by check please made your check payable to Good Shepherd Catholic Community, and write visiting missionary in the memo line. There is no envelope in our envelope packets for Visiting Missionaries since we do not have enough time in advance the date of the weekend they will be with us. So if you want to ensure that you contribution is recorded on the parish records correctly, please place your donation in an envelope and write on it Visiting Missionary, your name and envelope number and the amount of your donation. I thank you in advance for your generosity to this special collection. The way that our Masses are scheduled Father Eugene Savarimuthu will not be able to speak at all four weekend Masses. Father Conboy will be celebrating the Mass in St. Patrick, Aurora. There will also be a second collection in Aurora for the Diocese of Kumbakonam missionary efforts.
Because of the Special Collection for the Visiting Missionary, the Utility & Energy (Fuel) Collection that was originally scheduled for July 1 will be taken up on the weekend of July 7/8. Your envelope for the Emerging Churches of Eastern Europe and the churches of Africa was scheduled for July 8th you can use it on any of the Sundays in July.
I will be on vacation this week through the fifth of July and will be returning for the Blessings of the Boats at St. Patrick, Aurora, that day. I pray that you and your families have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. Please note that the parish office will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th, in observance of the national holiday. God bless you, Father Bill