My dear brothers and sisters,
This appeal comes to you from the Catholic Diocese of Thanjavur, South India. At the outset, we thank you so much for letting us make this mission appeal online. Under normal circumstances, one of our representatives would have visited your diocese in person and made the appeal in the churches assigned to us. The covid pandemic has rendered it impossible this time around. The way the pandemic rages in India, it will be quite some time before even a semblance of normalcy returns to our region.
Even though there are so many unmet needs in our diocese, our appeal this year focusses specifically on covid -related needs. Before I come to that, I would like give you an over-view of our diocese and our mission in general.
The diocese of Thanjavur is located on the east coast of India. It consists of 96 parishes and 1061 mission stations. There are about 183 diocesan priests, 69 religious priests, 700 religious sisters and 20 religious brothers involved in various mission activities in the diocese. Being a rural and agricultural diocese, we have a great financial difficulty in maintaining our parishes and continuing the work of preaching the good news. Flood and drought are the common companions of the people. Besides evangelization, the diocese runs many schools and some 38 home for children where more than 2000 children are accommodated. They are fed, clothed and educated with the partial help from the diocese. We run nursing homes and homes for the destitute. The cosf of running these institutions is partly met by the generous contributions raised in these appeals. Mission funds are also usually used to build chapels in mission stations, train seminarians, educate poor children and to organize religious and social awareness programmes.
This time around, we like like channel all the funds into helping the people affected by the Covid Pandemic.
Over the last one year, with th help and cooperation of the religious, parishes, NGOs and volunteers, the Catholic. Diocese of Thanjavur has done much by way of covid relief measures, with our limited resources. Some of them are as follows:
- Distribution of rice and grocery ($ 40,000) to needy families in 62 parishes spread across five deaneries.
- Organization of Community Kitchens in some parishes – which fed poor people for more than a month, s a lot1.9f them were left without work due to lockdown.
- The diocesan Social Service Society did its own relief work, by reaching rice, groceries and vegetables ($ 12,000) to poor deserving families, living in village parishes. ,
- Donation of masks and sanitizers (worth$ 2000) to the local municipality – to help frontline workers.
Covid relief work is an ongoing mission, as the second wave has left a far severer damage on the diocese. Our village parishes have borne the brunt of the pandemic. Churches remain closed since the beginning of April. We lost two of our priests to Covid. In continuing to take care of the sacramental needs of the people, more than 30 priests of our diocese have been affected by the virus. Many families have lost their breadwinner. It is going to take a lot to overcome this virus and rebuild the lives of the people, ravaged by this pandemic.
With the help of the money raised from this appeal and with our contribution, the diocese intel}ds to take up the following initiatives.
- Supply of sanitation kit to poor people
- Supply of Nutritional Supplement to poor people.
- Setting up post-Corona treatment centers and Care Homes.
- Equipping the diocesan-run Our Lady of Health Hospital with 20 Oxygen beds, 56 Non-Oxygen beds and erection of a small Oxygen plant in order to help the corona patients.
This appeal seeks your financial assistance in this life-saving endeavor. With your support, the above measures will benefit about 960 families and nearly 4800 people affected by COVID 19. The American Catholics have always stood by and supported world missions, and especially the missions in India. Your support during these very challenging times will help us, minister, to our people in a meaningful way and take the mission forward. God bless you and God bless the Church “in America!!
Yours Devotedly in Christ,
Most Rev. Dr. Devadass Ambrose, Bishop of Thanjavur
For more information about the Diocese of Thanjavur- India, please visit their website at tanjorediocese.org.
To support the DIOCESE OF THANJAVUR, INDIA, please click on the button below to donate and either select your parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or type Group 1298 in the memo box. God bless!