Convert-Catholic builds church to enhance father’s mission initiatives

May 11, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Raipur, May 9, 2016: A convert-Catholic has built a church to enhance his late father’s mission initiatives in the central Indian Archdiocese of Raipur.

“I have built the church to fulfill my late father’s desire and in his memory,” said Real Kumar Lal. “Whenever I used to come to this chapel, there was no place to sit. Often I had to sit outside,” the 59 year-old Catholic layman from Jheeria Kurd village under Amera mission, told Matters India.

Archbishop Victor Henry Thakur of Raipur dedicated the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on May 5, the 81st birthday of R.K. Lal’s mother, Mariambai.

Kumar recalled that in the absence of a church, services were held in a room in the presbyery of the 35 year-old mission. The 30 roon was built 30 years ago and it could not accommodate hundred odd school-hostel boys and girls and the 30 odd parishioners.

His father, Poor Kumar Lal, had been instrumental in opening the remote mission among the Gond tribals.

The son had introduced the only Catholic tribal family in the virgin region of Kabirdham district Amera to missioner Father Francis Britto in 1981.The priest was then living in Chharbhatta village of Raipur diocese, some 20 km from Lal’s place.

Missionary efforts among the Gond tribals had already begun in the neighboring Mandla district of Jabalpur diocese. German Pallottine Monsignor Francis Werner Hunold, then diocesan administrator of Raipur, encouraged the Amera mission.

A mission among the Gond tribals had been also initiated in Role, 72 km away Amera, and Father Britto was sent to Kawardha town to initiate further missions among them.

The Amera mission, which began with a small Christian community, now has a high school and hostels for boys and girls. Trichy St Anne’s nuns manage a health center and other social services there.

“Poor Kumar Lal, not only introduced Badhua Singh Netam, the only Catholic of Amera, but also was always helpful, whenever there was a need,” recalled Father Britto. When the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) initially opposed the mission the elderly Lal was accused of abetting conversion. He served as a government primary school headmaster in Pandatharai town, 17 km away Amera.

Poor Kumar Lal and his wife belonged to the Central India Mission Church. But they educated all their four sons and a daughter in Catholic school-hostel at Jairam Nagar, some 120 km away. Since he had little money to pay their fees, the missioners had often excused them.

The parents allowed when all his five children desired to become Catholics while studying in the Catholic hostel.

R. K. Lal, the eldest in the family, worked as an officer in the Provident Fund. While his wife works as a nurse in a government hospital, all their three children are educated and employed in Pune, a western Indian city.

“God has blessed me with plenty of wealth; what shall I do with it?” R.K. Lal asked while explaining his reason for building the church.

Archbishop Thakur commended Lal for his service. “It is not just having wealth, but you need a big heart to give it away,” the prelate told the church dedication ceremony. “Many preserve it for their old age and sickness.”

Honoring Lal, the archbishop commented, “It is not R.K.Lal who built this church. But God inspired him to build it. God chose Lal to build this church.”

– mattersindia

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One Response to “Convert-Catholic builds church to enhance father’s mission initiatives”
  1. God’s ways are unfathomable. The Instruments he choose to expose His Love and Care for the Faithful is strange. We need to thank Him for His Blessings that come unexpectedly.
    Mr. R.K. Lal has submitted to the Will of God Let us Praise the Lord at the same time thank and appreciate the Great Sole – RK Lall.

    Emmanuel Pathil.

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