Welcome Fr. Bernard from the DIOCESE OF SALEM, INDIA

Please welcome Fr. Bernard
the weekend of July 14-15 for the Mission Appeal

for the DIOCESE OF SALEM, INDIA

Salem Diocese is a Latin Right Catholic Diocese in India. It has total population of 5,360,460. Out of that 100,050 are Catholics. We have 60 parishes and give them Faith formation and foster unity and oneness and a sense of belongingness. 62% of the Catholics in the Diocese of Salem are from lower caste group, historically deprived, economically downtrodden. In the Past, they were called “untouchables.” This is our target group for Evangelization and Empowerment.

Education is the top priority. We run 32 Elementary Schools, 10 Middle Schools, and 4 Higher Secondary Schools (up to 12th grade). We also run one Technical School (Carpentry, Turner and welding, plumper trade). All together 89,923 poor children benefit from our school education including Hindus, Muslim, Christians and others. We run 3 big Homes for Children hailing from below poverty line families and some of them are orphans. Nearly 500 children in these 3 Homes are subsidized by the Diocese with total cost of 95,000 USA dollars per year. Really we are struggling to meet the expenses. We appreciate your supporting hands.

Socio political empowerment of Rural Dalit (Oppressed) Women is another important ministry. Our Vision to create a Just society wherein un-organized poor-women and children achieves selfreliance through the processes of empowerment and sustainable development. This goal is being achieved through Awareness building seminar for Dalit Women, providing training of the Right to the Information Act to sensitize this target group from the Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence and educate them to take appropriate action.

Health Education through medical camps and formation of Health Club is being promoted. Awareness programs on Tuberculosis prevention, HIV/Aids preventive education and elimination of denial, stigma, and discrimination are provided by the Diocese.

Low Cost Housing for Widows and Refugees. Every year we try to build at least 30 houses in different parishes of the diocese. We spend around $ 4,000 for each house.

In a non-Christian country compassion and service to the poor are the way to preach Christ and share God’s love with the unfortunate. The diocese of Salem is not self-sufficient to fund these projects. So I greatly appreciate your financial help through Mission Appeal Sunday’s second collection. Sharing brings eternal blessings with abundant life. I assure you the prayers of my diocesan people and Bishop. God Bless you! - Fr. Bernard

Rhiannon Jensen