The mission station of the Piarist Fathers in Kamda, in the state of Jharkhand in northeast India, is surrounded by dozens of jungle villages. Most of the people living here belong to the ‚disadvantaged‘ ethnic minorities, and only a few of them can read and write. Most of the people manage to eke out a meagre living through basic subsistence agriculture. The children are also obliged to work, from an early age, in order to support their families. However, the Piarist missionaries are also working hard to enable more and more children to attend school and so have the chance for a better future. For the Piarists are above all a teaching order, with a special mission for the integral education of young people and the running of schools, especially for the poor.
But the Fathers are also responsible for the wider pastoral care of the community. At present 484 Catholic families belong to their mission station in Kamda, which is soon to be elevated to the status of a fully independent parish. The children of the community love to come to the Sunday school, where they can learn more about their faith. But at present the outstation does not have a church of its own. The church in the central parish of Torpa, to which the mission station for now still belongs, is simply too far away. So for now, Holy Mass in Kamda is still celebrated in the open air, next to a shrine of Our Lady. In the meantime the Sunday congregation has grown to around 500 people.
Every Sunday many of them walk anything from 3 to 10 miles (5-15 km) in order to attend Holy Mass. So there is nothing they long for more than a church of their own. But they are far too poor to be able to fund such a project by themselves. And so ACN is proposing to give 25,000 Euros, so that the local Catholic faithful can finally build their very own church.