Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy

A country priest comes to Kakinada, finding joy with his people in Christ's Sacred Heart.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Visit with two mission bishops

The mission bishop of Bongaigaon,  India, Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil, was passing through the Kakinada area with Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu, Archbishop of Vizakhapatnam, so Fr. Varghese and his missionary friend Fr. Baskhar, accompanied them for a day on their journey north.

In Vizakhapatnam, the missionaries helped put Bishop Pulloppilil on his flight even further north to the lower Assam region of India, where his remote diocese is located. The four first celebrated Mass in Archbishop Mallavarapu's chapel, and enjoyed swapping stories about missionary life over dinner.

He appreciated those "great moments" with the two bishops and his fellow missionary, wrote Fr. Varghese, shown above concelebrating Mass with Bishop Pulloppillil. 

Fr. Varghese took a mission tour of the Diocese of Bongaigaon and north to the border of China last year, concelebrating Mass with Bishop Pulloppillil and hiking through remote forests to speak at schools, churches and in villager's homes. See the story telling of Fr.'s trip here.

The Bongaigaon Diocese, dedicated to "Christ, Light of the World," covers an area of more than 13,000 square kilometers, and was newly erected in the Jubilee Year 2000. Out of Assam State's population of 5.2 million, just 1.2% are Catholics and resources for the tiny, scattered missions are scarce. The Catholic population is mainly tribal groups, with Bodos, Santhals, Adivasis, Garos, and Rabhas comprising the largest groups. The art below, showing traditional tribal dance and a dholak drum, hangs in the Cathedral at Bongaigaon.

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