On the 27th of October, the Redemptorists-run parish celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of one of the seven Sub-stations of the Kalunga Parish in Rourkela, Sundargarh District of Odisha, India. The church was remodelled, and a new grotto was built. The villagers and the people of the parish generously contributed in completing the new Church and Grotto.
It was a great day of the 27th morning when the villagers and the faithful waited to welcome the Bishop of Rourkela Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kishore Kumar Kujur at the entrance of the village. Upon his arrival, the faithful gathered welcomed him in a traditional way with washing of hands, garlanding and led him to the Church accompanied by dances with traditional songs and drums. There are about 250 families, approximately 1000 registered Catholics belonging to this Sub-station.
Kalunga parish is one of the 43 parishes of the Rourkela Diocese, looked after and ministered by the Redemptorists from 2000 onwards. The Redemptorists continue to meet the spiritual, social and economic needs of the people of the parish. Fr. Sameer Kujur, CSSR, is the Parish priest, his assistant is Fr Abhay Kullu, CSSR, and Fr Erenius Ekka, CSSR, the Rector of the community, carry out the missions and ministry in the parish. There were about ten priests from neighbouring parishes who concelebrated during the Mass.
The liturgy of the day was very uplifting and joyful one as the Holy Mass began with the procession dance led by many groups of women and girls. The history of the Holy Family Church was read by the senior member of the village. The Mass was presided over by the Bishop Kishore. In his homily, he highlighted the jubilee year based on the Biblical teaching and encouraged the faithful to continue to witness the faith the ancestors received it. He insisted that the mission which the Lord has begun must continue through our generation to generation. He also offered prayers for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East and Europe. Everyone is baptized and is called to spread the Good News of joy, peace and harmony and show that God continues to reach out to the poor and abandoned. The Mass was long due to singing, procession dance, Bible procession, and so on. It was indeed a rich experience of faith-filled celebration.
Soon after the Mass, the people were served with snacks that allotted families had prepared them. After preparing different dishes, they put them together and served them. It was in abundance. People were nourished spiritually by the communion during the Holy Mass and also physically with the traditional food prepared by the villagers. Soon after the breakfast, the cultural program commenced. There were various groups performing their traditional dances and a few speeches by the prominent guests. The celebration ended with the fellowship meal.
One could just be there and witness the faith of the people that they could carry out such a wonderful program. At the end of the day, all were happy and satisfied and returned home. May the work of confreres in the parish bear much fruit that many may know the wonderful work of God.
Sanjay Tirkey, CSSR.