By DCD Reporter
Kandhamal, Odisha: A parish in Kandhamal on August 15 celebrated the feast of Assumption of Mother Mary and India’s 75 years of Independence Day.
As many 10 people including priests and nuns at a time allowed by the Kandhamal district collector held the celebrations at Our Lady of Charity Parish, Raikia under Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese of Odisha, eastern India.
“I was eagerly waiting to come to the Church to praise God despite the lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bipro Charan Nayak, president of Kandhamal Violence Survivors’ Association.
“Mother Mary reconnects us to Jesus to be free from sin and gain favour from God. She is also a source of inspiration and a medium to be truly free from outward obstacles to establish peace, justice and equality in India,” affirmed Nayak.
It is a great honour to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and India’s Independence Day, said Father Purushottam Nayak, the main celebrant on the day during the Mass.
“Mother Mary is our intercessor for the Kandhamal survivors to get justice and peace even after 13 years of the Kandhamal tragedy of 2008,” said the priest.
In his homily, Father Jayanta Singh, a Franciscan, said there is a special place of Mother Mary in the salvation history of mankind. She was chosen to be Mother of Jesus and immaculate to bear the savior.
There were petitions for the leaders of the country and for people who are affected by COVID-19.
There was also a prayer for the 13th anniversary of Kandhamal anti-Christian violence that is to be celebrated on August 25 and 30.
The persecuted Christians of Kandhamal showed devotion to Mother Mary lighting candles and incense at the end of the Mass.
“Sacrament is a channel of grace. It increases our faith and strengthens our spiritual life. It was a privilege to worship Jesus as we marked Mary’s Assumption and Independence Day,” said Goretti Senapati, a Daughters of Charity nun and superior of St. Catherine’s Convent, Raikia, Kandhamal.
“It was another opportunity for us to pray together and meet few devotees to share our solidarity and concern amid coronavirus outbreak,” she added.
It was a joy for more than 10 lakh Christians of Odisha to get permission to come to the Church with covid-19 guidelines.