Bishrail, India. This year marks the Silver Jubilee of the starting of St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish in Bishrail in the Diocese of Raiganj, Kolkata.
Various programs will take place to commemorate this event throughout this year. The most important of them was the inauguration and blessing of the new Church on 23rd February 2020. Rev. Fr. V. Lawrence CMF, Major Superior of Kolkata Delegation, inaugurated it while Rt. Rev. Fulgence Kerketta D.D., Bishop of Raiganj, blessed and consecrated it.
Rev. Fr. Paulus Marandi, Vicar General of the diocese, and many other diocesan and religious priests and nuns, Claretians graced the event. About 800 faithful participated in the celebration with Santhali colorful dances and songs.
Santhals are one of the major tribes in India who are economically and socially very poor and backward. The Claretians, as soon as reached Kolkata from Tamil Nadu 1986, opted to work with the Santhal people. Bishrail is the first Santhal Parish of the Claretians. After starting the Parish, an English medium school started to educate the Santhal children. Now there are two hostels for boys and girls. The sisters of the Queen of the Apostles (SRA) collaborate with them in shared mission in the Parish. They take care of the girls’ hostel and teach in the school. The essential activities in the Parish are animating Basic Christian Communities, catechizing children and youth, and organizing women.