Chilimpur, India - October 2011

Today we bring you news about the blessing of a new Jesuit Church in Chilimpur, India.

Fr Gigi Zammit Sj & Fr Joe Gauci Sacco Sj
in the new Church

Fr Paul Aquilina SJ writes:

'Yesterday 12 October 2011, I attended the blessing of the new Jesuit church building of Chilimpur. I went along with the Provincial Nirmal Raj. The roads are horrible nowadays and we had a rather bumpy ride as we approached  Chilimpur from Pakuria side.

At 9.45 am the clergy , around 45 of us, with Bishops Julius and Angelus at the end were led in procession from the fathers' bungalow ( built in recent years and stands on the same site of the old one) to the new large church building situated in the field in front of the old church built by Fr.Michael Galea SJ.  As is usual here, we were led in procession by a group of dancing girls moving rythmically forward. At the entrance, the feet of Bishops Julius and Angelus and Provincial Nirmal Raj and former provincial Puthussery, who is on home visit from Guyana, were washed according to Santal custom. Then the ribbon was ceremoniously cut and we all entered the church. The crowd was too big to be contained in the church. Probably we had around 4000 people! Happily there are windows all around , even on top of the verandah that runs around the church so that people could see through these windows.
After all the singing, homily, commentaries, ritual dances at various moments of the Eucharistic celebration [Fr Zammit and Fr Gauci were there too], we had our festive meal at 2 pm. You can imagine the crowd of worshippers being served their meal in the maidan of the boys' hostel!
The celebration went off well, thanks to hard work and preparation. We had visiting priests from Murshidabad side as well.

In the church, there are two huge statues (some eight feet tall) of Our Lady and St.John de Britto which were made at Krishnagar  and are now placed in two niches  on the right side of the altar. The church is criciform , similar to the old one. The contractor is Mr.Shabeer(muslim) from Hazaribag, who is engaged in the building of many of our buidings like the College.'

Fr Gigi Zammit SJ, Fr Joe Gauci Sacco SJ, Bishop Kujur of Purnea and Fr Paul Aquilina SJ

Traditional dancing as procession enters the new Church for the Eucharistic celebration



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