St. John the Baptist Church at Kondapavulur village in Vijayawada diocese, Andhra Pradesh, celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on May 4.
Bishop Telagathoti Raja Rao of Vijayawada was the main celebrant and 23 priests from nearby villages concelebrated.
As a part of the feast, the bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Communion to the children of the parish.
“Receiving Christ through Holy Communion is an opportunity to become like Jesus,” said the prelate.
Every year, May 3 to 5 is marked as the days of prayer, devotion, and festivities when devotees from six mission substations gather as one family to seek the intercessory help of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The celebration began with three-day preparatory prayers—April 29 to May 1, a candlelight procession by the devotees to the top of the hill, a car procession in the village, adoration, and cultural programs, and ended with a community meal.
Father G J Pratap Kumar, the parish priest of Kondapavuluru, Vijayawada Diocese, thanked God for blessing 102 children who received Holy Communion from different substations.
“It is God’s grace because we could have the opportunities of administering the Sacrament of Confirmation and Holy Communion this year. We could not do it for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Over 50 boys and girls received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
“We were eagerly waiting to bring Jesus into the lives of our children through Holy Communion which has happened after a long wait of two years,” said a parent.
The Diocese of Vijayawada is composed of 103 parishes with 3,50,000 Catholics. As many as 276 priests and 795 nuns work in the diocese.
Kondapavuluru was created as a parish on May 23, 2009. The Catholic Faith of the parish dates back to 1913. This parish has six substations—Gopavarigudem (1956), Gollanapalli (1961), Purushothapatnam (1961), Chikkavaram (1961), Kattubadipalem (1963), and Chintagunta (1976).
St. John the Baptist Parish has nearly 3500 Catholics. - With inputs from Pujitha Nagalli, RVA Telugu
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.