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India: Discalced Carmelites baptized 100000 people in 50 years

Golden Jubilee celebration (Photo by RVA News)

The Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD) missionaries have baptized over 100000 people in 50 years of service in Andhra and Telangana states of south India. 
As a result in 50 years of their mission origins, a new diocese was created by the name Khammam. 
This was one of the highlights of the Golden Jubilee of the Carmelites Mission celebrated on June 8.

Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad, Bishop Maipan Paul of Khammam, Bishop Udamala Bala of Warangal, Bishop Polimera Jayarao of Eluru and Monsignor Anthonappa Chowrappa, Apostolic Administrator of Kurnool attended the event.
Bishop Paul highlighted the significance of celebrating the 50th year and emphasized inculcating gospel values, moral ethics, peace, and harmony in society. 

Devotees at Palvancha Khamman for Golden Jubilee (Photo by RVA News)

He also ordained six deacons to the priesthood at Our Lady Shrine, Palvancha, Khammam. 
"The senior priests have left the legacy and the new ones have to carry forward it with their service,” the bishop said. 
"The anointed are the shepherds of the heart of Jesus, they are trained or prepared for years to journey with Christ," said Bishop Paul. 
"Joy does not depend on material things, technology, or any of the conveniences we enjoy,” he said.
"Organize people and educate them for common good,” Bishop Paul reminded the newly ordained priests.
The newly ordained priests are Devanandam, Joachim Bandi, Ratnaraju Abbadasari, Raviteja and Vijay Talari.
“With God’s grace, mercy and love, I have become a priest today to dedicate my life to society and people,” said Father Joachim Bandi, a new priest. 

New Six OCD priests (Photo by RVA News)

The Province of Andhra Pradesh is the biggest mission of the Discalced Carmelites in India. It was started around the Tribal Zone of Bhadrachalam in 1971 by three Discalced Carmelites missionaries from Manjummel Province of Kerala State. Kothagudem as their headquarters, they built several mission stations. 
OCD missionaries are spread in 10 dioceses out of 12 dioceses of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. A total number of 250 villages or communities are under their pastoral care now.
In the early 1990s, OCD missionaries began to recruit the local vocations. There was a delay in the recruitment of local vocations due to the prioritization of the evangelical activities in the missions and the families being new to the Catholic faith.
At present, there are 34 major seminarians and 36 minor seminarians in various stages of formation. 
There are seven schools for the poor (Telugu medium) most of which were started in the early 1970s for the discriminated against backward sections to provide education for the rural boys and girls.
There are nine boarding homes (250 boys and girls) for accommodating and educating destitute and marginalized children for the betterment and teaching them life skills. 
Nearly 250 school dropouts were given life enhancement and profession-oriented training like carpentry, electrical and electronics, and plumbing training with the Government of India Certificate at Mount Carmel Boys Town. 
"When we honour the past, the future becomes energized and the present becomes a celebration. Golden Jubilee could well be called the year of gratitude because we have so much to be thankful for,” says Father Jayaraju Bollikonda OCD, Provincial Superior.
Nearly 4000 people attended the jubilee Mass. - Pujitha Nagalli, RVA Telugu Service 


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