Realization is the all people are children of one Heavenly Father and all should experience that oneness as we one day will reach heaven to experience the ones of humanity
- To serve Christian people
- To reach out to all with love and sacrifice
- To cooperate with all for building an just society
- To adopt all good found in local culture
- To proclaim the Kingdom of God to all people of good will.
How it all started:
Kadana a dam 4 km long on the Mahi River was built with Indo-Russian collaboration and completed before 1989. The Mission Sisters of Ajmer have opened a house in Kadana, a kilometer away from the parish church, in a fully non Christian village. Their house ‘Asha Deep’ attached with a dispensary has also begun social activities for women first with making ‘papad’. They are also in good contact with two public health Centres and work along with them in the villages. Diwda Colony, Kadana is situated at 45 Kilometers from Jhalod, closer to Rajasthan border surrounded by hills and mountains. This place is mainly known for hydro-power project built on Mahi River. St. Mary’s Church Diwda Colony, Kanda was the sub-station of Jhalod mission initially and it was erected as Parish in year 1989. Before it was established as Parish, Kadana was a substation looked after by the various priests, first from Jhalod and later by another priest residing in Sanjeli. The purpose of starting this parish was mainly to take care of the migrant catholic employees working in the Hydro-power project of Kadana. Initially when the dam work was started there were number of catholic families in the colony meant of the project.
The church and the residence were built for the parish priest to take care of the spiritual needs of these catholic employees. To construct only the church or prayer hall and a residence for priest, small piece of land was allotted by the PWD when requested. The place allotted is so small that we have to find place to move around. The place is only for church and no other activities or construction can be carried out here. Initially when the work of the project started, the numbers catholic families were many. But as the project work progressed and the work was completed, many have gone back to their own places, where as others have retired and settled elsewhere. It looks as if was unforesightedness of initiating person or unnecessary hastiness and without much planning and survey this parish was started. Because any project is time bound and specific and it has to be completed on its planned period any time. Naturally the employees employed in the project had to be de-employed as per the contract of the project or retried if of age. Now it is many years since the project is completed and hardly a few catholic families are left in the colony.
As early as 1980, Fathers from Jhalod Mission were going to Diwada Colony (Kadana) for monthly Holy Mass and other religious services and Christians from Diwada colony used to go to Jhalod in good number for Christmas as well as Easter services and for other important religious occasions. Christians and all their spiritual needs were taken care of by Jhalod Fathers till 1988. Then, in the year 1989 Diwada colony (Kadana) was established as a separate parish after bifurcating the villages of the Santrampur taluka from Jhalod mission with residence at Diwada colony. Through the efforts of the Christian community there, a small government plot was procured on rent and a small church was built. The land was allotted to us on the condition that it would be taken back any time by PWD when they required it. Since then from 1990 onwards, there was a full-fledged parish at Diwada Colony with Fr. Jose Vayalil as its first parish priest. Meanwhile Fr. Joseph Vayalil SVD established the new contacts in and around Diwada colony and added new structures to the existing ones. He strengthens the faith of the Catholics in the villages through constant visits, religious instructions, Holy Mass, prayer services and Bhajan Mandlis. The purpose of starting this parish was mainly to take care of the migrant catholic employees working in the hydro-power project of Kadana. Initially when the dam work was started there were many catholic families in the colony. But as the project was completed many went back to their own places, where as others have retired and settled elsewhere.
The Congregation of Mission Sisters of Ajmer was contacted and they came and worked for more than two years at Kadana village as well as at Diwada. They were running dispensaries at both the places and contacted a few neighboring villages and had initiated a few socio-economic programs for women. But unfortunately they had to leave due to certain unfavorable circumstances. Later the Vedruna sisters were approached and their Sisters from the Simalwada community agreed to come for weekly medical services to one or two of the outstations. They were very regular in their commitment for two years and used to come occasionally in third year. But after that due to shortage of personnel and long distance of travel from Simalwada to the outstations, they decided otherwise.
THE PRESENT SITUATION:
Today, the St. Mary’s Church consists of three Talukas namely, Fatepura, Santrampur and Kadana. But most of our missionary and pastoral activities are concentrated in the villages of Fatepura talukas spread over in the area of 35-45 kilometers. We have a total of 35 catholic families in the parish, spread over three villages: Thikki- 17 families, Vatli- 4 families, Gaduli 14 families (36 Km., 38 Km, and 45 Km respectively from the Parish house, Kadana) and in Diwada colony proper 2 families. We have contacted 9 villages and there is Christian presence in three villages of Fatepura Taluka. We have regular village visits, weekly Holy Mass and Bhajan Mandalis, catechetical instructions and other spiritual activities.
In two villages we have regular weekly Holy mass, Bible services, adoration, Rosary and Bhajan Mandlis. Besides we organize religious instruction classes and faith formation seminars time to time. There is also a regular Sunday catechism class for the school-going children conducted by the catechist. All these activities have helped the villagers and the Christian community lives in harmony and strengthened them in their faith.
We have already formed two Mahila Mandals (Self-Help groups for Women) in two villages and we are trying to form few a more in order to empower the women. Every month, they gather together and have discussions on various issues concerning their life. They save a fixed amount every month and have started lending among themselves and the determination to take up income generating activities. This has helped them to get out from the clutches of money lenders who use to lend them money on very high interest rate.
Most of our tribals in the three villages of Thikki,Vatli and Gaduli are living in below poverty line. They are marginal farmers and they have meager income from agriculture and livestock. If the monsoon is good enough, their income from agriculture and livestock can at best support a family of 3 to 4 members for six to seven months of the year. So they are forced to migrate to other cities and towns in search of work in order to sustain their families and to other family needs such as payment of bride-price, children’s education, clothing, medical bills, and construction of mud houses. Due to these financial and social pressures, the children are the most affected ones. Their education suffers. Some of the parents send their children to boarding schools. Normally, they are unable to meet all their expenses such as boarding/school fees, books, note books, guides, clothing as well as other personal expenses. Consequently, they are not able to pursue higher education like graduation and so on. Since the parents themselves are uneducated they show little interest or initiative to educate the children. Besides the government run village schools are not regular and their teaching standards are very low. Our aim is to give the children a strong foundation at the primary as well as at the high school level, by encouraging them to send their children to good boarding schools. We also send many boys and girls to the neighboring Catholic boarding schools and help them to certain extent to pay their fees as we have no boarding of our own. Our effort is to educate more and more poor villagers, who cannot afford to pay for their education.
Milestones at Kadana:
Communal harassment in Diwda Colony Kadana
15/08/1998 Four nuns of Mission Sisters of Ajmer were staying in a three room house in Kadana village, close to the Kadana Dam 75 Kilometers away from Godhra and the same distance from Dahod. One priest and a brother of the Divine Word Society are staying near the church in Diwada colony, 6 Kms from Kadana village. On 19th August 1998 a group of 8 young men of Kadana who were making a mandap for Ganesh festival in the village came to the sisters asking for donation collection. They said they expected Rs. 551 from the sisters, Rs. 201 from the leaders. The sisters told them that they would give only the rater given by the ordinary people and not of the leaders or super leaders. The young men refused to take the ordinary amount and they went away angrily warning of dire consequences. That night some boys came to the sisters’ house at 9 o’clock and threw a very large stone on the grill of the sisters’ house.
21/08/1998 The village leaders asked those young men not to disturb the sisters as they had come to serve the villagers with the permission of the elders. There was peace for the sisters for some days after that. On 7th September, a girl student of the sisters’ tailoring center of Diwada Colony was stopped on the way by the Hindu youth of Kadana, they went also to her house and warned them that if she continued to go to the sisters’ tailoring class they would burn their house. They told her parents not to be associated with the sisters or the father and not to sit in the Father’s jeep. The next day two Hindu youth told the sisters to quit their house in Kadana.
12/09/1998 Mr. R.K. Swamy the state intelligence D.S.P. from Baroda visited Santrampur, Kadana and Diwada Colony. He met Bro. John at Diwada church and gathered information. The next day, the Hindu youth told the tailoring girl that they won’t disturb her and requested her not to give their names to the police. The leader of the Hindu youth group lives in Ahmadabad and comes on weekdays to give instructions to local youth for subversive activities.
03/10/1998 Sr. Deepa gave a written complaint to the police constable on duty in Kadana outpost dated 2.10.1998. Its copies were sent to the station in-charge of Santrampur Police Station. The same day the sisters shifted their residence from Kadana to the Parish house at Diwada Colony. Fr. Jose Joseph Vayalil SVD went to Indore for retreat and Sisters went to Ajmer for chapter meeting.
04/10/1998 Fr. Jacob Vazhayil SVD and some Sisters of Godhra went to Diwda Colony for mass. After Mass they were called to het police station at Santrampur to identify the culprit who threnthend Sisters.
Confreres who worked so far
Name of the Confreres
Fr. Sleevaiah Bandanadam
Assistant Parish Priest
Br. John Menezes
Br. John Menezes
Fr. Jose Vayalil
Fr. Ayyankolil Anup George
Fr. Vincent Topno