The forty families of the sub-station Catholic Church in Shapur came together for the Christ the King Feast on Nov. 18, 2018. Four priests and three religious Sisters from the neighboring parishes and dioceses added to the festivities. Parishioners prepared cooked lunch for everyone in the parish. From 1.30 pm onwards they gathered at the common ground, away from the parish for the Eucharistic procession. With a blessing prayer and hymns, the procession began at 2.45 under a canopy with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance, five priests vested and walking through the road to Navjyoti School for final blessing and Mass.
The sixteen Catholic families in the Santhaltola erected altars in front of their homes with photo frames of Jesus and Mary with lit candles, incense, water, fresh banana plants, balloons, and paper decorations. The Eucharistic procession stopped at each altar and the head of the family did Arati and made a profound bow in front of the Blessed Sacrament. They also offered the newly harvested paddy and beaten rice.
Navjyoti students and teachers directed the hymns and prayed rosary along the way. Women dressed in traditional dress danced with baskets decorated with the grains of fresh paddy on their heads. Some of the hostel boys were in Santhal traditional dress to pay homage to the blessed sacraments. Flower girls dressed in white sprinkled flowers all along the way. A vehicle followed the procession with loudspeakers.
There were plenty of onlookers on the road. As the procession reached the highway, vehicles stopped to let the people cross over the road. Volunteers did a good job in directing the vehicles and the procession.
The Mass began with a Santhali entrance dance and the whole program was over by 6.00 pm. There were close to 250 people and some of the distant people stayed back in the parish overnight. During the offertory, each one generously offered fresh paddy, beaten rice, money, candles and incense.
As the parish priest, Rev. Vijay Tudu thanked the parishioners, hostel girls and boys, he appreciated the contributions of SCNs Lilly Thomas, Agnita Bhengra, Marianne Puthoor and Prabha Kujur for their wholehearted cooperation in organizing and helping with the event.
Malini Manjoly, SCN | More photos