Written by Sister Amala Valayathil, SCN
‘Our Lady of the Way’, the parish Church in the diocese of Dumka, in Jamtara town has the singular privilege of being the only parish in Jamtara district, in Jharkhand. On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Rev. Julius Marandi, the Bishop of Dumka, blessed the newly constructed church in the presence of many religious women, men and the faithful, in large numbers who flocked to the venue to admire the beauty and to appreciate the communitarian efforts of the locals, benefactors and friends who contributed generously.
The Church came up with the committed missionary zeal and interest of the parish priest, Rev. Ambrose Maria. He started the construction work believing in the providence of God with little funds. The people contributed generously including the locals, parishioners and hostel boys and girls and created a matching fund. The local Christians mainly are Santhal Tribals who are small farmers depending solely on monsoon for cultivation with very little other means of income. Seeing the generosity of the people, the Bishop himself contributed a handsome sum to complete the Church building within a year. As the Church building was near completion, an unknown woman gifted a statue of ‘Mother Mary’; hence the Church is dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Way’.
“The greatest contribution Fr. Ambrose Maria made to the Church of Jamatara is to make a place of worship for the living and a place of rest for the dead”, said Bishop Marandi. Despite having a residing priest since 1983, there was no church for the increasing number of Christians to worship and to pray together. Initially, the SCN Convent corridor was used for Sunday liturgy. Sunday liturgy was held in one of the large classrooms where hostel boys sleep in the night.
The school children are very delighted to enter the Church to pray during break. When we enter the church we feel the divine presence and we believe that Mother Mary will continue to perform many more miracles in Jamtara.