The SCN Family is asking for prayers following an attack at the Mokama, India campus where SCNs live and minister.
The victim, Father Michael Ignatius, is recovering following surgery. He was attacked on June 28 in the Rectory which is located on the same campus where the SCNs first began their ministries more than six decades ago. Ministries on campus include a hospital, hostels, and a nursing school.
According to Father Michael, three men in masks burst into the room where he was watching television and began firing shots. Several shots were fired, fracturing both of his hands. Father Michael was alone and it is believed the door to the parish house may have been left unlocked. Father Michael was taken to Nazareth Hospital in Mokama and transferred to Kurji Holy Family in Patna, India. He underwent surgery so doctors could further explore and clean the wounds to investigate for internal injury. According to the attending surgeon, the eight incoming and outgoing bullet holes are not life threatening.
Father Michael says that it is a mystery for him why these attackers came for his life. “I have no enmity with any of the Catholics of the parish,” says Father Michael. He also says it is something like a nightmare when he thinks of how he faced the last bullet which they aimed straight to his head from a close angle. He had just a fraction of a second to react quickly to block the way of the incoming bullet with a chair. Father Michael says he will go back to Mokama if asked to do so. Father Alex Vedamackiam has left Mokama and is staying in another city until the Archbishop returns later in July.
The school and the hostel for the boys and girls have closed for the week. The parish house also remains closed. There is an uneasy silence all around says Father Gladis. Sisters in Mokama are safe but concerned. They have played a key role in helping to care for Father Michael. The hospital employees and nurses are also shaken.
The attack is under investigation.
More in the Union of Catholic Asian News: Masked Men Shoot and Injure Priest in Bihar