The Prayer for the Martyrs was officially distributed in all the dioceses of Odisha.
The archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar has launched a prayer to speed up the cause of canonization of Catholics killed during the anti-Christian violence in Odish’s Kandhamal district 10 years ago.
A seven-member team from the Archdiocese prepared the prayer in English and Odiya, the state language, in consultation with Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and other Bishops of Odisha.
“It has been ten years since the biggest anti-Christian violence in modern India in 300 years. It is our responsibility to speed up the process,” the team members said in a meeting held on Jan. 11 in Divya Jyoti Pastoral Centre, Kandhamal.
The Kandhamal anti-Christian violence of 2007-2008 lasted for about four months and left nearly 100 Christians killed and 300 churches and 6,000 houses plundered rendering 56,000 homeless.
To pursue the cause of those who died for the sake of faith, Archbishop Barwa had set up a team on April 24, 2016, with Vicar General Fr. Pradosh Chandra Nayak as convener. Other members of the team include Fr. Ajay Singh, Fr. Jugal Kishor Digal, Fr. Rabindra Kumar Ranasingh, Fr. Madan Sualsingh and Fr. Dibakar Parichha.
Further to speed up the process, the Archbishop on Dec 3 assigned Fr. Purushottam Nayak, Secretary to Archbishop and Deputy Secretary to Odisha Catholic Bishops’ Council, the task to prepare dossier for Kandhamal Martyrs’ Process.
“The victims of anti-Christian persecution of Kandhamal for the sake of faith in Christ manifest the supreme witness to the truth of the faith. It means bearing witness even unto death for Christ who died and rose,” said Fr. Joseph Kalathil, former Vicar General of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
The Prayer for the Martyrs was officially distributed in Kandhamal, in the Archdiocese and all dioceses of Odisha.
“Praying for the martyrs’ cause in every nook and corner of the diocese and Odisha definitely will increase our faith in Christ and respect and honour to the victims. Their shining examples will inspire us to do the mission of Christ with dedication and commitment,” added Fr. Kalathil.
The team visited and prayed before the Memorial of 7 martyrs in Tiangia village. They also expressed solidarity with the witnesses and survivors of the persecution. Some write-ups on Kandhamal violence were collected for documentation purpose. The team is enthusiastic to speed up the cause of the martyrs.
“It will be a great honour and glory for Kandhamal Church, Church in Odisha and Church in India,” the members expressed.