By Purushottam Nayak
Mayurbhanj, Sept 2, 2022: The Catholic Church in Odisha has observed the 23rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Father Arul Doss.
Father Doss, a priest of Balasore diocese, was killed by Hindu radicals on September 2, 1999, in a remote village parish in Mayurbhanj district of the eastern Indian state.
More than 3.000 people, along with 30 priests and some 50 nuns and brothers, from Balasore and neighboring dioceses paid homage to the martyr at Jambani village that comes under Bagdapha parish.
Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, head of the Odisha Church, in his homily said the large gathering proved the famous saying of Tertullian, “The blood of the Martyr is the seed of the Church.”
The Divine Word prelate also reminded the faithful the Jesus was victorious against the evil one. “We as His followers also will be able to overcome all evils by remaining steadfast to our Lord. We will never be defeated as long as we are with and in the Lord. Let’s therefore continue to practice and express our faith boldly, freely and share our faith with others so that one day they also will know Christ the redeemer. “
Father Jadu Marandi, former vicar general of Balasore and the current parish priest hailed Father Doss as a champion of the poor, needy and underprivileged Ho people. “Father Arul Doss has become a medium of God’s abundance blessings for the people of Odisha,” he added.
Father Mohandas Digal, secretary to the archbishop who was present for the occasion, said the assassination of Father Doss in the beginning created threat to life for many Christians but slowly and gradually the martyr began attracting thousands to witness their faith in Christ.
“Although Father Doss is killed brutally he is loved and dearly remembered by many of us,” he asserted.
The memorial programs also included recitation of rosary procession, benediction and healing prayers.
Father Francis Singh, a Jambani native, said the small village has become a pilgrimage center not only for diocese of Balasore but for entire Odisha.
“Hundreds of faithful gather at Jambani to honor, to respect and to pay homage to Father Arul Doss. As a tribute they light the candles and burn incense to their adored and dearest priest,” the priest told Mattes India.
Turi Mundri, a Ho tribe catechist of the parish, recalled Father Doss as a loving, kind and generous person. “He is an inspiration for Ho tribe people. His death has increased our faith in God,” he added.
The Bagdapha parishioners joined their counterparts from Lavanyadeipur and Anandpur parishes to share a community meal. Bagdapha parish is 60 km from mother Parish Lavanyadeipur and 40 km from Anandpur pairsh. The parish is some 110 km from the diocesan headquarters.
source : https://mattersindia.com/2022/09/odisha-church-commemorates-father-arul-doss-martyrdom/
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