At St. Francis Parish for the past several years during the Lenten season we have given our alms to help our brothers and sisters in Kottapuram. We give in solidarity with those less fortunate. Donate here! Also, Lenten Offering Coin Sacks are provided in your church bulletin Forum on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, before Lent begins.
Please return your Lenten Offering Coin Sacks and/or check contributions once public Masses resume. Checks are payable to: St. Francis of Assisi Parish (2150 Frieze Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104). with “India” on the memo line, or donate online at:
Below here, on this page, are the
Reports and Photos and past Lenten efforts!
2021 Lenten Theme: “For I will restore your health; I will heal your wounds, says the Lord.“ (Jeremiah 30:17)
ACTIVITY REPORT – KIDS [Kottapuram Integrated Development Society of the Diocese of Kottapuram] – has been the guiding light for the helpless and marginalized classes since its day of inception in 1987. Being the service division of Diocese of Kottapuram, we never hesitate to reach the unreached; especially, women, children, persons with disabilities, elderly and the ill and the suffering. Lot of programmes have been designed for the upliftemnt of these segments in a sustainable fashion, supporting them in their diverse domains of day to day life; helping them to make their lives more pleasant and meaningful on their own so as to live a life of dignity.
Projects Accomplished with support:
1.) Tamarind processing unit: The small tamarind processing section was expanded by providing more employment opportunities to women. Presently there are 100 women workers in the unit. They are earning a decent income.
2.) Cage fish culture: With your support we provided financial back up to new 10 families to start cage fish farming. Sea bass and king fishes are cultivated successfully. They earned a good income to support their house hold.
3.) Fish village: We successfully converted the 10.5 acres of fish cultivable space to cultivate tiger prawns area. There the 30 SC families started prawn farming which will help them in due period to fetch a good income for the family.
4.) Organic farming: To support organic farming as well as to eat toxin free vegetables 50 families were assisted to start vegetable garden cultivation.
5.) Mobile mammogram unit: Paravur Taluk is reportedly being the most cancer affected places in the entire State. Housewives and women never get a chance to opt proper diagnosis due to their hectic workload and end up in dangerous situations. We have launched and run a mobile mammogram unit to conduct field level services for the needy in a timely manner.
6.) Televisions for online education: The Covid 19 has affected the education system. Schools were closed as soon as the Covid outbreak was detected. So the Government and education department thought about starting online education through TV, other Medias and they ventured into it. This sudden shift into online education was not easy for the poor families who do not have either TV or smart phone at home. To support the poor children and family KIDS provided TV to them to continue their online education. 10 children provided TV Educational support.
Lenten Offering Drive for our sister community in Kottappuram, Kerala, India StFrancisA2.com/india
Return Offerings on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021. Checks should be made payable to: St. Francis of Assisi, 2150 Frieze Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Learn more, see photos and videos on Facebook.com/kidskottapuram/
Up-Date – July 9, 2020
Dear Fr. James & St. Francis Parishioners:
Thank you. We have received your generous Lenten donation check. Once again, on behalf of Bishop, I would like to thank you all for the wonderful gift you have given.
Now, we have started one project to support children who are not able to presume online courses (Government has started school online courses because of shut down of schools and colleges due to Covid 19) because of the lack of television facilities, a project called KIDS Kottapuram Television Challenge. Yesterday we were able to give 5 televisions for the needy children who have no one to help such as children of widows, cancer and dialysis patients etc. for the first phase and a lot of applications are pending. Hope, by God’s grace, we will be able to find donors. Now two agencies help us for the same. I am attaching photos of the same for your reference. (The photos are above here on this page.) Also, see our Facebook page here.
With regards, Fr. Paul Thomas, Executive Director, KOTTAPURAM INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (KIDS), Kottapuram, Thrissur (DIST), Kerala, India.
The total collected for Kottapuram, India, by St. Francis Lenten project
2020: Over $10,000 and the bags are still trickling in on 2020-07-09…
& 2019: nearly $10,000, in August 2019…
& 2018: $17,548.41, on 2018-07-02…
& 2017: $12,755.85, on 2017-06-09…
& 2016: $18,306.00 on 2016-04-24.
Dear Father James, (2018 September)
From Bishop Joseph Karikkassery and Fr. Paul Thomas:
See our NEW VEHICLE FOR THE DIFFERENTLY-ABLED.
From Bishop Joseph Karikkassery and Fr. Paul Thomas: Report received on 2018 March 11 – called Report 2017 Nov to Feb.’18
From Fr. Paul Thomas (Fr. Bosco Padamattummal): 2017 October , a Letter Report with Photos (Annual Reprot Final…). & 2016 November, a Letter Report with Photos (1 Final Annual Reprot)
From Bishop Joseph Karikkassery and Fr. Paul Thomas: 2017 November, 25, a Letter Report with Photos.
Diocese of Kottapuram, India, is
“…inspired by the footprints of the Holy Ones…”
(Isaiah 52:7) (Romans 10:15)
2017: Lenten Sack was to Help the Community in the Diocese of Kottapuram, India, which totaled $12,755.85, on 2017-06-09.
A PROPOSED NEW BUILDING PLAN – hope for the future…
2017 November, 25, a Letter Report with Photos.
Dear Fr. James and St. Francis Parishioners:
We want to build a working place conducive for the Differently abled working with us, as the number is increasing day by day. The Government is tightening the rules with various demands and we made an estimate for a building for 200 persons to work. We have been keeping your gift as a reserve for it. The estimate for the building crosses 2,50,00,000.00 rupees and we have given the proposal to some agencies and we are very hopeful that our dream will be fulfilled. One of the demands by the Government is a vehicle to commute the Differently abled as they are coming from faraway places and cannot travel by bus. So far we were paying a big amount every month for the auto to bring them to and fro. So we are in urgent need to buy a vehicle. We went through some models and realized the best one will be a van type vehicle and found the cost around Rs.5,60,000.00.
I take this opportunity to thank each and every parishioner of yours for their support, not only financial but the moral and attitudinal support. Please ask them to pray for the intention of our building construction for the Differently abled. With warm regards,
Fr. Paul Thomas, and,
Bishop Joseph Karikkassery
Additional News Reports
A Wicked Weed is Making Women Independent in a Kerala Village, by Anubha George – October 02, 2017. (Download the local file.)
2017 July 31, a letter & up-date with photos:
Fr. Paul Thomas, Executive Director and Bishop Joseph Karikkassery and Fr. Nixon Kattassery.
Dear Rev. Fr. James, With great joy and gratitude I send you the report of the activities that we conducted from January to June 2017, with the generous contribution of your parishioners sacrifice during the Lenten season. Their sacrifice has brightened the lives of many people whose prayers are always there for them.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mt 5:5)
Prayer of St. Mother Teresa:
Heavenly Father, you blessed St. Mother Teresa with gifts of love and compassion so she could spend her life in service for the poorest of the poor. May we imitate her examples of holiness by sharing our faith and reaching out to those in need.
O St. Mother Teresa, so compassionate were you toward the sick, the hungry and the unwanted. Your heroic virtues and the graceful faithfulness in which you lived as a servant of God are beautiful examples of your love and union with Him.
We rejoice in your beatification and we praise and thank our loving God for your life and generosity. Help us to follow the Gospel as faithfully and loving as you did. Amen
Lenten Almsgiving for the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Kottapuram, India.
Working with beloved Bishop Rev. Dr. Joseph Karrikkassery, the executive director, Father Doctor Nixon Kattassery, sends us his greetings stating, “[Of the five program areas listed here, those most in need of your special prayers and attention are] Workers, especially those physically and/or mentally challenged workers, because they are the most vulnerable group whom we are working with. It is our dream to have a special place for them, with special facilities like ramp, conducive toilets, and conducive seats for star-making. Now it is very hazardous way they coming to the centre and working as they have to bent too much to do the work. The building, a conducive place for them will really be an expansive project for us at this time, which may come around 50000 USD. Still your contribution will be very valid whatever it may be. Kindly pray during the first week for this intention, that this dream of ours will be fulfilled at the earliest.”
We pray for, and support, those in Kottapuram, India, who are:
• Workers, especially those physically and/or mentally challenged workers, that all may find productive employment and earn fair wages for their labor.
• Children: that all may find access to a quality education and be given the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves.
• Cancer patients and family support program: that all may be given the courage and resources they need to live with dignity.
• Family farmers and those who fish: that all may improve harvests to support families, while preserving natural resources.
• Elderly: that all may find access to healthcare and medical services.
As the Diocese of Kottapuram undertakes these and many more services, all offered to anyone in need, irrespective of creed or caste, the financial burden falls on the small Catholic community. Through this project our parish is supporting the small business loans for family-owned businesses in India.
The “Mother Theresa Star Making Unit” for the physically challenged is a wonderful way for us to work together as Church to welcome the light of “Our Star” Jesus Christ, into our heart and world.
Working with Bishop Joseph, the executive director, Father Doctor Nixon Kattassery, sends us his greetings stating, “Loving and respected Fr. James and to your good-hearted parishioners, I hope you will see in this update that your sacrifice is bearing fruit as it gives life to some very needy people. We can hope for a better future for the 46 poor, physically challenged persons in our program. What touched us most is their joy in being together and sharing their lives with one another, who are going through the same struggle as they go through. It is a great eye opener and lesson for us how they support one another to get down from the auto and when one is not feeling well how the others rush to help them etc.
We are also happy that we had good response from the parishes of our diocese and from other outside sources for the stars and that we could comply with the demands for the stars. Still happier we were for the fact that we were able to extract the hidden talents of these differently abled youngsters.
They have painted such wonderful stars which people hardly believed that it was hand-painted as it looked printed. 5000 were made in a period of 2 months and we were able to give the artisans a substantial amount as wages for the special Christmas celebrations.
This is hope for a better future. The money which you have contributed. We thank you and your parishioners for being so generous and kind. Being aware of the great sacrifices that were made by you and your parishioners to get this money, I have been very careful in utilizing it for the most essential needs of our target group.
Parents often have had to stay at home to look after these persons. A large percentage of the family income is spent for medicine or assistive devices like wheelchairs, crutches, beds etc. Now, our Mother Theresa Star Making Unit has helped to meet those needs.
One of our office assistants in the Diocesan Social Service Society has defective hands. She is very intelligent and a good orator. She gave a speech on how both of them who were considered a burden for the family, came out of the shell of fear and have become hope for their family. It was so interesting and enriching as many of the mothers shared their own experience and feeling they have towards their physically challenged children.
Promoting Entrepreneurial Approaches to Poverty
(Quoted from Cover page of St. Francis Forum 2016/02/14)
For the past 24 years the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Kottapuram, India, has been helping to get physically and/or mentally challenged workers involved in some sort of income generation work. So, a STAR-Making, Paper-bag making and Bookbinding Unit with training is established and growing for the physically challenged. Also, this unit includes flower making, jewelry making. The Church also has been assisting persons with disabilities: the physically and mentally challenged by providing several assistive devices like wheelchairs, crutches, beds etc. Parents often have to stay at home to look after these persons. A large percentage of the family income is spent for medicine or assistive devices.
The Kottapuram Integrated Development Society i s endeavoring for the total development of the people of all levels pronouncing their oneness with the nature and all the fellow beings in adherence with the principles of equity, empowerment, ecology and economy. And, it is formed in order to promote, conduct, facilitate and coordinate developmental and social welfare activities for the poor and needy, irrespective of caste, creed or community.
Each week we are learning about the great work done by the Diocese of Kottapuram, India, to assist families in time of need, to care for the elderly and the disabled, educate farm workers and help finance small cottage industries that help communities to grow and prosper. (Quoted from page 10 of St. Francis Forum 2016/02/14)
2017 January, 20, a letter & up-date with photos:
from Bishop Joseph Karikkassery and Fr. Nixon Kattassery, Executive Director.
Loving and respected Fr. James,
I hope, by now you have already received our Christmas and New Year wishes! Still I wish you and all your parishioners a very prosperous and blessed year during this New Year Season! Hope you had a wonderful celebration! …
Fr. Nixon Kattassery, Executive Director, KIDS
$18,306.00 on 2016-04-24, is the total collected for the Diocese of Kottapuram, India, by our Parish Lenten project.
On 2016-July-03 a letter was received. & A video also is attached regarding the children’s program. And, on 2016-09-04 we published summary of it on page 8, in St. Francis Forum bulletin.
Dear Rev. Fr. James,
With much joy I send you a short narration of all that we could accomplish with the money which you have contributed. We thank you and your parishioners for being so generous and kind. Being aware of the great sacrifices that were made by you your parishioners to get this money, I have been very careful in utilizing it for the most essential needs of our target group.
As promised I am writing to you and to your good-hearted parishioners, what we could accomplish with your support. The Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS) always gives importance to the promotion of developmental and social welfare activities for the needy, irrespective of caste, creed or community.
We will update the improvement of the project every month. I hope you will be able to share this with all the parishioners so that they will see their sacrifice is bearing fruit somewhere as it gives life to some very needy people.
Altogether, we had spent a total of Rs. 1,83,000/- during the past month. I am sending you a brief narration of what has been happening at our end. (India-Lenten-2016-June-monthly-report)
With warm and prayerful regards,
Fr. Nixon Kattassery,
On 02-04-2016 a Thank You Letter from Bishop Joseph Karikkassery.
On 2016-04-24 St. Francis Forum bulletin.
2016 Help a Family and a Community in India: Fr. Bosco’s home diocese (St. Francis Forum page 2016-02-07 )
Deepen your family’s Lenten experience and make a difference in the lives of the poor.
Our Lenten almsgiving support is for the people in the Diocese of Kottapuram, India. We recall fondly the years Fr. Bosco Padamattummal (2010-2013) served our St. Francis Parish, (and now he is pastor at St. Mary Parish in Manchester, Michigan). Our parish was blessed to get to know a bit about the people in India and their efforts. Their bishop’s organization there, is “working for the up-liftment of the poor and needy people in Kerala, India, the coastal areas of Ernakulam and Thrissur District. (PDF information and images) (A Letter 2016-02-04 from Bishop Joseph Karikkassery)
Thanks for participating in our Lenten Drive. Remember to pray for, and support, those challenged to care for their families, in Kottapuram, and Kerala, INDIA. Each week we will learn more about the programs for: children, cancer patients, elderly, physically and/or mentally challenged workers, family farms and fishing. As the Diocese of Kottapuram undertakes these and many more services, all offered to anyone in need, irrespective of creed or caste, the financial burden falls on the small Catholic community.
Past Lenten Efforts
2016: Sack was to Help a Family and a Community in India — Our Parish Lenten project for the Diocese of Kottapuram, India totaled $18,306.00, on 2016-04-24. — Help the Kottappuram, India, Diocese Mission, called, “KIDS” which is overseen by Bishop Joseph Karikkassery, Fr. Bosco’s Bishop (A Letter 2016-02-04). Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS), which is the official organ for Social Action of the Diocese, established in 1987 simultaneously with the formation of the Diocese of Kottapuram. (PDF information and images).
We invite your ideas. Please contact Scott Wright, Director of Parish Outreach Ministry, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-821-2121.