During the Lenten season we pray, fast, and give alms. Donate here! The Lenten Season is a time of sacrifice almsgiving and prayer, in preparation for our renewal. (Read more about the events during Lent at St. Francis.)
Our St. Francis Parish 2023 Lenten Theme is, “Show us your mercy, free us from darkness.“
Dear St. Francis: 2022-February-11
Greetings from KIDS Kottapuram.
I am grateful to you all for the continuous support and care you are doing for the Kottapuram Diocese through our “KIDS” program for community development and support services.
I hope that in Ann Arbor everything goes well even amidst the pandemic. Here Covid-19 prevention practices intrude into the tough situations of the people here and now we are learning to live with this Covid. Slowly we are regaining the Spirit.
The Lenten collections each year from St. Francis, Ann Arbor, have been unbelievable! Only,because of your support, thanks to you, lots of women are able to earn a wage, through sustainable working projects that we initiated. Now they are the breadwinners for their family since their husbands do not have a regular job. Your support helped children to aspire their dreams for education and even in health related activities, we were able to engage through Mammogram mobile unit implementation.
Agriculture was another area of intervention which secured organic practices for certain families and at the same time it was also an earning model for other families. Fishers also had a good enriching experience of earning out of the support, and next time, they would extend their support to others.
Enjoy the project report here and also the projected activities for next year. I would like to convey the best regards from our Bishop, His Excellency Bp Joseph Karikkassery. He is still waiting for his successor.
With regards, Fr. Paul Thomas, Executive Director, Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS), Kottapuram, Thrissur (DIST), Kerala, India. – Facebook.com/kidskottapuram
From: BISHOP JOSEPH KARIKKASSERY, BISHOP OF KOTTAPURAM, DIOCESE OF KOTTAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA.
Dear [St. Francis Parish,] Fr. James and Scott,
Cordial greetings to you from Kottapuram Integrated Development Society, Diocese of Kottapuram, Kerala, India
I would like to thank you for the continuous support you and your parishioners are giving through Lenten Campaign and lot of our people are benefiting through this project.
We are pleased to submit a project proposal to help in poor livelihood families. In our diocese of Kottapuram it is difficult to sustain rural family with the meagre income that they get from their daily work. So livelihood in rural areas in our idiocese has an enormous intensity of unspoken and untold stories of struggles. Every day is a battle to survive and earn to feed the family. The option of livelihood from agriculture or alternative mode of income in away will slowly diminish the problem. And also make opportunities to sustain their livelihood. So we are happy to introduce project proposal as in different diametric such
- ORGANIC AGRICULTURE FARMING USING LIMITED SPACE,
- MACHINERY FOR NATURAL DYES FOR SCREW PINE AND WATER HYACINTH,
- HOUSE REFURBISHMENT
- RENOVATION OF BUILDING FOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION TO YOUTH
This project is intended to help all needy people to come back to their livelihood with sufficient income from their rural areas itself.
Enclosed [below here] you will find the detailed project proposed in this effect for your consideration and favourable disposal.
Thanking you, Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery, Bishop of Kottapuram
PROJECT PROPOSAL 2022-February-11
- ORGANIC AGRICULTURE FARMING USING LIMITED SPACE
Proposal: To start organic agriculture farming for 200 families.
Project Concept: Organic Agriculture is one of the major projects that KIDS facilitate. Cancer has become one of the leading causes of death here in the area and the major reason behind the same is food habits. People are using pesticide and chemical contaminated vegetables and non-veg. As an initiative to reduce the prevalence of cancer, other than Mammogram Unit, KIDS also facilitate Organic agriculture farming with new technology where more farming can be done using limited space.
20-25 seedlings are planted in a place instead of one plant. Instead of soil, we use compost called Verve. As the area is coastal and because of the salty content of the soil, farming is difficult. Therefore, we think of compost rather than soil.
Seedlings are then placed in a mesh covered with green net, dripping pipes are installed for all seedlings while the plants are inserted in a particular angle.
Rice beer (thickened fermented rice water) is then prepared and added on alternative days. Tea dust is also best option to treat the seedlings in the initial days. For this, one tea spoon of tea power is mixed in one litre of water and diluted into four litres. After that, the dust is sprayed on the compost.
Soaked onion peel is also used to avoid insect attacks. Once the seeds start flowering, banana peels are Soaked for five days and diluted in five litres of water, to prevent withering. Ornamental plants can also be grown using same technology.
Project Cost: 4 feet compost set with seedlings, compost and net Rs. 1900/single set.
- MACHINERY FOR NATURAL DYES FOR SCREW PINE AND WATER HYACINTH
KIDS’ natural fibre Craft is on up gradation which gives employment to 225 rural poor women and 30 differently abled. Various Skill up gradation trainings have been given to them for; up skilling the craft and for Project Cost
4 feet compost set with feel seedlings and compost and net Rs. 1900
Machinery for Natural Dyes for Screw pine and water Hyacinth
KIDS’ natural fibre Craft is on up gradation which gives employment to 225 rural poor women and 30 differently abled. Various Skill up gradation. Trainings have been given to them for up skilling the craft and for best marketing.
We use normally basic dyes to colour the fibre which is approved in India and the water used for dying is recycled in effluent Treatment plant. But, for export to foreign countries, they prefer Light fast dyes other than basic dyes, which is not at all merging with Screw pine and water hyacinth. So, we thought of introducing natural dyes which is little bit costly, but at the same time, preserves the naturality of fibre and also valued all over the world which will increase the market and thereby increase the number and Salary of artisans.
We are researching with different natural dyes and many of them became successful. For making natural dyes cost effectively, we need to implement machinery which can in a way benefit 255 artisans and later on can add the number of beneficiaries. The cost of the machinery will be coming around 3 lakhs.
- HOUSE REFURBISHMENT
Another major area that we have to give utmost care is the refurbishment of houses. After effects of flood of 2018 is still been seen in the houses as crackers and snatches and many other people are not able to complete the construction of houses with a minor fund support they have got from the government. Amidst huge number of request, KIDS aims to refurbish or complete the construction of 20 houses which comes around Rs. 25000/- per home.
- RENOVATION OF BUILDING FOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION TO YOUTH
KIDS always engage in skill development and education programs. Lot of Skill development is being going on for the artisans under Samarth Project of Central Government along with Handicrafts Department where artisans will get Rs 300/- each per day for two months with NSDC certificate and during the Covid times, it became a great help for many artisans. Another activity of KIDS is to give training for the youth under DDUGKY Programme of ministry of Rural Development along with stipend and after three months of training, they will be placed by KIDS itself.
We are happy to inform you that KIDS is awarded with the Self Financing College under the University of Calicut in Kerala and now we can regularly educate the youth in the relevant subjects and can place them.
KIDS area is mainly coastal covered with 23 contagious islands and the main occupation is either fishing or construction work. Now, we have taken the subject for the first year of educational training as Aqua culture and Fishery microbiology. Our aim is to train our youth in advanced fishery department and there they can be placed in Government departments and other reputed Aqua culture farms or they themselves can start advanced fish farming which will surely become a substitute of following the traditional fish farming. Many more relevant subject would be initiated by KIDS for the betterment of the youth taking into consideration of relevant job opportunities. Therefore, an assistance is also requested to renovate the existing temporary building and later on, we have to construct new building.
College name would be Stella Maris Institute of Management and Technology.
2021-January-29 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 upliftment 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. 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/
Let us pray: Heavenly Father you love all of your children. You are compassionate toward the sick, the hungry and the unwanted. Strengthen us so that we might spend our life in service for the poorest of the poor. Help us imitate your saints by sharing our faith and reaching out to those in need. Amen
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.
We invite you to participate in our parish
Lenten Almsgiving Drive for INDIA!
Each week through bulletin articles we will learn 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. Learn, pray and collect your monetary offerings from savings by preparing simpler meals or making other sacrifices for those living in harsh poverty conditions. 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 cash and/or check contributions on Palm Sunday in the collection basket. Checks are payable to: St. Francis of Assisi Parish (2150 Frieze Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104). with “India” on the memo line. Thank You for your contributions toward this effort. Learn more and donate here at:
(Isaiah 52:7) (Romans 10:15)
Lenten Almsgiving for the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Kottapuram, India.
Working with beloved Bishop Rev. Dr. Joseph Karrikkassery, 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… Promoting Entrepreneurial Approaches to Poverty.
Help a Family and a Community in India: Fr. Bosco’s home is 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. Father Bosco’s home state and part of his hometown are in this video… (by Allison Anderson) My Trip to India Exploring Kerala.
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. AmenHeavenly Father you love all of your children. You are compassionate toward the sick, the hungry and the unwanted. Strengthen us so that we might spend our life in service for the poorest of the poor. Help us imitate your saints by sharing our faith and reaching out to those in need. Amen
We invite your ideas. Please contact Scott Wright, Director of Parish Outreach Ministry, at email@example.com or 734-821-2121.