KOHALPUR (NEPAL): A DREAM REALISED AND SHATTERED
Six years have passed since a young enthusiastic priest of the diocese of Nepal was entrusted with a catholic mission at Kohalpur, in the Far West of Nepal, where there was no Christian presence. Fr Jomon Mekunnel accepted the challenge with heroic faith and he started living in a small room given by the Caritas, Nepal. After some months he met three baptised Catholics who for years did not have access to Sacraments. That motivated him to go ahead with his dream of building up a catholic community in this area.
On request of the bishop of Nepal, in 2013 two of our sisters agreed to collaborate with Fr Jomon in making this dream a reality. Through a small school, he managed to get close to the people, especially the humble folk, more open to search God. In 2015, realizing that it was a fertile land for the seed of the Gospel, we opened a community «Ashadhara» in Kohalpur. The growth of the school and of the Christian community was more than encouraging. Therefore, Fr Jomon felt the need to build a spacious church, which was inaugurated on 22 April by the bishop of the place. But this joy lasted only two weeks. On the night of 5 May some miscreants broke into the church and burnt all that was in it and destroyed the windows, the fans and the lights. The two families of workers, who live next to the church and are its custodians, saw the flames and immediately took steps to extinguish the fire by throwing water with pumps. What remains are the four walls, blackened by the fire and the smoke. Thus St Joseph’s church in Kohalpur was a dream realized and dream shattered at the same time. The event has truly saddened us, as we had contributed to its building even with manual labour. But surely, this has not discouraged us: we are hopeful that, the more the evil power raises its head, the stronger will our faith grow.