Foundation Stone Blessed and Laid for new Church in Shantinagar
Shantinagar in Gonda District is one of the oldest Missions of the Diocese of Lucknow, having been founded in 1950, by the Italian Capuchin Missionaries, dedicated to St. Frances Cabrini. A tiny Village, today it boasts of a High School with over 850 children and a Hospital with over 50 beds and Acupuncture as the Hospitalís singular fame. People from all around, even as far as from Nepal come to this Village Hospital to get healing from various pains and illnesses. As initially there were very few Christians, the Divine Services were held in the Convent Chapel. Later on an unused shed was converted into a place of worship. However a need was felt for a proper Church Building, albeit small, to conduct the Sunday Services and other Major Feasts. This dream was fulfilled on 26th April 2018 when Bishop Gerald Mathias of Lucknow blessed and laid the Foundation Stone of the new Church building. The Bishop spoke to the tiny community, Sisters and a few Catholics, on the need and construction of a new Church in Shantinagar. Others present were Vicar General Fr. Ronald DíSouza, Chancellor Fr. Donald De Souza, local Parish Priest Fr. Lalit Bara, Principal of St. Josephís School in the nearby Tehsil Town of Colonelganj Fr. George Rodrigues, friends, well wishers and a few Catholic children. A Time Capsule was buried in the Foundation Stone as is the custom in the diocese. All those present were served with snacks on this happy and joyful occasion by the Parish Priest and Principal of the local St. Frances Cabrini School Fr. Lalit Bara, who had assiduously planned and prepared the entire ceremony.