In Northeast India the Catholic Church is still – relatively – young. In 2016 it celebrated 120 years of ministry here. However, in many parts of this region Catholic missionaries were only able to enter the region during the second half of the 20th century. This is an isolated and underdeveloped region, marked by political unrest and conflicts, by deep poverty and many other problems. But the Church here is very much alive and vital, and by now there are almost 2 million Catholics in the region, while the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life is growing.
The Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod have been working in Northeast India for 37 years now, and recently they established a new regional province for the congregation in the city of Guwahati, in the state of Assam. The congregation has 18 convents in the region, with 96 professed sisters. They care in particular for physically and mentally handicapped children and for sick people generally. They also help young girls from poor family backgrounds who are unable to continue their school education, teaching them useful practical skills such as needlework, sewing and darning, including handmade decorations, so they can later support themselves financially. They also help families and women, giving encouragement and counselling and striving to convey the love of God for all by their lives. Precisely because the Church in this region is still so relatively young, there is a great deal still to be done to help the faith become deeply rooted in people‘s hearts and souls.
At present there are 28 religious sisters still in formation. Like most of the Catholics in this region, they too come from poor families and from the ethnic minorities. The congregation needs financial help in order to be able to provide them with a solid spiritual and vocational formation. Some of them will even pursue university studies, to help them better confront the many challenges they face. ACN is proposing a contribution of 16,800 Euros.