Mission Appeal to be held Aug. 13-14

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ, Prayerful greetings from Bishop Gali Bali, the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Cuddapah in India.

I am trying to reach out to you requesting to show your Christian solidarity to our diocese through this mission appeal. I thank your Bishop for granting permission to appeal to you and the Director of Propagation of Faith, mission society for assigning this parish for the mission appeal.

The mission diocese of Cuddapah, was erected as a diocese in 1977, consists of two civil districts, namely Cuddapah and Chittoor districts in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The Catholic population is 85,000 with the total population of 8 million as reported in 2011 census. There are 68 parishes and 125 priests belonging to this diocese. We are glad that we are able to lend 25 priests to work in foreign countries like US and Germany and 10 priests are retired.

Each parish is comprised of 5 to 15 mission stations. 80% of Catholics belong to scheduled castes (socially and economically poor) people, and they are agricultural laborers. The main thrust of the diocese is evangelization and education.

In our commitment to faith formation of our Catholics, the diocesan pastoral center conducts summer camps for children, prepares the youth for reception of sacraments, imparts knowledge to adolescences on marriage and family, conducts seminars to village elders to foster their leadership and to the village catechists, conducts Bible classes to deepen their knowledge in the Bible.

In order to give value education and faith formation to our children they are provided boarding and lodging to attend the school. This facility to the catholic children is required as they are the first generation coming to education, otherwise they are taken as agriculture laborers by their parents. Many of our young priests in the diocese are the direct beneficiaries from these boarding homes and the vocation is nurtured in these facilities.

In addition to the ministries of evangelization and education, the diocese incurs expenses such as monthly allowances to priests and catechists (some 450), medical bills for priests, and utility bills

for some parishes as well as charity to the needy. The monthly budget for these things is $20,000 dollars. We try to reach this budget through monthly tithing of the priests who work abroad, mission appeals, and some donations.

I earnestly appeal to you for your generosity at this time of great need and challenges with Covid-19. The year 2020 – 2021 had been very rough due to Covid-19. Several priests of the diocese have been affected by the Corona Virus and unfortunately some of them passed away while others have recovered. The medical bills from the hospitals have been too heavy since some priests had prolonged stay until death in the hospitals. As a result, the diocese had to spend about $ 125,000 US dollars to pay their bills. We do not have a system of health insurance for priests. We are faced with many such challenges. Your help in this time of need will be greatly appreciated.

I assure you of my prayers and blessings to you and I request you to be generous in supporting through this appeal. With warmest greetings and prayers.

+Bishop Gali Bali.

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