The road less travelled
Father Sebastian couldn’t reach his parishioners in remote villages, until the Pastoral Mission Fund provided a solution.
Father Sebastian Simon is the pastor of Sacred Heart Church at Thiruvarangam in the Diocese of Sivagangai, India. The parish includes “substations” in five far flung villages, each of which are 5 to 15 kilometres away in the mountainous countryside.
The pastor needs to minister regularly at the schools, medical centres, convents and homes of parishioners, but travelling to these villages is unsafe in regular vehicles. His diocese asked for help from the Pastoral Mission Fund, a ShareLife-funded agency.
He can now celebrate Mass in the villages weekly
The Pastoral Mission Fund provided funds for Father Sebastian to buy a motorcycle, which is enabling him to visit the substations safely and quickly. He can now celebrate Mass and other sacraments weekly in these villages. In addition, his new means of transportation allows him to engage in other aspects of the community, like meeting with government offices to address problems with the water supply and conflicts with neighbouring Hindu communities.
“I am very grateful to the Pastoral Mission Fund,” says Father Sebastian, “as the timely support has made it possible for me to travel around regularly and safely, and this has encouraged me to perform my pastoral ministry with full spirit and enthusiasm.”