How Wirges’ donations have been helping in India for 25 years

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by Hans-Peter-Metternich

For a quarter of a century, the parish of St. Boniface Wirges has been supporting the work of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, who have been active in two Provinces in India since 1970. The help of the Wirges parish focuses on the South Indian Province in Bangalore. Over the 25 years of the partnership, 565,000 Euros in donations have been made from Wirges to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC). Pastor Winfried Karbach and Pastor Ralf Plogmann, together with Thomas Müller and Udo Naglo, visited India in January and February to mark the 25th anniversary of the partnership and saw for themselves that every donation arrives and is used directly for people in need. “The Sisters work in the spirit of St. Katharina Kasper, the Saint of our diocese and our parish. As a parish, we should therefore continue to give the Dernbach Sisters every possible support in their service to people in need.” was the request of the priests at an information evening in the Bonifatius House. There they introduced many visitors to the work of the Sisters and the projects they support. An informative illustrated presentation by Thomas Müller gave impressions of the trip, reflecting everyday life in India and its development. Especially where the help from Wirges has made an enormous difference.

But how did it all begin?

The two priests explain:

“In 1998, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of St. Katharina Kasper, a joint celebration was held in Dernbach by the PHJC and the former pastoral area of Wirges. The celebration was also intended to promote a social project of the Dernbach Sisters. Sister Christeta Hess, the provincial superior at the time, suggested supporting the construction of a new social center in Kenichira in Kerala, a house for elderly, destitute and single women. Initially, the construction of the house was supported with donations from the parish and later the annual maintenance of the house was co-financed with around 13,500 euros. Over the years, the purchase of a new jeep for patient transportation, trips to the doctor and shopping trips as well as the construction of a new well have also been financed. The Maria Sadan Social Center in Kenichira also has a small farm, which is run by two employees. This helps the families of the employees to make a living.

The PHJC receive help from the parish of Wirges in many other areas and regions in India. With their facilities and their work in the villages, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ support and encourage people in often difficult life situations. They give many people new and sustainable prospects in life, often by helping them to help themselves.”

How the current donation of 19,500 Euro is composed

The partnership between the parish of Wirges and the Province of the Dernbach Sisters and the willingness of citizens to donate has brought in more than half a million euros in 25 years. The donors know what the sisters do, including helping people to help themselves. At the information evening, the Indian sisters Pragasha Mary and Sabitha received a symbolic cheque for 19,500 euros. The donation sum is made up as follows:

  • 13,500 euros to co-finance for the annual maintenance of Maria Sadan in Kenichera
  • 2200 euros from Gabi Psutka for the paving of the outdoor area of the school in Sebastiarpuram; her donation was partly the result of donations and gifts for her 70th birthday
  • 1000 euros to finance a bridge school Ashalaya/Vidyanagar
  • 2800 euros for emergency measures and individual aid in Sebastiarpuram and Vidyanagar.

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