Archbishop of Ranchi celebrates his 74th birthday : Ranchi archdiocese gifts 21 cycle rickshaws to needy rickshaw pullers

Insight Online News

Sunday November 21, 2021 was filled with a flurry of activities in the Ranchi Archdiocese. On the feast of Christ the King, Archbishop Felix Toppo SJ began his birthday celebration with an Eucharistic celebration in the St. Mary’s Cathedral. In his homily he emphasised that Christ is our King and that we belong to him. But most importantly we must let him reign in our hearts. After the Mass the Blessed Sacrament was taken in procession within the Cathedral compound avoiding roadside processions as per the Covid protocol regulations.

Meanwhile Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas SFX blessed and inaugurated a small village chapel in the remote village of Jamtoli in Dighia Parish about 60 Kms from Ranchi. In his homily during the Mass in which the Parish Priest of Dighia Fr. Vincent Minj and Fr. Ashit Toppo concelebrated, the Bishop praised the people who had built the village church with their own hands and had placed their energies and the little resources they have at the service of the community to build this Church.

However the highlight of the day was the presence of 21 rickshaw pullers at Archbishop House, among the number of friends, religious and others who had come to greet the Archbishop. These 21 rickshaw pullers were daily labourers who hire rickshaws, pull them the whole day around and then try and earn a living for themselves and their families. When a rickshaw puller came to Bishop House some weeks ago and explained his story and how difficult it had been for him in the Covid period as he was not able to pay the money of the hire, a brilliant idea struck the Bishops of Ranchi.

Through the help of Mother Teresa Sisters, they identified 12 Rickshaw pullers who did not own a rickshaw and decided to gift them a rickshaw all their own for which they would not have to pay for on a daily or monthly basis. These Rickshaws were a gift from a Swiss Friend of the Archdiocese Mr. Mario Tumelero. When a good Doctor in Ranchi, Dr. heard about this initiative, he offered another five rickshaws.

Two relatives of Archbishop Felix joined the effort by gifting another two rickshaws. Mr. Edwyn D’Souza from Goa came forward with still another Rickshaw. In the end 21 Rickshaw pullers went happy on 21st November with a rickshaw they can call their own. At the Ceremony of distribution Bishop Theodore explained that these rickshaws were the gift of generous people and they were being given to the needy without looking at cate or religion. He requested the rickshaw pullers to pray for the benefactors. Archbishop Felix cut a cake with the rickshaw pullers and prayed for them and their families. The rickshaw pullers most of them very emotional, some of them with tears in their eyes thanked the Archbishop for the generosity shown to them.

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