The Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Trivandrum has a catholic population of nearly 250,000 people, is one of the largest dioceses in Kerala in India. Over 90 percent of the faithful in this diocese are from the fishermen community. This community is impoverished and is classified by the Government as one of the backward classes. In social stratification, the fishing community has the lowest rank in the caste system of India.
As Covid-19 has affected the entire world, so it also has affected our diocese, but in a more frightening way because it is so densely populated. Though the state of Kerala did well in the beginning to contain its massive spread, we have started losing our ground to the virus. Thousands of our brothers and sisters who have no fixed income, are starving. The main task is to educate the public on the importance of being cautious during this pandemic and not to become affected but to be vigilant and prepared. In this situation the Diocese along with the Trivandrum Social Service Society (Catholic Charites) in collaboration with the 9 regions of the archdiocese and parishes started voluntary activities to educate, prevent the spread and to protect the people. The Catholic Charites with the support of hundreds of well-wishers is working overtime to fight this virus. During this pandemic all the parishioners were provided with food kits, medicine, masks, and hand sanitizers. The volunteers of each parish are working diligently to convince the people that they are not alone.
Some of the major activities are providing hand washing stations, masks, food kits, and financial aid to vulnerable families. Each parish has task groups to distribute pamphlets, and one on one information. Our health clubs are very active distributing vitamin tablets. We also paid keen attention to migrants who arrive Kerala from other states and countries by providing quarantine centers. By educating the children and the members of the youth group, the parishes are distributing much needed information about Covid-19.
The spiritual needs of the people are addressed effectively following the government protocol. We have virtual masses, as well as faith formation classes. The diocese and it’s various departments are doing all they can to help the local people through this pandemic.
Archdiocese of Trivandrum, Kerala was assigned to Our Lady of Grace Church, El Cajon in 2018. It is assigned to Holy Trinity Church, El Cajon for Missionary Cooperation Plan 2021.
Information provided by Fr. Lenin Raj, Archdiocese of Trivandrum