When the community of Siimai Rakhutao, in the Diocese of Imphal, India, needed a church to practice their Catholic faith, they got help from 8,000 miles away — from the Knights of Columbus Council 7020 in Brigantine.
Last December, the village’s Holy Family Parish was dedicated in India, thanks to funds collected by the Knights’ Council, from Saint Thomas Parish here in the Diocese of Camden.
Generous faithful from South Jersey donated money that was then used for needed materials, and with the help of an engineer, local villagers helped build the church.
The construction of the sacred space was a community effort among the impoverished villagers, said James Robbins, Grand Knight of Council 7020.
“When they weren’t planting and working the fields to raise crops for food, they worked on the church,” he said. “They and Archbishop Dominic Lumon are very grateful to the Knights of Columbus, and the parishioners of Saint Thomas Church. The church was desperately needed, to keep the Catholic faith strong.”