Church Adopts Indian Village

by Copyright 2004 NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. | Dec 29, 2004
Church Adopts Indian Village A Catholic church in South Jersey has decided to adopt an Indian fishing village where hundreds have been killed in the deadly tsunamis.

The Rev. John Kennedy, a visiting priest at the Church of the Resurrection, is from the village of Colachel on the southern tip of India. The region was hit hard by the natural disaster.

Now, Kennedy's New Jersey parish is coming together in a swell of support for his hometown.

As he read e-mails from friends and family in India, Kennedy felt despair from the painful pictures of overturned cars and homes ripped apart.

"Thousands were dead in our area ... We are left homeless ...," Kennedy read aloud from his e-mail.

Kennedy's uncle was killed, his father is in the hospital and dozens of his friends are missing or dead.

"I lost my beloved ones, my friends, my faith community -- it's heartbreaking," Kennedy said.

The loss is also heartbreaking to Kennedy's church community. So the Catholic parish decided to adopt Colachel, where Kennedy ministered in the past.

"We just are devastated by his loss and the loss of all the other southeastern Asian communities. Whatever we can do, we're willing to do," said Barbara Muller, a parishioner at the Church of the Resurrection.

"We feel that we need to do something. We are a very fortunate country and they are very poor people," said the Rev. Mark Cavagnaro, Church of the Resurrection.

The parish plans to hold a fund-raiser in the next couple weeks.

"It was the will of God, the plan of God, that I'm here, that I can do better to help them be here to mobilize some people and get the help to build up their lives," Kennedy said.

The parish hopes that Catholic churches all across South Jersey will help with their fund-raising efforts.

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Author: Copyright 2004 by NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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