MUMBAI, India – Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak of Berhampur inaugurated the “Anugraha Peetho” – Center of Grace – on Dec. 27, the Feast of the Holy Family.
In his address, Nayak thanked Go for fulfilling a “long-awaited dream” of the Catholic Church in the state of Odisha.
“Anugraha Peetho is a place to receive grace and to thank the Lord for the grace received. It is not merely a retreat center, rather a center for social, economic and political conscientization,” he said.
Speaking to Crux, Nayak said that after the 2009-2010 Year of Priests, the regional bishops’ conference for Odisha declared a Year of Laity.
“We had a lot of programs for the laity, and through various programs, the laity was awakened. At our Berhampur diocesan level, our laity suggested that this laity year should not be forgotten, but we should build a concrete memorial to mark our year of the laity,” he said.
“They suggested a center for the Laity where training programs can be held, and secondly, to publish a bi-monthly diocesan newsletter in the Oriya language. The newsletter is called Anugraha [grace] through which people come to know the Word of God,” the bishop said.
“From the outset, I stressed that since it was going to be a Laity Center, the initiatives must come from the laity, so the land was purchased and other developments were done, through the contributions of the laity,” he added.
This Lay Center also seeks to promote ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and discussions for unity and fraternity among all peoples.
It would help build relationship with the representatives of local government and network for the advancement of social, economic and political rights and entitlements for the people.
“In 2024, we will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Behramphur diocese, so we have prepared a 5-year plan,” the bishop continued.
2020 was declared the Year of Family; 2021 is the Year of Youth, 2022 is the Year of Environment; 2023 is the Year of Bible, Word of God and Sacraments; and finally 2024, will be the Year of Mission.