KOZHIKODE: First prize: Rs 1 lakh and a four-day Singapore trip. Don’t take it as the tag line of a travel company’s promotion. But it is the top prize a parish and its priest can get for delivering best services to the parishioners.
Arguably a first in the history of the Catholic Church in the country, a competition will be conducted among the parishes under the diocese of Thamarassery, Kozhikode, Batheri, Mananthavady, Thalasseri and Mandya in Karnataka to select the best parish. The best parish will bag Rs 1 lakh while its priest will be given a four-day trip to Singapore.
The competition will be jointly organised by Bengaluru St Thomas Forane Church, St Thomas Church, Amalapuri and Chavara Cultural Centre in memory of Fr Job Myladiyil for 615 parishes and the winner will be announced in January 2017. A jury comprising social workers and media persons will be formed to select the winner. The parishes need to register for the competition and the jury will evaluate the laity programmes, charity schemes and social welfare projects of each parish during the period between January 2016 and December 2016.
Each parish will be asked to submit their detailed work report, photographs and other evidence to support their claims.
“The jury will verify the claims and the performance will be evaluated on a percentage basis taking into consideration the difference in number of communities in each parish. Ten finalists will be selected from the entries in the first phase and the final winner will be selected based on jury’s detailed field visit to evaluate their performance by collecting inputs from the people,” said Fr George Punjayyil, vicar of St Thomas Church, Amalapuri.
“A lot of priests are taking up various social welfare projects in their respective parishes, but they are not properly appreciated. By organising this competition, we hope to motivate the priests to deliver their best for the community,” he said. Fr Punjayyil added that the priests also play a prominent role in maintaining communal harmony in hamlets and contribute a lot in bringing together people from other religions for socio-cultural development of the parish.