20th July 2013
Report on the construction of a new church building at Tungan Laute, Agwara Parish, Kontagora Vicariate.
Greetings on behalf of the people of the Saint Joseph’s Parish, Agwara. Another year has gone by and another Church has once again been completed thanks to you in Killaloe. Another community has been provided with a fitting place in which to worship their God, as well as a place in which to learn how to read and write. This Church building is the only solid structure in the area and as such will now inevitably become the centre of village life. The place where people will come together in a spirit of co-operation and fellowship united by their new found faith in the search for God.
As in Ireland in the past, the Catholic faith is seen as being synonymous with progress and development, a light which leads people away from the darkness of ignorance and superstition and into a new dawn of freedom, knowledge and understanding.
Throughout the process of construction, the people are actively involved. Firstly in the preparation work of gathering the sand and gravel, as well as moulding the 1300 mud blocks needed for the walls. Once the bricklayers, carpenters and their workers arrive, the people are responsible for providing them with sleeping accommodation and food throughout their stay. The people also carry all the water needed from the nearest river to the site. This is an arduous process and very labour intensive. They are also responsible for all the casual labouring jobs involved, such as unloading the building materials. etc. Once the building is completed externally and is ready for use it generally takes about 10 years to complete inside. This means plastering the internal walls, provision of benches, purchase of musical instruments, Stations of the Cross etc.
This active participation of the people in the construction and completion of their church helps to bind them together as a community. The process of physical development is paralleled by a continual and gradual deepening of the faith over many years, leading finally to a fully sacramental Church.
On behalf of the people of Tungan Laute and all the other places you have helped over the ears with funds for new Churches, I want to thank you for your generosity and concern for the spread of the Gospel. May the good Lord continue to help and bless all of you in Killaloe in your homes and in your work.
Fr Dónall Ó Catháin S.M.A
Parish Priest Shafaci