St. Mary Parishioner to Administer School in India


Paul Sidebottom of St. Mary in Wichita, will leave for Kolakata (Calcutta), India in mid-March where he has accepted a position at St. Ignatius Orthodox Boys' School. Paul wrote to Bishop Basil: "Your Grace: Your blessing. I can give a little history of the mission there. Father Ignatios (Sennis) a hieromonk of Stravronikita Monastery on Mount Athos began the current mission in India in the 1990s. He was later joined by his cousin, Sister Nectaria (Paradisi) - their family is from Corinth, Greece. In India, our Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration is in Kolakata, blocks away from the Hindu temple of Kali, the goddess of destruction and patroness of the city.  There are approximately twenty Orthodox parishes in the villages of West Bengal, which is a democratically elected communist state of India. All the village clergy are native Bengali. In the village of Bakeswar Sister Nectaria administers a girls' orphanage and school. I will administer St. Ignatios' boys' orphanage and school also in Bakeswar. There will be fifteen boys to begin the school term in April.

I will also be traveling to villages and teaching. Other ministries of the Indian mission are: food distribution, clean water wells for villages, clothing and housing the impoverished, and medical clinics for the sick. I first visited India in October 2010 as part of an OCMC mission team which included DOWAMA's Father Don Hock and Father Stephan Close. My going to India now is not associated with OCMC; the invitation came to me directly from the Indian mission. My current visa restricts my visits to six month at a time, so I will be returning to Wichita for two months in October 2011."