St. Little Flower School, India
St. Theresa’s parish at Kakkanur in India has been blessed with a Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes and additional five class rooms to provide a good environment for learning. Thanks to the generosity of Deacon Jim Stahlnecker from Staten Island, New York in honor and memory of Kaitlyn Rose from Brooklyn, NY. The school is a a huge blessing for most students who come underprivileged background. This creates a perfect opportunity for higher secondary school. This prevents many hazards such as transportation, safety and inconvenience for children in going to nearby towns to complete their higher education. Above all, school drop-outs will be minimised and child-labour will dropout gradually.
Kakkanour is a small rural village with a population of 3000, twenty Kms, west of Villupuram. The village has 74% literacy rate. Most of people are economically poor agriculture families. St Little Flower School (St. Theresa) established in 1929 by the French Missionaries produced many graduates and literate in the past nine decades. His Excellency, A. Neethinathan, Bishop of Chinglepat and Father Ben Chinnappan, Chaplain at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Government completed their primary education from this village. There are also other notable personalities from this village with high credentials who deserve huge appreciation. Like most villages in India, segregation is part of the Indian Caste System and Kakkanur is not an exception to this rule. But the school played a key role in bringing out the integration of various caste communities. Hindus, Christians and Muslims live with a sense of unity and peace. The village is proud to have many men in uniform in the armed forces of India, who have put themselves in harm’s way to defend our country. Many retired service men, our veterans still inspire our community.
Most of our people are very poor economically as the monsoon failed miserably in the past. They have gone through lots of loses and suffering through unemployment and poverty. Half of the youth have migrated to cities in search of jobs in order to earn bread for their families. Consequently, the literacy rate dropped down for some time. For years, the village remained at a stagnant point without much progress. Now there is some hope with this outside intervention. This is a huge investment for the morale and strength of the people. The have come together to take the village into a new direction. This is where St.Little Flower Higher Secondary would play a vital role in shaping the community.
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Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Kakkanur
St. Theresa’s parish at Kakkanour in India has completed Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto on March 2, 2019 in memory of Kaitlyn Rose, a little angle from St. Bernard Parish, Brooklyn, NY. She displayed a great amount of faith, trust and courage as she was battling against her cancer. She set a great role model for children and for many others how to live and accept God’s will in our lives despite many challenges.
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Petitions and prayers were submitted during the blessing of the Grotto. Now this place has become a shrine for people to support and to pray for the sainthood of Kaitlyn in the coming days. Hundreds of school children from the parish participated in the inauguration of the Grotto and admire her as their role model.