Catholic Council of India organized a candle light vigil Friday to pay tributes to Sr .Valsa John, who was murdered in Pakur district of Jharkhand November 15.Holding candles outside the renewal center, the venue of the meeting, prelates, priests, nuns and the laity sang hymns and paid rich encomiums to the slain nun. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said “it is a very sad incident but it will encourage and inspire other people to work among the poor and neglected ones.”Cardinal Gracias and a few others, who are in Kochi to attend the Catholic Council of India’s 11th general body meeting, visited Sr. John’s house at Edapilly in Kochi and met her family members.
Fr Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, said “Sr Valsa’s martyrdom is a wakeup call for the whole country and a challenge to the Church in India.“The Church must accompany the subalterns in very tangible ways in their struggle for a more equitable, just and human society. In doing so, the church should demonstrate an unflinching courage to take on the powerful vested interests…. Jesus would have done exactly that!”