New Castle News

Life

September 2, 2011

Priest from India brings word to local parishes

NEW CASTLE — When the thermometer reached 85 this week, the Rev. George Mangalapilly was feeling cool and comfortable.

Mangalapilly, 54, is a missionary in his home country of India, where temperatures often hit triple digits. “It can get up to 110,” he said.

A native of Kerala, India, Mangalapilly is visiting New Castle for two weeks, having celebrated Masses at St. Vincent de Paul Parish last weekend and looking forward to doing the same Saturday evening and Sunday morning at St. Vitus Church. He was in McKeesport for two weeks before that.

Mangalapilly can say Mass in five languages, including two India dialects, Italian and German, but he promises to stick with English here.

Raised in a Catholic family that included four brothers and three sisters, Mangalapilly knew at age 19 that he would become a priest. Ordained in 1985, he recently celebrated his 25th anniversary.

“Our mission in India, especially in the north, faces many obstacles,” he said. Only two percent of the population of India is Christian.

Summoned by his friend and former countryman, the Rev. Matthew of Pittsburgh, Mangalapilly came to the States for the first time since 2006 to share his mission outlook with churches in western Pennsylvania.

The Rev. Frank Almade, the new pastor and administrator of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Vitus parishes, invited him to come to Lawrence County to speak here.

Mangalapilly hopes to make his listeners aware they are “called by God and God is working.”

“We believe in networking, cooperation and partnership in every aspect,” Mangalapilly said.

“We seek your help in whatever way through prayers, support and sponsorships for various activities in the mission and for the formation of future missionaries.

Mangalapilly said he has enjoyed his time in New Castle, especially all the food.

He will travel home Monday on a 14-hour flight that originates in Pittsburgh and lands in Dehli.

It will be followed by a 14-hour train ride to North India.

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