Loading... Please wait...

Advanced Search | Search Tips

India's Bishop Topo visits ISMS

Posted by

India's Bishop Topo visits ISMS All the way from India, Bishop Felix Topo along with Father Cyril Fernandez and Father Walter visited seventh-grade classes at Indian Springs Middle School Friday. Bishop Topo's visit was in response to money the classes raised to help fund education for some of the poor children of India. Bishop Topo thanked the classes for their efforts along with others who helped raise a total of $1,000 to pay for 27 Indian children to attend school next year. "Thank you so very much for the money you have raised," Bishop Topo said. "You are so very lucky to have such great opportunities here." The money will pay for each of the 27 students' books, tuition and room and board. The children began raising the money after Indian Springs art teacher Mary Hilger was invited to travel to India by Father Fernandez, who is currently in a five-year pastorship with the St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Arcola. Fernandez invited Hilger to share her artwork of Mother Teresa with the nuns of the Mother House, where Mother Teresa did her work and teach at St. Xavier school, which is under Bishop Topo's direction. St. Xavier has seven schools with a total of 9,000 children of all backgrounds. Bishop Topo oversees a total of 36 schools with more added each year. Bishop Topo explained the history of the school system in India. "In 1948 American missionaries began building schools in the poor areas of India," Bishop Topo said. "These schools allowed the indigenous people of India a chance to receive an education. "I am from the indigenous people of India and I am very grateful to those people for the chance I had to get an education," he said. He told the students that he and others in India are working to educate all children as a way of getting past the poverty barrier. "We want to educate all the children and so we are always moving out into the poor areas," he said. "We are making progress and that is something very wonderful because it will help to counter our countries poverty situation." The children greeted Bishop Topo and the City Stars show choir performed a 20-minute program for the visitors. The students also asked the bishop questions after the City Stars performance. One student asked what the bishop thought of America. "America is great and American's are great people," Bishop Topo said. "You have freedom and so many American's had to die to give you this freedom. Be grateful to your country for this freedom."