Monday, April 15, 2013

Just three weeks more for a miracle to unfold...

Raising pillars for a platform roof takes team effort.
Dozens of volunteers have pulled down the old, crumbling concrete slab on Holy Family Mission property and are erecting a proper platform. The energy and activity around the Mission is incredible. People heard their Archbishop would be coming to celebrate the first Confirmations here in ten years, and they got to work. Skilled craftsmen are helping with the most technical steps, but the rest is being handled by the faithful. From young to old, everyone senses the urgency, since the ceremony is set for May 8th. Will they meet the deadline?

Read how their whole project began, here.

Besides keeping alive the sacramental life of his scattered missions with daily Mass, and filling all the roles of a pastor (visiting the sick, counseling the troubled, organizing catechists, etc.), Fr. Varghese (below in checked shirt) is right on hand overseeing and helping with construction.

In spite of India's mid-Summer heat, spirits are high as people transport dirt, rocks and brick.
An assembly-line approach speeds the work. Below, volunteers unload bricks amidst Holy Family Mission's little Plantain grove.

Bringing order to chaos is back-straining work!

Parishioners are asking for local donations for supplies like bricks and sand. The problem, said Fr. Varghese, is that nobody gets paid until the end of the month. Also, while the people give what they can to keep their mission running, most parishioners are "coolies," unskilled day laborers such as field workers and rickshaw drivers. Their wages are slim.

Parishioners are seeking donations locally for supplies like stones and bricks.
Elders are canvassing the area for donations. People
promise to provide funds by a certain date and then
receive this "voucher," written in the local Telugu
language.  Most people are "coolies," unskilled
 laborers, and don't get paid until the end
of this month, so funds are running dry.
Please pray that this Dalit community raises enough funds to complete their new "stage" and to host a dignified and beautiful Confirmation ceremony. The focus, of course, is on the coming of the Holy Spirit, and special classes are already in session to complete the formation of those about to receive the Sacrament. Confirmation candidates and their sponsors total around 400 people! Please keep them and their families in prayer.

Some day, this child might tell grandchildren about how people
flocked to the mission to work together in a time of need. 

Still a long way to go, but...
villagers are seeing a miracle unfold as they transform a pile of dust into something beautiful to honor God.

Text by Marianna Bartholomew
Photos (except the one in which he appears) by Fr. Varghese.

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