Holy Family's new stage will benefit the mission
and the surrounding community for years to come.
The old, crumbling concrete slab has given way to this
Unlike America, "we don't have latest equipment or techniques to make work go faster," says Fr. Varghese. "We always depend on manual and daily labor."
Just a few days ago, funds ran dry and volunteers stayed home. A few concerned friends sent a donation to provide supplies. But more funds are needed for this project to be completed by May 8th, when Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu arrives to celebrate the first Confirmations held at Holy Family Mission in ten years!
Holy Family Church is too tiny to fit the projected overflow crowds accompanying 200 Confirmandis, their sponsors and families. A crumbling concrete slab on the property was an eyesore and had to go. Day after day, volunteers have been arriving by foot, bicycle and scooter, and working toward this dream: a worthy setting for their Confirmation ceremony and other future events.
|Volunteers are smiling in spite of 109-degree F. heat!|
Even non-Catholics in the area are interested in the new stage taking shape, says Fr. Varghese, and some have donated supplies like stones. When the structure is complete, the mission can rent the stage out for community events, generating much-needed income to cover basic expenses like water and electrical bills.
Volunteers are also helping to build a staircase to the top of Father's two-bedroom home two miles outside Yelleswaram, India. If the staircase is ready in time, Father will invite the Archbishop to climb up and take a meal under the leaves.
|Scrubbing Fr.'s presbytery is one way to cool down.|
With no air conditioning in Father's home and temperatures reaching 109-degrees F., the new rooftop nest will do more than offer visitors a shady retreat. The hottest midsummer nights drive Fr. Varghese from his stifling house. He lies under a tree trying to catch a breeze, hoping cobras and other wildlife keep their distance. A rooftop retreat will allow for better sleep, a precious gift to a missionary often awakened for emergency calls to the sick and dying.
|Cooking up a meal to feed volunteers.|
|Volunteers are excited to help beautify their little mission.|
"Please pray for our dream," urges Fr. Varghese.
He and his people have their hearts set on a suitable setting for their Confirmations and have been putting all their heart and efforts toward that goal. All funds sent through this site's donation button until May 8th will help Holy Family Mission with construction and daily maintenance costs, and with preparations for May 8th Confirmations.
See previous posts for more amazing photos!
Text by Marianna Bartholomew
Photos by Fr. Varghese