Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holy Family Joy - Happy Christmas!

Holy Family Church, all dressed up
for Christmas.
"Merry, Merry, Happy Christmas!" writes Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy, Pastor of Holy Family Mission in Yeleswaram, India. The days preceding and including Christmas day 2013 were "very marvelous and wonderful" at his mission.

An astonishing 95% of parishioners made their confessions before Christmas. Fr. Varghese also helped faithful focus on "worship, Mass practice, carol singing, choir, wishing each other, sharing the gifts, etc...exchanging the peace."

Faithful came to construct nativity scenes on the mission compound, and one was chosen to be the "official" nativity for Holy Family Mission.

The night vigil was beautiful, although a regional power grid failure had Fr. Varghese scurrying to rent a diesel generator so the mission lights could shine. That night, gifts from mission friends allowed Fr. Varghese to distribute 223 wool blankets to his people, who traveled in for the Mass from five scattered villages.

The evening ended with a sharing of biscuits and plantains, although mission funds were too tight for Fr. Varghese to offer people rolls and tea like he did last year.

On December 23, teams of faithful came
to mission grounds to construct creative nativities.
As a special Christmas surprise, a local politician offered 25 saris for widows. These were distributed after Christmas morning Mass. The celebration continued, with "cultural programs depicting the social issues and love of Christ."

Christmas Masses were held outdoors under a tent, since Holy Family Church is too tiny to host the 1,000-plus people who attend. This year, locals who were Hindu and of other denominations came to join their Catholic neighbors at the beautiful, solemn Mass.

Fr. Varghese offered up his Christmas Mass for friends of his mission. He also keeps a list of his special supporters in his breviary, and he prays for their needs daily. 

He does have a couple of very practical wishes as the year draws to a close. Fr. Varghese needs to pay off the bill for renting the generator for Christmas. The bill is due December 31st. He says he is also "praying I will be able to give a tea for my people" after the  New Year vigil Mass, which celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

Use the buttons at right to contribute to Holy Family Mission in a quick, easy, and secure way.  And please continue to enfold Fr. Varghese and his five scattered mission outposts in prayer.

God bless you, and Happy Christmas!

Amidst all the beautiful crib scenes, this one was chosen
as the official nativity of Holy Family Mission.

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