Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy

A country priest comes to Kakinada, finding joy with his people in Christ's Sacred Heart.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Onam at Sacred Heart Mission

Beautiful rangoli at Sacred Heart Mission signal the celebration of the Harvest Festival of Onam, a feast and celebration similar to Thanksgiving in America. Onam is a time for family and community to thank God for the harvest, and the rangoli at Sacred Heart show a particularly Christian influence -- see the Word represented below. Fr. Varghese's grandma and other family members visited through the week, and joined locals in preparing dishes for an Onam meal. Both adults and kids joined in games on the compound that lifted hearts after their recent season of floods and hardship. Rooted in Hindu culture, Onam practices have been inclulturated by Christians, many of whom are Hindu converts, bringing their colorful art forms with them. Their gratitude to God naturally pours forth in their beloved ancient cultural traditions, now expressed with fuller meaning in their Catholic context. Thank God for His harvest!

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The all-seeing eye of God...above, the script at
Sacred Heart Mission reads, "God's mercy is enough for me."






Saturday, September 2, 2017

First Friday Adoration Prayers for Peace

Fr. Francis from Korukollu Parish came to pray with Fr. Varghese for First Friday adoration last night...among other intentions they prayed for peace in the world and an end to terrorism, and for those suffering from flooding in Texas. They decorate with lights as they can, in this land of power outages, to reflect this reality -- Jesus is Light of the World!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blessed Feast of the Assumption

Mary's August 15th Feast of the Assumption was celebrated at Sacred Heart Mission with great participation of the faithful. Parish girls danced, other children performed scenes from Mary's life in skits, and visiting priests Frs. Aruliah and Mariadas were happy to see so much enthusiasm and devotion.  Around 500 people came in from surrounding neighborhoods to share an "agape (love)" feast, that was served in three sessions to accommodate everyone on mission grounds. People of all castes and ethnic groups ate and those from a Kakinada leper community were also welcomed and fed with care.




Monday, August 14, 2017

Joachim & Anne


Fr Varghese is feeling blessed with the beautiful new additions to the mission menagerie. Joachim and Anne were bought on these saints' feast day to replace Amala, who disappeared during monsoon floods. Pure milk is hard to obtain in Kakinada, because milk bought in packets is often diluted with tainted water. Anne will help build health among the many who visit Sacred Heart daily, with her good, pure milk. Thank you, Lord! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

July monsoons bless & challenge


Standing waters bred mosquitoes in Kakinada neighborhoods
after July monsoons.
Monsoons are welcomed in India, because they break Summer's terrible heat and drench the parched earth with needed water for crops. The seasonal rains can cause havoc in coastal areas, however, especially in poor slum neighborhoods where people lose everything when flood waters rise. 
Lack of appropriate dams and drainage systems causes sufferings and loss of life in poor villages year after year. Fr. Varghese helped evacuate his coastal people for several days in late July and fed them on Sacred Heart Mission grounds, but then joined many in the area in contracting viral fever after mosquitoes proliferated from standing water. Let's keep all our missionaries and people in these tropical regions in prayer as they face hardship and rebuild their lives post-monsoon.


People find a welcome at Sacred Heart Mission as
homes flood, shops close and food supplies dwindle.




Saturday, December 17, 2016

Advent Deeparadhana -- worshipping Christ "with lamps"

It's cold season in India, but faithful at Sacred Heart Church are continuing their nine-day tradition in these days leading up to Christmas, gathering pre-dawn to worship Christ and to bring this worship to their streets. Asked why people gathered so early and concluded Advent in this disciplined way, Fr. Varghese reminded us that shepherds were awake, keeping watch over their flocks, when angels came to tell of Christ's coming. It's a beautiful expression of devotion, for people to wake early, wait and watch for Christ, said the priest. They declare their love of the Christ Child by processing prayerfully through their streets.