Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Fr. Varghese leads a Eucharistic adoration procession at Sacred Heart Mission in Kakinada on Friday, August 22, 2014, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Just as the monstrance bears the Eucharistic Jesus, the Blessed Mother is a living monstrance, still bearing Jesus to the world. Her mission as Queen of Heaven, is to pray and intercede for us, leading all to her Son. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mission work day

The front entrance to Sacred Heart Mission in Kakinada was so muddy and uninviting, volunteers joined Fr. Varghese and visiting priest, Fr. Mariadas, in late August, in laying a concrete slab. Faithful of all ages pitched in, eager to improve their new little mission.

With a fledgling congregation and scarce funds, Fr. Varghese needs parishioners to lend a hand in  beautifying their mission. 

Despite heat and grit, workers had a fine time forming a work crew.

Digging earth by hand with primitive tools made a tough job tougher.

 Frs. Varghese and Mariadas helped form a "fire brigade" to move gravel.

Workers took a welcome break to enjoy a meal. Shown above, Fr. Mariadas lends a hand serving.

The mission signpost for Sacred Heart has script
in both English and Telegu.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A feast and an engagement

Feast of the Assumption festivities continued, when Fr. Varghese traveled from Sacred Heart of Jesus Mission in Kakinada, north to Fr. Baskhar's forest mission in Kothakota, August 16. Traditional Indian dancers welcomed the procession for the Mass, held outdoors because Fr. Baskhar's schoolhouse-turned-church was too small to host the event.
Fr. Baskhar's Infant Jesus Church looks transformed from
when he first took over his remote assignment in June.
Visiting priests and faithful cleaned the compound, painted
and arranged for weeks.

Youth sit patiently awaiting a flag-hoisting ceremony. The
Indian tri-color is raised, celebrating India's Independence Day.

The Blessed Mother is decked in a sari for her Feast.

Rain held off, so the Mass proceeded peacefully.

Fr. Baskhar is both pastor and musician, and
accompanies the choir at mission Masses.
Wearing Indian flags to mark Independence
Day, celebrated by all India on August 15.

Fr. Varghese distributes communion.
Volunteers from Kothakota and scattered villages
added to the celebration.

While Fr. Varghese was in Kothakota, he was asked to be Master of Ceremonies for a formal engagement ceremony for Fr. Baskhar's nephew and his bride-to-be.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Feast of the Assumption and Independence Day

Angels accompany this Blessed Virgin Mary as
she is assumed into heaven, in a Feast of the
Assumption drama at Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mission in Kakinada.

"We have already bought the rice and groceries for the poor and 10 sarees for widows," wrote Fr. Varghese, several days before the August 15th Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

To honor "Mother Mary," wrote Father, faithful distributed these gifts to the needy, and were active with singing practice and creating a drama for the Assumption, featuring Mary with the angels. 

Mission youth worked, prayed and played together in the days leading up to the Assumption. They helped plan events and decorate, and kept the compound lively.

Bedecked with flowers...the Blessed Mother 
is honored inside the hall that serves as 
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

Fr. Varghese's classmate, Fr. Vijay, came from Hyderabad to
celebrate the Feast of the Assumption Mass. Here, he is blessing
holy water for a baptism on that day.
The catechism children of the various grade levels
decorated little prayer altars to honor the blessed Mother.
Everything "went on well," wrote Fr. Varghese, shown here with Fr. Vijay, Missionaries of Charity, and Mariadalem (Legion of Mary) ladies from his parish.

On August 15th, all of India celebrates Independence Day, marking the day in 1947 that this land broke free of colonial power from England and established itself as a free and independent nation. So Assumption Day festivities included the presentation of the Indian flag and a flag-hoisting ceremony.

On the day after the Assumption, Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu passed through on his way back to his residence in Visakhapatnam. He stopped for lunch at the Mission, visiting with Frs. Varghese, Baskhar and Vijay, the people, and the Missionaries of Charity down the street, who are loved members of Sacred Heart's community.

A Sacred Heart welcome.

Missionaries of Charity greet Archbishop Prakash
 Mallavarapu at their Kakinada residence.
"My soul doth magnify the Lord..."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rosary peace

Someone caught Fr. Varghese snatching a peaceful moment with the Rosary on the grounds of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Kakinada. He's holding Gypsy, who takes seriously the job of mission protector. At bottom is Gowry the cow, given to Fr. Varghese by a grateful parishioner at his former mission, in gratitude for prayers answered.