For many weeks, Fr. Varghese visited each Catholic household at Sacred Heart of Jesus Mission in Kakinada, blessing 4-5 homes each evening. During the 45-minute visits, the missionary introduced himself to his people, who are scattered many kilometers across a wide area. Many nights, Missionaries of Charity came along on the visits.
|Fr. Varghese rode his motorbike many kilometers across |
Kakinada and outlying villages, visiting faithful at his
new mission. Often, Missionaries of Charity, who live
right down the road from him, came along.
He wrote about one boy and his family he met during a visit: "I got to know a boy is struggling with (a) strange disease. He needs bath every 15 minutes. They lost their dad, and Mum is working as sweeper and his sister is blind."
Fr. Varghese returned with some aid from the U.S. and took the boy to the doctor, who ordered lab tests so the proper medicine could be prescribed.
|Fr. Varghese took this young man struggling |
with a mysterious skin disease, to a doctor.
On another visit, Fr. Varghese blessed two AIDS patients and their home. The schedule of visits helped the priest better know his parishioners, who come from a variety of ethnic groups and walks of life. Some are from Tamil Nadu, others are Anglo-Indian. He even serves a community of South African college students who attend classes nearby.
People make their living with computers and as shopkeepers, on fishing boats and oil rigs, and in fertilizer factories. Father thanked God for the chance to be welcomed into people's homes.
However, keeping his gas tank filled, and his electric, water and other basic bills paid each month, has been a struggle. With a small congregation of scattered Catholics, the offertory is "very less," wrote Fr. Varghese. "So please pray for me, that the Lord may heal my financial struggle."