Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Praising God for bed, solar panel and new "decree"

Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu attended a special Mass
at Infant Jesus Church in Kothakota, declaring the erection 

of a new church.
Fr. S. Baskhar publicly gave thanks for receiving a bed and other gifts, at his new forest assignment at Infant Jesus Mission in Kothakota, India. His missionary friend, Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy, had told friends in America about Fr. Baskhar's lack of a bed. The need coincided with two young brothers in the friends' Chicago-area homeschool community asking for donations for Fr. Varghese in lieu of gifts at their birthday party. Fr. Varghese was so worried about Fr. Baskhar sleeping on cobra-infested ground in the country, that he turned over the brothers' gift to Fr. Baskhar, so his fellow missionary could buy a sturdy wood bed frame and mattress. 

Other priests gave Fr. Baskhar (shown here at his mission gate) an amplifier and a solar panel. 

"So, today he is blessed by many gifts," wrote Fr. Varghese.

Visiting missionaries from across the Archdiocese of
Visakhapatnam prepare for Mass at Infant Jesus Mission
in Kothakota.

Missionary priests and faithful uplift each other, or fledgling missions could never survive. This gift-giving for Fr. Baskhar took place at a special event for Catholics in rural Kothakota. Catholic villagers here have waited to worship in their own church for many decades. Faithful are scattered across as many as ten villages around Kothakota and largely make their living in agriculture.

Fr. Varghese Kalapurakudy traveled hours north by bus from his Sacred Heart of Jesus Mission in coastal Kakinada, joining other priests and faithful in volunteering days of labor. They settled Fr. Baskhar into his new little rental house in town, near an ancient Hindu site honoring Goddess Durga. They scrubbed, arranged, and decorated mission grounds and the old school used for a church. Then they celebrated a special Mass with Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu, marking an important event: the Archbishop announced the "Church Erection Decree," launching a church-building project at Fr. Baskhar's Infant Jesus Mission.   

Faithful gathered in Kothakota from surrounding villages for
the special Mass mid-July with Archbishop Prakash
Missionaries from across the Diocese of Visakhapatnam
process for the Mass. 
A traditional oil lamp was lit to inaugurate the event.
The flames signify that we are all called to be the Light of Christ.
The choir shelters under a tent, safe from rain.

Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu blessed the tabernacle, and
presented the new pastor, Fr. Baskhar, with the keys to 
his mission.

Traditional Indian dancers welcomed the Archbishop,
visiting priests and the faithful.

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