Posts

Meeting the Superior General of the MC's

Image
The last part of our mission trip across the world was a very special meeting. Our group had the honor of having a private encounter with Sr. Mary Prema, who is the current superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, which means that she is in charge of all Missionaries of Charity (over 5,000!) in the entire world. I can’t imagine that it is easy being a successor of a saint! She surely has very big (or should I say very little?) shoes to fill.
We had the meeting in the mother house of the order in a humble room next to the tomb of Mother Teresa. Even though she recently arrived from a very long trip, she had a very humble, yet motherly patience, gentleness, and subtle joy – true marks of a Missionary of Charity.
She was very happy to learn that we were well on our way to the priesthood, and we had the opportunity to absorb some of her words of wisdom and encouragement. She started off by reminding us that none of our experiences in Kolkata are supposed to end. Rather, we are alw…

Joy

Image
One of our evenings in Kolkata, we had the opportunity to visit an orphanage.  First we went upstairs with the youngest children, and we got to hold them and play with them a little bit, and they were adorable!  Thankfully, we were allowed to take pictures, and we got plenty...






Then we went down to their patio where they put out a simple reception for us.  After we ate, the older kids came outside.  At first, we played a few songs for them, from Journey to Frozen and everything in between, but we quickly realized that they wanted to sing for us.

They sang many nursery rhymes with great joy and enthusiasm, and we did our best to keep up.  It was beautiful to see so many smiling faces in a place that I had not considered to be overly joyful, yet here was evidence of their joy brimming over!

It was a lesson that I think our whole group had to learn many times over: that joy can be found in any and every circumstance if you will let it.


Bhālōbāsi

Image
A very profound experience I had at the House of the Dying was with a patient named Frank, who I got to know fairly well over the course of a couple mornings. He was a 74 year old man without family, without much money, and with a blown-out knee requiring a surgery he could not afford. He was not terminally ill, but he was brought there by the sisters because he still needed a great deal of assistance to live that no one else could provide for him.
             One of the first things that really struck me to the heart in Kolkata was when I first introduced myself to Frank.  After asking him for his name, I received no invitation to share my own. I thought that was a little odd and decided to just tell him my name, but he made no response (most people will repeat it or give some confirmation). I said it a second time in case he had not heard it, but his response to my repetition was to the effect that there was no point in trying to memorize a name with a face who’d be l…

A Few Links

Image
Hello All,

Thanks for following our blog thus far, there are a few more posts to come, so stay tuned!

In the mean time, here are a few links that we wanted to share:

This is the organization that helped fund our trip:
http://pathwaystochildren.org/pathways-to-children-kolkata-2018/

The Saint John Vianney Seminary Facebook Page (Stay uptodate for future events and mission trips):
https://www.facebook.com/SJVSeminary/notifications/

Finally, here is a large collection of photos we took while in Kolkata:
https://www.flickr.com/gp/sjvcollegeseminary/8jRW4X

Seminary in India

Image
We arrived at Morning Star College Seminary this morning and we were met with a magnificent sight. All of the seminarians had come out to greet us. Coming off the bus we went down the line of men, shaking their hands as if we were the president. It was such a warm welcome. After being greeted by the seminarians we were all presented with leis, made out of lilies and roses. You could tell that they truly enjoyed us being there. Afterward we went to their assembly hall. We were officially greeted and some of their seminarians that put on a show for us and sang a couple of songs.
I really enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the seminary. At Morning Star College Seminary they have roughly 200 seminarians that are from 30 different diocese. They have men from all over. There are some from north India and others from the south. There are also others that are from China and Nepal. For this reason there are a number of different languages that are spoken throughout the seminary. Between all of the …

"More!"

Image
While in Kolkata, I had the opportunity to work with children at the Daya Dan house during our time. From the moment I entered the house, I could feel a deep sense of joy. Each person I encountered was happy to be working in Daya Dan with these children who had been left on the street because of disabilities they had. Meeting Sister Sophia, the sister who is in charge, was great, and you could feel the joy just radiate from her being. She was the mastermind behind everything in this place, and everyone knew it. The amount of love that poured out of this woman to this house was immense, and without it, the house wouldn’t be the same.  She assigned each one of us to an individual child when we first arrived and that is where I met Bernard.
Bernard is a young man who is sixteen years old with severe physical disabilities, he couldn’t hold his head up on his own, was unable to walk, and wasn’t able to hold anything in his hands. The most challenging disability Bernard has is that he is un…

Breakfast with the Archbishop

Image
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to have Mass and breakfast with the Archbishop of Kolkata, His Excellency Thomas D’Sousza. After having mass with the Archbishop, our group drove over to the Archbishop’s residence. The residence is a magnificent old house that speaks to the former days of prosperity in Kolkata. Archbishop D’Sousza had an American style breakfast prepared with a Bengali twist. We had fried eggs, sandwiches, stir fry, tea and  coffee. He ate with us and answered questions about his life and ministry. All of this he did with great intentionality and care. After this we had an opportunity to pray in his private chapel and take some time to rest in silence with the Lord.

Later on we gathered together to talk with the Archbishop one last time. Many of us asked questions about his early life and his call to the priesthood. It was inspiring to hear his great willingness to follow the Lord with such amazing trust. In early high school, a bishop from another dioc…