We pray the heat wave India is experiencing is a prophetic sign of the coming revival in the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Today the temperature is 107°F, but feels like 123! The government has urged all to stay inside.
Yesterday, we visited the Gunadalamatha Shrine of Our Lady, where even in the air conditioned Eucharistic chapel it was nearly unbearable humidity. Even with the heat, however, pilgrims climbed the more than 100 stairs to the top of the mountain, where it is even hotter!
During our first week here, we were privileged to be invited to a glorious ordination Mass. There, two seminarians were ordained to the diaconate. We thank God that we were present there- it was unlike any ordination we've ever been to- lights, music, upwards of 3,000 people in attendance. It was the Bishop's 36th anniversary of ordination. The Mass ended with the parish offering him a cake, and the whole event ended with a firework display.
The two deacons who were ordained come from the Philippines, and are truly Catholic Christian men of God. We have enjoyed being with them. Not only are they full of the joy of the Lord and gifted to work among the people, they are very musical as well, with a heart for worship.
The deacons are the newest ordained members of the growing congregation, the Missionaries of Mary Mother of the Poor. The congregation was founded by our dear friend, Fr. Fernando Suarez, who like Mother Teresa had a "call within a call." Mother Teresa, in fact, has a lot to do with it; Father says he received the calling to start this congregation when he visited her tomb in Kolkata.
We believe Mother Teresa has a lot to do with us being here as well, as she is one of the patrons of Heart Two Heart Ministries. Like Mother, we follow the mandate given by the Lord to Lee Anne to help the "most hopeless of cases," be they addicts, suicidal, poor or downtrodden and desperate.
Father Fernando is an amazing priest, a priest like Jesus. We believe he is a modern day St. Paul, and we are blessed to serve as lay counterpart to his religious community. Father has a mighty gift of healing and evangelization, but most of all his heart is full of love for God and His people, especially the poor. Please pray for him and his congregation, especially the newly ordained.
The animals we see walking around town and in the fields are struggling in the heat. Here, of course cows are considered sacred. Some are owned, and some are offered to the "gods," and allowed to roam free. Buffalo, cows, street dogs, chickens and even pigs can be seen rummaging in the garbage for food, or looking all over for water. Here is a buffalo we saw in our backyard:
Surely, it is a land of idols. Christianity is at such a low percentage among the total population. However, the parish that has welcomed us, with its life, music, and hospitality, would put most Canadian and American parishes to shame.
We were invited to attend a baptism by one of the seminarians. They invited us into their family! It was a privilege to participate.
We thank Fr. Kiran and his priests and staff, for giving us such an honourable welcome, for making us feel right at home. He looked after every detail for our needs, they drove us all around the state, and gave every measure of hospitality (even ordering Danny a pizza!)
All glory to God in the highest!
Please donate to the poorest in India by giving to our ministry. All proceeds go directly to the service of God's people. Donations of $20 or more are eligible for tax receipts, as we are a registered nonprofit charity.
Thank you for your generosity. Remember, it was Cornelius' prayers and generosity to the poor that impressed the Lord. (Acts 10)