Note on Blog post: we have had internet connection issues until we arrived at the airport to leave. This post was written following our visit to St. Ann’s parish on Sunday, January 12th. Sorry for the delay.
Today we had the great gift to travel outside the city for the first time, celebrating the Baptism of Christ with St Ann’s, a rural parish about 2 hours’ drive outside Kolkata.
Following Mass, the children of the school, ranging from about 3 to 16 years old, had prepared for us a program of traditional song and dance. After visiting some nearby homes of parishioners, we spent the rest of the day with the children and the Daughters of St Ann, the religious Sisters that run the school, soaking in their unrestrained joy and simple love.
In this visit we were blessed to witness firsthand the two fruits of poverty, which are too easily forgotten in America. The first is joy; from the moment we stepped off the bus, Sr. Jolly’s infectious laugh followed us throughout the day, and everywhere we went we were greeted with massive grins and a chorus of hellos.
The second fruit of this poverty is an extremely strong faith. Fr. Barnabas witnessed for us total abandonment to divine providence, trusting totally that God would provide all that is necessary to care for his flock. He does not care what obstacles are ahead, he simply desires to use the gifts he has received from God.
Here we have seen lived out in a special way a simple life of poverty, vowed by religious around the world, and the incredible impact which it can have on an individual and an entire community. This community here at St. Ann’s has been infused with divine life is a beacon of hope for those suffering in the darkness.
Today was a day of great joy and hope, for I was reminded that though there is still extreme poverty and suffering throughout the world, Jesus is using his Church to overcome the darkness with the light of grace.