“Whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives Me.”
Circumstances Reveal the Hand of God
These words of our Blessed Lord in the Gospel of St. Mark, chapter 9, verse 37, are the driving force behind our work in education. They are directed in particular towards those little ones who are orphans, children deprived of what is natural for the immense majority of us—a father and a mother.
The Society was called to look after these orphans in circumstances that reveal the hand of God. A young lady had turned her back upon all that the world deems worthy of pursuit, and in her home town of Cuddapah, Andhra, Pradish, she founded an orphanage and an old folks home. Thanks to her cousin, one of our faithful, she also discovered the Tridentine Mass and eventually her true vocation in life, namely, to be a religious sister of a Congregation that has its origin in Italy. Through her, the Society took over the orphanage. This even involved the transportation of all the children who were willing to move to another location 450 miles away so as to be close to the Mass and sacraments and be part of a Society school.
In India we in fact work with two orphanages, bringing material and above all spiritual support. At Palayamkottai, in the province of Tamil Nadu in the south, we serve as chaplains to the orphanage run by the Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart. At Vasai, in the north of the country, we look after the orphanage in the province of Maharashtra near Bombay, or, as it is known today, Mumbai. The orphanage is called Saint Gonsalo Garcia.
Our apostolate to the orphaned children of India is in the great tradition St. John Bosco and St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, among other saints. For these children our priests are fathers with a mother’s heart. They give them their life, the grace of the sacraments. They have been for them a new incarnation of that living charity who is Jesus Christ.
It is a demanding apostolate, but how blessed by Our Saviour in His own words: “Whoever receives one such child receives Me.”