03 February 2017
← India Immersion 2016
India Immersion 2016
Over the next few weeks we will share a number of reflections from the India Immersion 2016. Today, Lucas Lutter and Jack Doyle begin by reflecting on some of the first days of the immersion in Kolkata:
"Day three started with our journey to Mother Teresa’s House and Volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity. On the walk to Mother’s House we passed men, women and children sleeping on the street, I counted at least 207 people on our journey. 207 destitute human beings on one side of one street in not even three kilometres. Mass, breakfast and a bus ride over a leg of the Ganges River saw us arrive at Nabo Jibon a home for severely physically and mentally disabled men. I can’t describe the experience and difficulty of communicating in a place where words are powerless. I partnered up with a man playing with a ball. Whilst I was giving him pure happiness by simply kicking a ball to him, he was giving me the biggest perspective change of my life. I had been so blinded to the true meaning of struggle and what it means to have it bad. I then sat in the sand with a boy named Karim. Karim was 13 years old, about 4 feet tall, chewed tobacco, was unable to walk and had obvious psychological demons. I sat in the silence and began to think about how Karim and everyone survives on the streets that I had just walked through. Karim and the man with the ball have certainly shaped my persistence, effort and attitude for my final year at St Pat’s as well as what I see in this world and how I see it."
"We visited a place called ‘Nabo Jibon’, run by the Missionaries of Charity Brothers. The brothers provide a permanent home for physically and mentally disabled men. I kept a journal of my India trip, and on this day, I wrote a section saying: “Seeing the excitement on the faces of the men aged 12-60 was truly amazing today. Whether sitting down making handshakes as a way to try and overcome the language barrier, kicking a soccer ball back and forth for 45 minutes, or hitting a balloon back and forth for over an hour. This proves to me how something I take for granted here in Australia, is appreciated so much by these lovely people in India.” The significance of these days was evident by the huge emotions they brought about both in myself and many others in our immersion group. Many of us were moved to tears."
I’m sure from this that you can get a sense of how significant these experiences are for our young men, definitely a time of transformation and growth.
This week in Identity:
- We are preparing for the College Inaugural Mass on Friday
- We have been preparing 4 new Special Ministers of Communion and 4 new altar servers for taking up their ministry in our community
- We have begun our Era for Change group for 2017 with 29 young men expressing interest in this important work
- The Paddies Van ministries have all begun in earnest